A two-year deal is probably the way to go while the Blues find out if he can keep on doing this, though that would put him and Allen's deals running out at the same time, so maybe they look at three. The Blues have had Binnington around for a long time, so organizationally they must have a feeling about whether they expect this to last or not. One thing to keep in mind is that Binnington has a 1.85 goals-against average at the moment, and it's unlikely he puts up numbers like that in the future because, well, nobody does. The question is when he comes back to earth, where is that earth? I will say Binnington's glove work has been exceptional, and he plays his angles very well. Structurally, he's well rooted. He's not a guy who relies on spectacular saves, though he can make them. He plays a very steady game.
Very hard to pick against Tampa Bay.
No good reason other than the lack of time. Our Cardinals coverage operation is massive, and we've assigned our summer intern each year to, among other things, cover the Cardinals farm system. On the Blues' front, it's me and Jim. Also, there are a lot more players in the Cardinals far system to write about. We try to keep tabs as best we can.
There's a chance Bouwmeester takes less money. I think the question might be years rather than dollars. If someone offers him a two-year deal and the Blues offer one, that could be the difference maker, and I don't know that the Blues would offer him more than one. If the Blues offer him one year at $3 million when the season ends, would he take that, or wait to see if he gets a better offer after July 1? I do not know, and Bouwmeester probably doesn't know either. A lot for the Blues will depend on how they look at their organizational depth. If they think Reinke could move into the top six next season, that changes things. Butler's plays this season says he could be the seventh guy who doesn't make money and gets scratched every night but who could play if you needed him, a role that you wouldn't put Bouwmeester in. Does Jordan Schmaltz still fit in? Has the ship sailed on him and Walman? How much more time does Mikkola need? All of those questions will come into play. But certainly, there's a lot better chance of Bouwmeester being back next season than I would have thought three months ago.
Well, I've warned him about 8:45 p.m. starts and how annoying the constant travel on Games 5, 6 and 7 can be. I think I need to remind him what it's like when a series you're covering ends early and you have a week of off-day stories to write.
Tarasenko can probably use a little bit of time to get back up to speed after his elbow injury. His aim seems to be a bit off as he's aiming for corners and not finding them. He has seven missed shots in the past three games. And when the NHL goes into full tracking mode, maybe we'll see launch velocity numbers and see how much speed, if any, Tarasenko has lost off his shot. But this doesn't seem to be as big a concern as his shoulder was at the start of the season. Cortisone shots are used in hockey; I don't know specifically if this is one that would be helped by one or if he feels he needs one.
I don't think the Blues would make a trade just to get back into the first round. Earlier in the season, we were all expecting off-season "hockey" trades of a good player for a good player, but that seems less likely now since the team is playing good as a group. Trading now to get a first-round pick would require someone significant to be dealt. (It also depends on where you're trading him; trading with someone drafting in the top 10 would require giving up much better talent than trading with Tampa Bay.) But with a team built to win now, the Blues are more likely to have a deal for someone who will do something now rather than in three years.
Edmundson and Blais are both in Chicago with the team but neither is playing tonight. They probably went because the Blues probably aren't going to skate Thursday or Friday and have a day game on Saturday, so this is one of their few chances to skate with the team and get some work in. Edmundson seems to be getting closer after taking several days off. When he's healthy, I think he'll play over Gunnarsson. With Blais, even when healthy, I don't see him getting in. Obviously the chances of Edmundson getting in before the season ends go down every day. He's got only two chances left.
Every now and then, guys get pass happy. In Tarasenko's case, I think he does it so teams aren't sitting on his shot all the time. If every time he gets the puck he shoots, defenses will go at him for the block. If he passes every now and then, they have to consider the other guy. But most of the time, I'm inclined to think there's more to be gained by him shooting. Greed is good.
Yeah, but hockey training camps are weird. Players and coaches can't seem to wait for them to get over and the games are just a tedious grind. Even a week or two more wouldn't have been enough for this group to come together. It was going to play out over months rather than weeks.
They did it with Edmundson and Parayko a few years back, though none of the guys coming up look to be of that caliber. Then again, we didn't give Edmundson or Parayko much of a thought going into that training camp. We were expecting it to be Petteri Lindbohm and Chris Butler in the final two spots that year. You're right that a rookie as your seventh D doesn't make sense, though that was Jordan Schmaltz's spot much of this season, though that was because the Blues were afraid they'd lose him if they put him on waivers to send him down.
The simplest is that Nashville finishes first and the Blues and Jets are teams 2 and 3. All that would take is Nashville to go 2-0, Winnipeg 1-1 and the Blues 2-1. Or that the Blues lose their final three games and fall to fourth while the Jets wake up and finish first.
I don't think he'll win but I think he'll be in the top three and get an invitation to Las Vegas for the awards ceremony. Pettersson looks to be your winner. I do think Binnington will beat out Carter Hart for the goalie spot on the all-rookie team.
Not as much as they would have gotten in the middle of last season, when they still had a full year to go on their contracts. You could still get someone decent for them. But the talks would have to fall apart in a pretty bad way for that to come into play.
That's the great unanswerable question. It's very possible they would have, that given another month or so, they'd have sorted it out and everything would have been fine. It's not as though Berube did some massive overhaul. But it's also possible that the Blues needed something to get them out of the funk they were in and start playing for each other and rallying around something. There were two people whose arrival made that happen: Craig Berube and Jordan Binnington.
Ozuna homers. I don't think the Blues can be eliminated before April 16 if they got swept in the first round. So Ozuna's got some time.
You are not alone in this feeling. Any time he starts wandering from the crease, it's an invitation to disaster, and don't think that opposing teams haven't noticed it either.
After the trade deadline, there is no roster limit, and that carries over into the playoffs. The Blues will call a bunch of guys up from San Antonio when their season ends, the so-called Black Aces, and they will be bag skated every day until the season ends. The Blues will call up a third goalie and as many forwards and defensemen as they see fit. On third goalie front, if Husso is still hurting, it could be Fitzpatrick who gets called in.
Mitch Reinke is the leading candidate. He has 11 goals and 32 assists this season and is tied with Kyrou for the lead in points, though Kyrou has played a lot fewer games.
You can dress 20 players, so that's how the math works, for starters. And defensemen will tell you that forwards are wimps who can't skate backwards.