He's fine for what he does. He doesn't skate or hit as well as Reaves did, so he is not as effective on the fourth line. And there isn't much calling for fighting these days. But he seems like a good fit with the team as far as chemistry.
He probably will need AHL time to get the rust off. Then he can compete for work here with the others. Nothing he did last year guaranteed him a spot with this team. But he would have competed for a job and he certainly would have added valuable depth. With him gone, Thompson and Blais got earlier-than-expected looks.
Yes, those guys tend to take a beating. They go to the hard areas and have suffered their share of injuries.
I believe you are powerless to stop that. Or my use of "D-men."
And five St. Louis kid from one youth team going in the first round of a NHL Draft. That was unheard of 30 years ago.
I seem to remember the Blues flowing well when they rolled to the Final Four under Hitch. That team did play the more smothering defensive style you describe, but then Hitchcock did try to transition toward the team we see now after the team let Backes and Brouwer walk. That transition just didn't go well, due to Hitch's disconnect with the team. Yeo took the team and rolled with it, making some changes in midseason after taking over and then some more in camp this year. But the team style you see now is what Hitchcock was theoretically trying to get to in his lame-duck year. Perhaps his tendency to browbeat players over every mishap kept them from turning it loose as they are this year.
Strained, but not beyond repair. Vladimir didn't pull a Patrick Roy and demand a trade. He bristled and simmered instead. Now you see a lot more smiling.
I'd say 20 to 25 goals. The Blues could be happy to get 15 to 20 from him and 14, 15 minutes a game some day.
I never dealt much with him. I just know his rep with players, which was terrible. Does he talk about how badly the Stars hated the move to bring him in? I believe that was Brett Hull's idea and it cut short his time on the personnel side of management.
Perhaps this dates back to the Ron Caron Era, when Denny Felsner was going to bulldoze through the league and Herb Raglan was ready to bang with the big boys. The Blues rushed many a prospect during that era and ruined them. They also gave up on guys who ended playing a million games (Brind'Amour, Ronning, Hedican).
Agreed. Our Tom Timmermann talked it up big time on the "Net Front Presence" podcast I linked to earlier in the chat.
Well, he'll try. The mental challenge will be huge and it's hard to imagine that knee holding up without issue for the rest of his career. Sports medicine has come a long way, but Fabbri lives on his quickness and agility. If he loses even a half-step he won't be the same guy.
I can see them winning the division. Minnesota will get healthy at some point, but that team's second-half fade raised big questions. Who knows if Parise will ever contribute and perhaps the Wild will miss Pominville more than anybody imagined.
Full check. Strong union! Injured NFL players can get cut with injury settlements while they are still hurt.
I'd say there is a good chance that either Thompson or Kostin could offer some help by the stretch run. AHL time will do them good. I never rule out a trade with Armstrong, but even late in the season the cap could be something that needs massaging.
The players were ready for a fresh start. See Sutter, Darryl in Los Angeles. That team won two Cups with Sutter, but burned out. Now Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown are flying again. Part of that was a tactical shift with assistant coach John Stevens taking over as coach, but part was the new team atmosphere. There is a clear parallel to the Blues and Hitchcock/Yeo.
This team has operated with a thin margin for error. A sag somewhere seems inevitable. The trick is to keep that period as brief as possible. And, yes, another key injury or two could trigger that. Obviously the team is already hiding its third line in a lot of games.
If he stays healthy and if he makes a quantum leap in the AHL, he could get a look.
He shows signs of doing more this season than last. How about that cut through the crease from the left side with a reach-around bid at the right post against the Flames? He must about scored on that against Calgary. He needs to keep coming in deep when the chance is there so he can use his reach and strength to create chances.