NHL Projections: St. Louis Blues Lineup
The St. Louis Blues had a tremendous season last year. They had over 100 points in the regular season and made it to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the San Jose Sharks. The Blues lost a lot this offseason including their captain David Backes, but still look to be a playoff team this season. They just acquired forward Nail Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers, and still have a very potent lineup. I think the Blues will easily make the playoffs again, but not be as good as they were last year. Here is my best guess for what the Blue's lineup will look like at the start of the season.
Despite losing David Backes and Troy Brouwer, the Blue's forward group is still very good and very deep. They basically have 2 first lines, and all 4 lines can score. I really don't see any holes in the lineup and even if people get hurt, the Blues have plenty of good players to insert in the lineup. Overall, this forward group is very good from top to bottom.
The Blues also have a great defense core. Alex Pietrangelo is their new captain, and he is their number one defenseman. He is a great player and has been leading the defense group for years. Jay Bouwmeester is Pietrangelo's partner, and he is also a great defenseman. The second pair is also very good. Kevin Shattenkirk and Carl Gunnarson are both solid veteran defenders. The third pair is two young defensemen that are the future of the St. Louis defense. Joel Edmundson and Colton Parayko both burst onto the scene last year, and played very well. Overall, the Blue's defense is fantastic.
There will also be a change in goal this year. Brian Elliot is gone, and Jake Allen is the full time starter. Allen is young but extremely talented. This is the first year when he is the full time starter. Carter Hutton will be the backup. Hutton is a solid backup goalie and should be able to give Allen adequate rest. The Blues are in good shape in goal.