Andy McDonald.......you're close, you're really close to making every St. Louis Blues fan very happy. Your speed, your vision, your finishing touch, your experience.....oh how we've missed you. You are the missing component in making the Blues go from a contender to a legitimate favorite come playoff time. Your impact on the ice will echo a great deal off the ice where the decisions in the front office are made. They'll understand that your presence in the dressing room will do wonders for the rest of the team. They'll understand that your overdue arrival to Hitch's system will be perfect. They'll understand that they can sit still and watch the St. Louis Blues dominate the second half of the season.
You're the chosen one for the rest of the way, Andy (can I call you Andy?). You're the one who is going to put that extra bit of fear into flat-footed defenders all around the league. You're the one that they're going to watch a few more minutes of film on every time the Blues come into their house. You're going to draw the attention away from guys like Backes, Oshie, Perron and Stewart. It is you who will make the difference from here on out.
Since you've recently "shed the red" jersey you're not far off from playing your first game since early October. There will be some bumps along the way for you, no doubt about it. You'll feel a step slow. Your hands probably won't be as active. You'll be timid in the corners. You'll think twice about cutting across the middle. It's natural. Self-preservation can be very important, especially since you're not getting any younger. We understand. But don't let it get you down long. You will find your way. You will dominate faceoffs. You will get to the net and clean up many, many opportunities. I'm thinking you could have 20 goals if you come back by February 16th. Seems plausible.....and your team is going to need them.
Goals are going to be hard to come by over the next few months, I'm afraid. Road games haven't been so great for the homebodies from St. Louis. The Scottrade is playing like the Forum of old. I wish I could say the same about road games. Fairly pedestrian to say the least. Andy, are you the guy to make that change? Are you the guy to calm all of the fans' fears about the lack of goals scored? Are you the guy who's going to make the Blues the best in the west? Are you the guy?