Hello again everybody. Good to be back on the chat. let's get to it.
We'll see what the final cuts look like. But right now they have the flexibility to go either way. You could have a Jaskin-Barbashev-Thorburn line. Or as we saw last night, a Barbashev-Thomas-Kyrou line. (And I think all 5 of those guys could make opening-day roster.) Yeo said he specifically wanted the younger guys on that fourth line vs. Washington to see how they responded to playing 8-10 minutes as opposed to 18-20. They looked pretty good. Thomas made some great passes _ I think he needs to look for his shot more. Kyrou and a couple of excellent chances.
Pheonix Copley played the game of his life. And there were a couple of familiar bugaboos as well. Very few rebound chances, not enough of a net-front presence. Yeo from last night: "We didn't do a very good job taking his eyes away."
I know. He looked pretty good last night. Moved well. Was tested on a few occasions. Didn't look rusty. Who knows what the season will bring, but in terms of coming back from injury, I think it was a reassuring performance for Yeo.
I think the view from upper-management _ Doug Armstrong _ is just the opposite. Namely, that the window for being a playoff competitive team _ that is, having the potential to make a playoff run _ is opening again.
I think he makes the opening-day roster and begins the season centering the fourth line. The Blues then can look at him for nine games before deciding if he stays or they send him back to juniors (without it counting a year against his pro contract). In that role, he must adjust to fewer minutes and make the most of each shift. (Although, in theory, he could see additional minutes on the power play or PK.) It looks to me like he's feeling more comfortable. He's an instinctive player, good passer. As I mentioned earlier, he needs to look for his own shot more often. You have to remember, too, he missed out on a decent chunk of offseason training because of that ankle injury he took out of the Memorial Cup tournament. He was a little rusty in Traverse City and I think entering main camp as well.
Appreciate it. Do you mean being able to keep up with the speed of the game? (Yes, getting there). Or the team speed on the ice? (A little bit, we'll see.)
Tarasenko clanged one off the post during a 5-on-3 power play, so there's nothing wrong with his shot that a couple of inches won't cure. I think he's still feeling his way with his new linemates, and still feeling his way on the power play. Physically, he looks fine in terms of the shoulder. Most of the D-men look ready. Allen needs another game to get more comfortable in net (which he'll get Friday against Dallas).Generalizing here, but most of the forwards need more work together.
You'd like to get more than just one on TV, right? Sunday's game vs. Washington is on the NHL Network. But I don't think a majority of major-league baseball exhibition games are televised. In my Rams days, I don't think the home preseason games were on TV most years. Also, where would you put the Blues, because Cardinals games would be on Fox Sports Midwest most nights.
Remember, Bortuzzo is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season as well. But the pipeline looks deeper than maybe we suspected even at the start of camp. Walman looks like he has re-established himself, as you say, as a prospect. With him, it's all about being more reliable, or consistent, on the defensive end. Mikkola has been a revelation. He caught my eye the two games I attended in Traverse City and hasn't looked overmatched at all so far in camp/preseason. And there's Schmaltz as well, who likely begins this season as the 7th defenseman with Gunnarsson not yet ready to play. Originally, I thought maybe Mikkola may be two years away from the NHL. I don't think that's the case now.
I'm not sure Yeo has definitely decided that Bouwmeester will open the season paired with Parayko. Bouwmeester has looked pretty good in camp; he's been skating pretty well. Admittedly, he's got some rust to knock off as he gets his form back. I don't think people _ even media people who cover the team _ realized how hurt he was for much of last season with the hip issue. I agree with you that Dunn appears ready to move up to the second spot. I talked with Dunn on Tuesday, he seems a lot more mature.
But how do you really feel about Allen?
Especially with Fabbri's injury situation, he has a chance to open the season on that line with Schwartz and Schenn. I'd like to see him get some power play duty _ he has the skill to help there _ but the Blues have a lot of options there this year.
Agreed. But we're both old-timers, eh?
First off, Dunn won't be a seventh defenseman. With Gunnarsson not yet cleared for contact following his knee and hip surgeries and the regular season only nine days away, there's no way he's ready for Oct. 4. So the opening-day roster figures to be Edmundson, Pietrangelo, Parayko, Bouwmeester, Dunn, Bortuzzo, Schmaltz on D. A couple of things to note: Walman can be sent down to San Antonio without having to clear waivers. Schmaltz would have to clear waivers and might possibly be claimed by someone. The problem occurs when Gunnarsson is healthy (and assuming there are no other injuries).. Do the Blues then try to get Schmaltz through waivers? Just a guess, but I think Gunnarsson might have more currency as a trade chip than Bouwmeester who turns 35 tommorrow.
This is a big year for Allen; Armstrong made that very clear on locker cleanout day last April. As for this year, I think it will be a fairly long leash. But we won't know until we get there, namely to January to see if Allen can avoid his January swoon. The Blues as you know really like Husso. He's played well this preseason. Ideally, they'd like him to get some seasoning _ maybe a full season in the AHL _ before he's deemed NHL ready. I think Johnson will be better than expected. Maybe not Carter Hutton-like, but better than expected.
Players are good to deal with. Now don't get me wrong, the vast majority of NFL players were good to deal with, great to deal with. But I would say less of a sense of entitlement among NHL players. Early read on fans: Rams fans were nuts. Blues fans are nuts times about 3. And I'm sure I'll get more of a sense of that as we go through the season. I haven't had a ton of conversation with Stillman, but he definitely is around more and more accessible than, uh, you know who. Although Kroenke, as minority owner, and very early in his tenure as controlling owner, wasn't bad to deal with. As for the league, the NHL is even worse on injury info than the NHL. Player and coach access is good. Have yet to meet Gary Bettman and have had only minimal contact with NHL officer. NFL people, including Goodell, for a variety of reasons knew me and were fairly accessible.
That's the question there, isn't it. And I don't known the answer. Because it's not like Gunnarsson is going to be sidelined all that long into the regular season. And I agree with you _ Gunnarsson isn't a bad player at all. He played pretty well last season.