Found March 18, 2012 on centericechat.com:


The St. Louis Blues clinched the Stanley Cup Playoffs last night with their 100th point and a win of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NHL.com posted the keys to the Blues success, from coaching to special teams, and everything in between. While there’s no sign of slowing down, if they run the bracket with what they have, will it work to claim a first ever Stanley Cup for the Blues?

But to truly understand how great last year’s Stanley Cup champions were, the Boston Bruins, let’s take a comparative look:

POWER PLAY

Boston Bruins 2010-11: 20th, 16.2 percent, 43 PPG; St. Louis Blues 2011-12: 15th, 17.1 percent, 41 PPG.

PENALTY KILL

Boston Bruins 2010-11: 16th, 82.6 percent, 46 PPGA; St. Louis Blues 2011-12: 7th, 85 percent, 37 SHGA.

COACHES

Boston Bruins 2010-11: Claude Julien: 46-25-11; 103 points; .628 win percentage; St. Louis Blues 2011-12: Ken Hitchcock: 40-12-8; 88 points; .733 win percentage.

GOALIES

Boston Bruins 2010-11: Tim Thomas 25-11-9; 2.00 GAA; .938 save percentage; Tuukka Rask: 11-14-2; 2.67 GAA; .918 save percentage; St. Louis Blues 2011-12: 21-9-2; 1.62 GAA; .937 save percentage; Jaroslav Halak: 25-10-6; 1.85 GAA; .929 save percentage.

GOALS FOR/AGAINST

Boston Bruins 2010-11: Goals for: 246; Goals Against: 195; St. Louis Blues 2011-12: Goals for: 189; Goals against: 142

***

That’s just the surface of comparisons between the Blues and Bruins. And, as a note, these numbers reflect just Boston’s regular season and the Blues’ season to date this year. But, overall, the Blues are a strict defense team with a solid goals against rating and a tandem better than Boston’s last year, despite the stellar campaign from Thomas. (As we saw Rask have a rough season.)

Is Hitchcock’s comeback year to the bench on route to a Stanley Cup?

Matthew Wilson is editor of Center Ice Chat. Follow him on Twitter @Mattjw24. Be sure to also Like us on Facebook and to Follow our Tumblr page. If you'd like to contribute, or appear as a guest columnist, please email us at CenterIceChat@gmail.com.

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