It's finally, blessedly almost here: the start of the NHL season is upon us! And with it, as Blues fans, there are all sorts of things we have to learn to deal with. Alcoholism, for one. The injury bug. The inevitable rivalries with Detroit and Chicago and their invading fans. Big power forwards plowing over folks and scoring goals. TJ Oshie knocking over players ten times his size, then sleeping through his alarm.
So much stuff to brace yourself for, right? Good and bad, we know we're in for another season. Which do you prepare yourself for? Or do you find yourself of the more neutral persuasion?
The Eternal Optimist: What You Believe
David Backes and Chris Stewart are cracking 30 goals each again. Matt D'Agostini wasn't a fluke last season - he'll score 25 goals this year. Sophomore slump for Kevin Shattenkirk? What IS this madness?
Jaroslav Halak will make it through the season without another hand/wrist injury, and he'll find the starter position to be more to his liking. The injuries to BJ Crombeen and Carlo Colaiacovo will be IT for the season - or at the very least will be the only huge injurieis all year. Evgeny Grachev'll stick at the NHL level and be a 20 goal scorer.
The Blues'll return to the playoffs and maybe, just maybe, win a series.
The Negative Nelly: What You Believe:
The Blues' luck since the lockout has been so terrible (with the exception of 2009 which was merely a happy accident) that you expect everything that has happened all of those other seasons to continue. Best franchise start? That'll happen again with an even rougher stretch afterwards. Every one of the team's defensemen will get injured and Peoria's kids'll get called up. Sure, that'll come with the silver lining of "NHL experience," but at the cost of the team making the playoffs. Heck, those tiny smidges they missed it by the last two seasons? They'll miss it because of a tiebreaker this year.
Patrick Berglund won't live up to the promise of his performance at the World Championships. Chris Stewart'll get into an ill-advised fight and break his hand. TJ Oshie'll get into an ill-advised scrum and break both ankles.
Heck, Davis Payne'll mis-manage the books, have a typo that makes Dave Checketts think the sale price for the Blues is $19 million instead of $190 million, and some PowerBall winner will buy the team and lose it in a poker game to a Detroit fan.
Playoffs? Where's not talking about playoffs.