OK, here we are. Blues didn't start practice until 11:30 a.m., so it was a sprint to get this thing started close to 1 p.m. following locker room interviews. Thomas at center, McGinn gone, Brouwer lives another day. Blais injured. Only 6 minutes for Kostin last night. Maroon gets his ring, Do Blues have enough offense? What about Kyrou? Let's get going.
The No. 1 line? That could be a few years down the road. Remember Schenn and O'Reilly are also under contract for many more years. For Thomas, the immediate goal is to stay at center for the near future. That pass was unbelievable by Thomas. He was literally looking in the stands when he made it (or at least that's where his face was looking). How about this for next season? A KId LIne of Kostin-Thomas-Kyrou?
Thanks for the kind words. I try to humanize the players and coaches as much as possible. I also thought it was interesting that although the players clearly have respect for Berube, they're also clear that his coaching style is demanding.. It's no picnic. But obviously the rewards can be great.
McGinn has been released from his PTO (professional tryout). He was not at practice today. Brouwer is still around and did practice Wednesday. If you recall, McGinn came in a day earlier than Brouwer so his 10-day trial ended Wednesday. Brouwer's doesn't end until Thursday.
Over the long term, I agree with you. Over the short term, any exposure to the NHL is of great benefit for Kostin. Just being around the NHL scene, seeing how the players prepare, practice, study video, etc. And also seeing what the pace and tempo is not only of games but of practice. But yeah, the guy needs more than than 6 minutes a game. I asked Berube less than an hour ago about the playing time vs. Tampa; Berbue says it was on him, not anything that Kostin did or didn't do against the Lightning. Berube frequently shortens his lines in tight games _ basically using just three _ in close games. And this season, the vast majority of games have been close. The Blues, by the way, are 9-0-5 in one-goal games. Berbue said he went to three lines much of Tuesday's game.
The most interesting thing that Tarasenko said when we talked to him after the Minnesota/western Canada trip was that it wasn't the same type of injury this time. The inference I took from that is that this one wasn't as serious as the last surgery _ which was said by the Blues to be a total recontruct. We'll see.
He came back early last time. But even then it was about 5 full months. Also, if they can wait until the playoffs, assuming the Blues make the playoffs, there are no cap ramifications in terms of any players they might sign in his absence.
We have an interesting relationship. It's all in fun. I like that he's different than most hockey players. Never quite sure what he's going to say. Last night, I got the distinct impression that he wasn't happy about the official stat sheet listing Tampa Bay with just 18 shots on goal. I've joked with him that I've been unwittingly responsible for helping him establish his brand. ("Do I look nervous?, etc.") I'm squirreling away some of his memorable quotes, and when it reaches 10 gems, we're going to publish a list on Stltoday.com and get ready feedback. I'm at about 6-7 now.
OK, I'm going to take a 5-10 minute break to do a cameo on the Net Front Presence podcast with Gordon and Timmermann. Please be patient. Keep the questions coming _ my goal every time I'm on the chat is to answer each and every one. Be back soon. . . ..
OK, I'm back. Thanks for you patience. Here we go.
I have told them they look like pads Darth Vader would wear. He told me they were Navy blue and not black. At least he wasn't wearing sunglasses during pregame. I'm sure we'll see them again in a game.
Couldn';t agree more. And I think we all would agree, Norris voters are influenced by point totals. How different are things this year for Petro than a year ago at this time when he was struggling and a lot of you _ no names _ wanted him to be traded. His play this year reminds me of how he started the '17-18 season _ my first year on the beat _ and before he was injured in Detroit in early January. What I'm noticing too is some of the defensive work Pietrangelo is doing, sometimes little subtle things _ to gain possession or stop a scoring chance. Right now, at least he'd get in the all-star game, right here in St. Louis..
I just think it was one of those nights when the Blues weren't very decisive in their puck movement. It's almost as if they lapsed back to some of their bad habits of last year. We all know power play numbers ebb and flow, but the Blues are currently in a 1-for-14 slide on the PP over their past four games.
Barry. Good to hear from you. It was nice meeting you last year in Tampa. That was a great game (the 1-0 Blues OT win early in their 11-game win streak) and a very good atmosphere. I am making that trip. As for the PTOs, one of them (McGinn) is now gone. And Kostin is still around. That could be partly to do with Blais' injury status.
Yes, the NHL does do random drug-testing, although I'm not familiar with the specifics of the policy. And yes, I think would think in theory, some users/abusers should be caught.
Steen was supposed to be re-evaluated in four weeks, which would have him back sometime during the first week of December. (The injury occurred Nov. 6 in Edmonton.) Again, there's no guarantee he'll be back in that time. High-ankle sprains can take longer. It's hard to imagine Kostin staying with the Blues if he's just going to get 6, 7, 8 minutes a game. I would guess Brouwer signs with the Blues. As to what happens when Steen returns, or when the Blues feel Kyrou is ready for the NHL, I guess that's a concern for another day.
Agreed, I think most of his teammates have learned or are learning to keep their sticks down and be ready for the puck when the Blues are in the offensive zone. Sundqvist said last night that he's learned to get Thomas the puck as quickly as possible on possessions because of Thomas' speed up the ice and puck-handling ability. However, I still think Thomas needs to look for his own shot more often.
Well, you're going to see those throwbacks I think it's 3 times this season, so sorry about that. When I talked to Matthew Tkachuk in Calgary on that Blues road trip, he made it crystal clear: It all starts with the defense and the goaltending with the Blues. Their D-corps is very good, and maybe a little underrated in the overall hockey world. And with a guy like Binnington in goal you've got to feel that you've got a chance to win every night. (Allen seems to have found a groove in his last two games as well.) The question is, can they generate enough offense over the long haul without Tarasenko. And if they lose another core offensive player for an extended period due to injury, they could have a problem.
I do think Kostin is making the most of this. He was so excited to get the callup and get even a little taste of the big leagues. Blais got crunched into the boards in the second period against Tampa, but returned to the game pretty quickly after missing only about 4 minutes of clock time. It looked like some kind of upper-body issue to me. While he was on the ice he seemed to be favoring an arm. After practice, Berube only said that Blais was getting checked out Wednesday, and that for now he's considered day-to-day.
I'd get you in touch with our Post-Dispatch ad person, but my fear is that you wouldn't pay your bill.
You could be right, but I haven't really noticed that. I have noticed that he's blocking a lot of shots this year. He's been the team leader or tied for the team lead in blocks at least seven games this year. I'm sure Berube has talked to him about being more aggressive _ that's something Berube wants in all his players across the board. And no, I would not want to be in the way of a Parayko slap shot.
And Columbus and Calgary twice as well. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the NHL schedule. Personally, I like it when the Blues play the same team twice in a relatively short period.