Blues GM Doug Armstrong went all in when he pulled off the trade for Ryan Miller and veteran Steve Ott in exchange for Chris Stewart and Jaroslav Halak. The Blues figured goaltending was the missing piece of the puzzle for a long playoff run, but after watching the Blues slip out after the first round, its clear to see the biggest need is offense.
Ryan Miller made $6.2 million this season. At 33, he still has quality years ahead of him, but that money can go towards additional scoring. Miller was going to be the shut down goalie who could help the Blues get over the Hawks, but instead he played very average, finishing the series with a .897 save percentage and a 2.70 goals against average.
The Blues lacked offense. Yes, captain David Backes missed two games, but Alex Steen managed just one goal on a team leading 26 shots and only T.J. Oshie (2) and Victor Tarasenko (4) had multiple goals in this series.
While the Blues shut down Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp for most of the series, the Hawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each netted three goals with all of Toews being game winners. Chicago’s stars outplayed St. Louis’ stars.
The Blues were just 2 for 29 on the power play against a team that was just average on the penalty kill during the season. The Blues have plenty of forwards who can bang along the boards, but they don’t have enough sticks to finish plays off.
Let Miller slip away and use that money on goal scoring. It may be time to turn the goaltending duties over to Jake Allen, who was outstanding in the AHL, playing for the Chicago Wolves.