It's what he didn't do, which was much of anything. Just a non-factor. He had a bit more jump after coming back from the minors, but he accomplished nothing.
Typically surgeons will want the swelling to clear. Beyond that, I don't know. Robby wasn't coming back this season so there wasn't any rush.
Alexander is still getting up to speed overall. But I really like the movement in the top unit. Instead of station-to-station passing and guys trying to get looks from the same spot power play after power play, the players are interchangeable. Tarasenko draws extra attention and may force a shot here and there, but generally he realizes that he can also create extra room for his teammates.
Yeah, there seems to be a low ceiling on Sundqvist's offensive upside. He has gotten some great opportunities he did nothing with lately. But I don't see a big move for a third center because Berglund is on the mend and Barbashev could always snap to. The need for a third-line winger is more glaring, since Fabbri is out until next season, Sanford is still months away and the Thompson/Blais/Kostin option is more long term.
I believe the Blues did look into that scenario, just as the team did with Iginla.
That will still depend on Allen's play, because Jake has been terrific and the Blues want him to establish himself as a true No. 1. Fatigue and injuries, big or small, will guide this as well as the 82-game season grinds on. Certainly Hutton's strong play gives Yeo confidence to use him whenever. Other teams lack such confidence in their No. 2.
One, the Blues are winning. So that reduces the urgency to rush any of the kids for any extended period. Two, the Blues want those guys to develop into Top 6 forwards. They want them playing in offensive situations, trying to push their skill. Playing them extensively at this level too early in their career could lower their ceiling.
BTW, watching the game from Sweden, Anthem singer strolled onto the ice with a PG-13 outfit. That's Europe for you.
As I noted previously, the NHL trend with defensemen is to give them long-term deals now. For instance, Michael Matheson got an eight-year, $39 million deal from Florida. Edmundson's camp will doubtlessly note that.
I don't mind the scheme at all. Again, lots of movement, guys attacking from different angles. A good example was Schwartz's PP goal against New Jersey, with a back-door on the right side of the rink to convert a backhand pass from Schenn. A huge issue is the limited threat presented by the second PP unit -- just not much there beyond Stastny working around the net and Parayko at the point. In a season or so the Blues should have two strong units again once the depth is restored.
As we saw every week, that will depending on injuries and play at the time. Both Bortuzzo and Gunnarsson did some sitting last season, but both have played at a high level this season. Right now everybody is making a case to play. Nice problem to have. What are the odds that will continue for the full 82-game season? Also, Dunn figures to hit a physical wall at some point logging minutes at this level.
Nothing new on that front at the moment. If he does sign, he will face quite an adaptation period. I'd see him as third line/second PP guy. I'd be stunned if a player could come to the NHL that late in his career and check well enough to play on one of the top two lines. These days top lines must play a two-way game to get the big minutes. Coaches can shelter their third lines a bit.
Sometimes OHL success translates, sometimes it doesn't. Thomas and Kyrou can skate, so odds are they have a better shot to translating production than slower players. Guys that struggle are guys that can't get up to NHL speed. Dylan Strome has been an example of that, despite being a third-overall pick. Smaller players used to have trouble, too, but the league opened up play for them. And most prospects training for hockey strength each summer, so we tend to see more 19- and 20-year-olds able to hold up on that front.
I don't see any big need for change. I will say that I liked Paul Stastny working down low and Jaden Schwartz working out high when Alexander Steen was out. Although, again, going back to Schwartz's goal in NJ Steen did a nice job from the left point keeping that play going.
Armstrong is sniffing around, as the Russian-based Zaripov rumored suggested. Meaningful trades are pretty rare during the first half of the season, which is why the Colorado-Ottawa-Nashville whopper was so newsworthy.
He's done great so far. But things can change from game to game, especially when depth is restored. If all seven D are healthy, it won't take much to earn a night off.
I see Dunn staying, unless his play suddenly craters. You 'll notice that Yeo is giving him more to do as the season goes on. He shuffles his pairings to feature his offense, not to hide whatever defensive limitations he has. As I've noted often, Armstong will be in no rush to subtract defensive depth because it's crucial. Injuries are inevitable, especially with today's emphasis on shot-blocking. Should the other young D-men develop, then at some point that depth could allow Gunnarsson trade -- if it were worth pursuing. Carl is a good fit with the group.
The coaches want him to be more decisive with his shot. He needs to create shooting lanes with his feet and his reach, then shoot. Those shots can create scoring opportunities for others. I wouldn't fret much.
Of course he is. But he is not going to trade a potential 10-year impact player for a rental third-liner, not with the talent wave this team has coming. The Blues set up extremely well for the next several years. Armstrong is always on the lookout for near-term help, but he also notes that teams tend to ramp up to peak years -- like they had a couple years back when reaching the Final Four. Right now the Blues are in mid-climb.
That's hockey. And being brothers. Imagine the mayhem when they were little.