Greetings sports fans. It's our first-ever July game-day chat. Decades in the making! They said it couldn't be done! But here we are, 4 1/2 hours away from the Blues lacing them up and taking on Chicago. If you've got questions, I'll give it my best effort.
Salad. Red leaf lettuce, a light Caesar dressing, prosciutto, dried cranberries.
It does feel like an awful long time ago. I remember having dinner with someone from the Blues in Chicago on that last multi-game trip about how we were soon going to be having games in empty arenas. He scoffed at the idea.
Players have been told to stay within their own team as much as possible for the first two weeks. While they may run into others on the elevator, at the start, they want to keep everyone separate.
If that's the one on the Blues website, I don't think it's official official. There was no morning skate today so that's all based on what we've seen in practice and what we expect to happen. I think a seventh D is likely, and it will be Mikkola. Dunn has practiced four times in four months, so I don't think they want to throw him out there just yet. Though I can't rule out Brouwer getting in. He hasn't played in a game in a long, long time and I wouldn't be surprised if he's one of the first bench players Berube turns to.
Not full visors, if that's what you mean.
The way the Western Conference is, I don't know that there is going to be an appreciable difference to any of the top four spots. Wins would be good for confidence, but being the No. 4 seed probably won't change a team's odds much. And the round robin games will afford Berube to work more guys into the lineup and get game time before the elimination games begin. That's the advantage the four top seeds in each conference have, though they will be at a disadvantage in playing teams that have already had high-pressure games under their suspenders in the second round.
Regular officials for the postseason, in usual numbers, and they were in the bubble before the players were. And they'll follow the standard elimination process, with their numbers being reduced as the postseason goes on. Don't know that any of them opted out.
Now, that's a conspiracy theory. Tkachuk is only an RFA, so unless offer sheets become a thing again in the NHL, that seems unlikely.
If there's one thing I've picked up fro talking to a bunch of analytics types, it's don't look past Montreal. They underperformed relative to their numbers during the regular season, and they have a goalie who can get hot as well. And Minnesota could surprise. But really, I don't think anything I see in this postseason will count as a surprise. It's a very clean slate and past performance may be no indication of future performance. There are all sorts of variables at play, some we may not even know. Your safest bets are the big dogs, Bruins, Lightning, Blues, Avalanche, but it's anyone's hockey game.
Kyrou is in an interesting place. This is, really, the start of his second season, not the end of his first. With Kostin, it's the start of his first. Four months have passed. These are different guys now. And at the other end, that goes for Alexander Steen. This is one more season for him. With that in mind, Kyrou is certainly poised to make his mark if he gets the chance. Who gets in will depend on the circumstances. We know MacEachern is being prepped for when Barbashev is gone, and I think Berube will turn to Brouwer for his experience, but Kyrou is in line too, and who gets in may depend on what the spot they need to fill, whether to injury or suspension or bad play. It's expected that coaches will be quick to react if a player is struggling, though everyone on the Blues except maybe Blais or Sanford has earned a long runway.
See above, but yes, Kostin could figure in, but right now, he's clearly in the second group and Brouwer, Kyrou and de la Rose are ahead of him in the pecking order.
I saw the stills afterward. They got their money's worth on that line change. Wouldn't be surprised if we saw more of that.
The Lightning seem to be picking up where they left off, up 5-0 on Florida in the closing minutes.
As I wait for more questions to arrive, I'll say another thing to watch will be how the ice holds up. Three games a day in summer is not a great situation. Humidity shouldn't be as much of a factor since they won't be opening the doors much for people to come in, but in the early stages, those rinks are going to be worn out.
A marketing opportunity missed. If MLB can get a sponsor for it spring training, why not?
Welcome to the later arrivals to the chat. Step right up.
The Wild and the Avalanche have just taken to the ice in Edmonton. Minnesota has chosen to go with just 20 players, while the Avs with 22. While it's nice to get guys extra ice time, sometimes it just makes a muddle of things, especially if you want to have lines get time together. In the Blues case, having two guys on the fourth line would work since they'll need two combinations during the playoffs.
A little, though the thought of the 14-day quarantine stuck in his hotel room is frightening. And because he's on an upper floor, he can't open his window. That is not an easy gig he's got right now, though he's only a few days away from his freedom.
Jim points out from Edmonton that Pat Maroon played 16:57 in the Tampa Bay game, which is about as much as he's played in any game this season. (He's had two games of 17 minutes or more.) Don't be surprised if Berube just keeps rolling four lines tonight.
That Wild-Avalance game seems, well, wild. (Avalanche doesn't work.) Three goals in the first five minutes.
Shutting the team down while waiting for the situation to sort itself out? It's about their only option. As long as it's contained to one team, you can do that. If the other 29 teams are OK, they might as well let them play. I don't think they want to cancel the whole season based on one team. But the problem the league is going to have is that as long as these players spend time in the real world, both at home and in hotels on the road, they are susceptible to getting the virus, even if they don't do something stupid. It's out there. And then one person gets it and pretty soon a dozen can have it. The NHL bubble will work much better because there is much less chance for contact with anyone outside who you might get it from. MLS, NBA and the NWSL all have had zero positives once they got settled into their bubbles.
Kraken. I can live with it, though I'd like it more if there was an "S" on the end, though kraken and krakens are both used as the plural of kraken. I was an advocate of Sockeyes, but it seems there might have been some copyright issues. Got to give them credit: It's a new nickname, which is hard to do nowadays.