By Brad Lee
The fellas over at the AOL Fanhouse have weighed in on some of the "surprising" teams so far this season while giving predictions about whether or not those teams can keep it going until April. We put surprising in quotation marks because we pretty much predicted the Blues would fight and most likely claim a playoff spot. Here's what they said about the Blues in bold with our thoughts in the slimmer font.
St. Louis Blues: After a smart coaching change last season, Andy Murray has had his club playing over .500 hockey and this trend of success isn't a short-term thing.
We would argue that you could have noticed this with the winning record the team posted under Murray from the time he took over in December until the end of the season, but whatever. At least someone besides us is noticing.
The Blues have started off the season at 5-3, Paul Kariya is truly enjoying himself and the Blues are showing attention to deal in the game.
I love it when they show attention to deal, especially at the blackjack table.
Goalies Manny Legace and Hannu Toivonen are both playing very well, and Brad Boyes (stolen from Boston) has a point a game. Few clubs work as hard at the Blue-collar Bluenotes.
1. Don't know if Tofu has had enough playing time to make that statement unless you equate "playing well" with, "he has done a good job opening and closing the door at the end of the bench."
2. Stolen is a good way to describe one of the best trades in Blues history.
3. Blue-collar implies this team is overachieving with a bunch of muckers and grinders. That phrase actually discounts the amount of talent on this team. Regardless, the team is working hard and the writer probably was just going for a cutsie phrase. He's cool as the other side of the pillow.
Injury problems with Jay McKee, Erik Johnson and Eric Brewer (no shock) will definitely make it hard for them to maintain their success, but there seems to be enough offense up front to make up for this.
We're pretty much on record accusing McKee of being brittle and Brewer of being a cyborg. But to lump in EJ as having injury problems relating to one incident is a stretch. And suddenly this blue-collar team has enough scoring up front. Interesting.
In the end, I think the Blues will definitely be fighting for a playoff spot and have a solid chance at making it in the 8th slot.
Not exactly a glowing endorsement but an endorsement nonetheless.
Doug Weight: What is wrong with this guy? ZERO goals and two assists in eight games? The team is churning out goals, and this guy has no hand in them.
Weight keeps getting ice time with misfits and scoring-challenged teammates. But that doesn't excuse his lack of production on the power play. Weight flourished under Murray at the end of last season after the Tkahcuk and Guerin trades. Maybe he was pushed to fill that leadership gap at the time and has now fallen back in line with the return of Big Walt and the signing of Paul Kariya.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.