We have a wide spectrum of things to discuss today, ranging from the Winter Classic euphoria to the dud at Scottrade Center on Thursday. So many good things to get into surrounding the game at Busch, so bring your thoughts. Normally, we like you to ask questions in the chat, but don't be afraid to mention your favorite moment about being at the game, etc. But obviously we've got some disappointment to get into as well with Thursday's loss to Carolina. I'm here for you, take a seat on my couch and vent your frustrations!
That is true and no it is not good. They haven't had back to back wins since Nov. 28-Dec. 1 (Dallas-Tampa Bay), but the win over Dallas came in overtime. It goes back to Nov. 19-22 (Nashville-Boston) if you're looking for consecutive regulation wins.
Binnington was in a fight and got suspended for one game. The Blues called up Husso to the AHL from the ECHL and he's been great. I don't know if Binnington was hurt in the fight or they believe Husso has just played well enough to stay in the lineup. All I know is that Husso and Copley have been dressing and Binnington has been out.
I think this is valid. The Blues have a couple of tenacious back-checking forwards like Schwartz and Fabbri. You have Steen and Stastny that are reliable defensively, but they do it in a different way, not aggressively like Backes and Brouwer or even like Schwartz/Fabbri. So I agree with you, but I'll point out that it's all interconnected. The forwards can backcheck all they want, but if they're not in sync with the D and working as a group, then you're in trouble. And too often we're seeing forwards either not get back, or defensemen get beat in the corner or in front of the net. I just see a team that doesn't look very responsible in the defensive zone in many facets.
You're not wrong. I've mentioned several times in our chat and on radio that Allen has the tools to be a No. 1 goalie. That's based on what I've seen the past few years and the people around the league that I've spoken to. But a .904 save-percentage isn't going to cut it. It's a team sport and there have been plenty of nights when Allen hasn't had much help, but he has to be better than he has been. A lot of people say that Allen needs to steal some games to prove that he's a No. 1 goalie. That can wait. Right now, he just needs to make some more saves. He makes some spectacular ones, but then there are goals like McClement's goal Thursday night that make you wonder. He needs to be better.
This is a big issue. The forecheck Thursday was non-existent. Was it because of the Winter Classic let-down. Well, it would be nice to use that excuse if that's the first time it's happened this season, but it's not. Look, the Blues knew going into the year that they weren't going to be as physical, but they can still be aggressive and hard on the forecheck. We haven't seen it. How can they change it. I don't think you can with this group the way its composed. There just aren't players who play that style. As I've said many times, you can still win this way, but you have to have speed, show some skill and be able to finish. If you don't, then you get exposed because you don't a way to beat the opponent, either with skill or overpowering them and wearing them down. So they either need to get better at some of the things I mentioned, or find some bodies that play a harder game.
There are a few who haven't been feeling well lately but I'm not putting a lot of stock in that. The problems that we saw Thursday and in recent losses are the same problems we've seen all season.
Hunt has played seven games with the Blues and he's been on the roster for about 25 days. If he's here 10 games or 30 days, he'll need to clear waivers to go back to the American Hockey League. So my guess is that if/when Gunnarsson and Bortuzzo are healthy, Hunt will be sent back. The Blues would probably prefer that to happen before 10-30 happens.
What do you mean? I always agree with you when you agree with me, ha. Look, Hitch is a Hall of Fame coach. So it's difficult for me to believe that you're better off without that guy. I listen to Hitch every day discuss why the team is failing and what needs to improve and it's like you're reading an encyclopedia with facts, figure, past experiences, etc. Could they be better if Hitch wasn't the coach? Here's my take: I think any success that came right after the team let him go would be artificial. That's no disrespect to Mike Yeo, I'm looking forward to him taking over the team and seeing his ideas take shape. But he won't be able to get those across in one week or one month. This team has significant holes that Hitch has had trouble coaching around and Mike Yeo would to.
In the collective-bargaining agreement, teams now have the right to take players to arbitration to fight for a lower salary. It's not common and it's tough to win those cases, but it can happen.
Agreed. That's because that's their game. It doesn't lead to much offense, which is the problem. Berglund has scored a bit lately, but not because of forechecking or puck possession. And the fact that we're talking about this points out the issue: if you're third-line guys who aren't scoring are the most noticeable forecheckers, puck-control players in you're lineup, something is wrong.
He's not producing like he did last year, which I thought was amazing, but Arizona is just not a good team right now. I think Doan would be great for the Blues' locker room and based on the little that I've seen him play this year, he could probably help. I don't know that he would be the best pickup they could make. They need more help in the middle. But I certainly don't think he would hurt.
I don't think so either, but it's worth touching on.
I would think the Blues have a lot of interest in Duchene, but I've heard the price is astronomical.
If you trade either one of those guys, you're not making yourself any better. That's filling one hole and creating another.
I get it, but Hitch isn't asking forwards not to forecheck or defensemen to back off. That's what happened last night and many other nights. Ultimately Hitch is responsible, so he's got to fix it. But it's not "his style."
He needs to be more active every night. I'm sure it's not easy to play the way we've come to expect him to play on a shift-by-shift basis, but there still seem to be too many lulls in his game.
I don't know how you dump a player with a $4.7 million hit the next two years.
Sounds like fun. It was 72 and dry in the pressbox.
I've heard him say that. I don't think he has a problem with his leaders per se. But it's clear that one of two things is true: the message from the leaders to the team isn't getting through, or the Blues aren't talented enough to do what they're being told. As we touched on earlier, the Blues haven't won back-to-back games in more than a month. There is zero consistency with this team. You used to be able to say they played well at home, but that isn't true anymore. Hitch says it's an attitude consistency problem. We could chat for 30 more minutes on this topic and probably not get to the bottom of what exactly that means or how to fix it. But it's obvious there's a root to the inconsistency issues.
I'm not saying you can't trade Pietrangelo, but again you're filling one hole and creating another. First of all with Nashville, Seth Jones wasn't the minute-munching defenseman playing PK and facing other team's top lines that Pietrangelo is. Secondly, the Predators still had Shea Weber (who they turned into PK Subban) to fall back on after trading Jones. Who do the Blues have defensively-speaking if they trade Pietrangelo?
Yes, reverse order of the standings.