There is some truth there, although you never want to see a team fall into a slump as severe as this team suffered when it was in the middle of the playoff chase. Regardless of early overachievement, that was disappointing.
First things first -- this team needs a scoring line center and another scoring winger. If the Blues add those two elements, then guys who have played up in the lineup could slide down and fix the bottom six. Robert Thomas could make the team as a No. 3 center; asking him to play in the Top 6 seems like a strain. Barbashev and Soshnikov have looked good on the fourth line this season and Brodziak has been able to play up. I'd give Kyle one more year to play back on the fourth line. As you can see, there could be a lot of competition. Summertime trades could alleviate some of that.
So you shut down Bouwmeester, lose Edmundson and Bortuzzo at the same time -- how does that play out? Chris Butler playing 20 minutes a night?
I believe the terrible power play and some substandard 5-on-5 linemates were a bigger issue.
Well, not really. They keep giving away guys drafted high in bad trades. Or they pick the wrong guy. How can they stay bad for so long? Just uncanny?
It's hard to contend year after year. This Blues struggle shows us why that is. A few guys get hurt, some guys don't develop quickly enough, little separates the top 10 or 11 teams in the conference . . . it's easy to fall out of the bracket.
First Blues management must decide what to do with these coaches.
One fix would be to add a wild card round and expand the field a bit. The Blues could finish way over .500 this year, have more points than teams that made the field and still miss the bracket. The salary cap era evens things up and creates a bigger pool of playoff-caliber teams.
Armstong has already noted the power-play failure. Change on a staff is not usual -- especially when things go wrong.
Everybody loves the Preds this year, but there is no ex-Blue angle there. The Pens have turned the page on Cole and Reaves. Maybe the Caps catch and reward the Great Eight . . . and Oshie as well.
There has been some talk about this format. Make regulations count for more, encourage teams to go for it.
I'm sure he'd love to get $6 million or $7 million per year. Not sure that market is there. He also could see a surprisingly long-term deal, based on some of his comments.
They would have to weigh him vs. the market, guys like James vanRiemsdyk with more miles left. Also, they must weigh the price against what they will need to pay a center via trade or free agency. I think the Blues would love to get him for two years and $12 million, but I don't know if that wins the bidding.
OK, that's all the time I have today. We'll see you next Friday.