St. Louis Blues History
The St. Louis Blues joined the NHL in 1967 when the league underwent its first expansion
from six to twelve teams. They currently stand as the oldest team in the league not to have ever won a Stanley Cup but are
looking to change that in the 2013-2014 season. They have won eight division championships and one President's Trophy, but
never a conference championship. Despite not winning a championship the Blues are one of the most popular teams in the league
and have a well known history of success which includes a streak of making the playoffs for twenty-five consecutive years
which ended in the 2005-2006 season. There were some rough years that followed as the franchise was rebuilding but some key
signings during the 2011 off-season put the Blues back on track and they now stand as one of the best teams in the Central
Division of the Western Conference.
About the Team
The St. Louis Blues have appeared to be a team on a
mission during the 2013-2014 season and sit atop the Central Division. If all goes well in the playoffs this could well be
the year that the Blues bring the first Stanley Cup Championship home to St. Louis and the long suffering Blues fans. The
Blues are near the top of almost every statistical category, ranking third in the NHL in both goals scored and goals against.
Their power play lines have also been impressive, ranking third in penalty killing and fourth in power play percentage. Head
coach Ken Hitchcock will be looking to take the Blues deep in the playoffs this year and he just might have a talented enough
squad to go all the way. The defense will be anchored by Barret Jackman and Alex Pietrangelo while superstar goalie Ryan Miller
will be keeping the puck out of the net. Offensively, left winger Alexander Steen has been leading the teams in points and
goals and if he can get some help offensively from center captain David Backes the Blues could emerge as serious contenders
for the Stanley Cup.
Hockey fans in general are some of the most passionate sports fans
around, but nothing quite matches the fanaticism surrounding the NHL playoffs and fans of the St. Louis Blues are some of
the most dedicated and vociferous fans in the entire NHL. On game day at the Scottrade Center the fans file in and take their
seats and that is when the cheering and chanting begins. As the clock winds down closer and closer to the dropping of the
puck the crowd works itself into a frenzy. Finally both teams are ready for face off and the excitement really begins. Thunderous,
bone rattling hits, incredible displays of speed and agility, powerful slapshots, and tremendous saves set the arena on fire
for the following three periods of world class college hockey. By the time the final buzzer sounds your voice is hoarse and
your palms are stinging from clapping and giving high fives and you will already be planning a return trip. Everything is
ratcheted up a notch during the NHL playoffs and the further teams advance the more intense the competition becomes. If you
thought regular season NHL games were exciting, just wait until you experience an NHL playoff game live and in person. The
Blues will have to play well down the stretch to stay on the top of the division as the Blackhawks and Avalanche look to make
a move up the standings.
NHL Western Conference Central Division
The Central Division is currently made
up of seven teams: the Chicago Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville Predators,
the St. Louis Blues, and the Winnipeg Jets. The conference is a perfect mix of some of the oldest and most storied franchises
in the history of the sport in the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues, along with some of the newer teams who joined
the NHL in the NHL's expansion between 1998 and 2000 including the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville Predators, and the Winnipeg
Jets (who joined as the Atlanta Thrashers before moving to Winnipeg and taking the previous franchise's name). The Blackhawks
have been the most successful team in the division of late, having won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and in 2013. Six Stanley Cup
winners have come from the Central Division, two by the Chicago Blackhawks and four by the Detroit Redwings who are no longer
in the division.
The Blues' mascot is a blue polar bear named Louie who was named in a fan poll
and wears a Blues jersey with the number 00 and his name on the back. Seven Blues jerseys have been retired: Bob Gassoff's
number 3, Barclay Plager's number 8, Brian Sutter's number 11, Bernie Federko's number 24, Al MacInnis' number 2, Brett Hull's
number 16, and Wayne Gretzky's number 99 which is retired throughout the league.