Apr 24, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT
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.”
Jun 3, 2015, 1:15 AM EDT
He remains the front runner to fill the spot left by Mike Babcock.
Jun 3, 2015, 12:01 AM EDT
The club is also working on a deal for Andrej Sekera.
Jun 2, 2015, 10:30 PM EDT
The club is bringing in outside help to deal with the off-ice issues.
Jun 2, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT
He was given permission to explore other opportunities.
Jun 2, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT
The defenseman signed a six-year, $33 million extension on Tuesday.
Jun 2, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
His one-year contract is set to expire next month.
Jun 2, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
He was set to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
Jun 2, 2015, 5:08 PM EDT
“You need young players to succeed in this day and age.”
Jun 2, 2015, 5:03 PM EDT
“It’s nice to score a goal every once in a while.”
Jun 2, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT
On Tuesday, the veteran forward reminisced about his 10 years in Chicago.
Jun 2, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT
He was a rookie in 2000 when his Stars lost to the Devils.
Jun 2, 2015, 3:23 PM EDT
Anaheim has the cap space to make that happen.
Jun 2, 2015, 3:04 PM EDT
“You’ve got to take care of the time you have in front of you.”
Jun 2, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT
He also might enter the season on the hot seat.
Jun 2, 2015, 1:49 PM EDT
“We let them hang around too long, and they bit us.”
Jun 2, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT
Still, he doesn’t think much of the idea of making the nets smaller.
Jun 2, 2015, 1:25 PM EDT
Stanley Cup media got off to a rather complimentary start.
Jun 2, 2015, 12:29 PM EDT
Ray Shero also outlined the team’s philosophy going forward.
Jun 2, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT
But is there room in Vancouver?
Jun 2, 2015, 11:49 AM EDT
There will also be a charitable donation.
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