He is definitely getting a long look. As Doug Armstrong noted yesterday, the team is looking to replace some of what Keven Shattenkirk provided. Neither Dunn nor Walman are anywhere near that good yet, of course, but one of them could land on the third pairing at even strength and on the second power-play unit at some point this season.
The plan happened 15 feet in front me. Sanford was stretched out into an awkward position and Jaskin finished his check by taking him into the boards. That is a dangerous play, yes, but it's not like Jaskin crushed him. We used to see a lot more mayhem in training camp when kids set out to make names for themselves. Remember that Jaskin has been told that he needed to pick up his competitive level and win puck battles if he wanted to make the team. And the coaching staff did want to see some intrasquad intensity because there was so little time to prepare for the very real contact of preseason. As for Jaskin, he is getting a look as a penalty killer and he will get his chance to make the team -- IF he keeps throwing his body around.
At the moment the Blues forward depth is down, with Berglund and his 23 goals sidelined guys like Thompson and Kostin still in development. When Steen returns, he needs to resume to his old volume shooting days and get more pucks on net. I do see Fabbri taking huge step, Schenn scored 25 or more and a full season of Sobotka making a huge difference as well. Barbashev has some nice upside and Thompson could also factor in at some point. Now, if the team takes any more front line injury hits then there could be an issue.
Robert Thomas, who is just a kid, is a buzzsaw, He could terrorize the OHL this season. Thompson has amazing skill for a tall guy. He will never be a power player, given his thin frame, but as he gets even stronger on the puck he will be something. He can make deft little moves to get space, then use his huge wingspan to get shooting angles. And his shot is advanced.
Already the team has sent some lesser prospects to San Antonio for the AHL camp there. The bottom half of the pro prospects could get lost in the shuffle this season. Las Vegas has 11 D-men with NHL credentials, so Chicago could be full up on the blue line. The top half guys capable of helping AHL teams ought to see some ice somewhere. The Blues could have players on several teams. This is not ideal, since guys won't be playing in the same systems the Blues use. But it is just a one-year challenge the club will have to muddle through.
Armstrong has his pro scouts on red alert. At this point in his career I'm not sure what Neil will do. The Blues will watch roster scenarios elsewhere to see if a logical third-line fit emerges. They are far more likely to add somebody now than they were a week ago.
If Schenn can really play center and produce at even strength, that would be huge. Parayko can certainly hit more and score more. Fabbri has to break out. Stastny in the walk year of his contract could boost his stock with a 60-point season.
You don't see interference called as much because players learned the hard way to quit impeding and quit hitting post-pass or post-shot. Those late hits have also been addressed by the player safety department with suspensions for guys taking big runs at players. As for slashing, I bet the officials stick with it.We'll see lots of power plays early in the season, especially in the first two periods of games. As they did with interference, they will force players to adapt.
Duchene would be the great fit, but timing is all wrong for that. I'd be shocked if he stays in Colorado this season. Teams are locking up their centers, so that No. 1 guy will be hard to find. That's why Armstrong is holding out hope that Schenn can play there, Thomas develops into a strong No. 2 and Thompson becomes sturdy enough to play in the middle.
I would assume that is a construction issue. Crews are still at work all over the building.
If there is one surprise, it would be Samuel Blais. A sixth-round pick in 2014, he scored 26 goals for Chicago last season in his first AHL look, which is notable. He stood out on the scrimmage and played in the first two preseason games. He looked like he could fit in on the third or fourth line and injuries might give him that chance.
There is familiarity. Ott played here, so he mixes easily with the veterans. Sydor coached with Yeo before and with Berube and Tkaczuk in Chicago last year. There was interaction and shared systems between the Blues and Wolves staffs last year, so that transition is easy. Goaltender coach worked with Jake Allen before and got thumbs up from Martin Brodeur. So far it seems to be running smoothly.
Stacked D, like you say. Remember, the last time a Team Canada was assembled Armstrong and Co. picked a veteran group and sought chemistry as well. Bouwmeester (!) made it because of his international experience and his connection with Pietrangelo.
The two big obstacles: Cap space for Duchene and satisfying Colorado's need for a Top 4 D-man, among other assets, in a trade package. So far Sakic hasn't been willing to bite on defensive prospects, even those at the Walman/Dunn level.
This year, I'd say 40 to 50 points. Down the road, maybe 60 to 65. Unless he makes the top PP unit while playing big minutes in the Top 6 forwards, it;s hard to pile up points in today's NHL.
No, Robinson will look at all aspects of the Blues play as a former head coach. I would expect he will also join the army of guys scouting other teams too. He may share some insights with D-men as Al MacInnis does from time to time, but I don't see him getting deep into a one-on-one as Brodeur did last season with Allen.
Never say never, but Jagr is a power-play guy at this late stage. I believe this team would look harder at two-way forwards for the third line also capable of killing penalties.
That's a toss-up. Dunn is playing tonight, making him 3 for-3 in games played. Clearly the Blues are intrigued, as they were with Walman's work in Traverse City. The Blues would love one of them to make it add more offense from the blue line.
He is playing tonight and the Blues did not seem overly concerned about it. Let's see how he bounces back from going full-tilt in game action.