Blues chat with Tom Timmermann

Blues chat with Tom Timmermann

Bring your questions and comments about the Stanley Cup champion Blues and the NHL, and talk to Post-Dispatch hockey writer Tom Timmermann in a live chat starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

    Have you heard any whispers about the Blues potentially trading for someone? I know there was a big deal about Armstrong and Taylor watchiing the maple leafs. Thanks.
  • 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.
    Is there a market for Jake Allen? I know he's played well lately and it would hurt us to lose a backup goalie playing well, but it seems to be the Blues need to get some scorers with Tarasenko out. Happy thanksgiving!
    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.
    Welcome to all the late arrivals and I apologize for the issues we had and thanks to those who stuck with me. I was about to start telling childhood stories.
    In any case, now is a good time for questions.
    K. Kostin just had his 1st goal (playing for only a few minutes) - and what??? They sent him to SA? "More seasoning, blah-blah-blah"... For whom... for the old fart Brouwer, for DLR. C-mon!
    The media is so inconsistent trying to explain that, and trying to basically not go against what the team says (instead of just trying to ask them directly why they didn't like his game in particular, what he needs to work on?). They all say "they are trying to get a secondary scoring"? But with whom?? The above-mentioned placeholders (have they watched their game) + Sanford (who'll likely disappear again after that 4 point game against the dead Flames team)? Barbashev on the 2nd line is ridiculous too! Non-existent there.
    And they sent down a guy who can provide that offense (I know, he was injured there right away).... O man, just have no other words...any (honest) thoughts on that situation?
    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 and look at the shot charts for recent Blues games. There are zero chances around the net. It's staggering.)
    Have they completely given up on Jake Wallman (in context of him as a potential Blues player)? He has been playing on the 3rd D-pair in San Antonio recently...
  • 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.
  • First thought, to all those complaining that any of the young AHL talent (Kostin, Kyrou, etc. ) should be here - they need to be responsible defensively. Thomas put forth the effort and has shown he capable. Neither Kostin nor Kyrou have shown it yet. Trust your Stanly Cup Champ GM & Coach! Second thought I heard a story about an off-season camp that Pasternack (sp) went to he credits this camp with his new one-timer proficiency. Can we please, please give Tarasenko the info for the camp for this coming off-season.
    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.
    Why do you think Allen struggles so much at home? FSM put a stat out on m ok days telecast that he's basically a top 5 goalie on the road and has been his entire career. Why didn't that translate to home? Thanks for the chats!
    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.
    I still can't believe they won it all... what were your first thoughts after it finally happened.
  • After it finally happened, the first thought was making sure I had everything spelled right in the headline for the online story and that the score was right. Seriously. Then after that, it was, "am I going to get in trouble for tweeting, "As first reported in the Post-Dispatch." "(I did not.) 
    It speaks to how journalism works, that for me, it sort of sunk in with about five minutes to go in the game, because that's when I had to commit to puttting the finishing touches on the online story so it could go live right at the final horn. And the thought was, "They're really going to do this. Wow." It was a long, amazing trip. And at times, I still can't believe it happened.
    I'm very eager to solve a couple of mysteries for myself:

    1. Do you know who is that young, short, "round-headed" guy - reporter (I think he always has a microphone saying "KTRS") in the Blues locker room before/after games? When I watch the video on their official website, I always see him. Do you know him? I never see/hear how he asks any questions to the players/Berube, so what is he doing there??? Maybe he needs some help from the veteran reporters like you to learn how to ask questions?

    2. Who's hiding behind Loui, the Blues mascot? I'm pretty sure you've seen the guy without the costume (say, during travel or before games)... What's his name?

    Please help, those two really bother me... need to be answered.
    The two most prominent microphone wielders in the Blues dressing room are Luis Nolla of KTRS and David Solomon of KFNS (and at times the Associated Press). They both ask questions from time to time. They are largely "gathering sound" for their radio stations. They have both heard so many questions asked over the years, at Blues and Cardinals and SLU games, that they don't need any help.
    True story: I just saw Louie at the grocery store earlier today.  
    Kostin was plus 1 in four games. Not a large sample size, sure. But the fact that zero goals were scored against suggest that maybe he wasn't so defensively inept. All I'm saying is give the offense a chance to shine until the offensive potential isn't enough to overcome the defensive shortcomings. Maybe he'll even learn from a mistake or two at the highest level.
    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.
    Do you think a prominent "Enforcer" type would be beneficial in any way?
    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?
    What was your impression on De la Rose's game so far? Other than checking/defending, he has not done much, right? Zero offense, just perimeter shots, mostly blocked by the opposition.

    Also, what do you think of Barbashev on the ROR/Perron line? Again, he just looks lost there to me, not following the pace of their game - it seems (unfortunately) that he's true position is being a 4th-liner.

    Finally, important: I still want to figure out who "Louie" is! Would they put me in a jail, if I try to tear his costume head off when I see him at the game next time? :)
  • I thought the first Nashville game was de la Rose's most noticeable, but the whole team looked so bad in that game, it was an easy bar to clear. Not a lot of shots, but he's got his hits up, which might be his best way to stay in the lineup. His history says he's not going to be a goalscorer. Defense is what he needs to bring.
    Barbashev hasn't been good on that line, which is why he's moving back down tonight. He didn't bring a whole lot. It's a small sample size, but it doesn't add to the case for Barbashev being a top six forward at some point.
    And yes, they would put you in jail if you tried to rip off his head. It's not worth it. 
    If you really watch the games, you can see why Kostin was sent down. Berube is a defense first coach and Kostin consistently put himself in positions where he was chasing the play back towards the Blues end. Also, I think its pretty amazing the Blues have played as well as they have with the injuries they have had. Taresenko is the highest scoring player on the team. Of course they will struggle to score when he is out. Also - how could they get someone in a trade to improve the team and stay under the cap? Seems like this is the team they have for this year
    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.
    Anyone to keep an eye on other than Krieder RE: trade for scoring? Jesse Puljujärvi wants out of Edmonton and would be a steal, if the Blues could pry him away from Europe.
  • Puljujarvi has to sign by Dec. 1 to be eligible to play this season, so the clock is running on that. 
    Krieder's the most obvious candidate but it's a somewhat moot point if the Blues think there's a chance Tarasenko is back in the regular season. The list also grows and changes as the season goes on. 
  • How about giving Patrik Berglund a PTO?
  • I have, I have more questions...
    For example, what's the true story behind Barret Jackman leaving the Blues's staff? Very interesting... and JR never talks about it in his podcasts with him. Didn't they like how he contributed?
  • I think it was Jackman's decision.
  • Thanks for your answers today.

    And the final one: and, the "best steakhouse in St. Louis - 2019 award" goes to ... ?
  • 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.
    OK, the net chat time wasn't great, but thanks again to all those who persevered though the inability to ask questions. I promise we'll do better next time. Or, at least, I hope we do better next time, and that less of the staff is on vacation or buying groceries. We're about an hour away from pregame shows. Have a good Thanksgiving, which the Blues will spend in Dallas. The Penguins are in town on Saturday, then the Blues head back on the road.
    Oh, and I've got two more questions to answer. So sort of good bye.
    OK. Any word on Mikkola? Do they still like him in SA?
    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.
    I saw Kostin break up a couple of plays back checking. That to me shows he fits the style Berube wants. You can't play with the puck in the offensive zone all the time. But if you back check you'll help keep the puck out of your net.
    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.
  • What idoes your gut say about Pietrangelo being a Blue next season?
  • It's admittedly a small gut, but I say St. Louis
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