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Armstrong wonders if the Blues need a ‘different formula’ on offense

Apr 29, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Of all the things Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said today — from his comments on the team’s goaltending situation to his, um, rather graphic description of what St. Louis failed to do versus the Blackhawks…

…this might actually have been the most interesting:

I have to sit with the coach and find out if there’s a different way to complement this group. Is there a different formula used on the ice to create more opportunities? It doesn’t come down just to puck luck, but at some point we’ve got to start getting some puck luck.

That quote, courtesy the Post-Dispatch, comes after the Blues scored on just 6.5 percent of their shots in the playoffs.

Via Extra Skater, you can see where that ranked compared to the other 16 playoff teams:


This was an issue for the Blues in last year’s playoffs, too. For all the time they spent with the puck versus the Kings, they only managed to score 10 goals on 177 shots, for a shooting percentage of 5.7.

Now, obviously, the opponents’ goalie is a major factor in shooting percentage, and Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick are both pretty good goalies. (Not to mention, the Blackhawks and Kings don’t typically surrender a ton of Grade A opportunities.)

Still, Armstrong is clearly wondering if there’s something his head coach, Ken Hitchcock, can do to help his players create more and higher quality chances. Because it’s not like the Blues, or any team for that matter, can just pick up a world-class sniper on a whim.

“I haven’t found the team that really wants to give us the 50-goal guy yet,” is how Armstrong put it.

On that note, we’ll leave you with this quote from Brendan Shanahan, via the Toronto Sun:

“I think it’s a complete cop-out that you can’t learn or be taught how to score at the NHL level. I hear coaches say all the time that you can teach defense, but you can’t teach offense. I don’t buy that. I’m an example of the opposite. I worked on my shot. I was a student of the game. I watched what (Brett) Hull did and learned from that.”

  1. pastabelly - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    All that chart tells me is that Rask and Crawford are playing well in goal and Chicago and Boston are forcing teams to take longer and tougher shots. No surprise that those are the two teams that were in last years finals.

    • c9castine - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      i was thinking the same thing. looks like a chart showing you the quality of the opponent goaltender.

  2. feedmetherock - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Get a real #1 center (Backes is better as a #2). Promote Tarasenko to the top line with Oshie and the new center. Steen, Backes and Schwartz would be a solid number #2 line.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      “Backes is God on skates. You’re crazy.”

      -Blues fans

    • bluesrawesome - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      I agree but I think we should bring in Paul Stasny as our #1 center. Backes #2 Sobatka as #3 and Lappiere as #4. Steen/Stasny/Tarasenko Schwartz/Backes/Oshie I think that solidifes are top 2 lines and makes us more dangerous

      • bluesrawesome - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        3rd line = Paajarvi/Sobotka/Jaskin
        4th line = Ott (if he is willing play on the 4th line)or Porter/Lappiere/Cracknell. Extra Reves

      • endusersolutions2013 - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:19 AM

        And you are somehow thinking that the Aves will not want to retain him?

      • bluesrawesome - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Yeah they have Duchene MacKinnon and Orielly down the middle that is so deep I guess one of those could move to wing

  3. dboldave - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Sure more offense is great but I just feel like Chicago is just a better team. Until some team finds a way to stop that beast, Chicago will run that show.

    • pfhockey - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Yeah, Miller isn’t playing as the elite goalie they thought they’d get. Chicago is also a great team on defense. Toews, Hossa, and Sharp are excellent at defensive play.

    • imleftcoast - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      A lights-out goalie and a different first-round opponent. Chicago are the defending champs, and they don’t go out easy. Same thing trying to knock out LA. No fundamental flaw, just a tough opponent.

  4. joey4id - Apr 29, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    We know what Hitch thinks about the blocked shot stat. I wonder how he feels about the new puck luck stat.

  5. mp1131211 - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Come on… these guys dominated all season and collapsed at the end. It is not the system’s fault. It’s a discipline thing. These guys are wild and still immature. Give them a year or two more and they might be able to reel it in enough to raise the cup.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      Perhaps, and they continue to be a defensive/physically oriented team. They admittedly have talent.

      But just think – has hockey been changing like football did in the 70s/80s? Big 10 continued to play “smash mouth football”, and would lost year after year to teams playing the “West Coast Offense”.

      I could show you statistically, being in the top 1/2 in hits has a less than 50% likelihood of making the playoffs. EC still plays a more physical game, and has clearly been the lesser conference for years.

      Seems “old school” is not “well schooled”.

  6. pdmjr - Apr 29, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    FIRE FATSO HITCHCOCK, he is useless. Always disappoints

    • hockeyhippie - Apr 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

      yeah, like when he won that Stanley Cup thingee

  7. savior72 - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    pdmjr= low I.Q.

  8. stevequinn - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    The Blues have Brett Hull in the front office. Maybe they need to get his butt down on the ice working with Blues’ forwards and teach them how to score.

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