The Blues have played one game in the preseason, the season opener isn't until Oct. 9 and the first day of fall is today. So it might be a tad early to be forming a major opinion about the team, but I already have a leader for the unwanted title of Least Favorite Player (LFP). And I'm mad at myself for who it is.
I hope you remember the LFP idea. Contrary to the thoughts of some people around here, I love the Blues. I've lived and died with this team for 21 years. My fascination is old enough to drink - legally. And still, there's usually one guy (HOPEFULLY one guy) who when he steps out onto the ice, my general reaction is, "This fucking guy again? I need to go take a piss." My all-time Blues LFP is Mike Eastwood. Or Sasha Khavanov. Maybe that one guy who had the piss-yellow visor. The suckitude all runs together at some point.
Back to the current team. I want Brad Boyes to be a real NHL sniper. I got his jersey the spring he was traded to St. Louis from the Bruins. He's got a bitchin' name. He's one of just 12 players in Blues history to score at least 40 goals in one season for St. Louis. He's making pretty good money at about $4 million which means as a 13-goal scorer he's untradeable and a long term member of the Blues. If this team is going to be successful this season, he's going to have to score. Now on the flip side of the equation, the fact that his shooting percentage was 20.8 percent three seasons ago, 15 percent two seasons ago and just 7.1 percent last year (276th best in the NHL - tied with Kris Draper!) and that the guy clearly did not know what to do with the puck in the offensive zone, didn't want the puck in the offensive zone - was very nearly afraid of the puck in the offensive zone and you've got the makings of a strong LFP.
I didn't really go on record last season with my No. 1 disliked guy on the team. I was pretty much pissed at all of them the way they kept blowing two-goal leads and played like crap in front of the home fans. No one really deserved to be called out above the rest. Or I just lost interest at the end when it was obvious they didn't have the ability to pull it all together even though they constantly said they were buckling down and flipping the switch and turning it around and not letting the same shit happen again when they knew and we knew it was sure as hell going to happen...again. Since the front office decided against tinkering with the lineup and most of the same players are back at another go, I think the spotlight is on a couple guys, including Boyes.
Look, if the guy only had one career year in him and can only score 20-25 goals a game, that's fine. But give him the ice time and put him in situations expected of 20-goal scorers. Treat him like a second-line guy. When the team puts him out there on the top power play and in crucial offensive opportunities and he either hits the glass above the cross bar or takes so much off his shot to improve his accuracy that the goaltender takes his trapper off to catch it barehanded just to prove a point, I'm going to curse his name (which is really cursing half of my name) and pour another shot of Jaeger/flag the beer guy down. And I'm going to call him LFP. It's more about not living up to potential and past performance. A big part of it is just pure disappointment. Of course if he defies all logic and comes out like gangbusters, I will come back and edit this post and change it to Brad Winchester. Shit, my name is screwed either way.
On the cusp of the new season, who's your potential LFP? Tell us down below. Any members of the Jackman family who might stop by here might want to go watch videos of puppies running around a living room with hardwood flooring instead.