Let there be light, St. Louis Blues fans. This long agonizing offseason is about to be over. Training camp has taken their pants off and the hockey team that conducts their business off 14th and Clark is about to engage in regulated activity. In a little over a month, the regular season aka games that matter begin. Oh baby, thank goodness!
St. Louis needs hockey again. I don’t care if the season opener will not feature #42 for the first time in nearly a decade. I can stomach the idea of good guy Ells playing in Calgary and the familiar sight of a problematic Frenchman playing right wing for the Note. I won’t worry about Jake Allen’s knees for a few minutes and the fact that NO ONE knows the name of the Blues backup goaltender.
Forget the idea that Jori Lehtera will win the lottery and get to dish pucks to Vladimir Tarasenko or the notion of Magnus Paajarvi playing meaningful minutes. Old man Rogers Jay Bouwmeester resisting the urge to wear a turtle neck under his jersey because he looks like a soft pile of shit.
You know what I’ll do as bloody knuckle ice sessions crowd our calendar? I’ll praise the new sheriff in town, Alex Pietrangelo. The 26 year old kid is the man of the present and future for a team badly needing an identity. Sorry Alex Steen fans, but Petro was the right choice. Just ask David Backes.
It would be nice if Steen was saving his first 40 goal season for possibly his last in St. Louis. It would be nice if Kevin Shattenkirk played like a man who didn’t want to die in Edmonton. It would be swell if Ken Hitchcock didn’t eat Mike Yeo before the end of the season because I am intrigued by the Yeo Diaries.
I’d like a few things to happen. Here they are in a nonsensical concoction that leaves you wanting more...
*I want Paul Stastny to break the fuck out. Please shut the thousands of fans(a crowd that sometimes includes myself) up. Shut us right up. Drink our milkshake Paulie Walnuts and dye the wings of her hairdo grey just to give Sopranos fans a wild kick in the head. Find a way to make Robby Fabbri and Tarasenko both look like angels in white satin. Some wanted you gone the minute you showed up and weren’t Wayne Gretzky circa 1990. Some just don’t appreciate you. Me? I just want you to let your peacock fly, damn it!
*I need Tarasenko to score 50 goals. It’s the only logical next step. I also need Paajarvi to never play with #91.
*I want to see what Ty Rattie can do, like in more than a handful of games. Play the kid or trade him. He’s dying in Chicago.
*Same goes for Dmitrj Jaskin. Put that big body to use kid or get out. There’s only room for one Patrik Berglund on this team.
*I want Allen to own it in net. For the first time in a decade, there’s ONE guy in net. One man. All alone. Take it away Jake. There’s no Jaro, Miller, or Elliott breathing down your neck this season. Time to find out if that’s a good thing or a terrifying new reality.
Here’s what is happening folks. Hockey. If you’ve paid attention to the Rogues in Red treating our hearts like a piece of wood in High School Shop class all summer, that’s a good thing. A great thing.
Sure, this may be a weird season. The Blues will contend, but can they truly challenge for Lord Stanley’s attention? All will be determined soon enough. For the time being, get ready for 82 games of thrilling 200 foot action.
Prepare for postgames full of maddening white hot rage. Be ready for Ken Hitchcock throwing up the words “gumption” and “buy-in” throughout the season. It’s all happening. Soon.
I’m ready. How about you? In less than three weeks, Blues hockey will return.