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Boyes Ready To Start Season

Wednesday, 09.10.2008 / 10:42 AM / St Louis Blues - Features
The Canadian Press
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Boyes Ready To Start Season
Brad Boyes is anxious to start the season as he comes off a breakout year where he scored 43 goals. (Getty Images).

The offseason can't come to an end soon enough for Brad Boyes.

He's been skating with some of his St. Louis Blues teammates since late August and is now counting down the days until another season begins. With training camps opening a week later than usual, the wait has seemed unusually long. "I've been here for about two and a half weeks," Boyes said Tuesday from St. Louis. "I'm looking forward to (getting started), it's definitely been a long summer.

"The whole team's already here. I think not only me, everyone's kind of itching to get going. We just want to get back at it."

The impatience is understandable.

Boyes came into his own a year ago while playing his first full season with the Blues. The 26-year-old winger quietly scored a career-best 43 goals - only four NHLers had more - and was rewarded with a $16-million, four-year contract extension late in the season.

He feels at home in St. Louis now and is ready to assume a leadership role with a young Blues team that has parted ways with veterans Jamal Mayers, Mike Johnson, Ryan Johnson and Bryce Salvador since last season's trade deadline.

"I've always felt comfortable in junior in (a leadership) role and in the minors after a couple years," said Boyes. "I think that I'm getting to that point now where I've learned from some great players and I've sat and watched a lot.

"We've got our leaders, our head guys, but there's no reason why I can't help out too."

His biggest contribution should come on the ice.

The former first round draft pick is coming off a season where he became the first St. Louis player to score 40 goals since Scott Young in 2000-01. That's exactly the kind of output the Blues hoped they'd get after acquiring Boyes from Boston at the deadline in 2007.

He doesn't set specific targets for offensive output each season but believes he's capable of more.

"I'd loved to score 100 goals, that's what I want to try and do," said Boyes. "Realistically, I don't really sit down and put numbers down. I try to just go out every game and score one, score a couple.

"It's a game-to-game mindset rather than a whole year."

 Training Camp
Are you as excited about the upcoming season as Brad Boyes? Immerse yourself in Blues action by attending training camp, which begins on Sept. 19. Skates are free and open to the public. Get all the details.

One goal he's not shy about talking about is helping the Blues reach the playoffs for the first time since before the NHL lockout.

He's appeared in 246 regular season games over his career with San Jose, Boston and St. Louis and is still waiting to play in the postseason for the first time.

"I am getting kind of tired of it," said Boyes. "You play to play in the playoffs, that's the most exciting part. Sitting at home watching it the last three years hasn't been fun."

It won't be easy.

The Blues weren't active players in the free agent market over the summer because of all the young talent they have coming up. Boyes might end up feeling like an old man compared to some of teammates.

"I think with this group of guys I might be forced into it," he said. "We could have four guys 21 and under on our team. Half the team will be 25, 26 and younger."

The veterans include Eric Brewer, Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya, Andy McDonald and Jay McKee.

One of the toughest challenges facing the Blues is the teams they'll face seven times this season. St. Louis shares a division with the defending Stanley Cup champions (Detroit) and three squads on the rise (Chicago, Columbus, Nashville).

"There's no team in our division that's an easy two points," said Boyes.

Still, it's September, a month where every team around the NHL feels a least a little optimistic.

When Boyes looks down his team's roster he sees no shortage of potential. It's up to coach Andy Murray and his players to start living up to it after training camp opens next week.

"It's going to be interesting to see how the group comes together and how well we perform," said Boyes. "Now we've definitely got enough talent. The key is just about jelling together, we've got all the right pieces.

"I think if you don't go in with the mindset that you're going to be a winner then you're going in with the wrong mindset."




1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46


V. Tarasenko 61 31 29 27 60
A. Steen 59 19 32 4 51
J. Schwartz 54 20 26 16 46
D. Backes 60 20 21 3 41
T. Oshie 53 17 24 12 41
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 53 11 23 10 34
J. Lehtera 54 9 24 16 33
A. Pietrangelo 61 5 27 -3 32
P. Berglund 57 8 11 -2 19
B. Elliott 19 9 2 .921 2.21
J. Allen 17 6 2 .905 2.50

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