Hello again everybody. We're live from Montreal. Let's get to it.
Yes. Thomas, Bortuzzo and Jerabek are out. That means Schwartz is back, Sanford is in. Dunn and Schmaltz form the third defensive pair.
Yes, Fabbri and all the injured/recovering players are on the trip, a list that also includes Soshnikov, Sundqvist, Gunnarsson. All skated with the team Wednesday morning. Bringing them on the trip is a sign that they're all getting closer to action, so Yeo feels they're better served practicing with the team.
You know, I should. I've had it in St.. Louis, but that doesn't count, does it?
I see what you did there.
Already? We're firing coaches after 5 games?
I don't know what to tell you on Petro. But as you apparently read or heard, he knows he needs to play better. Don't you think he will? We're talking about 5 games here. Not 15 or 50. He was an all-star last season. Last week someone on the chat was moaning about Perron's slow start. He then went out and scored 4 goals in the next two games.
I think they need to play him. He's going to gain nothing from another year in junior hockey. He hasn't played nearly the minutes that Kyrou has so far, so it's been more difficult for him to find his rhythm. But it would be easier to keep playing him if the Blues were winning more hockey games. And make no mistake, winning takes precedence over player development.
Yes. It's almost as if the team has been flipped on its head from last season. The offense looks a little better, the power play looks significantly better. But the defense has gone south, as has the team's 5-on-5 play. Even with missing the playoffs last season, the Blues were among the league's better 5-on-5 teams. This season, they've been outscored 14-7 in 5-on-5 play. If you throw in the two overtime losses (3-on3), they have been outscored 16-7 even strength.
Actually, as you may have heard by now, Thomas is out of the lineup tonight. I find it hard to believe that Thomas will be sent back to juniors. The team really doesn't want to do that. As for Kyrou, his speed and playmaking ability has been impressive. Yeo is looking for answers. Why not give him a shot.
I'm sure there has. Yeo definitely has discussed it with us. The counter-attacks by other teams have been costly to the Blues, especially in that first Chicago game. We've seen a couple of breakaways following blocked shots (Anahem, Chicago) _ situations that are partly (bad) luck but also instances where someone on defense should have gotten back. And don't forget about net-front presence. The Blues are making it too easy for opponents to park in front of the net, for a variety of reasons.
Yes. He's based in Toronto I believe. I know goalie prospect Evan Fitzpatrick mentioned he has visited with him.
Don't know what to tell you. I primarily use the same sources as you do. Are you on Twitter? You could try that (@sarampage). I know it at least tweets out the starting lineup.
I think what you're referring to is veteran players saying that physically they're personally ready to play after 2, 3 games. Playing together as a unit is a different matter. Saying that, though, I think we're reaching the expiration point on citing team chemistry as an issue.
I'm going to stop short of saying this is a soft team. But yes, they could be more physical. I don't think they're as physical as last season. As for blowing late leads, I don't think that was a problem late in the season, with the exception of the very costly 4-3 loss to Chicago on April 4 in St. Louis. That marked the first time all season the Blues had lost a game (31-1-2) when leading after two periods. Although it's not exactly the same thing, they've already lost three games when leading in the third _ 2 overtime losses and 1 regulation loss. (Not exactly the same thing, because in two of those three games they were actually trailing after two periods.)
See earlier post: Blues are getting close to the expiration date on chemistry as an issue.
Tarasenko has 4 points in 5 games _ about a 65-point pace _ which isn't too bad. I think he's taking shots in more areas than his usual spot somewhere around the right faceoff circle. He has been charging the net more often. He's been moving around on the power play. I could be totally wrong here, but I wonder if he's got as much zip on his shot coming off the shoulder surgery.
Sure. More minutes can be earned with stronger play. It's working right now for Jordan Kyrou. And yes, I think Thomas is capable of playing on the wing. Conventional wisdom in hockey is that if you can play center, you can play anywhere.
Point taken. Hopefully, the Blues noticed.