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09-03-2011, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
Agreed. I'm really hoping that one of Elliott/Bishop can step up and be a quality backup but I certainly have my concerns...and if Halak goes down for any length of time, then I'll REALLY be concerned! I hope I'm proven wrong but, I'd view backup goaltending as the Blues' biggest weakness right now.

I'm also concerned about defensive depth. The Blues defense last year was pretty much average but since then they replaced EJ and Brewer with Shattenkirk and Huskins...and then depth-wise, replaced Strachan and Oystrick with Syvret. The Blues were hurt badly last year due to injuries to a forwards core that wasn't very deep but this year, they improved forward depth but now look awfully thin at D IMO. A couple injuries to the wrong d-men and it could REALLY hurt this team.

The most important factors though might be more intangible things like killer instinct (the Blues were horrible last season with finishing out games they led late), cohesiveness, chemistry, leadership, etc. This team has all of the makings to really make a big step forward but there are also plenty of weaknesses I see that could result in them basically treading water yet again. Hopefully things bounce in the right direction for the Blues this season.
I think Ian Cole definitely will step up his game and ameliorate the loss of Brewer and EJ. It's his 3rd year of being a pro, with his skill and physical gifts it's his time to shine. I think the Blues are just deep enough at D to make the current roster work. The top 6 spots are more or less locked up, barring a regression from Nikitin, and Cole and Huskins will be the top candidates for any injury call-ups, so the Blues should still be more than capable if 2 of our D not named Pietrangelo or Polak go down.

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