2015–16 St. Louis Blues season

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2015–16 St. Louis Blues
Division2nd Central
Conference2nd Western
2015–16 record49–24–9
Home record24–13–4
Road record25–11–5
Goals for224
Goals against201
Team information
General ManagerDoug Armstrong
CoachKen Hitchcock
CaptainDavid Backes
Alternate captainsAlex Pietrangelo
Alexander Steen
ArenaScottrade Center
Average attendance18,451 (96.3%) [1] (41 gms)
Minor league affiliate(s)Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Team leaders
GoalsVladimir Tarasenko (40)
AssistsPaul Stastny (39)
PointsVladimir Tarasenko (74)
Penalty minutesDavid Backes (83)
Plus/minusColton Parayko (+28)
WinsJake Allen (26)
Goals against averageBrian Elliott (2.07) #2 NHL

The 2015–16 St. Louis Blues season was the 49th season for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on June 5, 1967.[2]

Off-season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

March[edit]

On March 9, the NHL announced that the Winter Classic will be held in St. Louis, at Busch Stadium on January 2, 2017, against their inter-division rival Chicago Blackhawks. It will be the first time the Blues have hosted it, and the 23rd NHL team to play in an outdoor game. It will be the 9th NHL Winter Classic, with the game marking the 50th anniversary of the inaugural season of Blues hockey when it was admitted to the NHL in June 1967.[3]

On March 25, the Blues clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season[4] with a win over the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, at home. Brian Elliott registered his third consecutive shutout (4th of the season, one fewer than Jake Allen) tying the franchise record with Greg Millen who did in from Dec. 1-6 in 1989, turning aside 15 shots, after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. Elliott's previous three consecutive shutout streaks came from March 22–27 in 2012, and again from April 7–11, 2013. He shutout the Canucks earlier in the week on March 19, 3-0 at Vancouver, stopping 19 shots, and on March 22 against the San Jose Sharks, 1-0, stopping 37 shots, some on 5-3 and 6-3 penalty kills near the end of the game. Rookie defenseman Joel Edmundson ("Eddy"), scored his first NHL goal, while Kyle Brodziak got the Blues on the board first with his second short-handed goal of the season. Fellow rookie, center Robby Fabbri scored his 18th goal of the season, pushing the Blues to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Carl Gunnarsson made it 3-0 in the 2nd period before Edmundson finished off the scoring in the 3rd period.[5]

On March 26, the Blues became only the 11th team in NHL history to post four consecutive shutouts (a new Blues' franchise record), after Jake Allen beat the league-leading Washington Capitals, 4-0, turning aside 32 shots at Washington for his sixth shutout of the season. It's the first time of a team winning with four consecutive shutouts since the Phoenix Coyotes had five December 31, 2003 – January 9, 2004 to set the modern record.[6] The Blues have not allowed a goal in 240:18, for the longest streak in their history.[7]

On March 29, Brian Elliott's shutout streak ended at 193:12 with a goal by Mikhail Grigorenko at 18:12 in the first period at home. The team's shutout streak ended at the same time at 258:29. Elliott is 10-0-1 in his last 12 starts, and leads the NHL with a 1.92 GAA and .935 SV%. The Blues again passed 100 points with a 46-22-9 record, and fighting for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference with the Dallas Stars after a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.[8]

Playoffs[edit]

April[edit]

The Blues vs. Chicago Game 5 on April 21, set a Fox Sports Midwest all-time ratings record. It was the most-watched Blues game on that regional sports network in the team's 20 seasons. The double overtime thriller, lost by the Blues 4-3, earned a 15.0 rating with 183,000 households watching in the St. Louis market, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was the most-watched program of the day in St. Louis, as were the previous four games of the series.[9]

Robby Fabbri scored his first goal of the playoffs and added an assist giving him four points overall in the series (1g, 3a). The game marked the 11th all-time overtime playoff game between the Blues and Hawks. The Blues hold a 7-4 record in those games and a 3-1 mark in multiple overtime games. The Blues recorded 46 shots against goaltender Corey Crawford – the sixth highest total in a playoff game in club history. Alexander Steen led the team with six, which tied for his second-highest total in a postseason contest.[10]

The Blues vs. Chicago in Game 7 on April 25, shattered all previous ratings records for Fox Sports Midwest. It was the most-watched telecast in the history of that network with a 19.6 rating in the St. Louis DMA, averaging 239,000 households, according to Nielsen Media Research. Viewing peaked at a 25.3 rating/308,000 households/39 share at the end of the game.

Before April 25, the highest-rated event on FOX Sports Midwest was the St. Louis Cardinals' victory at Houston Astros on Sept. 28, 2011 – the final day of the regular season, on which the Cardinals' win and subsequent Atlanta Braves loss put the Cardinals in the postseason. That Cardinals' game earned an 18.0.

Blues-Blackhawks was the No. 1 program of the day in St. Louis. During the game, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., it beat the combined rating of St. Louis' ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates (17.9). All seven games of the series were the No. 1 program of the day in St. Louis.

Game 7 was the most-watched program in St. Louis since the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

The previous high for a Blues game came just last week – a 15.0 for Game 5 against Chicago. FOX Sports Midwest is in its 20th season as the home of the Blues and 23rd with the Cardinals.[11]

May[edit]

After two thrilling 4-3 games playoff series wins against the Blackhawks and Stars, but then a six-game loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Sharks, coach Ken Hitchcock, 64, signed a one-year contract extension on May 31, in what he said would be his last season coaching. He guided the St. Louis Blues to their first Western Conference Final appearance since 2001. Hitchcock has accumulated a 224-103-36 (.667) record in 363 games behind the bench in St. Louis. His coaching career has spanned 19 NHL seasons, 1,404 games and 757 wins, which ranks fourth all-time in NHL history. He's led his teams to 13 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning one championship with the Dallas Stars in 1999. All of the assistant coaches have been offered similar one-year contract extensions. Blues Associate Coach Brad Shaw, who has been with the club since 2006, has decided not to return and will instead pursue other opportunities.[12]

June[edit]

After associate coach Brad Shaw and assistant coach Kirk Muller decided to leave for other opportunities, Mike Yeo, 42 (b. July 31), was announced on June 13 to replace coach Ken Hitchcock after his last year (2016–17), starting in the 2017-18 season. Yeo joins the Blues as associate coach, while Rick Wilson will join the staff as an assistant coach. Ray Bennett (assistant coach), Jim Corsi (goalie coach) and Sean Ferrell (video coach) will also return. Yeo spent the majority of the last five seasons as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild, leading the club to a 173-132-44 record, including a 46-28-8 mark in 2014-15, which was the second-best mark in Wild history. Yeo also guided Minnesota to three post-season appearances, including back-to-back trips to the second round in 2014 and 2015.[13]

Standings[edit]

Divisional standings[edit]

Central Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 z – Dallas Stars 82 50 23 9 48 267 230 +37 109
2 x – St. Louis Blues 82 49 24 9 44 224 201 +23 107
3 x – Chicago Blackhawks 82 47 26 9 46 235 209 +26 103
4 x – Nashville Predators 82 41 27 14 37 228 215 +13 96
5 x – Minnesota Wild 82 38 33 11 35 216 206 +10 87
6 Colorado Avalanche 82 39 39 4 35 216 240 −24 82
7 Winnipeg Jets 82 35 39 8 32 215 239 −24 78
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; z – Clinched conference.

Conference standings[edit]

Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 z – Dallas Stars 82 50 23 9 48 267 230 +37 109
2 x – St. Louis Blues 82 49 24 9 44 224 201 +23 107
3 x – Chicago Blackhawks 82 47 26 9 46 235 209 +26 103
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; z – Clinched conference.
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Anaheim Ducks 82 46 25 11 43 218 192 +26 103
2 x – Los Angeles Kings 82 48 28 6 46 225 195 +30 102
3 x – San Jose Sharks 82 46 30 6 42 241 210 +31 98
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 CE x – Nashville Predators 82 41 27 14 37 228 215 +13 96
2 CE x – Minnesota Wild 82 38 33 11 35 216 206 +10 87
3 CE Colorado Avalanche 82 39 39 4 35 216 240 −24 82
4 PA Arizona Coyotes 82 35 39 8 34 209 245 −36 78
5 CE Winnipeg Jets 82 35 39 8 32 215 239 −24 78
6 PA Calgary Flames 82 35 40 7 33 231 260 −29 77
7 PA Vancouver Canucks 82 31 38 13 26 191 243 −52 75
8 PA Edmonton Oilers 82 31 43 8 27 203 245 −42 70
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot.

Schedule and results[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

2015–16 Game Log[15]

Legend:   Win (2 points)   Loss (0 points)   Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

Playoffs[edit]

2016 Stanley Cup playoffs

Legend:   Win   Loss

Player statistics[edit]

Skaters[edit]

Final stats

Bold = led team

* Missed 49 games due to ankle fracture, Oct. 23-Feb. 10[17]

** Missed 9 games due to right knee injury Feb. 6 (Feb. 8-Feb. 27)[18][19]

*** Missed 15 games due to upper-body injury Feb. 20 (Feb. 21-Mar. 28)[20][21][22]

**** Missed 54 final regular-season games, on IR due to right hamstring injury Dec. 5 (Dec. 6-Apr. 9).[23] He was diagnosed with colitis on April 6, will be re-evaluated in 14 days.[24] He returned to play in Game 3 of the StL-Chi playoffs, April 17.[25]

Goaltenders[edit]

Final stats[26]

Regular Season[27]
Player GP GS TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Jake Allen * 47 44 2,583:22 26 15 3 101 2.35 1,260 .920 6 0 0 0
Brian Elliott ** 42 38 2,263:00 23 8 6 78 2.068 (#2 NHL) 1,113 .930 4 0 0 2
Anders Nilsson 3 0       87:18 0 1 0 4 2.76      44 .909 0 0 0 0
Pheonix Copley 1 0       24:26 0 0 0 1 2.50       6 .833 0 0 0 0
Jordan Binnington 1 0       12:47 0 0 0 1 4.62       4 .750 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining the Blues. Stats reflect time with the Blues only.
Denotes player was traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with the Team only.

* Activated on Feb. 21, after missing 17 games (Jan. 9-Feb. 20)[28]

** Activated on Mar. 18, after missing 10 games (Feb. 23-Mar. 18)[29]

BOLD = led NHL

Playoffs[edit]

Final stats[30]

Playoffs[31]
Player GP GS TOI W L GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Brian Elliott 18 18 1,057:40 9 9 43 2.44 546 .921 1 0 0 2
Jake Allen 5 2    169:06 1 1  7 2.49   68 .897 0 0 0 0

Roster[edit]

Updated FINAL ROSTER on May 25, 2016.[32]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
34 Canada Jake Allen G L 25 2008 Fredericton, New Brunswick
42 United States David Backes (C) C/RW R 32 2003 Minneapolis, Minnesota
49 Russia Ivan Barbashev C L 20 2014 Moscow, Russia
21 Sweden Patrik Berglund C L 27 2006 Västerås, Sweden
50 Canada Jordan Binnington G L 22 2011 Richmond Hill, Ontario
41 Canada Robert Bortuzzo D R 27 2015 Thunder Bay, Ontario
19 Canada Jay Bouwmeester D L 32 2013 Edmonton, Alberta
28 Canada Kyle Brodziak C R 32 2015 St. Paul, Alberta
36 Canada Troy Brouwer RW R 30 2015 Vancouver, British Columbia
25 United States Chris Butler D L 29 2015 St. Louis, Missouri
6 Canada Joel Edmundson D L 22 2011 Brandon, Manitoba
1 Canada Brian Elliott G L 31 2011 Newmarket, Ontario
15 Canada Robby Fabbri C L 20 2014 Mississauga, Ontario
4 Sweden Carl Gunnarsson D L 29 2014 Örebro, Sweden
37 United States Peter Harrold D R 32 2015 Kirtland Hills, Ohio
23 Czech Republic Dmitrij Jaskin RW L 23 2011 Omsk, Russia
12 Finland Jori Lehtera C L 28 2008 Lempäälä, Finland
48 Finland Petteri Lindbohm D L 22 2012 Helsinki, Finland
39 Sweden Anders Nilsson G L 26 2016 Lulea, Sweden
9 Canada Steve Ott C L 33 2014 Summerside, Prince Edward Island
56 Sweden Magnus Paajarvi LW L 25 2013 Norrköping, Sweden
55 Canada Colton Parayko D R 23 2012 St. Albert, Alberta
27 Canada Alex Pietrangelo (A) D R 26 2008 King City, Ontario
18 Canada Ty Rattie RW R 23 2011 Calgary, Alberta
75 Canada Ryan Reaves RW R 29 2005 Winnipeg, Manitoba
43 United States Jordan Schmaltz D R 22 2012 Madison, Wisconsin
17 Canada Jaden Schwartz LW L 23 2010 Melfort, Saskatchewan
22 United States Kevin Shattenkirk D R 27 2011 Greenwich, Connecticut
26 United States Paul Stastny C L 30 2014 Quebec City, Quebec
20 Sweden Alexander Steen (A) LW L 32 2008 Winnipeg, Manitoba
91 Russia Vladimir Tarasenko RW L 24 2010 Yaroslavl, Soviet Union
10 Canada Scottie Upshall RW L 32 2015 Fort McMurray, Alberta

Suspensions/fines[edit]

Player Explanation Length Salary Date issued
Ryan Reaves Roughing Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar during NHL Game No. 177 in St. Louis on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at 11:56 of the first period. n/a $3,024.19 November 4, 2015[33]

Awards and Milestones[edit]

Awards[edit]

Milestones[edit]


Transactions[edit]

The Blues has been involved in the following transactions:

Trades[edit]

Date
Details
Ref
June 29, 2015 (2015-06-29) To San Jose Sharks
Conditional 7th-round pick in 2016
To St. Louis Blues
Konrad Abeltshauser (D)
[47]
July 2, 2015 (2015-07-02) To Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie (RW)
To St. Louis Blues
Troy Brouwer (RW)
Pheonix Copley (G)
3rd-round pick in 2016
[48]
January 15, 2016 (2016-01-15) To Detroit Red Wings
Future considerations
To St. Louis Blues
Richard Nedomlel
[49]
February 27, 2016 (2016-02-27) To Edmonton Oilers
Niklas Lundstrom (G)
5th-round pick in 2016
To St. Louis Blues
Anders Nilsson (G)
[50]
March 4, 2016 (2016-03-04) To Boston Bruins
Future considerations
To St. Louis Blues
Zack Phillips (C)
[51]
June 24, 2016 (2016-06-24) To Calgary Flames
Brian Elliott (G)
To St. Louis Blues
2nd-round pick in 2016
Conditional 3rd-round pick in 2018
[52]

Draft picks[edit]

Below are the St. Louis Blues' selections at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, to be held on June 26–27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

Round # Player Pos Nationality College/Junior/Club Team (League)
2 56 Vince Dunn D  Canada Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
4 94[a] Adam Musil C  Canada Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
4 116 Glen Gawdin C  Canada Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
5 127[b] Niko Mikkola D  Finland Kalpa Jr. (Finland-Jr.)
5 146 Luke Opilka G  United States U.S. NTDP (USHL)
6 176 Liam Dunda LW  Canada Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Draft notes[85]

References[edit]

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