The St. Louis Blues ended their disappointing 2017-18 season by narrowly missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Missing out on an opportunity to lift the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history stings. There’s no trying to hide that the season wasn’t depressing. But, more realistically, maybe it’s not so bad that the Blues are on the outside this year.
If you’ve watched any of the NHL playoffs this year, you’ve seen some really good teams and some incredible talent. The Blues aren’t on the same level as any of the teams still competing for the Cup. In fact, they’re not even close to being on the same level. Sure, it would’ve been fun to see some playoff hockey in St. Louis, but would it have been worth watching the Blues make their usual playoff exit?
The folks over on Reddit may have summed things up the best.
Blues fans have been through a lot. Unsurprisingly, Blues fans were recently ranked first in terms of fan misery. How many times have the Blues assembled a great team and made a decent playoff run only to fall short? Too many times.
This playoff season has been a nice mental break. I, like many Blues fans, have been able to sit back and enjoy some awesome playoff hockey. I can cheer on the teams I want to see win for whatever reason I want, and also ridicule those annoying teams who are still in it (oh hi, Nashville) and those who also missed out (looking at you, Chicago). There’s no emotional attachment.
The Blues crashing out of the playoffs usually happens under a mountain of high expectations. As a result of those expectations and the talent on those rosters, the crashes feel more than just a little painful. They take a toll on every fan. The 2015-16 collapse was particularly brutal, as the Blues fell when they seemingly had all the talent needed to win a Cup. Alas, they didn’t, the roster kind of fell apart (that’s a debate for a different time) and here we are sitting as far from the Cup as we have in recent memory.
So, why not try and be positive? That doesn’t mean pretending the Blues are one player away from breaking through, but rather enjoying the playoffs without having to worry about how the Blues are going to blow it this year.