I don't think it's intimidated them but letups are natural after goals and opponents have to stay on their games. Same goes for the Blues.
You'd have to ask those observers about that. Both teams have played well at times, not well at other times. The four-on-four in Game 2 is a couple minutes the Blues would like to have back. I'd say over the three games so far. Dallas has done well in expected goals for, not well in expected goals against. Overall, the teams are fairly close in a lot of analytics categories.
I think so. Now, if they moved him to the second power-play unit, that would be an issue. But between the top two lines, he'll get about the same workload, he was centering the second line for a lot of games early on, and being on a line with Sundqvist means he still ends up playing the equivalent of center a bit, depending on who gets to the puck when.
I would never expect to see one during a game. In pregame and postgame sessions, every now and then Berube crosses up with a smile or a joke. There's usually a hesitation among us when it happens as we doublecheck to make sure it really happened. I think the players see it more often than we do.
And when he has played, it hasn't been much. He's averaging 9:36 of ice time in the four games he's played. Tough situation for a classy guy.
No, I think Maroon did a legitimate number on Lindell that time, but Lindell didn't help his cause by his earlier flop.
Either of the ones O'Reilly is up for. Trotz will win the Adams as coach of the year and Pettersson will win the Calder as rookie of the year. The Lady Byng and the Selke are crapshoots, and there seldom are obvious choices on either of those. So if anyone's taking home a trophy, it's O'Reilly.
The simplest reason is that after power plays, opposing teams usually come out with their top line, and the Blues want to be able to put Bouwmeester and Parayko out against that line. So to do that, they have to keep Parayko off the power play so he doesn't end up with a long shift. He does get out there sometimes, usually later in games and usually if the power play hasn't been very effective up to that point.
I would never bet against anyone taking a flop, but it's a penalty that doesn't get called all that often. The call on Lindell certainly brings attention to him, though there are different refs tonight (McCauley and Pochmara) so it's a fresh table.
An excellent question and one I'll have to scrutinize more carefully to answer. Does O'Reilly's count as a playoff beard since he's had it all season? If it does count, he's got to warrant serious consideration.
I had a friend in Pittsburgh who was upset the Penguins let him get away. To be honest, I figured he would start this season in San Antonio (that was the consensus of most of us media types), and if he had a future here, it was on the fourth line. I have been proved wrong. And if you saw this kind of season coming, I tip my hat to you. I'm not sure if Sundqvist saw this kind of season coming.
That's going to be the tricky part of bringing Maroon back: Where to you play everybody? If everyone comes back that's currently playing, you have a spot on that fourth line that has been the Fabbri/Sanford spot in the playoffs, but if Fabbri comes around, you have to have a place for him. But there's enough uncertainly about Fabbri that I don't know that you can put his name in with a Sharpie. So if you're going to find a place for Kyrou, someone has to give, though you're going to need more than 12 forwards over the course of the season. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Berube talked yesterday about Dallas being a good faceoff team and the Blues needing to make some adjustments in how they handle them. Radio guy Joe Vitale was talking of pushing the puck forward rather than backward and trying to win the ensuing fight for them. Straight up at the dot, the Blues are getting beat, sometimes badly, and that's something they have to change. And the thing is, the Blues are a very good faceoff team and O'Reilly has been excellent all season. They're getting beat at their own game. O'Reilly goes into tonight's game at 50-50 on faceoffs this postseason.
I don't know if it's just you, but I wouldn't say the Blues go into cruise control after going up by one. I charted the number of times the Blues scored a goal within a minute after the other team scored, but I didn't do the reverse, so I don't have data there to provide. (I'll try to change that for next season.) All teams let up after scoring a goal; it's fairly inevitable. After the Blues let the game get tied for a third time on Monday, I was pretty surprised they took the lead one more time. As a long-term strategy, that's not one that I'd advocate. If there's anything this Blues team should have learned in the first half of the season, it's that they have to work to protect leads, especially since they are not going to score a lot of goals. When you're winning games 3-2, it requires a fair amount of focus to keep a team to two goals. You can't afford to let in many cheap ones.
Bouwmeester is a very important part of the Blues. He's not a big offensive cog, but defensively, with his speed and reach and savvy, he does a strong job of minimizing opposing teams' top scoring threats. At the beginning of the season, he was not good. Now, he is good.
I haven't heard any news. At one point, someone told me he had been seen in St. Louis, but if he was, I never saw him around the Blues.
There are trades you see at the trade deadline, or right before the draft, where a team trades a player to another team for draft picks or to get salary cap relief or something like that. It is not expected to make one of the teams better in the short term. In a hockey trade, you're trading player for player, often straight up, for a move that both teams hope would make them better right away. They are fairly uncommon nowadays because of the salary cap, which makes it hard to trade players of disparate salaries, especially for big-name players. Robert Bortuzzo for Ian Cole would be an example of a hockey trade.
I think the Blues need the offense that Dunn brings, though I think he's best used on the third pairing and away from high-scoring lines. He's definitely still learning, as that shorthanded goal indicated. He took a rather lackadaisical approach to getting back. And tonight, he's on the first power play unit. It's a tough call after that as to who you sit, and you largely have to look at who's playing best at any one time. I'm frankly surprised that Gunnarsson got back in. I figured that Berube would stick with the other six the rest of the way, though whatever happened to Bortuzzo allowed room for a change. All seven are worthy of play; I don't know that there's a right or wrong answer to who sits out. Right now, the feeling is Edmundson hasn't been physical enough. When he gets back in, I'm pretty sure he'll be plenty physical.
It's a weird situation with Gunnarsson, who's on the top defensive pairing but would seem to have a minimal chance of coming back next season. While you can never have, as Larry Pleau always said, too many defensemen, I think having to scratch someone who's pretty good every night is not ideal, unless you can afford it. If the Blues feel Reinke or Walman or Mikkola is ready to make the move up a level next season, someone has to go, and it's almost assuredly Gunnarsson. But his play is probably good enough to get him a contract somewhere next season.
When the Blues are practicing, they're in the hallway playing soccer. When the Blues are done, they go on the ice and run drills with San Antonio coach Drew Bannister. Goalies Husso and Coreau are on the ice with the varsity in case they need another goalie.
With only three forward spots -- and they can be any forward position -- probably not. Pettersson and Tkachuk will have two of them. Thomas was 10th in scoring among rookie forwards, so others are likely to get the nod ahead of him. I do think Binnington will be your all-rookie goalie.