I believe the Jaskin Era would already be over if this team were healthy. Yeo gave him chance after chance this season, but Dmitrij only responded in spurts. There is no desperation in his play and there should be. Maybe he is content just to drift back to Europe where he won't have to work as hard.
The transition is taking long than expected. Already several players are disappointing the group, including Alexander Radulov. Bishop has registered an early complaint about getting pulled. Hitchcock better be careful not to lose the group before it has a chance to settle in for him.
Now that is a fun teammate!
Nothing is forever with lines, but what is not to like about loading up those three? With Tarasenko working hard at both ends, Yeo can send that line against other No. 1 lines and force top scorers on other teams to spend a lot of time in their zone. When an offensive line can neutralize another offensive line, that is a win-win.
If somebody needs a punch in the nose, that is his thing. But there is no much calling for that. Few teams ever deploy a designated fighter and most serious on-ice fouls result in ejection -- thus eliminating the potential for revenge.
Galchenyuk is a guy every team wants to buy low on. That would require dumping salary, which isn't easy for a team playing as well as the Blues are right now.
He would be No. 1 . . . if he played baseball. The Blues have a fraction of the support the Cardinals have in this region.
I see Schwartz as a real key for Vlad, playing with whichever center. He is a great passer who also gains pucks off the forechecks and occupies defensemen as a shooter. If 17 and 91 play more together at even strength, look out.
If Jaskin was working as hard as he could, he would be a regular in the Blues lineup with that size and strength. Period. I'm not saying he is a bad guy, but there is no disputing that he has played his way out of the lineup again and again and again and again and again.
Hitch talked all the time about activating D, even when the Blues played their old "heavy" style. Shattenkirk always played liked a forward under Hitchcock. Parayko scored nine goals as a rookie. You could argue that he held Pietrangelo back with all those defensive zone starts and all that time spent against top lines 5 on 5 and on the penalty kill, but it's not like he incurred team fines for moving in deep. In his last full season for Hitchcock, his 3.6 shooting percentage on 195 shots (a healthy number) led to his single-digit goal total.
And, again, the shift to the current go-go style started under Hitchcock in his final season.
He shoots plenty. With the defensive attention he draws, he has little choice but to be unselfish. Teams are selling out defensively to stop him. If playing with Schwartz creates additional scoring threats on the ice, that could open up the chance for 50 goals. Also, a better power play helps that.
I haven't seen enough to judge him, but apparently nobody likes his game at the NHL level. Just didn't look good at all playing 5 on 5. Right now, his $4.5 million cap hit makes him hard to move.
See you all next time! Got to run. Thanks!