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.”
Mar 9, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
It might be due to an Ed Jovanovski hit.
Mar 9, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT
It doesn’t sound great for their would-be starter.
Mar 9, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
Calgary releases a statement on the matter.
Mar 9, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT
Mar 9, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT
The appetite to make a change seems to be growing.
Mar 9, 2014, 3:07 PM EDT
Detroit has lost its Wild Card spot.
Mar 9, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT
The once promising rookie was put on waivers by Ottawa.
Mar 9, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT
He’s scored in every New Jersey game since the Olympics.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
That’s on top of all the talent they traded away.
Mar 9, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Can Johan Franzen maintain his incredible post-Olympics pace?
Mar 9, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
The 21-year-old is making the transition from the KHL.
Mar 9, 2014, 10:37 AM EDT
It helped lead St. Louis to its fourth straight win.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT
Buffalo hasn’t been so bad lately, despite what the team looks like on paper.
Mar 9, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
They both desperately need every point they can get.
Mar 9, 2014, 1:09 AM EDT
A much-needed victory for Vancouver.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:14 AM EDT
Short ones on Saturday.
Mar 8, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT
Roberto Luongo: quiet, so far.
Mar 8, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT
Tyler Seguin is just on fire right now.
Mar 8, 2014, 11:09 PM EDT
Dallas scored once on the resulting five-minute major penalty.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT
Seeding battles heat up.
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 20
- Lundqvist shuts out Red Wings to claim 300th victory 9
- NHL on NBCSN: Hawks know they can’t take Sabres lightly 10
- NHL on NBC: Red Wings, Rangers fight to cling onto playoff spots 2
- Video: Flames score center-ice goal against Canucks’ Lack 18
- Stars believe Lehtonen suffered concussion from Haula collision (update) 22
- Video: Stars retire Mike Modano’s jersey 11
- Rostislav Klesla passes on joining Sabres organization following trade 12
- Ryan Murray has knee surgery, likely done for season 1
- Washington finally signs top prospect Kuznetsov 33
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (66)