He drew a lot of attention on his conditioning stint in the AHL because everybody in the NHL knew the Maple Leafs had to move him. And he has been an impact scorer in the AHL. At this level, he is more of a Bottom 6 guy and an agitator. He is a smaller winger, but he gets into the fray. He prefers to play the right side, which works here. He is work a look, particularly for a fourth-round pick in '19.
That used to be interference. Then the NHL decided that goaltenders were fair game again -- thanks to a summit at the All-Star Game -- and the Blues need to remember when they attack the net.
Thomas recently got a five-game suspension from the OHL for a nasty slash, which reminds us that the kid has some attitude. Kostin is just sort of drifting in the AHL this season. He has yet to elevate his game there with any consistency. Walman has been hurt in Binghampton, his most recent AHL home, and Schmaltz has been hurt in San Antonio.
Yes. He got a bit flat-footed again, which is not usually for a player accustomed to towering over opponents and using their long reach.
That's one game. Was there a leadership crisis in Winnipeg when the Blues beat a Jets team that almost never loses at home?
It's not a talent issue, it's an execution issue. I do think the power play looks better when Dunn runs the point of the first unit because at least he is decisive. He is looking to get to the puck to the net to create opportunities. Week after week in this chat we talk about the needed for quicker puck movement, quicker player movement and more pucks at the net.
Not sure who the Blues had in South Korea. Most of the players there are European veterans and former NHLers past their prime for this league. There is a smattering of young Europeans who are top NHL prospects and a few prospects from U.S. colleges as well. Yes, there are AHL players -- but not guys with NHL contracts.
There was plenty of stern talk after the Coyotes game. But real leadership comes through action, like Brayden Schenn fighting Gabriel Landeskog to give his guys a jolt or guys like Steen and Schwartz giving up their bodies to make plays at both ends of the ice.
Players generally prefer to have come continuity, either with their defense partner or on their forward line. So I find the constant line juggling to be a puzzlement. On the other hand, everybody has played a lot with everybody else at this point. No need to name tags.
The Blues would love to see a player to two (besides Brodziak) take charge and command ice time in that Bottom 6. Sanford and Soshnikov will be the next two to get their crack. Meanwhile, Thompson could spend a lot of time in the AHL.
Kostin is still only 19, so he has his whole career ahead of him. If he applies himself, he could make a fortune playing in the NHL. If lacks that drive then, sure, he could end up back in the KHL. It's his call. As for his usage in the AHL, you get what you earn there like anywhere else. Perhaps if the Blues had their own farm team with own coaches he would get a little more consideration, but there is only so much hand-holding in this business.
James van Riemsdyk is headed toward free agency and Toronto is unlikely to sign. But Toronto has lots of young talent, so the Leafs aren't starved for more prospects and draft picks. They are likely to keep JVR like a rental player this season and see how far they go in the playoffs. They aren't rebuilding. In free agency, JVR will be an interesting for teams started for offense.
Lindbohm, Schmaltz and Walman also got hurt in the minors, so this team suddenly does have a depth issue on the blue line.
Come on, let them have their fun.
Yeah, Walt's kids are the real deal. These two lads will make millions in the NHL and make their father proud. Skilled players and they carry their dad's attitude onto ice.
Fans are clamoring for a sexy deal no matter how many times they are told that a big, sexy trade seems unlikely.
But . . . as great as those guys were, they didn't carry the Blues deep in the playoffs for one reason or another.