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Blues need Paul Stastny to be their key to a Stanley Cup

Aug 12, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT

Paul Stastny AP

When the St. Louis Blues signed Paul Stastny to a four-year, $28 million deal on July 1, many believed it to be the best signing of free agency. After all, who else can say they bagged a No. 1 center just by plunking down money?

The Blues have tried to keep the hype down regarding the 28-year-old former Colorado Avalanche pivot saying they don’t want him to be “Superman”, but when you look back the Blues’ recent playoff failures the pressure to do well offensively is plain to see.

Check out how the Blues offense has ranked out in goals per-game in the postseason the past three seasons:

2013-14: 2.33 (14th out of 16 teams)

2012-13: 1.67 (15th)

2011-12: 2.22 (7th)

Safe to say 2011-12 was an odd year if scoring just over two goals per game was good, but the point here is St. Louis’ offense has not gotten it done. Part of the blame there is thanks to Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings for the two times they bumped out the Blues. Corey Crawford looked to be very beatable in the most recent playoffs for Chicago, but Ryan Miller managed to be worse.

Call it excuses or point at other issues that have come up in recent years, but there’s no doubt adding Stastny to the lineup should help alleviate some of the goal production questions.

In his last three full seasons (lockout-shortened season excepted), he’s been a 70+ point per-season player. He’s good for 20-30 goals on his own and sets up others. That should work great for St. Louis’ goal scorers Alex Steen, Vladimir Tarasenko, and David Backes.

In last season’s playoffs, Stastny was a beast for the Avalanche with 10 points in the seven game series loss to the Minnesota Wild. While facing Ilya Bryzgalov is a bit different than facing Quick or Crawford, the Blues would be giddy to see that kind of performance in the playoffs. At $7 million per season, they’re counting on it.

  1. bluesdroogie - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    It will be interesting to see how the lines actually take shape. Will there be chemistry on the 1st line with Backes and Oshie, or will he find it with Tarasenko and Schwartz. Hopefully I can catch some practices when/if they are at Scottrade.

    Cant wait till October. LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. avfanforlife - Aug 12, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    I really thought he’d stick around, what with his family history w the team and the chemistry the Av’s are sure to continue growing on… Good luck Paul – but not that much…
    Who eventually wins the beastly Central Division this season is anybody’s guess !

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 13, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      I doubt Vegas or other internet sites take bets on what division is going to win a championship, but it is most will be the central.

  3. polegojim - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    No disrespect intended… but what did he do for the Avs that would lead anyone to believe he is the ‘Key’?

    Good player… ok,yes, but… The Key?

    • avfanforlife - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      AV’s had multiple “key” players, MacKinnon, Duchene, Landy, Varly, ROR… in my opinion. Stats was integral, but maybe the writer just thinks he needs to be “the” key player for the Blues…
      It was the best signing of free agency tho as far as any free agent going to a different team. Blues fans will like what Statsny brings on the ice. Av’s fans will miss his play making ability. Lots of teams in the NHL have a certain player you could call their key player, and many have a collective. I’m not sure which applies to the Blues.

      • polegojim - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        I won’t rain on the parade any further… but don’t see it

  4. bluesbred - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    This is a poorly worded title because no one player can be “the key” in hockey because they are still only one of twenty, and even the biggest minute hog in the NHL doesn’t play over half of every game. What the title should say is, “The Blues Need Stastny to be the FINAL Key”, because every champion has multiple cornerstone players who are “the key players”, Quick doesn’t win a cup without Doughty, Kopitar, Carter, Williams, and even though I hate this player, Brown has got to b key as the Captain as well. The Hawks and Bruins had similar casts as well, and although the hawks havent had a goalie of the caliber of Quick or Thomas (now Rask), Niemi and Crawford were good enough when it counted while their unique cast of talented skaters, that has more keys than than a janitors ring, can make up for any mistake in a moments notice. Now, my Blues don’t need Stastny to be THE KEY, we need him to be that key OFFENSIVE leader we’ve been missing, and the fact that he is an elite defensive pivot makes it all the sweeter. We need him to show players like Tarasenko and Schwartz how to take that next step to becoming elite, he can b that role model player because he has a sustained track record for rookies to trust, its proof that he has figured IT out. Plus, now we have a player to push the offensive talent to be smarter, more patient, and most important, ready to make the big play. The Blues already have a large number of keys on our ring as well, with primed veterens like Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester, Steen, Backes, and Oshie, our ring was already jingling, but adding this master key has almost made this roster too bulky, lol, that is a problem I would welcome here in St. Louis. Regardless, the only thing this team needs is a player that can score in the clutch, and while Tarasenko looks like he is on his way to taking over in this league, Stastny is one heck of a backup plan in case Vladdi can’t do it EVERY night! Lol. LGB

    • bluesdroogie - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:00 AM

      i like stastny on the first line with backes and oshie but lets see him with 2 playmakers in Schwartz and tarasenko. that could be really interesting. he is an obvious upgrade over sobotka(i miss him already)

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