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Blues have ‘important’ goal — win Presidents’ Trophy

Mar 7, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Tarasenko, Barret Jackman AP

Awarded annually to the top finisher in regular season, the Presidents’ Trophy has always been a weird one in NHL circles. While it’s a great accomplishment and all, it significantly pales in comparison to the Stanley Cup and, therefore, rarely gets spoken of in terms of something teams really want to win.

But the St. Louis Blues are changing that.

“Our goal was to lead the division at the Olympic break and we did that, and now the goal is to try to win the Presidents’ Trophy,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said, per the Post-Dispatch. “What the heck, that’s important to us.”

First handed out in 1985-86, the Presidents’ Trophy has only gone to St. Louis one time — the 1999-2000 team, which set a franchise record for wins (51) and points (114). Head coach Joel Quenneville won the Jack Adams that year, while Chris Pronger won the Hart and Norris Trophies.

This year, the Blues could challenge that ’99-00 team — at least in terms of wins and points (the individual awards seem less likely.) The Blues are on 42 wins and 90 points with 20 games left in the regular season, so they’ll need 10 victories and 25 points to set the records.

Finishing first would guarantee St. Louis home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs — important, as the Blues are 23-5-3 at Scottrade this year — and yield an easier matchup in the opening round. That’s a big deal in the loaded Western Conference, something the Blues know all too well. Last year, St. Louis finished as the No. 4 seed and drew the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in Round 1, eventually bowing out in six games.

Hitchcock is keenly aware that the highest seeding possible will be big for his team.

That’s why he’s gunning for the Presidents’ Trophy.

“It puts value in what’s left of these (20) games now and we want to take advantage of this,” he explained. “It’s important for our guys.”

  1. 19inarow - Mar 7, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    There was no shoot-out in ’99-00. 114 points was a bigger accomplishment then, than it would be today.

    • valoisvipers - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      There were tie games back then which led to getting a point.So no harder then than now.

      • bluesdroogie - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        @valoisvipers, there were only ties back then. so 1 pt if it ended in a tie. not forced s/o to give 1 team the other pt. so it is a little easier to get higher point totals for a season. especially when you are decent at the s/o. think of all the s/o wins we have, we would not have that extra point back in ’99-00, it would have ended in a tie.

      • shortsxit34 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:51 PM

        A tie at the end of regulation resulted in 1 point; they didn’t have the chance to earn the 2nd point.

        I’ll also throw in that this was the first season that the NHL had the loser point, so 114 points was even a bigger accomplishment before ’99-’00.

    • bluesdroogie - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:30 PM

      I wish there were no shootouts now. Get bettman out of the league and maybe we can get rid of the skills comp and go back to ties. I know ties suck, but I think its better than an individual skills comp at the end to decide the extra point.

  2. djshnooks - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Teams may not speak about it, like they don’t speak about the cup…but for you to think it’s not THAT important to teams, you clearly don’t understand the competitiveness of hockey players.

    Every team sets out to win the President’s Trophy EVERY YEAR…as it automatically guarantees home-ice advantage.

    Don’t fool yourself, every team wants it.

    • sixchr - Mar 7, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Home ice isn’t as important as you’d think. A team like Boston isn’t going to sacrifice Chara’s legs for the President’s Trophy.

      • tfilarski - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        well they’re definitely not giving him any breaks and less TOI as he gets older. so one would thing that they are in fact sacrificing his legs

  3. bluesdroogie - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:10 PM

    tomorrow should be a good test vs Colorado as they are playing really well, not far behind in the standings, and its a day game. We can only hope that the Blues show up in the 1st period and play an entire game. It seems all season long with the exception of a few games we have not played an entire game. When we are playing to our level this team seemingly cannot be beat.

    And yes, EVERY team wants the Presidents trophy. Home ice is a big advantage. you take the first 2 at home then take a split on the road game 5 take it on home ice(if it were only that easy)

  4. florida76 - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    For franchises like the St. Louis Blues, winning the President’s Trophy is important, because they don’t have any experience winning Stanley Cups. In fact, the Blues have one of the longest championship droughts in pro sports history. Even their three Finals appearances are less impressive than other NHL clubs because the league set up the playoffs in the late 60s so all the expansion clubs were in one conference, guaranteeing a walkover for the Original Six conference winner in the Finals.

    As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, expect the Blues to fall in the playoffs once again.

    • jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      Right, because this is the same exact team. Every dog has his day, and they have as good a chance as anyone- past has nothing to do with it.

      You’re either a butthurt Lightning fan that is crying over St. Louis leaving, or a butthurt Panthers fan that’s… well, a Panthers fan. Either way, your butt is sore.

    • jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      Quick question: Did you have this same, stupid speech the year the Kings won the Cup? That’s different though, right?

  5. blomfeld - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    *** somewhere in a federal district court earlier today ***

    Witness: while it’s a great accomplishment, it significantly pales in comparison to the Stanley Cup !

    Blomfeld: witness, would you kindly repeat that for the court …

    Witness: while it’s a great accomplishment, it significantly pales in comparison to the Stanley Cup !

    Blomfeld: thank you … and who exactly are the current reigning SC Champs based on an 82 x game schedule ?

    Witness: why that would be them glorious Kings of Los Angeles !

    Blomfeld: thank you witness, you are excused … your honor, we’ve no further questions …

    Judge: very well then, the court deems all lovers of the paper-mache President’s Trophy as idiots !

    The People: ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ! :) :) :) :) :) :)

    _____________________________________________________________

    executive summary: the Blues are ‘dead men walking’ and they know it !

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:03 AM

      So, as soon as your team wins ONE Stanley Cup, you get to act like a pompous, stuck up d-bag? Well that’s good to know. You people are going to HATE me next year.

      • blomfeld - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:47 AM

        win a cup first and then talk suck hole … until then just zip it and piss off !

      • jhaegs - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:07 AM

        Ok, you answered my question. Thanks blumpkin.

        You’re sour tonight, guy. Did your cutout of Dustin Brown (DB) not let you tonguepunch his fartbox? It’s ok, comrade. He’ll always be your buddy, friend.

      • bluesdroogie - Mar 8, 2014 at 6:47 AM

        probably a bandwaggoner, hop onto the team when they are doing well.

        BLUES fan born and raised since 87(born in 81) playing hockey since I can remember, not good but I have a decent shot

    • slysipops - Mar 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      here we go again with the 82 game thing ……….PLEASE BLOMS ….LET IT GO ALREADY ! YOUR PAL ( and not alias ) SLYSIPOPS !

  6. slysipops - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    the BLUES were the toast of the town in the west until the NHL decided to reshuffle and put the BLACKHAWKS into the west ( maybe to give the division some credibility ?) anyway the blues have been clawing to get back to the top ever since that happened. will it do the team any good ….or will they just be tossed out like the trash in the first round of the SCP ? time will tell, and AL AURBOR is gone just like the PLAGER BROS. ! old time ROCK EM SOCK EM doesn’t do it anymore !

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