Well this should be a blast. Let's get chattin' ...
I think there's a good chance we see Copley. At this point, the Blues have nothing to lose. Allen can't go back in and Hutton can't start every game. Copley has been playing well with the Wolves and I'm guessing that we'll see him.
They are columnists who write opinion.
There is no stat that tracks that, but yes, I believe when you lose coaches like Brad Shaw, who is a tremendous defensive mind, as he showed in seasons with the Blues and with Team Europe at the World Cup, and with Kirk Muller, who was the ultimate players' coach and commanded their respect, it's a significant loss.
I think because of Berglund's very slow start. Other teams weren't talking about acquiring him and the Blues, who probably still don't know which direction they're headed at the deadline, might not have thought of Berglund as a trade chip. The Blues are still in playoff contention and there are six weeks before the deadline, so still a lot of time to play out before they decide what to do with Berglund and others.
I still think the Blues are going to have to deal him. There are some who felt the team needed to keep Shattenkirk for a playoff run, even if it meant losing him for nothing. I was not in that camp. I did not see the Blues are very strong contenders and having Shattenkirk for a playoff run that ended in the first or second round, and then losing him this summer didn't make sense to me. Now that the Blues are making it look like a struggle to make the playoffs, I think it's pretty imperative to move him if they're not going to re-sign him, which doesn't look likely. When it happens? Who knows. They're obviously going to look for the best deal and whether that happens today, in three weeks or at the deadline, it's anybody's guess.
According to Shattenkirk's camp, there were teams in the West that he would consider signing with long-term.
Armstrong watched a couple of Tampa games last week, but that might have been a situation of convenience the Blues were in Southern California and the Lightning were coming to town for two games, so he stuck around. Drouin is not available, I'm told. He's playing out of his mind and they're going to keep him. Johnson is the name that I've heard floated, but that's just speculation. As far as Bishop, anything is possible, but he has a no-trade and I'm not 100 percent positive that he'd come back here.
I think you're talking about a package deal that would have to include ONE of the following Blues: Fabbri or Schwartz or Parayko.
The Blues certainly miss Backes. They would be better with him this year and perhaps another year or two. But my hypothetical question is this: if you were guaranteed that the Blues were going to get to and then lose in the second round of the playoffs the next two years with Backes, then you still had him under contract for three more years, would you do it. I don't think that even with Backes they were going to go much further, and now with the goaltending situation that's even more apparent. And I do think that by not having Backes for five more years, they have a chance with more resources to do some different things in the next two years and be better off in the long-run without Backes.
That's possible, but here's the hang-up. If you're Shattenkirk, would you sign long-term with that team being a disaster right now? No. So, the Blues can trade him there because he doesn't have a no-trade clause, but Colorado obviously isn't looking for a rental player and they're not going to deal for him unless they can sign him long-term.
Bishop has had some tough luck. I wouldn't necessarily put him in that category. He's a good goalie and a lot of teams would like to have him.
Two responses: Holtby was a one-time thing, like with Carey Price a week or so ago when he gave up seven. It was a blip on their radar. This has been completely different with Allen ... But on you're other point, I think you're onto something. Not necessarily so much with last night's game, but in the last week or so, Hitch has pulled Allen in games the Blues were not going to come back in. I spoke to some goalie folks around the league and even some players on the team who wish that Allen would have just stayed in for those games. The team wasn't coming back in a few of those games and the people I spoke to felt it did more harm than good to take him out. It also isn't very fair to Hutton to get thrown in cold three out of five games. Yeah, that's his job, but many felt that keeping Allen in for one or two of those games would have been the better move.
My honest answer is that evaluating the leadership of a pro sports team is very difficult to do outside the locker room. We can chat for six hours and I won't be able to give an accurate description of how Pietrangelo leads this team, what kind of job he's doing, how close he is to Backes' style, etc. I can only go by what coaches and teammates say and what do we expect them to say? You may have very valid points, but as I'm saying, it's difficult to know. The bottom line is winning. If the Blues had a great team, people would think that Pietrangelo is a great leader. If he were wearing the C for Washington right now, there would be stories being written about what a great leader he is in his first season. But the Blues are in a transition year, he's learning on the job and the Blues are not playing well, so it leads to conjecture from you me, everybody else. I think leadership could be one of the issues in what's going on with the Blues, but to me it's certainly not the biggest one.
Typically it's easy to blame the goaltending, but let me say this: the Blues are not playing well obviously but I think a big part of it is the goals they're allowing early, which is forcing them to chase games. Not all of them are on Allen, for sure. But we saw that when they got through 15-20 minutes or one period without one in Anaheim and San Jose, they built on it and played better. I think they're losing confidence in the goaltending, over playing in the defensive end like Hitchcock said last night and chasing the game. So you don't want to put it all on the goalie, there are certainly other issues, but right now that's where it starts.
It has surprised me from the standpoint that Columbus' defense has turned it around so quickly. Keep in mind that Bobrovsky has been healthy, so that's a big part of it, but those defensemen have really turned around their numbers as well.
Thanks for the support. Right now, they've got to fix the goaltending. A No. 1 center or a bruising defenseman is not going to help this team right now. Who knows, we've all seen goaltenders turn it around and turn it around quickly, so maybe the Blues won't have to go out and find a goalie. But right now, that's priority No. 1, getting that straightened out, before they think about anything else.
Sorry for the delay. The Blues just announced that they have recalled Copley and I had to tend to that for a moment.
I think the Blues probably have thought about it and maybe still thinking about it. A couple of random thoughts on that situation: I have understood why it may be beneficial for the Blues to move on from Hitch, but I would hope most can agree that the situation the team finds itself in right now is not his fault. They are in third in the Central and their starting goalie has not been able to stop the puck. Secondly, I truly believe that Armstrong would like Mike Yeo to have a full year looking on before taking over. Third, Hitch is three wins away from passing Al Arbour for No. 3 all-time in coaching victories. That would be a pretty stiff decision to let him go before that happens. You've got to do what's best for the team, but wow!
Unless you've heard that one-for-one deal was on the table from a reliable outlet, I can't say with certainty that that was available to the Blues. If it was, then yes, Army should have jumped on it. Tampa has cap issues, so it's tough to believe the Lightning could have swung that deal. There were certainly talks between the Blues and Bolts, but I've got to believe there was more to that potential deal.
We haven't had a chance to talk to Armstrong or anybody yet, but my guess is they keep three goalies for now. They have the room, so why not? My guess is they'll want to work with Allen here rather than play him with the Wolves. He won't be exposed to waivers. If anything, they'll put him on a conditioning assignment at some point, but I just don't think that's likely.
As you've probably already read, I don't think he can afford to do that. The reason I took this question again is for the second part. We don't know if the return has lessened because we don't know what was being offered. However, I will say that as we get closer to the deadline, and obviously closer to July 1, the chances of Shattenkirk being willing to sign a long-term deal anywhere would seem to lessen. If I'm Shattenkirk last summer, I'm going to be careful but I'm considering signing somewhere if the Blues are going to move me. But now just a few months out from unrestricted free agency, I'm just waiting. That lessens the return.
Nope. He signed a three-year deal and Army believes he was the best choice out there. I don't think you can blame Yeo for anything that's going on right now. He has done a good job of deferring to Hitch. So whatever position the Blues are in (good or bad) is on Armstrong and Hitch. Yeo signed a three-year deal and the Blues certainly aren't walking away from that.
I don't believe so, but I haven't asked yet. I'll check on that soon. There have a been a few other more pressing questions with the goalies, as I'm sure you'll understand.
I've got time for a few more questions before heading to practice.
That did seem to work out well with Elliott. He wasn't playing at all, so that made sense. Again, the Blues could do that with Allen. But my guess is they'll work with him here first.
I think at some point they will. I understand people who are opposed to funding for stadiums/arenas. But everyone has to understand that Scottrade is OWNED BY THE CITY and the Blues owners have put a ton of money into it over the years and it has made a ton of money for the city. Furthermore, the city will losing money in the future if the city does not choose to make the upgrades. Of all the no-brainers out there, this is the biggest one.
He has 20 goals this season, putting him in the top 10. He hasn't scored in six straight with Jaskin and Yakupov on the opposite wing. Teams are checking him to death, as Hitchcock said. I'm not taking Taraseneko off the hook, but he needs help.
No one will disagree. The defense has not been good. But the goalies, particularly Allen, have to make the routine stops. The Blues would still have issues if the goalies were making the routine stops, but it would be a start. As I mentioned earlier, they're chasing too many games.
They did have a very good opportunity to build on last year. Armstrong made some decisions in bringing Hitch back (a move that led to the loss of Shaw and Muller), not giving Backes an extra year, and naming Allen the No. 1 and trading Elliott, that certainly deserve to be scrutinized. I know there were probably people who disagreed with these decisions when they were made and there are probably some second-guessers out there. I believe that Armstrong saw himself here for a while and was trying to make the decisions that benefited the team in the long run, rather than just focus on building off last season. That might sound like a contradiction, but to me there's a distinct difference. It would have been easier to make some of those decisions with only this season in mind.
Tough to tell right now because they're in third place by two points. If you can make the playoffs this year, regardless of what you're chances are to go deep, you've got to make a push. But check back with me in a couple of weeks.
I think it's confidence issues. After last night's game, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said he was rooting for him and that goalies don't like to see each other go through "mental struggles."
And we'll end it there. Thanks everybody for coming. I appreciate you adjusting your schedule today to accommodate my traveling. Chat with you soon.