Cleat Geeks

Duelly Noted: Did the Blues Need to Make a Trade to Have a Chance?

The NHL trade deadline is one of the most anticipated events on the NHL’s calendar. Hockey fans everywhere are left wondering whether their team made any last second deals to give their team a chance to make a late push for the playoffs. As of this writing, the St. Louis Blues are still in 3rd place in the Central Division with a very battered roster and many fans believed the team was in desperate need of a fresh face or two to give them a lift. However, the Blues decided to stay as they were at the deadline and many fans were left disappointed, wondering if the Blues are heading for an early exit. Things are not always what they seem.

anders-nilssonThe trade deadline has come and gone but the Blues did manage to acquire Anders Nilsson from the Oilers in exchange for Niklas Lundstrom in a goalie trade. Thus far in the 2016 season, Nilsson has managed to win 10 of the games he has played but he has also managed to lose 12. He also has a 3.14 goals against average. Statistically speaking, it’s an OK trade but it is hardly a game changer that is going to make anybody notice Since Brian Elliott’s injury took him out, Nilsson is going to have large shoes to fill as Jake Allen’s backup.

As bad as this may sound for Blues fans, the Blues do still have a good core of players on the team after the deadline. Brian Elliott was doing very well up until his injury and Jake Allen has also done well in the net for the Blues since his return.  On offense, Vladimir Tarasenko has been struggling to find his groove when it comes to scoring lately but with the 30 goals he has scored this season, he has proved himself capable. It’s only a matter of time before he gets on a hot streak again. Ryan Reaves is fresh off a 3 game suspension as well. What he lacks in goals, he makes up for with intensity and the Blues certainly need as much of that as they can get as they begin to cross the home stretch. Alex Pietrangelo is back from injury as well. His assist numbers will come in handy as he’s had 22 of them so far in 2016.

SteveOttA big key in the Blues’ final push will be getting those players that are still injured healthy. A big part of the Blues’ inability to put some games away for good is because they are missing major parts in their offense to many. The injured players include centers, Steve Ott, and Jori Lehtera, as well as left winger. Alexander Steen. The Blues will need ro hang in there and continue to play well while these guys heal. The recent injury of Brian Elliott in late February hasn’t really helped but if the Blues can play well with what they have and get a few guys healthy, they still have a shot.

To many, the Blues might look like they are in a tough spot because they were only able to get a new goalie. These fans may also feel that because of the Blues’ failure to get anyone big at the deadline, the Blues will be out in the first round. However, it is important to note that anything is possible in the world of sports and a few trades do not automatically make a team better or worse. A big deal may have helped the Blues but with where they are sitting in the Central, they have a great shot at winning the division and even more if they apply themselves.

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