As a part of SB Nation's upcoming NHL Season preview, the hockey blogs were asked to come up with, and later answer, three questions that could be key during this season. These are our three questions for the Blues.
1. Will the tandem of Brian Elliott and Jake Allen be good enough?
While the pre-season hasn't exactly given fans lots of hope regarding the stellar play of either goaltender, that false lack of hope should probably be dismissed for right now. Why? It's the pre-season, and not only are teams not playing with real rosters, the coaches still aren't playing with their real, opening night strategies. We all know what Brian Elliott is capable of. What of Jake Allen?
Here's Allen's line for 2012-2013, the season he probably saved the team's bacon:
Here's Allen's line for last season with the Wolves:
You tell me this - is it fair to keep him in the AHL anymore?
2. The Blues finally have consistent center depth. Do Stastny and Lehtera push them over the hump?
I very much believe that they have the opportunity to shove the Blues over that line that, for whatever reason, they have not been able to cross for the post-season. The trick is, getting to the post-season all in one piece. Last year they could've very well've crossed that line with a healthy roster. I do think a healthy roster with Paul Stastny and Jori Lehtera will do the trick. Round one should be in the bag. Management of the centers is what gets them through round two.
3. Can Patrik Berglund’s offensive numbers get up to where his possession numbers are?
Patrik Berglund is, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, a mystery wrapped in an enigma probably shoved into a crepe. We all know he has the potential. He finished last season with 14 goals and 18 assists, and a +10. He's had a couple of 20 goal seasons and a 50 point season in his past, and I think that's pushed the fanbase to expect high offensive numbhim every year. I'm as guilty as everyone else as expecting another 20 goal season, and I think that's because he's got it in him. Increased production from any forward would be helpful, but that's not all Berglund does.
His possession numbers were nice last year, but let's be honest. Increased output plus consistent good possession would make life a little easier for this team this year, but that's not true of just Berglund - that's true of everyone.