Hello again everybody, and welcome to the all-star week edition of the Blues chat. What's on your mind today?
Funny, we were just talking about that here in the office after taping a Net Front Presence podcast. Obviously, the two Colorado games put Binnington's goals-against for the month out of whack. But even overall for the season, his goals-against is up about 6/10th of a goal over last season, which is a lot. Now, no one expected Binnington to repeat his 1.89 performance of a year ago, but. . . .So I don't know if we should worry or not. The Blues play two sets of back-to-backs on the western Canada trip right after the break, so I would assume we'd see Allen twice. Right now, to me, Binnington doesn't seem quite as confident as usual on the ice.
Not really. I think a couple of us have speculated that it's shoulder related since we haven't really seen Parayko rip into one of his 100 MPH-plus slapshots in practice. But that's purely speculation.
Good question, but I don't think the all-star break will result in much wear-and-tear since the game is in St. Louis, so there's no travel involved. Overall, Berube has been very in tune this year, it seems to me, of the need to keep his team fresh _ whether it be more days off or optionals on non-game days, or less minutes in games where the Blues have a comfortable lead. Interesting you should mention this, because I was just comparing ice time this season to ice time last season. O'Reilly is exactly the same at 20:46. Perron's playing time is up 1:27 per game _ to 18:33. Pietrangelo's is up only 5 seconds per game, to 24:08. The month of February will be key here, with the Blues playing 15 games in 29 days.
The songs were played at a practice open to the public a while back, the practice at Centene where the Blues went outside for a while. Our Tom Timmermann recalls that there was some Fleetwood Mac and Steve Miller Band played at that practice.
Sounds like you're making excuses.
I guess the best coaches can adjust their coaching style/philosophy to the talent on hand. And in the case of Berube's style, I think the emphasis is more on playing defense, checking and puck possession, than hits or even blocked shots. And those would seem to be almost universal attributes that you'd desire in a team. For all the talk about the Blues being a physical team, they are 21st in hits this season (977) in the NHL. They are 30th in blocked shots (562). I do think that Berube has a clear vision of what he wants his team's identity to look like, and has been adept at getting his players to understand and buy into that vision.
If you're replacing Dunn with Mikkola you're not really talking about the same type of player. Dunn is a puck-mover and offensive threat. That's not Mikkola, at least not at this point. He's more of the old school, stay-at-home defensive defenseman. And I'm wondering if trading Dunn for a rental in Kreider would be giving up too much.
Colorado's only six points behind the Blues at this point, so if anyone can do it I think it'd be the Avalanche. I really don't see anyone in the Pacific doing so.
Right now, the Berube message still seems fresh. He's also gotten players such as Barbashev and Sundqvist and even Thomas to evolve their games into what he's looking for. Sundqvist certainly wasn't a physical player at first, certainly not to the degree he is now.
True. And really, if you look at his numbers compared to the other workhorse goalies, the ones that already have 30-plus starts, they stack up pretty well.
Not entirely sure, but I think that gets decided tomorrow.
You're probably right. You'd think there would be some coattail effect from all the St. Louis votes.
Berube also likes the fact that Mikkola keeps the game simple. He doesn't try to do too much and has a good idea of what his game's supposed to look like. I think Berube would like for Mikkola to improve his puck-moving skills. Keep in mind, that after the trade deadline _ or in just a month _ rosters can be expanded beyond the 23-man limit, so you could see some callups. We could see Mikkola and maybe Kostin as late-season callups. Kostin is heating it up in San Antonio lately with 6 goals and 4 assists over his last 10 games. As for Brouwer, it looks like he's been odd man out for a while.
That's an interesting thought. Thomas has been paired with Schwartz and Schenn in nine games this season (not counting in-game line changes), but mainly as a wing and not a center. Also, the Bozak-Thomas chemistry has been so good lately, I'm not sure Berube wants to mess with it. Now, how that gets Kyrou on the ice, especially with Blais' return nearing, I'm not sure.
I had not heard that (about Tarasenko skating), but it wouldn't surprise me since he's nearly three months removed from shoulder surgery. But I don't really have an update _ haven't asked about him in a couple, three weeks.
I don't have a really good feel for this, but I'd guess somewhere in the $9 million to $10 million range. And believe it or not, it's not every hockey player's dream to play in Toronto _ even players who are from Toronto. Some would rather avoid that fishbowl.
Playoffs, and 33 regular-season games. I'm not sure what the fan base would think if Pietrangelo left. Any thoughts out there fan base?
I've only covered one all-star game previously in my life and that was the Pro Bowl after the Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV years ago. So I'm looking forward to everything about it _ the alumni game, skills contest and all-star game (or more accurately, all-star tournament). I watched most of the game and skills contest last year, and I thought it was all pretty entertaining.
I'll put it this way, the other day Perron asked me if I'd made a New Year's resolution. I said yes, the same one I make every year: To lose weight. Hockey season is rough on the fitness program.