21-22 Blues Season Has Promising Start


courtesy of AP Images

Blues center Brayden Schenn carries puck in the second half of the Oct. 16 game against the Colorado Avalanche.

Logan Roever, Staff Writer

The Blues started the 2021-22 season with a 5-0 record, the best start to a season in franchise history. 

They won their first home game against the L.A. Kings on Oct. 23 with a 7-3 score. 

These victories come after a mediocre 2021 season for the Blues. They went 27-20-9 that year, meaning they lost more games than they won, and finished fourth out of seven teams in the West Division. 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the NHL moved the 2020-21 season to January 2021, changing the typical hockey schedule for that season. 

The NHL divisions were altered for the 2021 season. Instead of being in the Central Division of the Western Conference like normal, the Blues were placed in the West Division. The seven teams in the division were the only teams the Blues were allowed to play. 

The change in the divisions was upsetting to some Blues fans.

“… Don’t get me started about the 2020 year,” senior Tyler Whorl said. “[The Blues] got moved to the Western Division for some reason which I thought was stupid.”

But the divisions are back to normal this hockey season, hopefully to the Blues’ benefit. 

The 2021-22 hockey season started with preseason games on Sept. 25. The Blues had a preseason record of 5-3. 

Their first regular-season game was a 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 16. This was a rematch of the 2021 playoffs, where the Blues went 0-4 in the first round against the Avalanche and had a disappointing end to their season. 

The rivalry is still strong, as the Blues’ winning streak to start this season came to an end on Oct. 28 with a 4-3 loss to the Avalanche. 

A new factor on the team this season compared to last season is that player Vladimir Tarasenko is healthy. He is a standout offensive player with 222 career goals, but a shoulder injury prevented him from playing for most of the 2021 season. 

Tarasenko scored two goals against the Kings on Oct. 25, giving proof that he has moved on past his injuries. 

With his long and successful career with the Blues, it’s not surprising that Tarasenko is a fan favorite. 

“My favorite player by far is Tarasenko because he is a hard working player and he scores goals like crazy,” senior Kyndall Robertson said. 

Controversy arose after Tarasenko asked to be traded from the Blues last year. According to the NHL, Tarasenko’s agent made the request in May of this year.

The request made some fans change their opinion on the player. 

Whorl said that while Tarasenko used to be his favorite player, his trade request and anger with the organization made him feel differently toward him. 

A recent blow to the team is that captain Ryan O’Reilly was placed on the COVID-19 list on Oct. 26, preventing him from playing for four games. 

Despite the challenges the team may face, the Blues have a promising season ahead of them.

“I feel like the Blues have been able to score more goals against their opponents this season compared to last,” Robertson said. 

The record-breaking start to the season gives Blues fans hope that the team can repeat their 2019 Stanley Cup victory. 

“With [the Blues] looking this strong currently,” Whorl said, “[they] could be eligible for another Stanley Cup which would be another great time for St. Louis.”