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Blues have potent PP, need more punch 5-on-5

Sunday, 09.27.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

ST. LOUIS BLUES
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 92
(7TH WEst/15TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +13
Home Points 51
(9TH WEst/17TH NHL)
Away Points 41
(7TH WEst/15th NHL)
Advantage Margin            -6
The Blues allowed 181 power plays at home, the sixth-highest total in the NHL, and actually had to kill off fewer disadvantages (176) on the road.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -16

The Blues scored only 133 goals while playing 5-on-5, the fewest of any team to make the playoffs. St. Louis had nine players who were minus-10 and below.
   
Special Teams Goal Margin        +16
The biggest reason for the Blues' improvement was their power play, which went from last in the NHL in 2007-08 (47 goals, 14.1 percent success rate) to eighth (72 goals, 20.5 percent).   

Goals by defensemen            15
No St. Louis defenseman had more than four goals. The return of former No. 1 pick Erik Johnson, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, should help to generate more offense.

Overtime Record            
Total: 10-4-6 (OT: 4-4, SO: 6-6)

Brad Boyes, never a big success in shootouts (6-for-20 before 2008-09), turned into one of the NHL's best, scoring on half of his 12 attempts. He was the only player to take part in more than half of the Blues' 12 shootouts.

Times Scored First           
35 (Record: 24-7-4)

The Blues made it tough on themselves by scoring first less often than everyone but Tampa Bay and Colorado. They were last in the NHL with only 14 first goals away from home.   

Best 08-09 Number             14-6-4
St. Louis' record within the Central Division, the best of any of the five teams within the division. It's especially impressive when you consider that the Central had four of the West's eight playoff teams.

Worst 08-09 Number          1-8-0
St. Louis' record on Wednesdays, by far the worst in the NHL -- though eight of the nine games were on the road (they were 1-7-0). The Blues were .500 or better on the other six days of the week.
   
Scheduling
The Blues start their season in Stockholm with a pair of games against Detroit. They enjoy a six-game homestand in November and play their last three games before the Olympic break at Scottrade Center, but come back after the Games by playing their first six (and nine of 11) on the road.





Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie