For as long as I can remember, I have been a fan of the St. Louis Blues. From my first game ever attended in 1997, to now. Even during the 2004-05 lockout, I remained a Blues fan. Over the last 10 years though, I have gotten my hopes up every season with the thought of finally seeing our beloved Blues hoist the one thing they’ve never been able to reach…..the Stanley Cup. Of course as you all know though, our season is always cut short by either missing the playoffs, which hasn’t happened since 2010-11, or getting knocked out in the first round, like the last three years. But every year, “same ol’ Blues” seems to be our dying words as we watch our season end in defeat. I am tired of hearing “same ol’ Blues”.
In the last three years, ESPN analyst, John Buccigross, has twice predicted the Blues to finally win a Stanley Cup. You would think he would learn his lesson like the rest of us and just predict them to make the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round, since that seems to be all they can muster. I keep thinking back to 2009 though, when the Blues rallied to make the playoffs with Andy Murray leading the helm.
Of course, like everyone else, I got my hopes up when they took on the Canucks. Hell, who didn’t? But that team didn’t have the proper coaching or any gas left in the tank to get them any further than the first round, and I was ok with that. Then, the following year, Murray was fired, and the Davis “Dump n’ Chase” Payne era began……and then ended quickly, thank god.
When the Blues announced Ken Hitchcock as the new head coach in St. Louis, I was ecstatic! See the exclamation point? I just kept thinking, “We have the missing piece of the puzzle. This will be our year”, and every year since Hitch took over, “Same ol’ Blues”. What makes it even harder, is watching the Chicago Blackhawks win three Cups in the last six years……with OUR OLD COACH!
For those of you that have been living under a rock for the last 20 years, Joel Quennville is responsible for the Blues only President’s Trophy season, but couldn’t manage to coach the Blues past, you guessed it, the first round. Now, he’s got Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane helping him win Cups.
I’ll be the first to admit, I despise, no, I HATE the Blackhawks with a fiery passion, but I can respect the fact that, that team, damn, they are good. When you look at what they’ve accomplished recently, it just makes me hate them even more though. Especially their “die-hard since 2010” fans. “How many Cups do the Blues have?” Ah, go f**k yourself, and your your bandwagon.
Anyway, ranting aside, the Blackhawks triumph makes me wonder, why the hell the Blues can’t do the same thing? I mean, look at the talent this team had and currently have. Plus, with Hitch being a Stanley Cup winner* (rule change or not, Hull was in the crease), you would think that he could drive this team over the hump to at least get to the Finals, but hey, four straight playoff appearances, two division titles and a Jack Adams, that speaks volumes for a team that only has 5 playoff appearances in the last 10 years….but it’s still not enough.
Last season I truly thought was the last we would see of Ken Hitchcock, and honestly, I was ready for a change. I was hoping the Blues would look for some fresh blood behind the bench. Torts and Bylsma were available, both won cups with unlikely teams, and they are both damn good coaches. “Whaddaya say Doug? Take a chance on one of those guys?” “Nope! Let’s stay Hitch’d for one more year”. ONE. MORE. YEAR!
Well, after the Blues recent performances, going from a half-dead hot team, to almost healthy and ice-cold, I think most of us would agree that it’s time we get a divorce and start seeing other people…..behind the bench, that is. The line juggling, the two minute goalie swaps, the horrid power play, the excuses for poor play, we’re all tired of hearing it! At what point does Armstrong have to go kick the coach’s office door in and say, “WHAT THE F**K IS GOING ON?” Look at the attendance! Tonight was Chris Pronger bobblehead night (for the first 12,500 fans) and I guarantee they had leftovers! The fans see a problem, because they aren’t showing up to watch a team revert back to the “SAME OL’ BLUES”!
I love this team and I love my Blues. Hell, I had the Bluenote tattooed over my heart for Christ sake! I am not part of the front office, nor am I a coach, so I don’t know first-hand what’s going on, but I do know that a team can’t build line chemistry when you’re constantly jacking with the lines. Remember the S-T-L line? That was an effective scoring line. The C-P-R line? That was our energy line. Now? We have dart board lines. Throw three darts, that’s our line for the first period, next period, who the hell knows. There’s so much talent on this team, it’s astounding. There’s no reason this team should be turning the puck over so much, or playing the first period without a shot on net. I could go on, and on, but I think that it all starts with coaching.
This team knows what it takes to make it to the playoffs, and knows what it takes to make it past the first round, but I am tired of seeing this team fail. Something needs to be done, whether it be the ousting of Hitch and Co. or the removal of Doug Armstrong as GM, but this team needs a fire lit under their asses, and quick! They went from spellcheck mishap #ROARBACON a few weeks ago against Chicago, right back to #SOB. So, do whatever it takes to get this team back on track, or our barn is going to end up looking like BB&T in Sunrise……..cold and empty.
Long Live the Note, Long Live the Hope. #LGB