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Blues GM Armstrong on playoff matchups: ‘I don’t want to play Chicago’

Apr 24, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT

Doug Armstrong AP

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues punched their ticket to a second straight playoff appearance with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

That led to GM Doug Armstrong being asked about possible first-round opponents — to which he offered up a rather interesting response.

“I don’t want to play Chicago right now,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Other than that, we’re going to be ready to take on whoever has to come.

“Chicago is the one team that from start to finish has put a three-month distance between itself and the rest of the pack. Anything else in the conference is nothing more than a mild upset.”

Based on how this season has gone, it’s not surprising Armstrong wants to avoid the ‘Hawks.

The Blues are just 1-3-0 against Chicago, with their lone victory coming via the shootout (the two teams will play each other once more in the season finale on Saturday.)

The ‘Hawks have also outscored the Blues 11-5 and shut them out twice.

Despite this, it’s kind of strange to hear a GM say (publicly) that he wants to avoid a particular team.

But it’s also been a strange year for St. Louis.

The team has battled inconsistency, resulting in an inability to follow up on last year’s stellar campaign — Ken Hitchcock said 2013 has been “as challenging as any season I’ve ever coached in,” — and it appears these inconsistencies may have left some questions of the group.

That said, this could simply be Armstrong’s subtle way of challenging his team, something he alluded to in speaking with the Post-Dispatch.

“[Playoff] games are for the self-motivated,” he said. “But right now, that’s playoff hockey. The playoffs always clarify things. They show your strengths and magnify your weaknesses.

“We’re now at the stage where it’s what we do. We’re in the playoffs. We’re going to find out what we are.”

  1. tridecagon - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    On the one hand, he’s stating something not many would disagree with – Chicago looks like the toughest team in the West right now. On the other hand, if you want the Cup, you’re going to have to go through them at some point…

  2. comeonnowguys - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    “…unless they win the President’s Trophy,” Armstrong later qualified.

  3. esracerx46 - Apr 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    As a hawks fan I dont want them to play the Blues either. With the rivalry and with the goaltending they have. 1 hot goaltender can ruin you. And the Blues have 3 of em that can get hot.

    • wannabebluesplayer - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Yeah, but it would be one hell of a series. If Blues and Blackhawks met up in round 2. I think the winner goes to the cup finals because that winner would have just survived hell on Earth.

  4. bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Put one mean ornery person in Toews face all night and the team falls apart. I was hoping the Blues would get the Hawks. If you let Toews go untouched they will win.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Bigold, you don’t seriously think that’s true, do you?? Toews has overcome that type of challenge hundreds of times in the past. He plays on a line with Marion Hossa and a potential superstar in Brandon Saad. Your “tough, ornery player” can’t cover all 3 of them, then double shift to try and stop Kane and Sharp. If it was that easy to make Chicago “fall apart” the other 14 teams in the west would’ve done so every game this year. Having lost a whopping 6 games in regulation this year, I think you can see your strategy won’t cut it. Good luck with that….

      • bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        black. Kesler was in his face all night the other night and he was limited to very little offense. I agree Sadd is going to be a superstar and Hossa is also a great player..(big diver) But tell me how many scoring chances did the Hawks get in that game. Will check back for an answer…

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        First, one game = definite scouting report, am I right?

        Second, and you had to have seen this one coming, you… rooting for Vancouver… calling a player for another team a diver?

  5. bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    black.. and I don.t give any thumbs up or down on any comment. good luck on that also..

    • bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      @comeonnowguys. yes your right about diving on the Canucks I confess about that. But Hossa can dive also.. eg… Hansen touching his head while making a play for the puck.. Hossa down on the ice like a big fat old tuna.. Toews whines to the ref and they call a penalty.. Hossa is okay now.. Yes that dive.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      Bigold….Captain Serious isn’t considered one of the best players in the world for nothing. If you want to judge based on one game, you can make the same case for Gretzky, Yzerman or any other star player. Again, Toews has proven your strategy unsuccessful. Top 10 NHL scorer every year despite the occasional thug playing him physically. He fought Thornton earlier this year for the same reason. He’s a tough superstar who’s willing to stand up for himself. You’re judging solely on one game, the Hawks’ worst of the year. If they bow out early this year it’ll be due to their shaky goaltending, not somebody playing Toews “tough”.

      • bigoldorcafromvan - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:53 PM

        If you reread what I said Blackhawk. I said if you put somebody on him all night and rag his ass he falls apart. Kesler did it the other night and Higgens did it earlier on in the shorten season. accept the facts.

  6. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Stupid thing to say unless it was planned with players and coaches. Otherwise they should have missed the playoffs

  7. letsgopens8771 - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Doug is right. No one in the west wants to fall to 8th and have to take on Chicago. Just like in the East, no team wants to fall to 8th and have to take on the Pens.

    Pens vs. Hawks Cup Final!! Woo Hoo!!!

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