Hello again everybody. Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year's. What's on your mind today?
It's difficult to look at it any other way at this point. It looked like the team was finally gaining some traction at the start of the homestand, and then Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers happened. I don't have many contacts around the league in the hockey world, but I was talking to a scout the other day (from another team), and he expressed what many fans and many media members are feeling about this team this season. He thought the Blues would be a much-improved team this season and isn't sure why it hasn't happened.
I don't think St. Louis getting the all-star game will have any impact on Coach Q's decision, if that's what you mean. But obviously, it would be a coup to get a coach of Quenneville's stature to return to St. Louis. Given all the moves that took place last season, and the fact that the Blues are spending to the cap, I don't think you can question management's commitment to putting a better team on the ice. But it hasn't happened this season so I think it's only logical to assume that more moves will be made.
I'm not sure on what Philly might give. I haven't developed a real sense of that in the NHL yet _ just being honest. Do you think that would be enough in return as compensation? And the problem with that is who then becomes your goalie. Do you have confidence in BInnington and Husso (who's now hurt)? And if you're trading primarily for draft picks, doesn't that mean you're conceding to a total rebuild _ one that might take a few years? How would that sit with the fan base?
Haven't seen Stillman around as much this season. I could be wrong, I'm not sure that reporters around town who bring up "poison in the locker room" really know what's going on. But it does seem clear the chemistry is not working with this group and maybe it's time to consider shaking up the leadership group. But if you're going to jettison a Pietrangelo, Steen or Tarasenko you have to get something in return. You can't just throw them overboard and get little to nothing in return. So I think that's part of the issue facing Doug Armstrong.
I think sending down Butler has more to do with the fact that Gunnarsson is healthy than any exodus. For the first time all season, the Blues will have their top 8 defensemen all available. As for the roster spot created by Nolan's demotion, I think the logical players to call up would be either Kyrou or Sanford. But I don't think you call them up to play fourth-line minutes. So who gets moved down if Kyrou/Sanford is called up? (Assuming there is no trade of a veteran.) Maroon? Steen?
I find it more interesting that you've asked this question. Too much egg nog? (I kid.)
It's just been 2 games. Two games where the Blues have played with a lot of energy and had tons of good chances. We'll see.
I believe it's currently 5 p.m. in Rio de Janeiro.
Personally, I think you find a place for Kyrou and Sanford as soon as possible. Again, the tricky question is who do they replace? At the very latest, I think you wait until the all-star break/Blues bye week, and if the team hasn't begun to make a move by then, you've got to make something happen.
I'm not there yet on Tarasenko. When you talk about goals dropping for three years in a row, we're talking about going from 40 to 39 to 33. Not exactly falling off a cliff there. Now, I agree that this year is different if this current pace continues. My theory is that his shoulder hasn't been quite there all season. I mentioned earlier in the season on this chat that I saw it wrapped (in ice, I presume) after a game earlier this season. That was a pretty quick recovery from surgery _ 5 months _ and there have been a lot of games where he has been passing instead of shooting. I'm not saying that's the only factor but I wonder about that. I asked Berube about Tarasenko's shoulder today and he said he didn't think it was an issue.
Point taken. But that adds another level to the machinations. Easier said than done.
Last year, Buffalo had the worst record in the league and their odds of getting No. 1 overall was 18.5 percent. Now they did end up with the No. 1 overall pick (Rasmus Dahlin), but those are pretty long odds.
Well, I would think goaltending is an issue, although Allen has played much better since mid November. If I'm Armstrong, I kinda want to see how this season plays out for Allen before doing anything with him. I'm sure some disagree with that. Part of it has to do with who gets traded. For the sake of argument, let's say Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson are both gone after this year with their contracts expiring and then Petro is traded. Then, I would think you need some defensive help. Up front, how much faith do you have in Kostin or even Sanford that they can be the power forward of the future? If it's not as early as next year, then you need to look for someone like that because it's hard to imagine Maroon being back next season.
Berube said it was a maintenance day. I later heard (second hand) that he was sick.
And that's exactly where I think the Blues and Doug Armstrong are at. . . ."something needs to be changed or something needs to be drilled into these guys' heads."
No, they haven't said what the perfect center would be for him. Schenn seemed to work pretty well with him last season, wouldn't you say?
I thought it was possible until the last two losses. This team seems incapable of mounting any kind of winning streak. We're almost at the midseason point. What makes us think it will happen at all? That's where my skepticism comes in.
Actually, Berglund's rehab/recovery time was six months and he scored nine of those 17 goals over the last 3 1/2 weeks of the season.
I think there's something to be said for this. He always seems to dust the puck off as the players say before he shoots. I can recall him shooting only a couple of one-timers in games since I've been on the beat.
This is an interesting question. First off, the last thing you want to do is inherit another team's problems. I know it's not an easy thing to do, but if you're the Blues you try to find out as much as you can about Benn and Seguin. Are they good leaders? Good teammates? Any problems? Etc. The other thing would be cap consideration and term. Both Benn and Sequin are more expensive than Tarasenko and Petro _ and have longer-term contracts. Benn has a cap hit of $9.5 million annually through 2024-25 season. He turns 30 in July. Starting next season, Seguin has a cap hit of $9.85 million annually through 2026-27. He turns 27 at the end of this month. Seguin has a partial no movement clause (15 teams). I think Benn has a full no movement clause. Tarasenko's cap hit is $7.5 million a year through the 2022-23 season. He's 27 and doesn't appear to have any kind of no trade or no movement clause. Pietrangelo, who turns 29 later this month, has a cap hit of $6.5 million a year, but his contract expires after next season. He has a no trade clause. This data is from capfriendly.com. So in theory Petro (especially) and Tarasenko wouldn't be quite as attractive because their contracts expire sooner than Benn and Seguin, but they would be more attractive in theory because they will come cheaper.