Andy Murray — The Blues were swept in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Vancouver Canucks and walked off the ice to a standing ovation. That’s rare and a tribute to the acumen of the St. Louis fans, who this season watch a team that wasn’t expected to do much, and then was expected to do even less after the long-term injuries to Paul Kariya, Erik Johnson, T.J. Oshie, Eric Brewer and Andy McDonald, get up off the floor and produce the best second-half record in the league.
Former Nashville goalie Chris Mason went 27-21-7 with a 2.41 goals-against average, tied for ninth in the NHL, and provided the reliable goaltending the team needed. Brad Boyes again led the team with 33 goals and 72 points while David Backes cracked the 30-goal mark in his third season with 31. David Perron nearly doubled his points total to 50 in his sophomore season and Patrik Berglund and Oshie had excellent rookie seasons.
Murray’s best work may have been with the defense, where only one player, Barret Jackman, played all 82 games. No other defenseman wore the Blues sweater for more than 69 games. Jeff Woywitka was plus-8, as was rookie Tyson Strachan in 30 games.
The Blues’ season was the mirror opposite of San Jose’s. The Sharks started hot and then struggled as injuries cropped up. The Blues dealt with injuries, adjusted and finished as well as the Sharks started.
Murray has coached all over the world and the final game of the season was his 700th in the NHL. He has a deep well of experience from which to draw and this was probably his finest performance.
Courtesy of NHL.com – John McGourty – May 1, 2009. Please click here for full article.
Andy is also an Honourary Coach Mentor for Hockey Manitoba, to learn more about the Coach Mentorship Program please click here. Hockey Manitoba congratulates Andy on his outstanding season!