Hello again everybody. I can't believe this has happened. Can you? I'm sure you enjoyed last night. Let's get to it. . . .
OK, I'm already out of order _ on the first question no less. But as to how the Blues defend Boston, the only change in the Blues' defensive pairings would be if Vince Dunn returns to the lineup. Then I'd think you'd see him on the third pairing with Robert Bortuzzo. The Blues have played two top 10 offenses in the playoffs in San Jose (2nd in regular-season goal scoring) and Winnipeg (7th). And performed wel, obviously against both. So I don't think they'll reinvent the wheel for Boston. So it'll be Edmundon-Pietrangelo and Bouwmeester-Parayko. You know the Blues' identity by now. They will try to play their heavy, physical game and get after it on the forecheck.
Yeah, I haven't done the research on the stat you're referring to, but I've heard that's the case. Long layoffs seem to hurt teams in the Cup finals. We'll see how this plays out.
Have not seen Kostin around at all. He may be training on his own. I believe Poganski was w/the team early, but haven't seen him lately. I believe the goalie Coreau, who also was with the Aces at the start, is no longer around. But I have seen Reinke, Nolan, Husso, Butler, and Thorburn.
I haven't had time yet to study the Bruins. And as you know, the Blues only played them twice. But I don't see any obvious weaknesses. Goalie Tuukka Rask probably is the Conn Smythe Trophy winner at this point. (W/Jaden Schwartz second.) They have scoring depth. We talk frequently about the Blues' scoring depth. To wit: In the playoffs, 18 of the 21 Blues skaters to appear in the playoffs have at least one goal. Well, 19 of the 22 Bruins skaters to appear in the playoffs have at least one goal. The Bruins play a heavy style like the Blues. Of course we all know about their 30 goal scorers: Pastrnak, Marchand, Bergeron. I'm sure we'll delve into the Bruins more as this week goes on _ either myself or some on our staff.
I was told second-hand by someone that it's not a broken jaw, but have been unable to confirm that. I was told however that he had some concussion symptoms. Again unable to confirm that. There's obviously some broken teeth and stitches. We'll seek an update when the team returns to practice.
I thought Pietrangelo played well in the first two rounds of the playoffs. In fact, a reporter from the hockey capital of the world, Toronto, contacted me on Pietrangelo because he was doing a story on Conn Smythe trophy candidates after 2 rounds. We all know Pietrangelo didn't have the best third round, but he improved a lot in the last two games and was really strong last night I thought. And oh by the way, he has set a Blues playoff record for most points by a D-man in a single postseason (13). Parayko has an occasional hiccup and that was especially true in the early season, but I said on more than once occasion in the regular season _ be it here, on our Net Front Presence podcast or in print _ that I thought he was the Blues' most consistent D-man. How many goals has he saved with great stick work in the crease? At least a half-dozen. The way he's played down the stretch of the regular season and in the playoffs I think hes a burgeoning star. A lot of teams would be drooling over the chance to have him on their squad. Keys for the series? For the Blues, keep playing your game. Stay true to your identity. Try to solve Rask. I know that's not exactly earth-shattering insight. But it usually takes me a couple of games into a series to get a read on the other team _ in part because I'm still relatively new to the sport.
You could see Schenn's game building at the end of the Dallas series. I thought he was a beast in overtime of Game 7 against the Stars. And he had a lot of chances in the San Jose series and finally cashed in last night. O'Reilly does have 14 points in the playoffs (albeit on 3 goals). Only 8 players in the playoffs have more. The Blues depth has carried them a long way all season and in the playoffs. But if O'Reilly and Schenn really got going _ look out.
Well, it's my second year on the beat. But yes. It's nice covering a winner. After all, it's been a minute as the kids say, since the Greatest Show on Turf.
Well for the most part Bouwmeester and Parayko have been drawing the opposing team's top line_ although that's not for 100 percent of the game. I wouldn't expect that to change w/Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak. On the reverse side, I'm not sure how Boston will use its D-pairings against the Blues forwards. You might ask Jeff Gordon on his Friday chat. He's much better on the hockey Xs and Os.
Great question. Fabbri's speed can be such an asset He's a restricted free agent after this season. My opinion is don't give up on him just yet. Kyrou will be given every chance to make the club. Remember, he did out of camp this season, before being sent down. Again, you're talking about another speedy player _ I think with more speed than Fabbri. But Kyrou has to work on his puck possession and his play away from the puck. (Defense, etc.) And he also is dealing with an injury. I didn't see it, but someone in the media told be they saw him on crutches at Enterprise recently. I'm told his has a kneecap injjury that will take a while to recover from.
I've wondered that, too. Sometimes they do, but not very often. Maybe they don't want to miss a play (and a potential call) by playing groundskeeper.
I don't think so. It looks very much like Berube and Armstrong have a gentleman's agreement. They also seem to have a strong relationship. I can remember Armstrong telling me as early as late January how much he liked Berube's personality and coaching style. If you're Berube, after building this up _ and having so much familiarity w/the players, including those you coached with the Chicago Wolves _ why would you want to leave just for greener pastures. Also, if memory servers me correct I think Edmonton is the only team with a head coach vacancy.
Again, I could be wrong but I think it's too early to give up on Fabbri. As for Steen, even with his contributions in the playoffs I still think he might be a candidate for a buyout. He's currently the fourth-highest paid player on the team at $5.75 million _ and that's a lot for a fourth-line winger.
Regardless of the sport, regardless of the level of the sport, you improve your game in the offseason. Sundqvist is a case study in that. As I've written, he's the biggest out-of-nowhere story on the Blues this season _ this side of Jordan Binnington.
Yeah, I believe so. In those occasional games where the Blues have a comfortable lead, Berube wisely limits the minutes of his veteran forwards. To keep them fresh. If you notice, that was the case in Sunday's 5-0 win as well.
Sorry for delay. Lots going on. Lots of calls, texts, planning. But I plan to answer every question here so thanks for your patience.
I just hope he doesn't lick anybody.