NHL.com has been providing in-depth inventory, prospect and fantasy analysis to its 31 teams since November 16-December. 16. Today, the St. Louis Blues.
The St. Louis Blues will try to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons after making big changes at defense.
[Blues 31 IN 31: 3 Questions | Top prospects | Behind the Numbers | Fantasy breakdown]
Colton Paraco He is likely to become the No. 1 defenseman after the captain’s departure In Alex Pitrangello, Three days after St. Louis and free agent, signed a seven-year contract with the Golden Knights of Vegas on October 12 Tore Krug Agreed to a seven-year contract.
Paraiko, who plays with the top pair Krug, is the second highest scorer in the NHL career last season with 23:00 snow time, second only to the Blues to Pietrange (24:11). The 27-year-old has 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) from 64 games, matching his total of 80 games earlier this season.
“He’s definitely the alpha male behind us with experience, size (6-foot-6, 230 pounds), strength and power,” said General Manager Doug Armstrong. “He’s going to provide an opportunity and we think he’s going to challenge.”
Krug’s addition helped last season (24.3 percent, third in the NHL) with powerful power play. Armstrong says Krug will balance their left and right-handed staff with Krug. Carl Gunnarsson, Vince Dunn And Marco Scandella On the left and Paraiko, Justin Falk And Robert Portuzo On the right.
“He adds an attacking element from the back end,” Armstrong said of Krug. “He was able to escape great with the puck. I’m sure the forwards will enjoy playing with him because he’s getting on their stick at the right time and he’s a strong competitor. I think so. “
St. Louis will start the season without a forward Vladimir Tarasenko And Alexander Stein. Tarasenko underwent a second shoulder surgery in early September. He said he would be re-valued in February and the Blues will be careful about his return. Armstrong said Stein, who has an unknown injury, has no timetable, except to say he will take some time to play.
Armstrong said of Tarasenko, who played 10 games last season before his opening shoulder surgery on October 29, 2019, “We don’t like to be penny-wise, pound-fool on this.” He is such a great, talented player and he adds very few players to our team in the league, so when he comes back, we want to make sure he’s back for a long time. He has been in the league as part of his career for many years now (eight NHL seasons, all with St. Louis), and we need to make sure he stays in the league many years later. “
After doing goalie business Jake Allen To the Montreal Canadians on September 2, Ville Husso The No. 1 goal will be backed up Jordan Binnington. The 25-year-old averaged 2.56 goals, .909 save percentage and four shotouts in 42 games for San Antonio of the American Hockey League last season 16-17-8.
This season is an opportunity for some young players to make a big step forward, including 24-year-old Dunn and Forwards Robert Thomas, 21, and Jordan Cairo, 22.
“All the young players go through it,” Armstrong said. “You want to be considered an ‘NHL player’ by playing in the league, the next step is an NHL player that your team counts on. We need those three, in particular, and Hussein is developing not only in the league but in the league to survive and survive.”
On September 16, the Blues hired Jim Montgomery as an assistant to coach Craig Berube. Montgomery was named Dallas Stars coach 60-43-10 in both seasons. He trained for five seasons at the University of Denver (2013-18), where he won the 2017 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship.
After finishing first in the conference (42-19-10, .662 percentage points) the Blues hope to bounce back this season after losing to the Vancouver Cancs in the first-round of the Best-7-Western Conference last season. St. Louis won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2019.
“We are excited about the opportunity this year,” Armstrong said. “We lost Pitrangello, but we added Krug. Other than that, there are a lot of players like that. Besides, some of our young players are going to have a really good chance, and what they see can be good.”
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