The Saint Louis Blues suffered a devastating loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to finish the season last year and some analysts wonder if the team isn’t still wounded from that. GM Jeff Copeland believes the team has put the past in the past “Our guys are resilient. These players know how to play Blues style hockey and they know that Blues style hockey will put them in a position to play for another cup.” Although many faces are the same, some will be facing new roles. Schwartz, Berglund and Tarasenko will now occupy the first line. Berglund is back from an injury that kept him out all of last year but is ready to step back into the starting line. The defense will look very familiar with Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo assuming starting roles again this year. Backup net keeper Jake Allen will finally emerge as the starter. Copeland had this to say when asked about the change. “Brian Elliot has been fantastic for us for the past 5 years. Jake Allen is our goalie of the future and we feel like it is time to give him the starting role.”
The biggest departure in the offseason was the loss of C/RW Paul Stastny. Rumors around the league were that his departure had more to do with his salary than his 54 points. Copeland confirmed this “Stastny was traded purely based on salary cup numbers. He was a luxury we could no longer afford. We feel like we had good players to step into his role though and Bickell and Holland give us a nice depth for our second and third lines.
Asked about his expectations for the season Copeland had this to say “Stanley Cup finals again. Anything less will be a disappointment. As we found out last year anything can happen in a 7 game series, but we feel like we still have the team to make it back. We are reloaded and ready to run.”