It’s official. Let the Mike Yeo era begin in St. Louis.
While this is certainly something that should have happened, it is still very surprising to see it happen mid-season. However, the writing was on the wall. Blues players such as Vladimir Tarasenko were visibly unhappy with their coach and one can only expect that there was a horrible situation in the locker room. The Blues have lost 5 out of their last 6 and just finished a abysmal January, posting a 5-8 record and sliding down to the final Wild Ward spot in the Western Conference. This was apparently all Doug Armstrong needed to pull the trigger.
Mike Yeo is not the ideal successor for an organization such as the Blues that is still trying to capture their first Stanley Cup, but he is a solid replacement for the time being. Yeo took the Wild to three consecutive Stanley Cup playoffs but only managed to go as far as the second round twice. When you take things like this into account, however, you gotta think it’s just going to be more of the same in St. Louis. Hitchcock was always able to create a winning environment that somehow just disappeared come playoffs; something Yeo was doing in his latter years in Minnesota. The thing that could be most beneficial for the Blues after this move is it can push them in a new direction as a unit. The talent is certainly still there, so if Yeo can get his troops to rally around him, this thing may just work. Yeo’s achilles heel is creating chances for his scorers and cashing in on the PP. Yeo now has one of the best scorers in the league in Vladimir Tarasenko and needs to take advantage of that. The Blues’ playoff chances are slipping away, but if Yeo can make an impact right from the get-go, the Blues could still be a dangerous team.