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Critical Thinking

Posted on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm

It was a similar result and a familiar feeling.
The St. Louis Blues bowed out of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs after a 4-2 series loss to the Nashville Predators.
No matter the season, the Blues either seem to run into a powerhouse (Chicago, Los Angeles) or a young, wide eyed club who is tasting their first postseason success (San Jose, Nashville).
These aren’t excuses for the loss; every team and player sacrifice everything to be a champion.
The Blues must improve on passing, forechecking and the power play if they hope to hoist the cup in the near future.
Playing passive with a one goal lead is the most frustrating thing to watch. It was a fate the Blues succumbed to at crucial times.
With their elimination, the best option to root for is the upcoming Edmonton Oilers led by Connor McDavid.
Even if the Blues did not achieve the ultimate goal, there were positives to take away from the season.
The second half put together by the team, especially goaltender Jake Allen, under the leadership of coach Mike Yeo will be great to watch for a full season.
The Blues will have no dead cap figures (money paid to players no longer on the team) in 2018.
The only major restricted free agent on the team is defenseman Colton Parayko.
Even with no impact losses, the Blues will be forced to part with some players due to the expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
St. Louis will have two options to protect players on their roster from being selected in the draft.
The team can either protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or a combination of eight forwards and defensemen and one goaltender.
The Blues will face forced losses in the offseason.
How the team fills those holes will be interesting to see.
Until that point, all we can do is hold our breath and wait.
In the meantime, let’s go Cardinals!

Kyle Boaz is editor of the Louisiana Press-Journal