The Blues'/Yeo's theory on Bouwmeester getting better is that after missing all that time last year, he might be a little rusty at first. We'll see. Gunnarsson is 31 and played in 63 games last year. Bouwmeester is 35 and played in only 35 games last year. I don't think the lack of speed is what's necessarily hampering him. At least it's not at the top of the list. To me, he has been making some strange decisions on positioning near the net, letting guys get behind him, pinching in at times when he shouldn't, etc.
I don't know about a fire sale, but Armstrong isn't one to sit still. And if that's the case, there would probably be a new head coach.
I know this, after all the lousy teams I covered over the last decade in StL, it's not a warm and fuzzy feeling for me. I'm happy for the players that I knew from St. Louis, but then again, there's not many of those guys left. As for the Chargers or any other NFL team, I still don't think there will be a team here in the near future _ if at all. And if I'm not mistaken, aren't the Chargers locked into that Kroenke-dome lease for about 20 years?
The way Yeo changes lines, he could be back with Tarasenko next week.
I think Maroon has been pretty effective. He has five assists, has done some valuable dirty work digging out pucks from behind the net and along the boards, and brings a much-needed physical element. I believe Schwartz will get going, remember he missed two of the eight games with that foot off the puck, and maybe he's still feeling the effects of that. But your overall point is valid: There are other established players still looking for goals (including Pietrangelo) besides Tarasenko.
Right now, Jerabek's their only healthy spare defenseman (with Bortuzzo out), so in the short term he stays. But from the start, that trade never made much sense to me. The feeling I get with Butler is the Blues view him as a stop-gap option but not a long-term solution. So do they call him up for a couple, three games, or just ride that period out with Bouwmeester until Gunnarsson is ready? Looks like they've chosen the latter.
As I mentioned early, in the end it is much more likely the coach is held accountable than the star players/established players. And as I also mentioned earlier, I wonder if Tarasenko's shoulder is bothering him some.
I say, the blueliners, overall, haven't been up to par defensively. It's pretty obvious. (The offense from the group has been pretty good.)
I don't think Dunn was nicked up in any way during the game. As much as he's produced offensively, remember Dunn was benched for two games not that long ago. Last week in Canada, Yeo cited a back issue that affected Dunn's summer training, and conditioning once the regular-season started. Maybe that's still playing a factor in Dunn's playing time. Otherwise, it doesn't seem like Yeo totally trusts Dunn on defense with the game on the line.
You need at least some draft picks playing and contributing to make the salary cap work. The Blues actually have been playing several youngsters. Obviously, it's hard to give youngsters lots of playing time on an established team, which can slow development. You look at the top rookies from a year ago, DeBrincat, Keller, Boeser, Barzal _ they all played on non-playoff teams. And I think they've had plenty of first-round picks under Army: Thomas, Thompson, Kostin, Bokk, Fabbri, Schmaltz
Did not on Sharpe. Not sure want you mean on the second question. If you mean covering hockey _ the answer is yes.
Do you think by doing that it makes Tarasenko a better player? Or Petro? And if you're going to do something like that, don't you do so in the offseason instead of when the season's underway? But I'll say _ again _ I do think Schenn has leadership qualities.
I can't tell you for sure if Pietrangelo has reached his ceiling. But he did make the all-star game last season. And were it not for that puck off the foot in Detroit (yeah, same game Schwartz got hurt) I think he would've made a legitimate run at the Norris. While I agree he hasn't been on his game (although better lately), I'm not ready to make any sweeping judgments on the guy after 8 games. Also, childbirth can have an effect on adults, and Petro's wife gave birth to triplets during the offseason. He's got a lot on his plate.
Yeah, I guess it's just a quirk. It happens. Winnipeg was in the midst of a six-game homestand when they played the Blues Monday. I think one team _ was it Nashville? _ had something like a 10-game homestand a year ago. Blues obviously need to get their home-rink mojo back.
Given the team's third period play so far this season, I think all areas should be examined. To me the team looked tired in the third period in Winnipeg _ players and Yeo said no. But it was the third game of a six-day trip.
There probably is one somewhere, but I'm not aware of where I could point you to on that. But I've seen what you've seen.
I guess with players like Berglund, Jaskin, Sobotka gone, he's one of the last whipping boys left. (I guess Allen too from what I can gather.) Listen we all see what we see, but I just don't think it does any good to get personal with these things.
When the Rams left St. Louis, only a handful of teams had their entire practice open to the media once the regular season began. Fortunately for Rams media in St. Louis, they were one of the handful.of teams with open practices. Only during the Linehan tenure were practices closed to the media in the 21 seasons of the Rams in St. Louis. (And even then, there was about a 20-minute viewing period _ the period before 11-on-11 work began. That's a league rule. So at least you could see who was practicing, etc.) So yes, having hockey practices open is a good thing. They are much shorter than the football version, too, anywhere from about 30-40 minutes for a morning skate on game day to an hour or so on a non-game day. A far cry from Vermeil 2-a-days in Macomb that went 3 hours-plus apiece..
Interesting comments because players such as Perron, O'Reilly, Bozak and Maroon aren't regarded as fast skaters. Yet the Blues seem to be going to more mobile defensemen _ Dunn, Schmaltz (even Jerabek is regarded as a good puck mover). Kyrou and Thomas are good skaters. I think Blues management/coaching staff want to get quicker, but they also were influenced by what Washington and Vegas did in the playoffs. Neither was what you'd call a quick-skating team, but Vegas had four-line depth and Washington was physical.
With the possible exception of soccer players, I think hockey players in terms off cardiovascular fitness are unbelievable. And the fact that they are doing it on tiny blades? Yeah, have a lot of respect for what they do.
If he's picked up on waivers, the team that claims Bouwmeester inherits his contract _ and at $5.4 million this year, there's probably no one that does. If he clears waivers, Bouwmeester's contract is still the responsibility of the Blues. I can't say if the Blues' thought process has gone that far.
Berube would make a lot of sense as an interim, with a chance to be more. As for what candidates are out there, that might be a better question for Gordo on Friday. I used to know football GMs that carried a short list of coaching candidates in their wallet. During the Canada trip, at a hotel coffee shop, I had some credit card issues. Armstrong just happened to be in line, asked if I needed some money, pulled out his wallet and extended it my way. I should have accepted _ and looked to see if he had a short list in there.
Wow. A lot to chew on there especially 3 1/2 hours into a chat. My quick answers. 1.) Repeating from earlier answer. I don't think now's the time to change captains, and I'm not even sure that's a good idea; I do like Schenn's leadership qualities.. 2.) If you play the kids for speed, I think you're giving up on the season at this point. 3.) I don't know if you make that decision now; again, it's clear he's not helping the team; 4.) You never say never in sports, but that one was puzzling; 5.) Parayko has been more aggressive, but yeah he could still turn it up a notch.