Isn't it awesome that at this time really all we can do is nit pick the roster and not feel deeply depressed that our team isn't competive like a year ago? I remember everytime I went to the chow hall in Iraq at this time last year snapping up the latest copy of Stars and Stripes(when it was available), and turning to the page with the game summaries and quickly searching out the Blues only to be dissappointed time and time again. Then having to endure the braggings of people from Texas...from Texas! about how great the Stars were and how bad my team was, that I'd sit there and shoot hollow ribbings of you only won one Cup on a questionable goal. That sucked for so many obvious reasons. I had to take it to personal skill levels on the ice because our team was horrible. I remember even defending coach K despite my firm belief that he was one of the biggest problems. And then I had to hear about how Manny was the Red Wings trash from Detriot fans.
And now, a year later, I'm a free man with a great team to root for that is competitive. Instead of catching a glimpse of a game on a TV set in a chow hall without much time to spend delightfully watching Blues I can cruise on over to 14th and Clark hand over my ticket and sit in an awesome seat and enjoy Blues hockey. And now my rancor only has as its targets fans who constantly yell for shots on power plays, talk about the poor performance of the Rams and Cardinals as a chance for the Blues to grab attention(because really if I had a choice I'd spend 365 days a year in an ice rink watching Blues hockey even if one of those days I was offered a seat in the dug out in a World Series game or the sidelines of a Superbowl game with the Rams), and some questionable roster choices.
If this is all I have to be worried about concerning the Blues then so far it's been a great year. I have a feeling the Blues are starting to come close to working at another level and for that I can hardly wait. Hockey hasn't been nearly this fun since the begining of the clutch and grab league. When Jim Campbell and Conroy were putting up points and the Blues looked like it was their turn to lift up the Cup. Then the dissappointment as I sat in a bar in Printer's Row in Chicago and San Jose advanced to the next round. But this feels even better like when Hullie was netting goal after goal and the Blackhawks and us were battling it out for first in the league. There's a plethora of skill in the NHL again. Not just giant misfits slowly trudging down the ice trying to break through nuetrual zone traps while holding the sweater of the faster players. Now the freaks have blazing speed, uncanny puck control and eyes in the backs of their heads. And the Blues are once again gearing up to compete for Lord Stanley.