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.”
Aug 29, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
He’s currently an unrestricted free agent.
Aug 29, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT
Columbus bet heavily on him this summer.
Aug 29, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT
Just making the postseason would be seen as a good season, but perhaps the Blue Jackets are in position to do more.
Aug 29, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
Carey Price leads the pack.
Aug 29, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
This will be his first full season as a pro.
Aug 29, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
They’ll be paying him like one.
Aug 29, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
“We did lose a great man.”
Aug 29, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT
The Blue Jackets have to hope for better health this season.
Aug 29, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
Looking to bounce back after an injury-ravaged campaign.
Aug 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT
You know, the one injured on “that” slash from P.K. Subban.
Aug 28, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Which is great news for Dallas.
Aug 28, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT
The club’s top pick at this year’s draft.
Aug 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT
Former Avs and Habs goalie spent all of last year in the AHL.
Aug 28, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT
Yet another NHL club hiring a fancy stats guy.
Aug 28, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT
Scored a career-high 19 goals and 40 points last year.
Aug 28, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT
Former Panthers, Devils head coach takes over a team that “hit a little bit of a rut.”
Aug 28, 2015, 1:40 PM EDT
After an up-and-down rookie year, he’s looking to solidify his spot.
Aug 28, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT
Legendary Isles coach had been battling Parkinson’s and dementia.
Aug 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
Bit of an issue last season, if you’ll recall.
Aug 28, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT
From little-used backup to clear-cut No. 1.
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