When you consider what the Blues have done all season WITHOUT ever having their entire roster available, it’s even more impressive to see them sitting on top of the League/Conference standings. That being said, one can only become very excited at the possibility of seeing the entire roster when the playoffs start on April 11.
Not only would Blues have the ability to roll FOUR strong lines, it would give Hitchcock and the Blues the opportunity to matchup better on the road regardless of the opponents line choice. Consider the following line combinations for a moment:
Steen – Backes – Oshie
McDonald – Berglund – Perron
D’Agostini – Arnott – Stewart
Schwartz – Sobotka – Langenbrunner
Based on those forward line combos, you’ve got balanced scoring potential, outstanding forechecking and, most importantly, the ability to just keep rolling four lines. Nearly every article by the national media outlets talks about the "banged up Blues" when they’re looking forward, however no one has begun to discuss what appears to be the reality. THE BLUES ARE GETTING HEALTHY!!
I’m not going to predict the Blues win the Cup, but one has to get excited about the potential of a healthy lineup, terrific goaltending, team defense that gives up less the two goals per game and the overall success of Hitchcock’s total team philosophy.
By the time the ‘Note return from the West Coast, we should have a pretty good idea about injured Blues and whether Steen, D’Agostini, Russell, Artnott, Backes and McDonald are "playoff ready". If the news is good, bring on ANYONE in the league and the Blues have a shot!!