Discussion

Cup Scouting Report: Blues

Opponents provide breakdown on how to battle, beat St. Louis

Updated: April 28, 2013, 6:58 PM ET
By Craig Custance | ESPN Insider

Craig Custance chats with rival scouts and players to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the St. Louis Blues.

Last year, it was the Kings. The team that opposing scouts and coaches wanted no part of in the first round, regardless of what their seed was.

The consensus is not quite as strong, but the St. Louis Blues are getting that same kind of buzz from within the hockey community.

"Aside from maybe Chicago, they're the least desirable opponent," said one NHL scout in breaking down the West. "The way they've been playing the last two weeks, three weeks. Their goaltending seems like it's solved."

That was the major question mark and Brian Elliott has solved it with an incredible April, in which he went 10-2-0 with a 1.30 goals against average and .947 save percentage down the stretch to help the Blues secure home ice advantage in round one.

That doesn't leave too many holes.

"You look at their team now, I'd put them up against anybody in the league and feel good about their chances," said a Western Conference defenseman.

KEY STRENGTH: The addition of Jay Bouwmeester and Jordan Leopold at the deadline gives the Blues the same depth on the back end that they have up front. Those were huge moves for GM Doug Armstrong.

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