Looking ahead for the Blues: Find Tarasenko a center, figure out the goaltending plan

In order to get the most out of dynamic scorer Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues should invest in a top-flight center this summer. Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention -- either mathematically or by losing in the postseason -- we'll take a look at why its quest for the Stanley Cup fell short in 2017-18, along with three keys to its offseason and a way-too-early prediction of what 2018-19 will hold.

What went wrong

We can point to a six-game, 14-day slide heading into the trade deadline as the impetus for the St. Louis Blues' collapse. That triggered GM Doug Armstrong to trade Paul Stastny, metaphorically throwing the white towel on the season.

On a macro level, the Blues' season was doomed by peaking too soon. The Blues outperformed for the first two months of the season, then could not sustain the bar they set.