Jeff Gordon, who has a much better feel for the league is a whole, is always a good source for trade questions during his Friday chats. And you're right about the cap limitations. As for Bouwmeester he was benched. And were it not for Bortuzzo injury he'd have been benched against Winnipeg as well, don't you think? Until Gunnarsson comes back _ and as long as Bortuzzo is out, which may be for a while _ your only real option to replace Bouwmeester is Jerabek. Would you rather have Jerabek?
Not that it is a characteristic totally foreign to hockey _ because it's not _ but there was more of a sense of entitlement among many NFL players. The media access to players in the NHL is better overall than it was in the NFL. Thankfully, the language barrier isn't too much of a problem. Although sometimes it limits the ability to quote a player whose English isn't all that good. But overall, the overwhelming majority of Rams football players were good to deal with, even during all those losing years.
I'm sure he's working on it. And I do agree that sometimes he could do a better job of controlling rebounds.
I agree that that the play of the defense overall hasn't been up to standards. Keep in mind there is a new defensive coach this year in Mike Van Ryn, so there could be an adjustment process going on. But let's not totally let the forwards off the hook. A turnover by Tarasenko led directly to the Chariot goal that started the Winnipeg comeback in the third period. O'Reilly's inability to clear the puck on the PK led to the first Jets goal _ the one that bounced off Bouwmeester's skates.
I like that you added Edmundson, I should have included him. I don't think the team is too far off. Obviously, Bouwmeester's hurting the team in the lineup right now. Maybe that changes _ it's a long season. But when Gunnarsson comes back from conditioning assignment, or if Bortuzzo's injury turns out to be short-term (which looks doubtful) one of them needs to be in over Bouwmeester, right? The other more general thing, and Perron alluded to this today after practice: This team needs to relax a little, have some fun with hockey. That doesn't mean they quit working hard, etc. But they're playing tight right now, especially in the third period (which feeds into Allen's postgame comments in Winnipeg). Maybe the pressure of expectations are weighing on them some. But just relax, play hockey.
1.) Hitch isn't coming back. 2.) I don't think I'd call Yeo a "soft" coach. Just ask some of the players about the conditioning test.
Obviously, it's better to work a happy locker room, one that's winning and having success and fun. But one of the fundamentals of sports journalism is you have to leave any rooting interest at the door when you enter a locker room, a stadium, a press conference. And you can't be every player's buddy, either. You have to keep a certain amount of professional distance. And yes, as unpleasant as they are, I do have plenty of experience covering losing locker rooms.
Schmaltz just turned 25 (on Oct. 8), so I don't think I'd call him a late bloomer. Although that is kind of the age where you start changing from "prospect" to "suspect" if you're not progressing in your career. I thought Schmaltz looked more settled when he returned to the Blues' roster (from the AHL) the second time last season (before his upper-body injury). And I think he looks more confident this time around. I'm not saying he's a future superstar or anything, but I think he has another level to his game in terms of puck-moving and a little offense if he gets even more settled in.
I appreciate the question, but I'm not sure there's much more I can add to my earlier answer on this topic, the main two points of which were: 1.) Most of the Blues' top young talent is on the "varsity" here in St. Louis; and 2.) In having their own AHL affiliate once again, basically starting from scratch, San Antonio is pretty much an expansion team.
I know. I know. And that's one of the toughest buildings for visiting teams. The Blues rebounded temporarily after the Yeo timeout with the Perron goal. But as we saw, that didn't last long enough.. I think worse yet, it's not the first time that's happened: The Blues are 0-2-3 in one-goal games. They've squandered third period leads four times. Overall, they've been outscored 15-8 in the third period, and if you count OTs, outscored 18-8 after the second period. That's gotta stop, or it's going to be l-o-n-g seson.
A lot of things. I bought "Coaching Hockey for Dummies" right after I took the beat. ("Hockey for Dummies" no longer is in publication. I ask a lot of questions _ Tom Timmermann, Jeremy Rutherford, Jeff Gordon and Lou Korac have helped a lot. Occasionally, i'll pick up something from Yeo or Armstrong during the course of an interview. If I'm working at home, I keep the NHL Network on in the background, and stop writing (or stop transcribing), turn up the volume and listen if something of interest comes up of interest.
Yes, they could assign him to San Antonio if he clears waivers. I think he'd probably get claimed though, even at 9/10ths of his salary. (Blues have played eight games, or 1/10th of the season.)
Maybe you're right. But if Gunnarsson's back, then I don't think it's an issue even if Bortuzzo is sidelined for a while.
Yeah, it kind of looks that way doesn't it. But that really wasn't the case last year, when the Blues were 8-6 in OT and 3-0 in shootouts. And I think we'd all agree they have more offensive talent this year. I think Kyrou and Thomas have the ability to be effective 3-on-3 players in the future. Obviously, though, the more open space there is on the ice _ as is the case in 3-on-3 _ the more skill, creativity and skating ability play a role. So I think you make a fair point. And even as good as the Blues looked skating and moving the puck early in Winnipeg, I'm still not sure that they have enough team speed.
That's a lot of contingencies. And Bobrovsky is making just under $7.5 million this year. You'd have to pay him more than that on his next contract, don't you think? Is he really worth $9-10 million a year?
I agree he has been quiet. Wonder if he's fully healthy after taking that puck off the foot.
Certainly a veteran with a long track record gets a longer leash. But again, you can't under-estimate the randomness of the injury scenario in terms of playing time. What happens, for example, if Carter Hutton didn't miss 9 games last March with that neck injury and Jake Allen doesn't get the chance to come back and play well? Hutton was getting most of the starts then. What if Hutton had stayed healthy and played the Blues into the playoffs? Would he be here now and Allen gone if that were the case? Similarly, had Bortuzzo stayed healthy, Bouwmeester might still be on the bench. And certainly, as you point out, it takes younger players longer to establish trust with the head coach.
You cover a lot of ground here and I'll hit on a couple. For one, ultimately the head coach is responsible. Whether right or wrong, that's just the way it is, Also given the team's injury situation and lack of overall depth, I think last year's ups and downs are easier to understand. This year's team, on paper, is much more talented.
Well, Blais was leading the team in hits through eight games (26), and he got sent down. In theory, I agree that another player or two like that would be beneficial, but in today's game, you've gotta be able to have some offensive skill to go with it. Soshnikov does bring energy and skating ability. He can be a pest. But he must stay healthy. Injury problems plagued him in Toronto and so far have continued to be an issue here as well.