The Blues regulation loss to the New York Islanders Saturday night makes it now their 19th loss of 39 games. They currently sit 7th in the Central division and 12 points out of a wild card spot. The Blues did not anticipate a season like this and Saturday nights lost to the Islanders is a perfect example of (1) how “unlucky” this team has been (2) the lack of will, and depth scoring this team has and (3) failure to capitalize on leads. The Blues lost last night leaves them with a lot of questions to answer. With the Islanders only managing 14 shots on goal the WHOLE game the Blues still lost 4-3 in regulation. Therefore we must ask what are the Blues options right now?
- Push ahead, say whatever, we wash this season away and get back after it next season. Realistically the Blues have no chance of making the playoffs right now and in the off-season they signed Patrick Maroon, David Perron, Tyler Bozak and still have Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn on longer-term contracts as well. The Blues can just continue to play, be competitive and try to win the most games they can because losing out is never something a team wants to do. Especially a team with as much talent and success as the Blues have had in the past. The Blues traded away their 1st round pick this summer for Ryan O’Reilly therefore their picks this year if they do not have this 2019 1st rounder (explain later) would be a 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th round.
- Tank, try to finish within a top-10 2019 first round draft pick spot. This would be the Blues best option realistically, the conditions on the trade for O’Reilly earlier this summer was “if the Blues finish within a top-10 draft pick spot they have the option to keep the pick and give the Sabres their 2020 first round pick.” Therefore, Blues lose, who cares you are already 29 of 31 right now, it makes no sense to win.
- Trade Vladimir Tarasenko, get two first round picks for this 2019 draft year (assuming they keep their 2019 this year), I will say the term rebuild loosely but “rebuild” on the fly and get a good return for Tarasenko. The Blues end up doing this, they will definitely get a first rounder from a desperate playoff team, a mid-level prospect and potential bottom-9/top-6 forward. This seems like the second best option.
- Get Jake Allen out of net, and out of St. Louis and try to find a #1 goaltender. The Blues have been to the playoffs numerous times now in the last ten years and each time they have failed to convert. Partially, not the only reason but some of it is because they lack goaltending. I would say get rid of Allen and try to find someone like a Petr Mrazek that could potentially be a solid goaltender but really anything is better than Allen right now. The Blues have two prospect goalies, Ville Husso and Evan Fitzpatrick. Husso who is not playing well in the AHL right now but has put up decent numbers in his pervious two AHL season and International play. Fitzpatrick who has not put up great numbers in the ECHL this season nor the QMJHL his previous season but is a 2016 second rounder.
The Blues in my opinion, I may not watch the Blues a ton but still watching them enough to realize they do not have the goaltending to get the job done, their scoring depth is too inconsistent and Tarasenko is playing on the third line. It seems the Blues should just turn the page to 2019-2020 already and start looking at what they can do to be the best team for the start of next season.