from Norm Sanders of the Belleville News-Democrat,
Each year in the NHL, at least one team seems to emerge from the shadows and become the kind of franchise that suddenly has “arrived.”
In recent years, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Montreal and others have turned themselves around and made long playoff runs.
Could the trendy team of 2011-12 be the St. Louis Blues? From the minute players, coaches and management began discussing the current season during the summer, the word “playoffs” was constantly included.
“We don’t spend a lot of time listening to the opinions of others,” said Blues coach Davis Payne, whose team opens the season with a 7 p.m.(CT) home game today against the Nashville Predators. “We expect to be there (the playoffs).”