Last in the league in the playoffs around 46 percent. It's got to be better. The Blues were 13th in the league at 50 percent in the regular season, so it can be better. They obviously played without Stastny for much of the first series, so having him is going to help. But it's the other centers that aren't winning the same number they won in the regular season, that's hurting the Blues. Hey, everything is tougher in the playoffs, but the Blues have to be better. I try to give some insight on what the Blues can do in a lot of areas, or at least what they're telling me, but I don't know what to say about the faceoffs. There's nothing I can tell everybody about how they can improve and the coaches and players aren't offering anything either.
OK, the Blues are coming off the ice, so I'm going to head to the locker room for some interview. It could take as long as 30 minutes, but I promise I'll come back and take a handful more of your questions when I return ...
Just finished in the locker room ... we'll get re-started in a minute or two.
Here is the update from the interviews: Yeo confirms that Barbashev is in tonight for Paajarvi. The coaches have liked the way players have responded to being out of the lineup and they think they'll get the same response from Barbashev.
The lines then will be: Schwartz-Stastny-Tarasenko, Steen-Berglund-Perron, Barbashev-Lehtera-Sobotka, Upshall-Brodziak-Reaves
Yeo said that Paajarvi bounced back and a had "great" Game 5. He feels there were a number of guys in Game 1 against Nashville that weren't up to speed and up to the battle level that the team wanted and Paajarvi was one of those guys. Yeo said he'll be fine, it was Game 1 after a layoff and the team still has tons of confidence in Paajarvi.
You could move Barbashev to the middle, leave Sobotka on the left and Paajarvi on the right, so that would work. Yeo said he likes the face that Barbashev-Sobotka-Lehtera are three interchangeable parts who can all play down low.
I have not heard a long-term prognosis. We did talk to Bortuzzo today and he said it that he was just looking to impeded Fiala's progress, poke the puck off his stick. He said it was a terribly unfortunate result to a play, that it's a tough sport and wished him the best in his recovery.
I thought for the most part, Bouwmeester was good in the first series. He's obviously had a tough Game 1. That play before the game-winning goal may be a tough play, backing in and trying to slip the puck out of the zone past two Predators, but it's one that's got to get made. Having said that, if Allen stops the puck, we're not talking about it. I don't think management is frustrated at all with Bouwmeester.
I didn't see it as being dirty.
Well, Sobotka is 50 percent on 40 faceoffs in these playoffs, Lehtera 46.7 (30) and Barbashev 42 (50), so no one is really tearing it up.
Despite saying the other day that he hoped to be skating with the team soon, he's still not skating in practice. In case anyone missed it, he has a lower-body injury.
I have not seen him away from the ice in awhile. I believe, though, he's getting better.
They've done that before, not a lot, but they have. It seems to me the Predators have more of a shooting mentality on the power play. Of their 32 shots in Game 1, 13 were on the PP. I'll be writing about this in the blog, so I'll let you know how their numbers compare to the Blues in the playoffs. The Blues need to shoot more, whether it's Parayko, Pietrangelo, Tarasenko, whomever.
It started out that way, with how the two goalies performed in the first round, but while they were good, seven goals was a lot. The semi-gloss probably faded a bit, especially with Allen's misplay on the game-winner. They are still a storyline, but I think the Predators' top line and the potential that Tarasenko brings are probably garnering more attention.
We just talked to Yeo about this and he said they're not competing hard enough in the circle. He said a faceoff is a one-on-one battle, you vs. him, and players can't take past success into the circle with them. Each faceoff is a new one and the Blues need to compete a lot harder, Yeo said.
I don't think so. I don't recall him ever being gun-shy in the past.
I don't think so. Remember they lost that game to the Blues on April 2, putting them in the wildcard spot. They didn't fold then. They got better. The mentality they showed in the sweep over Chicago shows they're stronger than that. They seem to be a pretty mature bunch.
OK, a few more questions and then I'm going to join forces with Mr. Tom Timmermann and crank out the blog.
I don't always see (or really hear) the broadcast, so I don't know. Not sure what others think. But from my perspective, you've got to earn it. It seems to me, the Blues have gotten what they've deserved.
No, still not practicing.
They say they're going to make adjustments tonight. Yeo said that in the last game, the Blues got uncharacteristically out of control and tried to get into some situations where they were chasing. He said they've looked at some tape and they're ready to adjust, but realizes Nashville might make some adjustments, too. It's all a chess match.
Any building with bar signs or menus. There are touristy bars like Toosties and Legends, and less packed places like the Flying Saucer. As far as food, I've always recommended Jacks BBQ. Three-meat platter, and the reason I get that one is because they don't have a four-meat platter.
Time to work, thanks for adjusting your schedule today to join me. Enjoy the game and I'll chat with you next week.