No, because winning tonight in regulation or OT would allow the Blues to reach the playoffs with just a loser point against Colorado.
If Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is dumb enough to trade Taylor Hall, maybe he would be stupid enough to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins too.
Right, top 10 protected. The odds of the No. 15 pick improving in the lottery is remote, as outlined earlier.
The team looked unified during that winning streak. When I think of the Blues being a divided team, I think of a team with a nice prime-age nucleus, a couple of older guys with lingering value and a bunch of guys just holding a spot. As for Patrick Kane, he has plenty to worry about in his own dressing room after his team's plunge from contention.
No idea what to expect from this bunch. The ending of Wednesday's game was ominous, but this team appeared dead after that 8-3 loss in Minnesota and it pulled itself together nicely.
Playing only four D-men is not realistic. Yeo has played the heck out of Pietrangelo and Parayko, but he needs to get some minutes from his third pairing. As it was, the first two pairings had their share of blunders.
Again, 1 percent change of moving from 15 to 1, 0.9 percent chance of moving from 15 to 2. Depending which teams wins the first overall pick, the odds of moving up from 15 to 2 increase. The draft lottery is three phases -- Drawing for first overall, drawing for second overall, drawing for third overall. Otherwise the 15th pick is the 15th pick.
Dunn is forced to play up because of injuries and it's too much for him. At this point in his career he should be a third-pairing guy with sheltered minute and lots of power-play time. His excessive use has impacted Parayko -- who has made mistakes of his own. The domino effect.
Well, this is the team. Blais could come up again, I suppose, but he gets hurt every time he steps into a NHL game. Stevens could play in a pinch. Soshnikov is healthy again, so that helps.
I'd say about 70 percent. There has to be a greater risk of reinjury now, but there is no history on such things because what happened to Fabbri is so rare. And since every body is different, we're just guessing.
This would be historic if the 1 percent came in. But would you really pass on the playoffs for that 1 percent chance to get that player? Or you do value the achievement of reaching the playoffs and what that provide some of the younger players.
No, Joel Quenneville will coach the Blackhawks next season.
Steen and Bouwmeester are past their prime, true enough. I don't see the big step back for Parayko. He had more to do this season with lesser partners, since he was helping prop up Bouwmeester playing on a bad hip for a long stretch. More recently he has been propping up Dunn, who is not ready for a Top 4 role. And the losses of Edmundson, then Gunnarsson complicated things as well. As for Allen, he got a moderate contract from Armstrong. That deal will not preclude the Blues from keeping Hutton, as I would suggest, or making some other move.
No, for the reasons explained.
The Blues will not know their draft position until after the lottery.
Blais does have the finishing skills to be a good second-line, second PP guy -- maybe even more. He is not big or fast, but he has the knack. A summer of training will do him good.
Butler is playing because Bouwmeester, Gunnarsson, Schmaltz and Petteri Lindbohm all got hurt. That is hardly an indictment of organizational depth. Next the Jake Walman and the newcomer Reinke will be in development behind a pretty strong 6. The bigger concerns are up front and scouts not connected to the Blues rave about their forward prospects. And they have cap flexibility heading into next season and more flexibility for 2019-20.
The penalty killing unit suffered with Bouwmeester missing, then playing hurt, the missing again. Also, Allen's rough stretches contributed to that number, which ranks in the NHL's middle third. As for the PP, the struggles there should lead to both personnel and coaching staff changes.
Long losing streaks will turn cliques into rifts. But, again, the team looked just fine when it pulled itself together despite massive casualties and rolled back into the playoff hunt. Teams like the Blackhawks, who collapsed, have bigger issues.