Posted on: November 10, 2010 3:55 am
As the one person who follows anything I say in my blogs clearly knows, I am a St. Louis/ Missouri sports fanatic. I have been my entire life. I will never discredit my teams' integrity in anyway. I have the highest of hopes, always, but still I like to be an honest, unbiased fan. That and I thoroughly enjoy the arguements involved.
The St. Louis Blues are off to an extremely hot start. In fact, the best in franchise history. They are a young team that would seem to be a strong contender against anyone in the league. They have a stellar defense and an even better goalie. The young forwards led by T.J. Oshie are almost performing at the level they were supposed to in the past. However and most unfortunately , I am here to offer both good and bad viewpoints. I will start with the bad simply because I hate leaving a bad taste in the reader's mouth come the end.
The Blues have been and still are notorious for their knack for ultimate failure. Yes, it hurts me to say it too but we all know it's the sad truth. They have the talent and the drive but they seem to be missing just a small portion that would make them great and Stanley Cup contenders/ champions. Aside from past performances there is the sabremetric view. The Blues powerplay is struggling. They are consistently underperforming. They show grit and determination but lack the sniper to put it away. This goes for the offense in general, they seem to be missing just a small piece to make everything fall together. Maybe the currently injured David Perron is the key but even if he is a star I still believe the Blues need to make a move for another true sniper before the trade deadline. See, not so terribly bad, right?
The good news is that all of our problems are able to be repaired. If we get another sniper along with a few other things we could very well be that Stanley Cup contender/ champion we are hoping for. First we need some other things to change. David Backes and T. J. Oshie need to start scoring goals. Yes, T. J. Oshie is the points leader on the team but the Blues need goals out of him. As for Backes, he need to show what he showed in the Olympics. He needs to be that physical fore-checking forward who creates plays and is in front for the rebound. He needs to live up to the captain patch bestowed on him by his team. Along with that David Perron on offense and Eric Johnson on defense need to keep up their strong starts. As for the rest of the defense, what is there to say? Jaroslav Halak, the "Halak-ness monster" is playing the way we all expected (incredibly) and the injury-stricken defense still has not missed a beat! With the insertion of young players into our overall lineup such as Alex Pietrangelo and Matt D'Agostini we have not only gotten better but we have maintained a more than solid lineup. If we continue getting support from unsuspecting players such as Alexander Steen (yes, he was good last year but even to fans (maybe it's just me but I don't think so) it seemed almost like a stroke of luck, this year, however, could change everyones mind) and if Jay McClement keeps his streak alive, we could be a viable favorite in not only our conference but the entire league.
All this said, I warn Blues fans not to get their hopes up too high. Yes we look good and yes good things could very well happen but there are still holes that need to be fixed. It's early in the season and nothing is for sure at this point, but be weary of what seams to be an annual curse with the Blues. I strongly encourage anyone and everyone to root for the Blues, I myself will be there against Nashville on Nov. 11th but never get ahead of the season. If we start seeing performances from what should be key players on the offense we will be very good but until then, hope the supporting cast is strong enough to hold the dam because if not, we could be in for a rough and Bluenote-patented ride.
Posted on: October 12, 2009 11:42 am
Well that's it we're done. The Cards take the back seat in the NLDS to the Dodgers. My prediction was way off and my hopes and dreams of this incredibly talented team are forever crippled.
Posted on: August 31, 2009 2:41 pm
When the All-Star break ended the Cardinals had a very average team with alot of unproven young players... Hoffpauier, Kalihl Green, Tyler Green, Mitchell Boggs etc... They had some young players who had found themselves a home in St. Louis like Colby Rasmus. However when the numbers were added up they were all but stellar. The big man in the equation, Albert Pujols, was hardly a threat due to the pitchers' ability to walk him and face Ludwick who struggled due to the lack of depth in the lineup. The pitching rotation was great through the first three players, those being Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Joel Pinero, but fell very much short after that. Todd Wellemeyer was constently being inconsistent and the fifth pitcher was struggling and almost perpetually changing. The bullpen was not much better with Trever Miller and Kyle McClellan being the only bright spots but lacking the left handed relievers. Ryan Franklin, who has been phenominal throughout the year shored up the closing spot by being virtually unhittable. The defense needed some help with a third baseman with the absence of Troy Glaus with an extended injury from the pre-season and the outfield had it's problem with Chris Duncan not being able to catch a pop fly or field a grounder or basically do anything right defensively.
Enter Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa, Julio Lugo and John Smoltz.
These trades covered every hole in the lineup. Matt Holliday a seasoned veteran and power hitter filled the gap in the outfield and sent Chris Duncan packing. Problem #1 solved. Mark DeRosa picked up the glove at third base and provided another strong batt to back up Pujols. Problems #2 and #3 solved. Then there's Julio Lugo who really has no place since his position at second base is already spoken for in Skip Shumaker. However, he is a stellar utility player and a great guy to pinch hit. No problem solved just beefing ourselves up, no complaints there. Then last but certainly not least, John Smoltz. John Smoltz, no doubt, a future Hall of Famer came in as a free agent coming off some bad games at Boston. However, he would not disappoint in St. Louis. In two starts he gave up four earned runs and went 1-0. He was the key to the pitching situation. He is a strong number four guy and, come the post-season a great guy to bring in from the bullpen. Problem #4 solved. We now have a great defense with possibly the strongest rotation in the league and a lineup that can produce runs on the best of the best.
Prediction: Cards at least get to the World Series and, I think, more than likely win.