The Blues are a drug, a habit harder to quit than nicotine.
Every year I start pessimistic, get optimistic, get hardened into reality, tell reality where to shove it, and then finally I am consoled in early May by my significant other. I'm sure we've all heard "Well why do you watch them if you know it will end up like this?"
Its because I am a die-hard and I have convinced and commissioned myself into believing that it won't always be like this. One year it has to click. One year things will fall right, One year I will get to party on Market St. the likes and scope of which will have never been seen before. The festivities of which I will remember more in drunk saved Snapchats will tell a tale of elation and relief. Of conquest of which I did little part.
But that day will come.
That's why I watch, that's why I swear, that's why I stay.
This year feels different. It feels desperate. It feels like Army and the front office are finally feeding on that desperation, that thirst.
Doug goes to Tom and says, "Hey I need to make a deal, you'll be 7.5 mil less rich tonight." Tom says "Do what you got to do"
In a Franchise that have seen the likes of Laurie giving Pronger away for Captain Robot and Jeff Woywitka to make the team more viable for a sale, that saw Ralston try and send the team to literally Saskatoon, this level of "just do what it takes" is something of a wet dream, a dirty fantasy that blues fans have never known to be reality. Sure you read about that kind of things in magazines but when does it ever happen in real life?
This team is set up to win in 2018-2019 and its set up to win in 2020 2021 2022. It's dangerous to feel so optimistic, but allow me to have this.
This center depth that we have been oohing and awing about like the fireworks that we saw this week has something that we haven't really been talking about... they are young and under control. ROR is 27-28 Schenn is 26-27 Thomas is just starting out, Barbeshev is 22. Bozak is an old man at 32. That's depth, that's good young depth.
The defense is unreal we can go through it, but we know what it is. Signing Eddie is a must, hopefully they can tie him down to a long term deal but he can split Boumeester's salary with Fabbri next off season/ (I am not a Jay hater, I just think we know this is his last year with the team, it's not a bad thing and it doesn't have to be acrimonious.)
This X factor is Jake, it always is. The goaltending is the key, and we know he has the talent.
His playoff numbers are as follows:
and in that masterful win against Minnesota I lobbied that they let him go ahead and try to score since he was doing everything else.
That's the Jake we need, the guy who feeds off of players looking to the heavens for the answers at why his glove was there when it hadn't been a second earlier? Why he seems to get into his own head at times is a mystery, and honestly its a mystery Yeo and Jake need to figure out. He can win the Vezina.
Now what were we missing last year?
besides you know another scoreless 8.5 seconds against Shitcago?
A non awful hooking call in San Jose?
A lousy and just underwhelming sigh of a last game against the Aves?
We were missing depth scoring and a presence on the Power Play
ROR is that quartback on the Power Play. He spends a lot of time at the point, but he is smart with the puck and makes good smart decisions. Having him running it on the ice is going to work. The stats don't lie.
He is a consistant threat on the PP with 69 points over the last three years on the man advantage with a piss poor team in BUF. He put in 15 PPG last year alone.
Vladdy has had 15 PPG in the last 2 years.. combined... and it's not his fault. They have no identidy on the PP. After we get done with the weird PP dance, its like the Blues are in a daze. ROR changes that, and let's not sleep on Perron.
Vegas moved him into the side boards on their PP and he gave them 18 PPP. That's a big deal. Schenn had 19 last year.
Frenchie quietly turned in an amazing season for the Knights. Almost a point a game. He has to do that, he has to be present every game.
Perron, who let's face it, how cool is it for a guy to just want to be in this city playing for us. I know this is getting into a fluff piece, but Frenchie has always been a favorite of mine, and he is a much better player now than when we was a young pest who could pot a couple pretty goals then disapeer for weeks on end.
We needed someone to take the pressure off of Vlad to take it off of Schenn/Schwartz.
Look at these lines:
Vlad-ROR-Perron (193 points in 2017-2018)
Jaden-Schenn-Fabbri (129 between Schenn and Jaden)
Steen-Bozak-Soshni (91 points but Soshni played 12 games, he looks like a guy that could breakout)
Barbi-Thomas-Jaskin (How unreal could Thomas be? More than a Point per in Juniors last year)
Sidebar: Why isn't Jaskin better? Like he should be.. Like c'mon man, when he scores its the most infuriating thing ever. It's so beautiful. Why doesn't he do that more often? This isn't rhetorical....
Those are good lines. If Army could add another piece (Maroon Maroon Maroon) you have a real interesting team, you have a team that makes the band wagoners show up early, a team that maybe shocks us, that maybe shocks the significant other, that maybe makes Market St. get a little rowdy. It just needs to work man, and I am ready for it to.
Now its 2:49 a.m. on July 5th, I am ready for hockey, I am also ready for bed. Most importantly,
I am ready for June Hockey.
That Koo-laid is tasting sweet.