Before we talk about extensions and returns, how about we take a moment a give the St. Louis Blues a long fucking golf clap for the 49 win season. 107 points. Guaranteed #2 seed in the West. An open shot at the #1 seed if Dallas falls and the Blues beat the Capitals on Saturday. How about that, folks? Remember early January when the buildings next to Scottrade counted as probable locations for Blues fans to dive off of? Let the good times roll today.
The Blues made a smart move in extending Joel Edmundson today. Well played Doug Armstrong. He's a young Barret Jackman who has taken big strides this season. The former 46th pick in the 2011 draft set a Blues rookie record with 162 hits this season(saving a few for T.J. Oshie tomorrow) and ranks fourth among NHL rookies with penalty minutes(63) and 13th in blocked shots(61). The kid plays with piss, vinegar, and tenacity rolling through his veins and gives the Blues a toughness that is required in contests with rivals, opposing teams that carry goalie poking assholes and playoff opponents. Smart quality signing. Did I mention he's only 22? I
Robby "The Human Slinky" Fabbri returns tomorrow, which is great news for fans expecting a different result in the playoffs. Fabbri gives the Blues three complete lines and will hopefully reconnect with Troy Brouwer and Paul Stastny to bring back one of the best March lines in all of hockey. Part grunt, grit, skill, slickness and force. Fabbri has produced an amazing regular season but could be saving his best tricks for April.
What else? The defeat of the Blackhawks last night didn't just bring on the Official Sad Vince Vaughn face(thank you Art Lippo) but also pushed the Hawks into the #3 seed for good. Vladimir Tarasenko hopped on a dragon and scored two back breaking goals in front of thousands of Committed Indians. Must have been sad to see Vova sprinkle some magic sauce on that crowd. For them at least.
The Blues will most likely get the Hawks on the 13th, which is fine. For the hearts and minds across St. Louis, slaying the Hawks would be a major step for this franchise. Win or lose the second round is another story, but beating Chicago and denying them another Cup chase would be almost as good as a juicy well cooked steak at Tucker's.
I can almost see the massive Chicago response now, "Well the Cubs lead the division in April and the Hawks have more Cups, blah dedede blah blah!"
Give Blues the Hawks. It's time to give those hacks permission to die an early playoff death.
There's one game left. Wrap the Blues in bubble wrap and hire some extra security. Ready or not, the playoffs are coming. Message to David Backes, pick up that shield Captain. The Blues need you.