Editor's Note: this was contributed by a fan on Twitter, Kyle. You can follow him at @kfox9611. Anyone who wants to contribute your long-form feelings on the Blues, feel free to go on and post a FanPost. Our website es su forum*.
Alright here we go. First off.. my name is Kyle and I'm a Blues fan. (assuming you all nodded and said "Hiiii, Kyle.")
Alright, well, where to begin. I HATE THIS TEAM. Oh yeah, that felt good. Okay, here we go. I'd like to start off by saying that I am not a writer. I don't have a blog, I don't write articles, I don't put my thoughts into videos on YouTube. In fact, 93% of my thoughts are put into 140 characters or less. I am just a pissed off hockey fan from Canada.
If I had to describe the Blues in one word, what would that be? Under-performing? Laughable? Disaster? No... My word would simply be "why." WHY do you do this to the fans? WHY do you do this to yourselves? WHY do you want to be the laughing stock of a league that features the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs? WHY? WHY? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY?!
Oh yeah that felt good. Okay, we're rolling now. Here we go, buckle up.
These were all variations of my tweets (@kfox9611), so bare with me if you've seen them already.
The last time the Blues won ONE game in the second round... Vladimir Tarasenko was 10 years old. THINK ABOUT THAT. Our best player was in grade 4 (assuming Russia has the same age to grade thing as North America). The Blues haven't won a second round game since 2002 (and they lost in 5 by the way). And since then, have only been there ONE other time. Now sure, they had a rebuild and a few lockouts to step in.. but come on.. 13 YEARS AND ONE SECOND ROUND WIN. I'm not even kidding. Go look it up, I'll wait..
In the last 4 playoff series, the Blues are 6-16 and have had home ice for all 4 of those series. THINK ABOUT THAT. They play good enough to get home ice all season.. and then blow it. 4 straight years. Like you lose to LA, all right. Chicago? Understandable. Those are big contending teams... but Minnesota? Really? Devan Dubnyk? Really? I know it's the playoffs and everyone is good... but my lord... come on.
On Steve Ott
Like it or not, the only player that played his heart out on every shift was Steve Ott. You can argue Petro and Tarasenko, but Steve Ott in my eyes, solidified himself as one of my favourite players because of his effort. Game 5, Blues are down 4-1 with 3 minutes left, and he's still hitting, and creating a cycle down low. Now is he overpaid? Of course. Is he a liability on offense? Sure he is. But his role isn't to score 20 goals. Hell, it isnt even to score 5 goals. It's to play 7-10 minutes a game... create energy and get in the oppositions face. THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A MINUTE. The Wild fans boo'd everytime STEVE OTT touched the puck. STEVE OTT. Not Tarasenko, Not Backes, Not Oshie, Not Pietrangelo... but a 4th liner. If that isn't doing his job I don't know what he has to do. I for one appreciate the heart he put into every shift, and being one of the only guys to EARN his paycheck. Now I realize fans dislike him, in fact I read an article that someone dedicated a large portion of time to in ripping apart Steve Ott. I never laughed so hard in my life to be honest. That someone could take so much time, writing about a player that plays less in a game than 16-17 other players. I swear to God, some people just want 4 scoring lines. That can't happen, and it won't happen. You need players like that to create energy and attention. Now sure, he takes his share of bad penalties. But this is the Blues... they're going to be getting penalties regardless. Am I right, David Perron? Oh yeah but he scored goals, and we all loved him, right? My point is. I like Steve Ott. I don't care who know's it. He actually wants to earn his shifts and help the team. Much more than I can say for a lot of other players.
On Patrik Berglund
Patrik Berglund was one of the Blues best players this playoffs. I don't know how the folks not on twitter like him, but on twitter its pretty clear fans don't like him. I drove 13 hours to STL from Canada for games 1 and 2 this year, and was surprised to hear people in my section (316) comment on his play like I do at home on twitter. "Hit him with your purse Berglund" might have been my favourite, but anyway. He actually created zone time and offense as compared to other players, and for 6 games.. I didn't mind watching him play hockey. Now was he THAT good? Were the rest of the players THAT bad? That's debatable.
On Ken Hitchcock
Goodbye, Ken Hitchcock. I know this will be stating the obvious, but I'm venting here, so just go with it alright? Alright. I liked the guy, I liked the system he had at times.. but my lord Kenny.. I've never seen a team worse at sitting back. Look at Minnesota in game 1. Scored 3 minutes in, and protected that. Look at the Blues in game 5. Scored what, 10 or so minutes in and blew it. Yeah, Yeah weak goal I know.. but you see my point. The line changing, the too many men on the ice penalties, the non-existent ability to get the boys going at intermission.. Like throw something in that room. Call out a player.. Just do something to light a fire under them, instead of having them questioning you to the media. I would be shocked if he were here next year. If Kirk Muller isn't the guy (which I believe he will be), then Dan Bylsma, The guy from San Jose who I can't think of right now and am too lazy to look it up, or hell.. John Tortorella just for shear entertainment. Just bring a new face in here and see if they can take it to the next step.
Along with Hitch, players that I believe represented St.Louis for the last time are:
Patrik Berglund. But you just said.. I know what I just said, I was the one that said it. But facts are facts. He makes 3.7 Million a year as a 3rd line streaky guy. And personally, I don't see what he adds to this team, that somebody else couldn't. Size? You can find that elsewhere. Penalty Killing? You can find that elsewhere. The ability to miss the net? Sup Brad Boyes.
Brian Elliott. The guy can't catch a break. He solidified himself as a starting goaltender, but this is Jake's team now. Jake should play 55-60 games next year, and so should Brain Elliott. Just not here. Passed over for Halak (until injury), Miller and now Allen. The guy deserves better and a shot to carry a team.
TJ Oshie. If the Blues are going to change their ways, it starts with the core. Backes and Steen aren't moving. Statsny, Tarasenko and Schwartz aren't moving. That leaves the golden boy. I personally love him on the ice, but he disappears too often. The odd-highlight reel play, or shootout winner's aside.. what does he add to this team in a top 6 role? He just hasn't gotten the job done, and is still young enough and skilled enough to demand a high return. He won't just be given away, but could be packaged. Personally, I like Phil Kessel or Evgeni Malkin.. I know, crazy right?.. But a package with Oshie involved looks a lot better.
Jay Bouwmeester. Oy Vey. Alright, I like the guy. He's a great skater, and very quietly eats away minutes on a top pairing. However, you can't argue that he's lost a step. He does not add to this team whatsoever. He's lost a huge step offensively, and defensively, he isn't what he use to be either. Lindbohm deserves a spot next year. Bortuzzo deserves a spot next year, and guys like Joel Edmundson and Chris Butler, deserve looks too.
Zbynek Michalek. Pure rental guy, loved his effort and ability to block shots, but he'll be moving on.
Olli Jokinen.. Raise your hand if you forgot he was on the team. *raises hand *
Now the fun part. Social media has been a great outlet for me meeting other fans of the Blues. Living in Canada, there's not many of us. However, the full on disagreements between "fans" over every player drives me crazy. It's ruined my thought process watching games. If Steve Ott has a turnover, Oh good lord twitter blows up about how useless he is. If Patrik Berglund misses the net, and I'm guilty of this one, people just shred the guy to pieces. Fans wanted Alex Pietrangelo traded earlier in the year. ALEX PIETRANGELO. As if franchise defenseman grow on trees somewhere. TJ Oshie scored the Blues final goal of the season, and my first thought wasn't "Atta boy TEEJ." or "Timothy Junior".. it was "Fuck TJ, stop ruining my future tweets." THINK ABOUT THAT. The Blues just made game 6 a one goal game, heading into the final period, and my first thought wasn't anything positive. I turned on the third period 2 minutes late and missed the Wild's third goal. But I didn't even flinch. I just shrugged and said "Yup. That's the playoff Blues." AND I HATE THAT.
I hate not being excited for games anymore, I hate having to defend certain role players (Steve Ott, Carl Gunnarsson) countless times over the course of a game. This fanbase can't get along on anybody that doesn't rhyme with Barasenko or Quartz. "Why don't you just unfollow those people? Or stay off twitter?" Good questions. Good questions guy saying that out loud as he was reading that paragraph. Why? Because I don't want to. I love tweeting after every goal, or every big play. I love the positive tweets about the team. But half way through this series, my demeanour took a major turn. I wasn't happy, I wasn't excited about the game, I wasn't even planning to do if they win. People arguing with each other, caused me to just say "Fuck it" and mail in my positivity. Now obviously, I have nothing to do with the team, nobody reading this does. I have no say in lines, players or what colour stick tape to use. It's a mindset though. Call it superstition, call it what ever you want, I didn't have it anymore because of people bashing their own team, and that made me do it too, and again, I hated that. I had people telling me that I wasn't a real fan if I thought Steve Ott deserved a spot on this team. THINK ABOUT THAT. It got to the level of questioning someone's loyalty to the team based on a player. Now I know every fan base does it but seriously. I drove 2400 kilometres (what up Canadian measurements!) to watch two games in person, and I got my loyalty questioned for liking a 4th line player?
Death, Taxes, and The Blues
That's all I can think of right now. We haven't won a 2nd round game since 2002, and a 3rd round game since 2001. And a Stanley Cup final game since.. ever. This isn't the team to do it. I realized that earlier this season than I have in years past. Everybody always asks is this the Blues year, and for the first time ever, I said no and meant it. Not because I didn't want it, but because I just knew it. I just knew they would do it again. And they did.
I HATE THIS TEAM, I HATE THIS TEAM, I HATE THIS FUCKING TEAM... AND I'M ABSOLUTELY DONE PUTTING TIME AND MONEY INTO THEM..
So same time next year guys? Alright sweet, see you in October. Thank you for your time.
*I took Latin in high school, so one of those words is kind of correct and in the right place. The rest? Probably not.