It’s Time for St. Louis Blues Hockey!

The time is upon us once again. Today is Blues Homer Opener Eve and the ‘Note looks ready to tackle the first game of the regular season tomorrow night at the Scottrade Center here in St. Louis. I no longer post my opinions over at BleedinBlue.com, but by no means should you avoid it. That’s my go-to site for Blues news.

I will prognosticate on all things St. Louis Blues (sounded good in my head) here on my lonely little corner of the internet and if you like what you read, or want to rip me a new one, please say so in the comments. Share my link and get some of your Blackhawks, Kings, or dare I say, Red Wings fan friends over here to spar with me!

On to the matter at hand. The Blues open the 2014-15 campaign Thursday, October 9 at home versus the New York Rangers. The roster of 23 was finalized yesterday morning after practice and the team looks ready to blow away last year’s offensive numbers. On paper. I’m very happy with the way the roster rounded out, especially in that Magnus Paajarvi won a spot as an extra forward in what is probably the deepest group the Blues have had in almost a decade.

Osh shows off the new road jersey

Here’s what the lines might look like tomorrow night. Regardless of the combinations, we know they’ll be sporting new sweaters.

Forwards

Patrik BerglundDavid BackesT.J. Oshie

Alexander SteenPeter StastnyJoakim Lindstrom

Jaden SchwartzJori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Steve OttMaxim LapierreRyan Reaves

Extras: Paajarvi and Chris Porter

Defensemen

Alex PietrangeloJay Bouwmeester

Kevin ShattenkirkIan Cole

Barret JackmanJordan Leopold

Coach Ken Hitchcock has already penciled Brian Elliott in as the starter in goal, explaining that with only 9 games this month both he and rookie Jake Allen will see playing time early on. Goaltending might be the only area the Blues don’t appear to be stacked, as neither Ells nor Allen has been a “true” number one goalie for any length of time. Hopefully the competition between the two netminders pushes them both to play lights-out.

The sparse October schedule is also the reason given for not placing newcomer Carl Gunnarsson on IR and keeping someone like local (Chaminade) product Chris Butler or Petteri Lindbohm on the big club roster. Gunnar (and Hitch) apparently feel he’s close to returning to contact and might even see game action by next week. St. Louis has a 4-day break between Game 2 this Saturday and Game 3 a week from Thursday. The Blues didn’t want to pay an extra defenseman to sit on the bench for 2 weeks.

My D-pairings are really just an educated guess and I’ve already heard something different:

Frankly those who are already Blues fans know the forward lines could change too after the first shift. Recently the coach mentioned he was liking the way Lehtera and Lindstrom were skating together, but Lehtera-Tarasenko was raved about since the start of camp. Hitch is all about chemistry, but if he sees something on the ice he rarely hesitates to make changes to his lines on the fly.

St. Louis scored 239 goals last season, tied for 6th in the league (with San Jose.) That was the best showing by the Blues in a decade. The additions up the middle if the ice of Stastny and Lehtera could mean an outbreak of offense the likes of which few current fans have ever seen. St. Louis led the league in Goals For in 1996-97 with 256. This year’s squad could rival that total from just their forwards. Don’t laugh, this is as deep a bunch as I can remember and the Blues could very well have multiple 25+ goal scorers this season.

Forward Jaden Schwartz now wears #17 in honor of his sister. Schwartz wore #9 last season

Yes, I’m drinkin’ the Kool-Ade, I always do. I was laughing yesterday with a co-worker about how almost every October Blues fans are excited and pumped-up only to be exhausted and deflated come the following Summer. I’m expecting HUGE things from the Blues this season, and anything short of (at least) a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals will be disappointing. Another quick playoff exit will likely also mean the last St. Louis fans see of Ken Hitchcock behind the bench.

The Blues start this season smack in the middle of (another) St. Louis Cardinals playoff run. I always Bleed Blue but the city is draped in red for now and I’m happy to root the Cards towards the World Series yet again. MLB Playoffs will make for some television conflicts as Game 1 of the NLCS coincides with the Blues game on Saturday, but that’s okay, I have 2 TVs 😉

GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!

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The Boys are Back!

noteNo, I’ve not posted here in a long time or really written much of anything in a long time. Life gets in the way of the things we love sometimes, eh?

The Boys I speak of above are, of course, the St. Louis Blues of the NHL. The Blues opened their season with a home game last night against the Nashville Predators with a big win! Words cannot express how excited I am about hockey starting again, and like last year, I’ll be writing about the Blues over at BleedinBlue.com.

BB_FBCover

I’m not the only great writer (see what I did there?) on the BleedinBlue.com staff, so be sure to browse thoroughly, there’s a lot of good stuff there and with a full season (thank the Hockey gods!) there will be even more content this year than last.

I will once again be wagering the success of the Blues against some friends and their respective hometown teams, though it’s more of a “Twitter Friend Bet” this year, as one of them is more or less (semi?) retired from blogging.  I won last year and I think I’ll win again this year. I’m already up a point on the Wild and 2 on the Flyers. Yes, J, SD, I went there, whatcha gonna do about it? 😉

CARDSOne of the beautiful things about October, and one reason Fall is my favorite season, is that in addition to hockey starting up, the MLB playoffs have begun, and it’s always more fun when the Cardinals in involved. They murdered the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 1 of the NLDS at Busch III last night, 9-1. The Pirates are the media darlings this year, the little engine that finally could, and while it could be a good series, the Birds on the Bat are off to a smashing start. Game 2 is another home game this afternoon. GO CARDS!

Other reasons Fall is the best: Baked Maple Pumpkin lattes from Kaldi’s Coffee in Kirkwood, cooler weather, honeycrisp apples, and Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned to this station for commentary on the Cardinals and Life in General and be sure to check out BleedinBlue.com for Blues news and notes. Thanks!

I hate them, since you’re asking

Yes, I hate Mondays. Can’t think of a time when I didn’t. The weekends never seem long enough and then Monday rears its ugly head again, my iPhone blaring its alarm (I use the klaxxon sound effect) to scuttle me from my bed. Even if the night wasn’t restful, staying in bed fitfully sleeping would be preferable to getting up Monday morning and going to work. Mondays are so close to the weekend, but yet so very far away. It doesn’t seem fair, though in the grand scheme of things I am glad to have a full-time job that (mostly) pays the bills.

This one, like most, was full of fun: thunder, rain , and wind waking me a few hours before my alarm, rousing my daughter to get up and ready for school, making her lunch, making breakfast, it’s raining, taking the trash out in the rain. Good times. Driving to work in the rain, having some jerk riding my bumper in the rain, getting cut off by a teenage driver in the rain. You get the picture.

I’ve not written anything here in months, due largely to the (delayed) start of the NHL season back in January. I’ve been writing about the St. Louis Blues over at BleedinBlue.com, and neglecting my personal writing and blogging community of friends. Now that the season is over I’ll still be writing over there, but perhaps not as frequently, and I’ll be spending more time here once more.

This morning I was poked and prodded (in a good way, I’m thankful) by Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom to join in her “I Don’t Like Mondays” blog hop. Make it a point to click through her button and read all of the great posts linked up there.

 

I’ll be back soon with a few words on the 1st Annual NHL Blogger Bet, but for now I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote to start off your work-week:

 “It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.

― Walter Lippmann

1st Annual NHL Blogger Bet

Fellow bloggers and hockey fanatics, @According2Jewls and @TheSimpleDude, and I decided to make a wager on this abbreviated NHL season. If you’re a sports fan you might be familiar with the kind of bets you often see made by the mayors from cities with teams playing in championship games, like the World Series in baseball or the Super Bowl in football. If you’re not a sports fan, the bet usually goes like this: each mayor proposes a prize package of items (often food) unique to his/her city and whichever city’s team loses must then send the prize to the winning mayor.

It’s not a secret that I’m a big St. Louis Blues hockey fan, and as it turns out, Jewels is a lifelong Philadelphia Flyers fan. The Simple Dude, hailing from the frozen north (Minneapolis and thereabouts) brings the Minnesota Wild into the mix, and so we’ve agreed that of the three teams, whichever finishes this season with the best record will be declared Winner, and the other two bloggers will be Losers, and be required to send a prize to the winner. I’m not saying it has to be food, but I when I win I will take Philly Cheesesteaks and a Juicy Lucy. Thank you.

GO BLUES! Long Live the Note!