The league makes the call on all but the team captains, so other factors come into play, and certainly O'Reilly being the current Conn Smythe winner no doubt worked in his favor. And it probably also didn't hurt that the league seems to like putting him in front of a camera. Though you also can't underestimate the value of a good two-way forward in a three-on-three game. Perron still has a chance, of course, with the Last Man In voting that starts tomorrow morning.
Yes, but I think the Blues fans will feel more incentive-ized to vote than fans in other cities, which will boost his chances. Chicago fans may want to see Toews in; Blues fans REALLY want to see Perron in.
Welcome to the NHL. This is how it is. Players don't want days off and coaches are only too glad to oblige. I remember Barret Jackman being made a healthy scratch late in his time with the Blues and it was viewed by many as a massive sign of disrespect. On the other hand, Berube gave Binnington consecutive games off and parts of the fan base were fearful that something fishy was going on. It will be the brave coach that starts resting players just because they need rest.
Hockey, unlike baseball or basketball, is a game where a guy is in or out. So that complicates things. If there was a way to not play Ryan O'Reilly, but then if things got out of hand you could put him in (or vice versa) that would be one thing. But he's either playing or he isn't and a coach might feel a bit uneasy about losing a game while having one of his better players sitting around watching. With division races being as tight as they are, every point does matter.
At the deadline, they likely will because if it's a rental, the price comes down and you can deal draft picks and maybe a second-level prospect. The Blues have first and second round picks next year, so they have that. Prospect-wise, they wouldn't trade Kostin or Kyrou; after that, if the acquisition was attractive enough, they could part with a player. If it's for more than a rental, it would be tougher since I don't see them giving up anyone off the current roster unless it was a steal of a deal.
The most promising prospects down there, Kostin, Poganski, Mikkola and Walman, have all passed through St. Louis now. Reinke and Husso have been here before. Walman has revived his game; a year ago, it looked like the bus had left without him. He and Mikkola are the ones to watch, and will be waiting as Gunnarsson and Bouwmeester eventually graduate. Kostin is coming along fine; his next callup will depend on the situation and the need.
The team is staying over in Glendale after the game tonight, so whatever they can find to do in the area around the hotel will be how they celebrate the new year. But they also have a practice there tomorrow morning, so they can't do too much or stay up too late.
I think they're good. As I said earlier, I think Blues fans will be more motivated than fans in other cities, so even with a smaller fan base to draw from, that should help. The mystery in all this is how voters in other cities will vote. If you're in Toronto, do you even bother to fill out the Central Division section of the ballot? If so, what's your motivation? I don't see voters in that case perusing the stats and the analytics and making a thoughtful analysis of the situation. No one will be saying, who has the best GAR among those guys?
It's hockey season. This team practiced on Thanksgiving.
Armstrong is fully aware of the situations with those teams and how the future played out. It's the dilemma he faces: Can he give Pietrangelo as big a contract as Pietrangelo wants over a short term, or does he need to string it out over the maximum years to keep the AAV in line? This is the reality of the salary cap world and it promotes the parity the league wants. But there's also this: The Blues have a window that lasts for three or four more years, and having Pietrangelo makes the team that much better. Would Blues fans be content with a second Cup in that span if the trade off was three crummy years to follow? I suspect they would.
We run the boxscore with every game. There has been a system glitch that has made the player goal totals inaccurate for some recent games, but we run them.
I don't know that Faulk's level of play changes anything. The Blues knew what the situation was when they signed him and this what they were expecting. If he continued to not score, I don't think that would make Armstrong say, Now we've really got to re-sign Pietrangelo! One thing to keep in mind is that Faulk is not the successor to Pietrangelo. Parayko is. Faulk is a key piece, but Parayko will be the guy.
With almost all of last season's team back, it's one big happy family. Faulk has done his best to fit in, Kyrou knows the drill having been around last season and everyone loves Brouwer. If you're going to look for a guys with an axe to grind on most teams, you look at veteran scratches and wonder if they're going to snipe, but with Sanford, Brouwer and Gunnarsson (when healthy) or Bortuzzo, that's not an issue here. Steen's status says it all: Need me on the fourth line? Let's go.
He needs the team to lose, for one. As long as they're winning and playing well, Berube isn't making any changes. After that, he's likely going to need an injury. This team has achieved a bit of a stasis now, and while he might get in a game just to keep him fresh, any long term change is going to require someone not to be able to play. I do think the Blues would turn to Sanford before Brouwer if someone got hurt or needed a night off.
Dallas has not fully explained why Montgomery got fired. This becomes a complicated issue. As long as it goes unexplained, it will be almost impossible for Montgomery to get another job. But what if that explanation makes it apparent who the other party is? Is that fair to that person to drag them into this? The Stars have made their stance. They're not going to say more than they have. The next step is up to Montgomery. Can he find a way to explain the situation that will satisfy anyone? Could another team then hire him without leaving themselves open to widespread criticism?
For a team that considers itself a potential Cup winning team, having a backup goalie who has not played in an NHL game will be a tough sell to management. It's unclear how they could do it, but the Blues would love to get Husso into a game this season, but the only way that happens is if Binnington or Allen gets hurt and they really don't want that. If something allowed Husso to get some work this season, then maybe they would be comfortable with having him as the backup next season. I don't see a net gain to replacing Allen with Elliott or Halak. The savings would be minimal and I'd want to stick with the guy who's already in that role rather than put a new guy in. The Blues were able to make the move with Binnington coming in last season because they were pretty much out of options at that point and figured that Binnington couldn't be any worse than Chad Johnson was.
Brodeur served as goalie coach when Hitchcock and Jim Corsi were let go. He was on the ice every day in practice. MacInnis is never on the ice, so he has not worked with the defense or Parayko in a hands-on capacity. Larry Robinson, when he's around the team, is sometimes on the ice. Of course, none of that precludes having a discussion with Parayko about shooting. But in MacInnis' case, that's as far as it goes.
I didn't see that interview -- I was standing in the hall outside the locker room at the time -- but you can also take that to mean, "Even when I'm playing for the Maple Leafs, deep down, I'll always be a Blue." Chances are Pietrangelo after his retirement is in St. Louis, and no matter what he does contractually after this season, the likelihood is that he will have played the majority of his career in St. Louis. I don't see a quick resolution to his contract situation.
Certainly a case to be made for that. Barring an injury, I think the next four or five seasons of Pietrangelo should be quite good. He's not heading for a career cliff anytime soon.