Despite public opinion to the contrary, I love the Blues!
I feel obligated to explain myself before the tar and feathers come out. It all started when the Blues traded David Perron. While many fans were fine with the deal, it seemed only with the caveat that, “He’s a really good player who needed a change. And we (the Blues) needed the cap room.”
Stop it! Stop it now! We love our guys, but be real: Perron has intoxicating skill, but didn’t produce. Period. Why do so many of you find that offensive?
“Yeah, well, you’re a hater and he has had too many injuries.”
Wrong. I’m a lover, but I know what I see. Look, you can still love your girlfriend – even if you admit she can’t cook a lick. An objective critical point has nothing to do with subjective affection. And the injury point may be true, but you still have to produce.
And I’m not picking on Perron just because he’s gone now. The whole team is filled with guys who are either underachieving or have been overrated. There are no other answers. (To be clear, I’m speaking primarily of the so called top-six-type forwards.) Is captain David Backes producing like a top-six guy? Ask him. The answer is no. Would he be a great third-line guy? Because of the tough way that he plays, no doubt. T.J. Oshie? Best when he’s a pest. Alex Steen? Snipers gotta snipe. Time for potential to come through.
Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart had good regular-season numbers, but went Penn & Teller in the playoffs. Poof! Disappearing act. It’s not good enough. It’s the players who always tell us it’s all about the postseason – not me. So, if that’s the standard, let’s go.
Here are the choices. Either produce more or check and defend better. Guys who play soft and don’t produce have no spot here. That was Perron.
This move is the beginning of a tipping-point season for this “core group” of players. We love the team and will not abandon them. But for you to continue to buy tickets in volume, the team has to get better. There will be more moves, and they need them.
Will this new group of centermen change the offensive dynamic? I’m hopeful, but the Perron move tells me that the gravy train is finished. More moves are coming between now and the end of training camp.
I love the Blues and am passionate about what they can achieve. But I also know that they have a lot of work to do if they are to be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. And I believe it’s OK to say so.