Great questions. Rather than sell, might they buy and go for defenseman Mike Green as a rental player? Obviously that team will make the playoffs and given the state of the Pacific Division, why couldn't they advance. The Kings are sputtering, the Sharks are sunk without Joe Thornton and the Ducks haven't taken off despite getting healthy.
I must say I'm surprised the Blues haven't given him a start or two to keep him engaged. But avoiding him, Yeo has managed to turn two bad games until a Total Collapse and a weeks-long discussion point. Remember, he lost game after game in December while getting little or zero goal support. Allen's 2.24 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 13 games in December aren't exactly Total Collapse numbers. At some point Hutton will get lit up again and Allen will get back in the nets. But at that points he will be weeks removed from regular work, so he will be working under adverse conditions. What's the phrase for his, self-fulfilling prophesy?
Yeo is coaching like Thursday was a playoff game. Being six points up on Colorado beats being two games up, so it was all hands on deck.
I believe Sanford is free to come and go. This is just his second pro season. I could see a conditioning assignment in the AHL if everybody is playing well here. If there is a need here, however, he could step right in. It appears the Blues are clinging to Sundqvist in case he could be the No. 4 center next year, so that is why Magnus went instead.
Sorry, I accidentally deleted a question about whether it's mandatory to have a player with Cup experience to actually win a Cup. I say no, because this team has employed what seems like hundreds of former Cup winners without holding a parade, so I don't see the magic. Here is what a Cup winner can tell a team: "It only gets tougher from here." And the next day: "It only gets tougher from here." And the next day . . . you get the idea. Either teams improve game to game in the postseason or they don't. Timmy Five Rings isn't going to help that by spinning Cup yarns from his days with Gretzky.
Also, to the earlier question about getting worked up about 5-on-3 power-play failure . . . Yes, this is a pet peeve. I marvel at how teams get a two-man advantage and almost invariably put two guys down low, off the post, parallel to to the goal line and in no position to score. Their job, it seems, is to pass the puck to one of the other three guys in scoring position being covered by the three defenders. Great plan! I was watching Toronto play. As I mentioned on the podcast, Auston Matthews had the puck near the right post. Nobody was checking him or even waving a stick at him. He moved the puck back and forth, back and forth, never looking at the goaltender -- who was perhaps two feet away from him. One quick move and he has a point-blank shot and two teammates RIGHT THERE to whack at the rebound. Instead he tried to feather a cross-crease pass through traffic. I could hear Ron Caron scream SHOOT THE PUCK from the great press box in the sky. Also I hate when the five-man unit contracts in 5-on-3 scenarios so that players can almost touch each other. Sure, that makes passes and shots shorter. But that allows three defenders to easily close passing and shooting lanes. You end up with eight guys in a confined space. Geesh.
He came back. That's hockey.
No. Dunn is running the first power-play unit. He did so in a must-win game against Colorado and it worked out quite well.
As for the tourney, Team Lightning has an advantage with three skaters and one goaltender playing on home ice. Stamkos and Kucherov could go nuts.
Our Town's Clayton Keller had the early edge, but it's been all Mathew Barzal for some time now. In the go-go Islanders game, he will pile up points.
No difference really. He was making $800,000. That's about the least you can make while holding a roster spot. With Schwartz's return, they only right up against it according to the folks at Cap Friendly. So this team will have to dump salary to add salary in a trade.
Hoffman is a solid Top 6 winger and his is under contract for another year -- and the Blues see next year as a possible breakthrough. But the Blues are up against the cap now and they will need to give Edmundson a big raise on his next contract as well as address center one way or another with Stastny's deal up. So there is a lot of consider there.
Maroon has the size to do it and he's been moderately productive when paired with Connor McDavid, but we're not taking about Dave Andreychuk here. Steen has been very good around the net lately. Stastny has also done some garbage cleanup. Thompson is more of a high-slot guy at this stage of his career. Berglund has been more effective as a mid-slot guy. Of the current group, I'd say you would want to see Stastny continue to work down there winning battles and Berglund closer to the net to use his size.
His situation definitely soured in Colorado, dating back to before the coaching change. His departure was good for both sides and overdue. As for Ottawa, that situation went south before he got there. Losing Methot wasn't great for Karlsson, who is also coming off a nasty foot injury. Their goaltending has been awful this season and Bobby Ryan led the list of veteran underachievers. Matt has had some offensive spasms of life lately, so don't put it all on him.
Biggest bust, in a landslide: Keith Osborne, 12th overall in 1987. Caron took him over Joe Sakic. At the time he needed a scoring winger and he was set at center. Ouch. Most overhyped: Poor Erik Johnson. Picked first overall, he was supposed to be a cornerstone. He became a good player, but not a great one. Can't blame all that on the golf cart incident. He just didn't have the "plus" offensive instincts to go with his smooth athleticism. Fortunately Alex Pietrangelo came along and became exactly what the Blues hoped Johnson would become.
Parayko's cap hit is $5.5 million, which is Brooks Orpik money in today's pay scale. That is Tyler Myers money. Jeff Petry money. Andrej Sekera money. The elite defenseman are going to command eight-digit salaries when they come up. Just watch where Doughty and Karlsson go with those dollars. As for Colton, he is scoring at a 40-point pace and logging significant minutes as a Top 4 defender in his third NHL season. Will he become a great player? We'll see. But among third-year NHL defensemen, he rates very high in the league. I can't imagine there is a team that doesn't covet him.
I believe Thompson could be offered for the right player, i.e., somebody with contract beyond this season. His upside doesn't quite match Thomas or Kyrou. On the other hand, he is very early in his process. He needs to get a lot stronger on the puck. When he does, he could be something. He has a shot that can't be taught.
I know many teams are clamoring for third and fourth line center help. A guy like Letestu played down in the lineup for Edmonton, but also saw time on the PP as net front guy. Matt Cullen, now with the Wild, was classic in that role for Pittsburgh
Trade "Captain Serious"? That would signal a complete rebuild. They hoped adding Brandon Saad would revive his Jonathan's offense but that did not happen. That team shuffles line so much and plays so many kids that it can't get into the shutdown mode where Toews really made his mark. That guy has played a lot of hard hockey and won a lot. Now that the team is going through a rebuild, some lagging is natural.
No, no and no. Those are valuable players and none are overpaid by any means.
No, I don't see Tavares. I could see his dollars getting closer to $12 million per year. The Blues will want to have long-term space to keep all their core guys, like Schenn in a couple of years. This team is set up to maintain a high skill level for a long time, but reaching for a huge Tavares or Price contract would strain that. As for Stastny, bringing him back at a modest discount from his current deal for, say three years would make sense.