Hello again everybody. We're live from Anaheim. As the kids say, it's been a minute since I've been on the chat. We moved up the time to 11 a.m. to work around the Blues morning skate. (Then we found out yesterday that the Blues would have no morning skate today.) Instead of totally confusing everone and moving the chat back to 1 p.m., we decided to stick with 11 a.m. So lets get going.
I think you're reading way too much into this. For all we know this has been the plan all along, to have him start on the back end of the trip. I think Tarasenko is very anxious to play. He has worked very hard to get ready. As the only media outlet covering the Blues on the road, I've seen him staying well after practice _ a half hour or more _ working, conditiong, doing drills.
It is pretty surprising, although the Blues do have a game in hand on the 'Hawks. I think Chicago has had it's share of injuries as well.
Probably. But keep in mind, I believe there would be a 14-day quarantine entering the country. And given the pandemic, it's harder than usual to get players over from Russia. So let's say the Blues were able to bring him home today. He wouldn't be eligible to play until March 17. Will Schwartz be back by then? Parayko? Bozak? We know Tarasenko will be. It's hard to predict. And it's only in the last, oh, two or three weeks that Kostin's production has really picked up.
Hard to say. But it certainly has become a trend. But I think you have to keep in mind, he's a young player who has playing sparingly. It's much harder for a rookie to stay sharp when he's playing only once a week or once every two weeks than say a Jake Allen who had a few hundred NHL preseason, regular season and postseason games on his resume as a foundation.. Although Husso was witht the Blues in the Edmonton bubble practicing, he had not played in a game since last March until this season started. No preseason games. Nothing. So I figured there might be an adjustment period. And I guess the early goals is part of that adjustment period. But the schedule is intensifying, and Husso will get more work moving forward.
Well, I still think Binnington's antics fired up the team. But you make a great point. Dubnyk is having a bad, bad year. He's given up 16 goals in three starts against StL.
It's one of the mysteries of hockey to this old football writer. Even in the NFL, they at least give the general nature of the ailment on the injury reports. As competitive as hockey players are, I find it hard to believe they'd try to intentionally injure a player. Maybe I'm naive.
As former Rams prez Jay Zygmunt used to tell me, all it takes is one phone call. It could happen at any time. But history shows us, the closer it gets to the offseason, the more likely it is that a player wants to at least explore the market. See: Alex Pietrangelo. And yes, he is easily the biggest unsigned piece. (The other major unsigned core player is Jaden Schwartz.)
You make a good point. But the tea's 5-on-5 play has been pretty good even without the puck possession time of past seasons. The Blues have a little more of a "rush" element with the speed of Kyrou, Hoffman and even Krug (who I think is a little better skater in terms of speed than Pietrangelo). Which means, they've been scoring quicker.
Yeah, Minnesota has been a bit of a surprise, but I think most people had them in the top 4 (either them or Arizona) behind Vegas, Colorado and St. Louis. There's no doubt StL is in a playoff battle. I don't really have a gauge on Minnesota since the haven't played the Blues yet, and won't until March 25!.
The players all say his shot looks as potent as ever. He looks fine in terms of his skating. I've seen how hard he's working. But without the contact of game conditions, it's hard to really know. It's the mystery of his return.
He has been better with the puck lately. It seems like the longer he hangs on to the puck in his own zone, the more likely he is to have issues. So I say the key is being quick and decisive in his own end. And when in doubt, use his speed and skating ability to get out of trouble, instead of passing the puck into potential trouble. I'd say right now, it's hard to say that Dunn will be protected ahead of Parayko, Faulk and Krug in the expansion draft.
A lot of times, if you see the injury occur in real time, you have a pretty good idea. If it's something you don't see on the ice, it's harder to have a sense of what's going on. Occasionally, we will have an idea of what's going on. Here's an extreme case: I knew about Parayko's back problems maybe a month or so ago, but was compromised by a source. While everyone else was wondering about Parayko's less-than-stellar play, I at least indicated in my writing that he was hurting. But the worst thing you can do is burn a source by revealing something they don't want revealed. So I didnt write that it was a back injury. Well, JR ended up reporting the back injury and hats off to him. I should have worked harder to get independent confirmation.
In his state of the team Zoom call, GM Doug Armstrong echoed your thoughts. He said if the team can push its way through the injuries, it might harden the team and help them make a late push once at least some of the players return. If that's the case, then sure, Berube should be a candidate.
My guess is Saturday in Los Angeles.