Hello again everybody. Sorry for the delay. Coming to you direct from morning skate, post-practice interviews, and posting a blog. Looks like Edmundson is back in the lineup Thursday against Calgary and Vince Dunn benched in favor of newcomer Jakub Jerabek. Let's get right to the questions, starting with this one on Jake Allen. After two games, I don't think it's any longer or shorter than it was at the beginning of the season.
I'm not very good on the prediction business. I'm sure the Blues are looking for less than 5 goals allowed. After four days between games, I would expect more physicality, a little more intensity from the Blues when it comes to puck battles, better net-front jockeying, more fundamental play.
I think he's played pretty well. Been physical in his play. A couple off assists. Works the front of the net.
I think the Taylor family and Enterprise have become in this town what the Busch family and Anheuser-Busch once were in terms of involvement in sports teams and benevolent interests. (Not that A-B has shriveled up and gone away.)
Actually, Schmaltz played in only the opener against Winnipeg. Once Bortuzzo's one-game suspension was over, Schmaltz became an extra and didn't play against Chicago. Even with Butler and Mikkola sent down, the Jerabek trade means the Blues are still carrying 8 defensemen. (And that's not counting Gunnarsson.)
I don't think we're deep enough into the season for it to qualify as a sophomore slump. He had that giveaway in the preseason finale against Washington that led to a Capitals goal. He took that shot during OT against Chicago that was blocked and led to a breakaway and Toews' game-winning goal. I had heard whispers near the end of camp that the coaching staff wasn't pleased with his preseason. But that's about it. He did score the team's only goal against Winnipeg in the opener. Yeo wasn't overly critical of the blocked shot/breakaway after the Chicago game, and even said there were plenty of other mix-ups in that game.
Easy to say now, but you'd think the answer to that would be an emphatic yes. Of course, who knows if the Blues would've made some of their other moves for offense over the years had they drafted Toews.
Yes, I think there was enough time for that. But the Blues only had 7 players on the ice in the opener against Winnipeg that were on the ice in the 2017-18 opener against Pittsburgh. I think the issue is more a matter of the chemistry forming between the players on the ice. Against Winnipeg, the Jets looked like a team that had been together for a while and knew exactly how to go about their business. The Blues looked like a team that had been thrown together a couple of hours before puck drop. That'll change, things will start to mesh. But that Blues can't wait a month for it to happen. Not in the West. Not in the Central.
Yes. But it will be ice time earned _ he'll have to see something he likes from them during games. And we saw it in the third period of the Chicago game. Blais got moved up from the fourth line; Perron got moved down from the third line. As for your goaltending question, I don't think we'll see something like that happen in the near-term. I don't think the Blues will bail on Allen quickly; and it seems pretty clear the organization wants Husso to get some seasoning in the AHL. After pitching a shutout in San Antonio's season opener, Husso gave up four goals on 24 shots Tuesday against Milwaukee.
Obviously Dunn has been playing more than 9 minutes a game. As for the young forwards, when you're playing on the fourth line, you're only going to get about 8-12 minutes a game unless you're seeing action on special teams. (And Kyrou, Thomas and Blais aren't seeing any special teams time.) But yeah, the Dunn benching is puzzling to me. Jerabek, who was in the process of being cut by Edmonton, parachutes into St. Louis and is playing after three practices. Seems odd to me. We'll see what he's got Thursday.
Not sure what you're getting at here. The Blues have their entire defense back from last season, from a team that tied for 6th in fewest goals allowed in the NHL. So the thought process, and I think rightly so, was that you didn't really need to invest in the back end. You could stand pat.
Yeah, that's what I figured on Kyrou. The Chicago game featured a lot of power plays and penalty kills, so that cut into Kyrou's time since he isn't playing special teams at this point.
Jerabek counts $1 million against the cap and is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after this season. I'm not sure about the cap implications for injured players, although in the case of Sundqvist and Gunnarsson I believe there is cap relief because they are on long-term injured reserve.
I don't think there is a defensive system in the history of hockey where you don't want to box out the opposition in the front of the net, and thus let them get inside position. These guys are pros, but they are also human. So sometimes, you're going to get beat for position in the front of the net. But it happened entirely too many times against Chicago, and I'm sure the Blues will do better on that front against Calgary.
I think for a veteran player, you have 30 days in which you can send him down without having to go through waivers. After that, he has to clear waivers.
Already? I understand your frustration, but I think my answer is: more than two games.
I think Kerber does a great job. I'd be curious to know what others think.
Again, this one puzzles me. Makes me wonder if Armstrong wants to see Jerabek in the lineup.
They certainly went all in during the offseason. To a degree, I think it matters how they're playing around the trade deadline. If they're in the midst of a seven-game winless streak as was the case last season, I don't think the Blues are buyers.