Last season’s Blues were fierce competitors because players like David Backes, Vladimir Sobotka and Brenden Morrow would be ravaging puck-moving defensemen all game long in the offensive zone. Exiting the defensive zone wasn’t going to come without some bruises.
Although the forecheck is still a major component of head coach Ken Hitchcock’s system, the team’s makeup in 2014-15 focuses on speed and offensive creativity more now than ever. Although Backes, Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves are everyday players who still crash and bang, the Blues have added quick skaters who can get back in plays at every turn. Paul Stastny, Joakim Lindstrom and Jori Lehtera are all offensively gifted, but persevere in neutral-zone play with quick feet and swift sticks.
It may not be apparent in the early going as the Blues have sputtered out of the gate, but, on paper, this seems to be the direction of the roster.