Berube just said Bozak won't play on Thursday. Blais took his spot on that line. Thomas has done well defensively, but that half of his game still needs more work than the offensive side. Bozak takes most of the draws on that line in the defensive zone, so he's center a lot of the time already.
Being on the taxi squad is the same as being in the AHL. So taking a player off the main roster and putting him on the taxi squad would require those players go through waivers. Mikkola and Kyrou are the only players on the current varsity roster who are waiver exempt, so you couldn't just bring guys up from the taxi squad en masse without clearing a roster spot. You could conceivably yoyo Mikkola up and down to make a spot, or think you could slip de la Rose through. But yes, your options are limited. It's not a free pass.
It's probably linked to just having a lot of defensemen, giving them flexibility there, and he's easier to move than most. I'm generally an advocate of sticking with the known commodity rather than the prospect, especially if they're not that far apart in age, unless there's exceptionally compelling evidence to the contrary. Perunovich being Dunn-like, though, certainly works in his favor
Brayden Schenn just now in Las Vegas on fans being allowed in Enterprise on the next homestand: "Fourteen hundred will seem like 10,000."
It's true that there apparently won't be any supplemental discipline on Stone.
The NHL has said they will wait their turn for vaccines. And it's unlikely the NHLPA would go along with forcing everyone to be vaccinated. That topic is being discussed.
The Blues certainly disagreed with the Scandella penalty last night. Some of the penalties were pretty clear cut. If the refs are calling the games tighter, the Blues are going to have to learn to adapt. Or wait out the refs until they get into midseason mode and stop calling things. Even if one call per game is just bad, that still leaves too many penalties for the Blues in most cases.
With the Blues playing so often, I have to say I haven't seen as many games around the league as in other years, but based on the emails I get from the league about situation room decisions, it does seem to be fewer. Though I haven't seen actual numbers.
I think he would have to sue Mark Stone, and I don't know that he'd get much traction on that
He hasn't really brought it on offense this season, and the team's power play struggles certainly aren't helping that. That's also probably not helped by ending up on the third line, though as Thomas goes, so probably will go Hoffman. He's held his own defensively. As in most cases, I'd say give him time.
I would too, but alas, I don't think you could make that work in this day and age. There are probably a lot of out of work barrel jumpers up in Canada and Minnesota right now.
The KHL regular season ends at the end of February and the playoffs run through the end of April, so if he does, that's probably when it would happen. At this point, keeping him in the KHL is probably the better way to go because it keeps him getting better games than he would on the taxi squad or in Utica. Unless he has a long run in the postseason there, he could still be in North America for half the season. Whether he spends that time with the Blues would depend on injuries and the like. Right now, it would be hard to find a place for him. It's been hard to find a place for Blais, and will be even harder when Tarasenko comes back.
We haven't heard anything in a while, and the last we heard was he was on schedule for getting back in February. But no reports of him being on the ice in any significant way so far.
After Perunovich and Walman, the Blues are high on Hofer in goal, but he's got some years to go, Laferriere showed well in camp last year but doesn't have anywhere to play right now. Tucker is an interesting prospect, a defenseman who they've used as a forward and seem to be giving long looks to. Toropchenko and Alexandrov are prospects. The Blues are heavily invested in now.
Most veteran backups who will be available will be available for a reason.
Wanted to make sure I got this one in. Thanks!
There is a magical quality to the healthy scratch. The Blues have had success with that before, so we'll see if it moves the needle with Dunn. Scandella and Parayko would form a formidable shutdown pairing if that's what the Blues want. Krug and Faulk can take turns going forward. With Krug and Parayko on separate pairings, does raise the issue of which pairing would go out when a Blues power play ends.
Blues players seem to like them, though right about now, they're playing games, so they like just about anything. We could see parts of this live on, but under the current NHL schedule framework, the only times you could really play multiple games in one city would be within the division. It's probably less of a deal in the East, where so many teams are so close. After most road games in the past, players shower, get dressed and head to the airport to fly to the next city. Now, they can go back to their hotel (and in normal times, go out to eat) after a game and get a more regular night's sleep.
Certainly seems like the other team is adjusting better, but some of it is also an illusion. The Blues beat the Kings in their first game but they got outplayed by them and beat the odds to win. It's hard to do that two games in a row. And they weren't that much better than San Jose in Sharks 1. Someone, I think it was Schenn, said that after the first Los Angeles game, they were feeling too good about themselves. They shouldn't. But don't be surprised if they lose to Vegas on Thursday. Vegas is really good. Two wins in a row there would be quite a feat.
If the Blues are in a situation where they have to outscore teams, that doesn't bode well. They're not built for that. They're designed to win a lot of 3-2, 3-1 games. Their expected goals number is right around 2.0 most nights. Last night was 2.78, which was a season high. So they're going to win by keeping the other team's score down, rather than theirs up. To do that, they need to keep the game 5 on 5, keep out of the penalty box, and get good goaltending.
Avalanche 1 was probably the Blues best game this season. They scored goals and limited what the Avs got. It's still a team learning to put the pieces together. They also had to kill only four power plays in that game. It was the closest they've had to an orderly game so far.
His poor pay? I guess if he thought he was being paid poorly, that could affect his play. But there's probably a dozen other things that could be affecting it more, most that we have no idea about.
East, West, Central, North.
Ah heck, I've still got a bunch of questions and I've got to stop the chat. So sorry for everyone who's questions I didn't get to. But we'll be back next week, and who knows what excitement may have happened by then. Or if everyone is still on the team. See you next week.
And if you're dying for an answer to a question I didn't get to, email me.