I'd say it's becoming increasingly apparent that the team as presently constructed isn't going to score a lot of goals. There may be the occasional five goal game like against Calgary, but for the most part, this team seems to be looking at three goals max each night. That makes winning in the NHL complicated. So it seems increasingly likely that the Blues will have to venture outside the current group to get offensive help. Brouwer will help some, but he's not going to cause a big spike. Will Kyrou do it? Certainly worth a try, and he'll get one. I think making a trade for a forward before you call up Kyrou complicates things. It's one more person you'd have to find a place for when Kyrou is called up. If the Blues make a deal, they do have a long list of defensemen, and with their salary cap issues going forward, they wouldn't be getting anyone who makes a lot of money, unless that player is in the final year of his contract. So while a Kreider would be an option, someone making that money but with two years to go wouldn't be an option because it would force other decisions to be made. And keep in mind that if the Blues are making a trade this season, it's because they want to win NOW. Which precludes giving up a big name, because that lessens your chances of winning now.
Allen's play is strengthening his market, though it remains to be seen if that's a road the Blues want to go down. Trading Allen means making Ville Husso the NHL backup and they have to be prepared to let him be the guy if something happens to Binnington. (Though in general, if you trade a goalie to one team, you get a goalie back because teams only need so many goalies.) I don't know that the Blues are at that point yet. Allen has proved valuable in his role, and works well with Binnington. I would think a defenseman would be a more likely position to trade from.
If the Blues thought Klim Kostin would help them win right now, Klim Kostin would be playing for the Blues right now. (As Rick Majerus used to sarcastically say when he was asked why someone wasn't playing, "Because I'm fixing games.") The Blues see Kostin's game and like the offensive parts of it, are less thrilled with the defensive parts of it. They still see him as a player poised to take that next step but not quite taking it. Sammy Blais was in that situation last season, bounced back and forth a half dozen times to San Antonio, and when he's healthy, is a regular in the lineup with a bright future. The Blues see Kostin needing the developing that comes from playing lots of minutes regularly in San Antonio, not trying to learn on the job in St. Louis. They got Brouwer because they didn't want to have too many youngsters up here. He'll be good in the room. It remains to be seen what he can do on the ice. I never quite figured out what they were looking at during his tryout, because the team had one or two full practices in his nine days. But if he can play down low and tip in a goal or two, that will be progress. (Go to moneypuck.com and look at the shot charts for recent Blues games. There are zero chances around the net. It's staggering.)
No, in fact the last time I talked to someone about this, they were very impressed by how Walman was playing and saying that he had turned his career around and was likely one of the first guys who would be called up. If the Blues were in a situation where they thought they might have to play a defenseman right now rather than have him watch, they might have called up Walman rather than Pouliot. Mitch Reinke, by the way, returned to the lineup last night for San Antonio after missing a month with an injury.
The whole team could benefit from some one-timer experience. Though I'll also say you need to have the right pass for a one-timer too. You've got to put it in the right place.
It was obvious for a while why that might have been. When he was having his struggles in the past, Allen was getting booed at home. And this wasn't those boo the power play boos, when it's divided among 10 guys. These were Jake Allen boos. Allen has been better at home lately, so I don't know that he'll get those boos even if something goes wrong, but the specter of that always remains. This might be over psychoanalyzing, but all that has probably gone into Allen feeling more comfortable on the road than at home. Back in the bad old days, Allen would give up a bad goal at home and it would deteriorate from there. Now, he's shown a lot of fortitude and when there is a bad goal, he has played very well afterward. But I think he's got a lot of catching up to do to get those home numbers to match his road numbers.
Not a large sample size and the Blues didn't have him out against other team's top lines that often, if ever, so not giving up a goal against isn't the biggest feather. His Corsi percentage is around 50 percent though, right between O'Reilly and Bozak, but again, he didn't face nearly as many high danger situations. I can only relay what the Blues are thinking, and they're thinking is they'd rather have him learning from mistakes in the AHL than the NHL.
I don't think so. The way the game is played today, there's not much call for one and the Blues have had Bortuzzo or MacEachern or Schenn mix it up if needed. (Though having Schenn spend five minutes in the box may not be the most advantageous thing to the team.) I can't think of an instance this season where an enforcer would have been beneficial to the Blues.
I know this has been a rather disjointed chat, and I'm sorry for that, but any more questions before we take a break to get ready for tonight's game?
They can make a trade and stay under the cap IF Tarasenko does not return in the regular season. If he's not back until the playoffs, they've got about $5 million to play with because the salary cap doesn't count in the postseason. But if he does come back, it doesn't work. That's the complication in all this. If he can return with a week to go and the Blues were fighting for a playoff spot, they would be in a position where they would have to sit him until the season was over. That's a tough spot to be in.
I think it was Jackman's decision.
Please direct all restaurant questions to Jeremy Rutherford or Frank Cusamano. I've been to a steakhouse in St. Louis once in the past 15 years.
They do still like him. The Blues have options down there, which is why defenseman is a position where they could make a trade. Walman, Reinke and Mikkola all have done well, Pouliot is up right now and Borgman showed well in camp, though not as well at San Antonio right now.
Kostin will be back. He'll get his chance.
OK, I think I'm caught up. Happy Thanksgiving and either Jim or I will be here next week. I haven't checked the schedule yet, but since the Blues are in Pittsburgh that night, it will probably be me.
It's admittedly a small gut, but I say St. Louis