Hello again everybody. Allen in goal tonight in Chicago per @tomtimm, who's on this trip. Bouwmeester, Maroon back in the lineup. What's on our mind today?
Tarasenko is averaging nearly a point a game this season _ 14 points in 15 games. I think he has been engaged and pretty active overall. Parayko has made two glaring mistakes (Montreal and 2nd Minnesota game), but next to Edmundson I think he's been the Blues' most consistent defender (not counting Gunnarsson in that evaluation yet because he hasn't been back in the lineup that long.) As for Allen, this situation has reached critical mass very quickly. He gets another chance tonight against Chicago.
I don't think the Blues need offensive help right now; they need defense.
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That's an interesting question. Yes, he's on the third pairing with Edmundson. Now Edmundson wasn't getting third pairing minutes since he's been on the 3rd D, he has been getting his usual 19, 20 minutes a game. But the player Bouwmeester is replacing was getting limited minutes. (Jordan Schmaltz). But I would guess Bouwmeester also is on the PK, which could lead to extra minutes.
Have heard no talk of this. It's not something you normally do in the middle off a season.
I get where you're coming from on Bouwmeester, and this could be a decision that eventually is costly in terms of Yeo's job security. But did you see Schmaltz against Minnesota on Sunday? Not very impressive. With Maroon, I like what they're doing with him: Fourth line and I would assume power play duties where he has been impressive and productive (6 assists). Me personally, I would've gone back to Johnson tonight and used Allen over the weekend. You're going to need Allen at some point. Of the three goals allowed by Johnson, I would say the second one was what the players call a "juicy" rebound, something that Allen has been guilty of too often this season. The third goal wasn't an easy save, to be sure, given the turnover. But even Johnson told me after the game he wished he'd made a better read on the play.
He has two years left at $4.35 million a year after this season, a relatively modest amount in this day and age. So I don't think that necessarily precludes a trade. And Doug Armstrong did put it right out there at the season-ending media session last April that 2018-19 would be a key year for Allen.
The return of Bortuzzo will help. Edmundson has that in him. Parayko has been more aggressive this season, but still needs to turn it up a couple of notches there. Puck movers seem to be more in vogue on the blue line these days.
I thought Allen had played better than his numbers indicated earlier in the season but his game had started to slide a little bit in his last couple of starts before Johnson took over. The Blues appear to have tightened up in the back end over the last few days _ obviously with a few hiccups in there still. Let's see how Allen does now that the defense appears to have tightened up some. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would've gone with Johnson tonight against Chicago and come back with Allen over the weekend. But again, you're going to need Allen over the course of the season. The early returns on Johnson are encouraging, no one's saying he's the Carter Hutton of backups, but he looks steady, reliable, it's clear the team (and coaches) have confidence with him on the ice. Overall, I agree with what one of our columnists _ Ben Frederickson _ wrote last week; namely, that Yeo shouldn't worry about bruising egos in making lineup decisions, he just needs to worry about what's best for the team in terms of getting victories.
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You make a lot of good points. The Blues have a lot of veterans in the room that can lend some leadership.
All you have to do is look at that picture I took of Sundqvist's face a day or two after the hit. Wilson's hit was totally unnecessary, particularly in a preseason game. I was perplexed that the league reduced the suspension.
I get where you're coming from, but he's perked up lately.
I noticed yesterday that Walman was a scratch for the Rampage. I don't think he's injured. He's minus-7 for the season, tied for fourth-worst on the team. I believe the other person you're referring to is Niko Mikkola. On a 4-12 team, he is plus-6; no one else on the team is better than plus-1, which is a good sign. He's a big guy, and he picked up a fighting major Tuesday against Manitoba, which I've gotta think isn't a bad thing.
I think this is the season in which that gets decided I believe there's still plenty of potential for the guy, But at age 25, he's at that stage where you should be getting beyond prospect status. With the contracts of Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson both expiring at the end of the year, this is a big season for him to establish a foothold in the league.
As I mentioned earlier, Parayko is doing better on this front. But still needs to turn it up there.
Sorry, I clicked two questions here without answering. First to SCTDOG: Yes, I think the overall signs are trending upward on defense. First 9 games, Blues had a defensive goals-allowed average of 4.00, tied for worst in the league. Next 6 games, 2.50 games allowed, ninth-best in the league. But the key as you know is consistency, day after day, week after week.
Well, Edmundson's in the lineup. And so is Maroon. Minnesota and San Jose (the 2 games Maroon was a healthy scratch) aren't really physical teams. Chicago can be. Maybe that factored into the decision.
Sorry, WINNING CARDS, I skipped over your question. I'm not astute enough in the ways of hockey to know how big a deal it is going righty-righty or lefty-lefty. Obviously now he's going lefty-lefty with Bouwmeester and Edmundson on the same pairing. As for the power play, I think Petro's picked up his game lately. But I think Parayko has been much more accurate in terms of getting his shots on net this year (at least compared to last season).
It just doesn't seem to be in Parayko's personality. But I've watched every second of every game this season _ and often twice (re-watching parts or all of many games on TV) _ and Parayko has been more physical. He has not been a pylon. As I mentioned earlier, he's made a couple off glaring errors. But my opinion is that he's been the team's most consistent defenseman this season other than Edmundson. He's plus-4, fourth-best on team behind O'Relly, Edmundson, Sanford.
I'd try asking Gordo this one on his Friday chat. He's more qualified on this than I am. But I've asked Yeo and a couple of the defenseman about this _ and they say there's no difference in the system between this year and last.