(St. Louis) With less than a handful of games left before the All-Star break, the St. Louis Blues find themselves near the top of the standings. Coming into play tonight the Blues find themselves two points behind the league leading Chicago Blackhawks, which is good enough to claim 3rd in the Central division and 5th in the Western Conference.
Despite the success the club is only sending one player to Ottawa for the All-Star game, goaltender Brian Elliot. That begs to ask the question, are the Blues getting the respect they deserve?
The answer is yes
Just because the Blues only have one player named as an “All-Star” it doesn’t mean that the other teams don’t respect them. ESPN has the Blues ranked 2nd in their most recent power rankings, not to mention NBC has been trying to secure more opportunities to feature the Blues on national telecasts. It also doesn’t mean that their aren’t any other talented young players on the ice with the Bluenote on their sweaters. But if anyone is going to represent the Blues it should be Brian Elliot.
Elliott has have been unbelievable this season. When Jaroslav Halak fell off the face of the earth, Elliot stepped in and promptly stood on his head, earning shutouts and victories while Jaro could regain his form. Statistically, he’s among the best in the league. His 15-5 record is good enough for 17th in the NHL. He has posted 5 shutouts this year; only Jonathan Quick has more. He also finds himself ranked in the top 10 in GAA with a 1.68 mark.
Of course the fans have cried for David Backes and T.J. Oshie to join Elliot in Canada, but those two aren’t having the statistical years to earn them the trip. I am not saying they aren’t having solid seasons, but when it comes down to it, Backes is 72nd in points and 61st in goals scored. Oshie meanwhile is 62nd in goals and 82nd in points. Those are both well short of the stats that would earn them a trip to Ottawa.
The Blues may only have one player who is named an “All-Star”, but that doesn’t mean much. It doesn’t mean they aren’t respected outside of the St. Louis. I will leave you with this thought, If the Blues really want to earn the respect that Blues fans believe they deserve, it won’t come from All-Star selections, it will come from the team winning when it matters, in the playoffs.
Thanks for reading.