This morning I asked the Blues fans of Twitter what their expectations were for this season.
Alright all you #stlblues fans. Let's have a poll to see how you're feeling about this season...— Robb (@robbtuftshockey) October 4, 2018
This was not a very scientific poll. I cannot even guarantee that only Blues fans voted in the poll, but at the time I posted this article the poll had 242 responses. I found the responses to this poll so astonishing that I thought we should have a chat about your expectations for the Blues’ 2018-2019 season.
Going all the way - 24%
First of all, I admire your optimism and your resiliency. No matter how many times this team has disappointed us, you still find a way to believe in this franchise -- the last franchise of the expansion six to win a Stanley Cup. You must be the sort of people who can always find a silver lining. You probably refer to rain as “liquid sunshine.” When people cut you off in traffic, you probably wave at them and feel bad for getting in their way. But the sad reality is, since the 2000-2001 season there has only been one team in the NHL who managed to win the Stanley Cup after missing the playoffs -- the 2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes. The chances of the Blues repeating this feat with a quasi third year coach and a group of youngsters is highly unlikely. I get it. Hope springs eternal. More power to you for keeping the faith. Lord knows I have never been much of an optimistic person in my life, and at my age, I doubt that will change. So I admire anyone who can keep believing in this team against all odds. Godspeed.
2nd maybe 3rd round - 49%
You are the people with whom I have a bone to pick. I feel like this crowd of responders are quick to get excited about the shiny new players Armstrong acquires during the off season and equally quick to turn on those same players when they fail to be the saviors you thought they were. I’ve seen this time and again. I understand the excitement. O’Reilly and Maroon are above average forwards who might be able to provide that extra scoring punch this team is looking for with its top six. The Blues’ problem the last few seasons has been a scoring problem, not a defense problem. (Well occasionally a goaltending problem, but let’s leave that for another day.) So maybe these players are exactly what the team needs right now. However, I feel like there is just as great a chance that they might not work out as well as you hoped. The way I look at it is the “going all the way” people can be chalked up to naive optimism. But you “2nd maybe 3rd round” people have the good senses to realize there are limits to this team. All I am asking is that you realize there might be limits to what these players bring to the team, and keep your expectations reasonable.
Happy they make the playoffs - 22%
These are my people. I’m not used to the Blues not making the playoffs. I first got into hockey during the Blues’ Great Playoff Streak of the 80’s to the early 00’s. When the Blues don’t make the playoffs, it feels like sleeping on a bed in the middle of Winter with blankets that don’t cover your feet. It’s like walking around with your zipper down all day and no one bothers to tell you. Like walking through the grass barefoot in the dewy morn after mowing your lawn the day before. It just does not feel right or good or proper. So when the team fails to make the post-season, all I want, all I expect, is for them to get back in the playoffs the following season. Give this team a chance to work together and bond and have some success. Stanley Cup champions are not made overnight. Even the Hurricanes had at least made it to the finals and lost before their back-to-back seasons of no playoffs to Stanley Cup Champions. If the Blues make the playoffs this season, I will consider the season to be a resounding success.
Yeo fired by Christmas - 5%
Now this is a real Blues fan. One so mired in self-doubt and misery about this team, they have no hope of success. These are the people whose motto probably is “always save the last bullet in the chamber for yourself.” They walk into work first thing Monday morning and the first words out of their mouths are “Is it Friday yet?” They keep a stuffed Eeyore in a Blues’ jersey on a shelf in their house just to remind them how bleak the world of hockey really is just in case the Blues start winning and having success.
I know some of you wanted to choose more than one option in the poll and I have a feeling you wanted to pick this one plus one other. Let me explain my reasoning. The only way Yeo is going to get fired is if this team is one of the bottom five in the league by U.S. Thanksgiving. Personally, I do not see that happening. Too much talent on this team to be that bad. However, if it does happen, there is just no way the team is going to claw back out of that abyss to make the playoffs. Not in the central division, and not in the western conference. So in my mind, Yeo fired before Christmas means this team is doomed and there will be more fans in the stands of Cardinal spring training in Florida than at Enterprise Center come February.
Thank you for all who voted in the poll and participated in the conversation on twitter.
Let’s Go Blues!