Greetings once again. Hey, things are happening. I had just finished watching the Blues' soon-to-be-released championship video when we learned of Marc Savard joining the coaching staff to work on the power play. So that's a start. Here we go.
I think most people looked at the Sissons contract and wondered. There's a type of player who gets a seven-year deal. Colton Sissons wouldn't seem to be one of them. However, David Poile must really like him and he's only 25, so it's not as if they'll be paying him when he's way over the hill.
The Blues obviously haven't made any moves to bring in anyone from outside to improve the team player-wise. Savard right now stands as the main addition to the team, and an improved power play would definitely help the team. With the contract situation, it was going to be hard for the team to make many changes, but it's not unlike the situation at the trade deadline: Can you give something up to get someone who makes you better than when you started? This team was, in the second half of the season, playing awfully consistently and it was built to be together for a while, so any moves would be moves for the sake of making moves. The Central was pretty tightly packed last season. One game here and there could be the difference between first and fourth. I don't know that any of the Central teams, however, have made a disproportionately huge step forward, but, again, in a logjam of a division, it won't take much for things to change.
If there were no other factors at play, I'd say keep Maroon. In a perfect world, you'd bring Maroon and Kyrou and Kostin and Sanford and all those forwards into camp and say the best man wins. But you can't do that -- unless Maroon came in on a PTO -- and there are other factors, with the salary cap and younger players who should start playing, so with that the case, it's time to see what those other forwards can do. As I've said before, Maroon is in that bind of being in hockey's vanishing middle class. Either you make $4 million or more or you make the league minimum. It's tough for guys in between to find jobs.
Fresh ideas but also a fresh mindset from the current players will make it better. There are a limited number of strategies for the power play, but the Blues have to have confidence to implement the one they choose and make good passes and shoot the puck. They just have to stop being so tentative. As they season went on, it looked like it was always going to be someone else's responsibility to score. If Savard can give them confidence to keep trying when they fail, they'll get better.
I believe it was about 62 minutes, not counting bonus features. Nothing like whole innings; Highlights from all four rounds of the playoffs, though the last 30 minutes or so is the Boston series. Goals, saves, hits. I haven't looked at all the bonus features yet, but those appear to be from celebrations.
Five forwards was about the only thing the Blues didn't try. Their susceptibility to give stuff up going the other way probably is the incentive not to do that. As for Tarasenko and the one-timer ... join the club. That's something everyone needs to work on. But his could be devastating. The Blues liked him moving around the power play to try to pull the defense out of position, which lessened that as a regular option.
I think Bozak is a good fit at being the No. 3 center, so you're looking at either Thomas, Schenn or Sundqvist in the No. 2 spot. With so many options on the wings, Schenn could move back to center and you'd still have plenty of people to choose among on the wings. But if not, Thomas would certainly get a look. A year in the league will certainly have helped him.
I think they mostly evened out, though something like the hand pass against San Jose is hard to cancel out because of it's over-sized impact. You'd need a bunch of calls going the other way to balance a call that leads to an overtime game-winning goal. Even the Bozak trip against Boston -- if you think it was a trip -- didn't end the game. In the grand scale, more calls may have gone against the Blues, but I'd say it was easily within one standard deviation (for the math majors out there) so well within the world of a random distribution. The Blues did a good job of overcoming the hard breaks handed to them.
No updates. We'll have a better idea at the start of September.
I always give a slight benefit to experience, but sure, there's no guarantee Maroon's 2019-20 season won't look more like the first half of last season than the second half. And everyone's high on Kyrou; it's time to see if he can do it in the NHL and get more of a look than just coming up for a few weeks and getting a game here and there.
I don't believe I heard any expletives in the video, if that's what you mean. There are several Berube speech excerpts in the video, and all of them you could share with your parents or children.
Based on the grind of winning the Stanley Cup once, winning the next season has to be rough. That's just so many games to play (106 in the case of Ryan O'Reilly last season) and such a short offseason compared to everyone else. So I think there's a solid case for the every other year option. But I don't think anything makes up for having a hot goalie. Binnington wasn't hot all the time in the postseason, but in the games where he was needed, he did what he had to do. (Which is why he got my Conn Smythe vote.) If Dallas had beaten the Blues, and any further success the Stars would have had, it would have been because of Ben Bishop. There were a good number in the media that thought Rask should have been the Conn Smythe winner regardless of the outcome of the series.
Plenty of room for questions, Step right up.
On the coaching staff or as a 40-year old forward?
By the way, on the coaching front, Steve Ott and Mike Van Ryn will both be back, so that will be some rare continuity on the staff there.
It looks like Toronto is getting creative in trying to keep its options open on Marner by acquiring David Clarkson it appears for the sole reason of putting him on long-term injured reserve to create cap space. Tampa would be foolish to let Point walk. Guys like him are hard to find. I'd move older guys to make cap space for him.
If Edmundson's past two seasons had been flipped, he'd be in a lot better situation right now. He had a good season in a year the Blues didn't make the playoffs and didn't want to give out big raises. Then he had a not-good season when they won the Stanley Cup. I think 17-18 was more representative of what Edmundson can do than 18-19, so that's what I would base my expectation of what he can do going forward. Plus he played fairly well at the start of the season before plateau-ing. He'll be a physical, low-scoring, lane-clogging defenseman, and he's young enough that I think the Blues should keep him around. Gunnarsson and Bouwmeester are going to be gone soon, and he's a young guy with experience.