Hello to one and all. Hope you're enjoying the holiday season. Blues return to action Friday against old "friend" Winnipeg following the 3-day Christmas break. World Juniors are underway today _ Blues prospect Nikita Alexandrov had an assist today for Russia in its opener.. What's on your minds today?
Blais suffered the injury in the first Tampa Bay game, Nov. 19, and underwent surgery a couple days later. It was said at the time he would be evaluated in 10 weeks. He's only about halfway there. The 10-week milestone doesn't arrive until the end of January, while the Blues are in the midst of a Western Canada trip that takes them to Vancouver (Jan. 27), Calgary (Jan. 28), Edmonton (Jan. 31) and Winnipeg (Feb. 1). So if all is going well, perhaps Blais accompanies them on the trip and practices. Wrist injuries can be lingering _ see Carl Gunnarsson last year. So we'll see. But since Blais is still five weeks away, I haven't asked anyone on the Blues about his progress.
I think Tampa Bay had 4 all-stars last year. But yeah, I think the Blues should easily get 3 on the 11-man Central Division team. At this point, I'd say Pietrangelo, Binnington, and one of these three forwards (Schenn, Perron, O'Reilly). Maybe they get 4 (in the form of a second forward) if they stay on top in the West. And aided by the fact that the Central Division has only 7 teams (compared to 8 teams in the other three divisions). With each team guaranteed one spot, that still leaves four spots up for grabs in the Central. And yes, if the Blues are still on top in the Central _ and there are 11 Blues games between now and the all-star break _ Berube would coach the Central.
He certainly has at this point. His speed has created opportunities, even when it hasn't shown up directly on Kyrou's scoresheet. An example of that was the slashing penalty he drew in the first period against the LA Kings that resulted in a power play goal by Jaden Schwartz.
I think Babcock was canned because the team wasn't coming close to living up to the high expectations it entered the season with. (Kind of an Eastern Conference version of Mike Yeo's firing a year ago.) The anti-Babcock stuff surfaced only after he was fired. As for Montgomery _ am I missing something? I haven't seen any details about his dismissal.
While obviously trying to win every game, Berube and staff are doing everything for the long haul. And that means keeping Binnington fresh. Keep in mind, he played in 74 games last season _ 16 for San Antonio, 32 regular-season games with the Blues and 26 Stanley Cup playoff games. Also, it makes no sense not to use Allen more often considering how he's currently playing. He's one of the hottest goalies in the NHL.
Faulk is playing very well lately, particularly since he's been reunited with Alex Pietrangelo. He has 4 points in his last 5 games (1G, 3A). He's also plus-4 in those five games. I think he's looking more like the 3-time all-star defenseman the Blues traded for.
Agreed. The only caveats would be 1.) the Blues incur additional medium_ to long-term injuries to core players, or 2.) the Blues go into an extended scoring drought.
Well, actually Hall has had 5 seasons of more than 20 goals, but did so only once as a member of the New Jersey Devils. Perhaps that's what you were referring to. Yes, Hall would've been expensive, especially as a rental. Also consider that In terms of top-end prospects, the Blues are a little light after dispatching first-rounders as part of the Schenn, O'Reilly and Faulk trades. Ideally, I think they'd like to hang onto first-round picks in the near future. A lot can happen between now and the trade deadline _ 22 Blues games to be exact. Lastly, one of the best moves Armstrong made last year was doing nothing at the trade deadline. (OK, there was the Del Zotto deal, but you get my point.) The team concept is very important to the Blues _ it helped get them the Cup last season.
With 3 defensmen age 30 or over (Bouwmeester 36, Gunnarsson 33, and Bortuzzo 30), I'd think the answer would be yes. Plus, at the moment you don't know if Pietrangelo stays or goes. Offensive-minded D-men are at a premium, and keep in mind Dunn is not yet arbitration eligible which should limit his earning power to a degree. As for earning power, let's assume Dunn ends up with 10-plus goals again. While realizing I don't have the best feel for these things, I'm gonna say $2 million or more.
Team is leaving pretty early in the morning, early enough to start a morning skate before noon. Flight isn't as long as you'd think _ about 2 hours 15 minutes. There is no snow in the forecast Friday _ sunny and cold. But not brutally cold _ high around 25 degrees F.
I don't have a number for you, but yes Cup rings were given out to others, with the quality of ring dependent on seniority and position.
It could be a tough situation for him for sure. Especially since he just moved his family to St. Louis. Don't think anything has to be done until Blais returns at the end of January/early February. And that assumes there are no other injuries. Not sure if he'd play for San Antonio if no one claims him.
Yeah and Sundqvist ended up getting penalized on the play. The couple of times I have tried to get a response from the leagues on such matters _ I've gotten no response.
Specifically, I couldn't tell you. In general, he's an adviser and consultant to Doug Armstrong. I believe Armstrong likes having people around to bounce ideas off, pick their brains, etc. I see him frequently _ on the road, at practice, etc.
Interesting. Maybe this season _ or half a season _ is an outlier. But it seems as if the Sharks are heading mediocrity's way, with some roster-building needed in the near future.
It should be noted, that in the official stats handed out to the media after games by the NHL, there are only shots on goal, blocked shots, and missed shots listed. So to my knowledge _ and perhaps someone on here with more hockey experience can provide some insight _ the "scoring chance" is kind of an unofficial/official stat. The most widely recognized definition entails an area from the top of the circles (and inside the dots), kind of tailoring in as you get closer to the net. It's frequently described as a home-plate shaped area. As to who makes the determination, I'm not sure if it's kept by the NHL's official stat crew present at all games.
Interesting that Faulk has a no-trade clause, but not a no-move clause, so when the expansion draft comes around, he could be exposed. Dunn's playing time is down a little this season as Berube tries to make sure Pietrangelo, Parayko, Bouwmeester and Faulk all get their 20 minutes or more. Dunn still has occasional trouble getting the puck out of his own end _ not sure he's improved much if at all here compared to last season. But he's still only 23, had plenty of upside, and lots of offensive skill. I like the fact that he's not afraid to shot, a quality that isn't necessarily widespread throughout the lineup. He's a very good skater. And over this season and last, he's been among the Blues' leaders in plus-minus at plus-14 last year and at plus-11 already this year. The fact that he's the Blues' fifth defenseman shows how talented this D-corp truly is..
He's been back in the San Antonio lineup for a while. (Unless I've missed a more recent injury.)
Blues have been patient with Sanford. He'll show occasional flashes then level off. Wonder if they'll remain patient. He plays good defense. But Berube has said on more than one occasion that he wants to see more intensity, more urgency in his game on a nightly basis.But I would keep him over Brouwer and de la Rose if that comes down to be your options.