Beyond The Benches

Blues, Predators Need To Shake It Up

It was a disappointing end to a strong season for both the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators. Sadly, this seems to be the headline after every season in recent years. Both teams put together strong regular season finishing first and second in the division respectively, but failed to make a run in the postseason once again. With that disappointment, both teams need to shake it up because it is not working.

Lets start with the team in most need of a shakeup, the Blues. St. Louis has made the playoff the past four years and failing to make it out of the first round the last three. Their best run was a Western Conference semifinals loss to the Kings. With all the expectations this team had the past four years, to fall short of even winning a playoff series shows that this team as constructed doesn’t know how to get it done come playoff time and needs a shake up to change it up.

This is why the team should say goodbye to head coach Ken Hitchcock. This is not an indictment on Hitchcock as a head coach. He is one of the greats, winning 708 of the 1,322 games he has coached while taking home a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999. The problem is that with this team, he clearly cannot get them to play to the level needed to win in the postseason. Part of that is him, but part of that is the players who have been disappointing. A shake up with the core should not be out of the realm of possibility either.

As for the Predators, their disappointment in the postseason has been going on since the team joined the league in 1998. They did make the playoffs for the first time in two years but since they formed the team has only made it to the Western Conference semifinals twice. The team may not need as drastic a shake up but getting rid of a player from their core for a guy who has some playoff experience and is a true winner, would certainly go a long way in helping this team get to where they have never gone before.

It has been the same story almost every year for both these teams. It is unfortunate for the fans because the teams are usually at the top of the league in the regular season but just can’t seem to get over the playoff hump. Both these teams would be wise to shake things up because what they are doing right now is not working.

Writer: Sean Cahill is an Assignment Editor at ABC 6 In Providence, RI. A New England native, Sean is a huge fan of everything hockey, especially the Boston Bruins. He is also part of a radio show, The Sports Exchange, on Sunday nights. He can be reached on Twitter @CahillSean33.