Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Chat all things Blues with Tom Timmermann at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 1 p.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    Greetings one and all as we get ready for, let me check the schedule, oh! How about that! A game with the Coyotes. Haven't seen them since Monday. So here we go.
    I always wanted to know, did G Chad Johnson get his name engraved on the cup?
    He did not. And there were several people in line ahead of him.
    Do you think the makeup of the Blues defense is the big problem especially their PK? Krug/Faulk are just average in the defensive end and PK(not shot blockers or big bodies) so play very little. RH Paranko and Bartuzzo (when healthy) excellent at both. Only 1-3 LH (Scandella,Mikkola,Gunny) who are good get to play and one is forced to play off wing when Bart is injured. Dunn has never played PK and is avoided when Blues start in the defensive end. He was hidden defensively in the past but w Krug/Faulk no Petro/JayBo he causes a huge mismatch problem (especially PK). Do you think the Blues would get better w "addition by subtraction" by removing Dunn from the lineup?
    Personnel has made it a different PK. Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester and Steen, three mainstays of the group, are gone. Bortuzzo has been hurt. Gunnarsson down a notch in his game. 
    As for your questions:
    No idea when Scandella is 100 percent. He didn't practice again today. With back to backs coming up, he may miss the next two games as well. 
    No, you may not sit Parayko to get his confidence back. At least, I don't think that's likely. Whatever is bothering him is presumably not something that is going to get better with a couple days off, or they would have done that already. He's going to be playing through whatever he's got.
    The market for Dunn, or any other Blues defenseman, will be a changing situation. If some team loses a D for the season and really wants someone, that could drive the market. But also, it's very possible both may not be 100 percent this season. It's hockey. Players get hurt. 
    Actually, I went out of order. Here's the question for the answer below:
    Lots of little things wrong lately -- no zip on Krug's passes, Parayko struggling to skate to his talent level, Dunn being caught out of position or flat-footed too often, Sanford just not finding his game. But the penalties are the thing, and since we can't improve the refs' eyesight or judgment, we just have to see the Blues (a) regain discipline and (b) improve the PK.

    I see the PK as depending on the right D pairings, so three questions come to my mind:
    1. How long until Scandella is 100%?
    2. Can we sit Parayko awhile to get his speed and confidence back? And
    3. Once those two are back to 100%, where can we trade Dunn, so that Mikkola and Bortuzzo can form the other D pair?
    As for removing Dunn from the lineup, which is the question from the question that I skipped past -- too many questions about the D showing up in the queue -- they've done it. They may do it again. I think they feel Dunn got better after his healthy scratch Ultimately, the Blues may be compelled to trade Dunn with salary cap concerns, so you may get your wish. Dunn's offense has been down a bit so far, and while his defense hasn't been as good as last season, he's ahead of the league average when it comes to expected goals not allowed.
    OK, now to get back to answering questions immediately after publishing them.
    Watching our shot blockers on PK is there a restriction on protective gear for lower legs and feet? I remember awhile back a defenseman wore extra sized shin guards which made him so effective against the Blues. Thinking out of the box could they make a snap on legging(like those wristbands) to wear on the PK and net front presence on PP for protection but take off so as to not hinder skating speed?
    I don't know that they could put something on on the outside of their uniforms. Many players have snap on clear plastic guards they put on over their skates for blocking shots, but other than that, you pretty much have to wear what you're wearing. Though I have to admit, I haven't consulted the rule book on this.
    How are the analytics on Krug/Faulk, shots/goals for and against?
    For Faulk, the Blues are +2 % on offense (in expected goals) with him out there and opponents are +1 %.
    For Krug, the Blues are +5 % on offense with him out there and opponents are +1 %. So, so far, a bit more offense out of Krug than Faulk and their defensive play is even.
    Parayko is -3 (offense) and +2 (defense). So he's been subpar on both ends
    THREE more consecutive games with the Coyotes? Egads Tom I would prefer seeing them playing the Av’s or Golden Knights. The Yotes look like the ‘69 Montreal Canadians when facing the Blues. Coach Berube strikes me as a person not willing to keep taking punches without retaliating. What changes do you expect from the Blues in these next 3 games? Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    Well, those games with the Avs and the Golden Knights are going to come eventually, and you may be seeing four games in a row with the Wild coming up in April. (All of this is a reminder that you should also be looking at points percentage rather than points in the standings because there's a good chance not every one plays the same number of games.) 
    The changes you'll see on Friday are probably going to see the changes you saw on Monday. Same combinations on the lines and power play today, though there's a chance Poganski draws in for MacEachern at some point, though that won't be a game changer. For the most part, Berube liked their play on Monday. Fewer ill-advised penalties is something else they need to do. 
    I thought that de la Rose played well on Monday. Sometimes it takes until a player's second year with the Blues before they get the hang of the team's style of play. I would like to see de la Rose get some more opportunities. What do you think?
    The numbers don't quite agree with your assessment -- Blues offense was down and Arizona's offense was up with him on the ice -- but it was his first game. In the short term, with the Blues down two centers and the desire to play Barbashev on the top line, you'll be seeing more of dlR. He's never going to get a lot of playing time, even when he's a regular in the lineup. Looks like he'll be in Friday.
    Why did the blues dress 7 defensemen a couple of games ago?
  • Berube said it was because he thought that they would need help on the PK that game. I think they were also looking for a chance to get Walman in the lineup without risking being caught short. And Clifford was only going to play five minutes, so why not? Of course, then Thomas got hurt and it all got scrambled.
    One thing to give the Blues credit for in that game: Despite having 10 forwards and the lines being retooled constantly, they didn't get called for too many men on the ice. You have to take things when you can.
    I enjoyed reading about the great Dan Kelly today. I grew up listening to Mr. Kelly, I can't believe he's been gone since 1989. I never had the opportunity to meet him, I'm curious if anyone on the chat has any stories of Dan Kelly.
    What a downer to cough up the game the other night with less than a second. Unfortuantely, we've seen our team do that too many times.

    Does anyone keep stats on how often a team scores into the empty net of a team that pulls the goalie vs. how often the attacking team succeeds and puts the biscuit in when they have an empty net? I would bet that the Blues give up way more than average when the other team pulls their goalie.
    They do and you can find them in the stats at Look for goals for by strength and goals against by strength. This season, the Blues are tied for the league lead with three goals scored when the opponent pulls its goalie, while they have given up one at 6 on 5 for the other team and one at 6 on 4, which would put them fourth. And you can play around with the years.
    Tom, thanks for dong this! hope lunch was good..
    are blues fans beginning to get paranoid? I know its a losing streak...but, we are essentially 3rd in the division, right where expected....a 101 point pace, if this was a 82 game season...
    And, somehow, still ahead of Arizona in the standings. 
    But I'd say the Blues have more points than they deserve at the moment. There were a couple of games they won that they shouldn't. Things like that have a tendency to come around on you. 
    Why don't the Blues ever use Hoffman on shootouts?
    Don't know. Hoffman is 4/17 in his career in shootouts, which is 24 percent. The three Blues who went on Monday were O'Reilly 33 percent, Perron (35) and Schenn (25). So he's probably not far behind in line.
    Thomas has not been dangerous and been a non factor most nights. Kyrou made the jump to improve his game in the same amount of time(both 3rd year pros) with much less opportunity in games. He doesn't seem to be able to elevate the play of a line, even when Hoffman was on it. At what point do they decide he's a winger, which he has been more effective as in past years because Bozak should be back by the time his thumb injury heals.
  • The Blues see Thomas' future as a center, his natural position they feel. He looked good the first couple of games, but then didn't. To be a better center, he's going to have to shoot, because everyone knows now he's not going to, which makes it tougher to pass when everyone is looking for that. You could make a case that his play dropped when Bozak went out. Not sure what that would mean, but the timing is there. He's still learning. The Blues aren't giving up on Thomas at center any time soon.
    Playing a team five times in a row when the winner doesn't advance a round is absurd. The NFL season teetered a few times and the NBA has dealt with its own COVID concerns, but neither league had to deal with a quarter of their teams having to isolate in a different country or compressing their schedule down to make sure their seasons finished before an Olympics that may or may not actually happen. Tom FIVE NHL teams are currently not playing games right now. How concerned are you that the season falls apart considering the shortened schedule and how many teams are simply unable to play?
    I think there's a pretty decent shot that not every team plays 56 games. It's going to be harder for teams like the Wild to make up all the games they've lost, if the schedule isn't extended. (Which is possible if the Olympics don't happen.) I don't see the season getting scrapped. A pause is possible. Soon, the Blues and Coyotes will run out of games to play against each other, so some teams could be shutdown through no fault of their own.
    It seems to me that many of the forwards aren't super committed to backchecking, which in turn makes the job of the defense so much more difficult. Is that a fair observation?
    Right now, pretty much everything is a problem. I think the more common issue is the Blues turning the puck over, leading to odd-man breaks coming back the other way, or turning the puck over and not getting it out of their zone, leading to extended zone time for the other team. The Blues, meanwhile, have not been able to get the extended zone time that they have thrived on.
    Mr. Timmermann,

    Thanks for chatting again! In addition to no use in the shootouts, I feel Hoffman has been under-utilized this entire season. Third line and fairly limited power play minutes are not the best ways to get the most from him. His brief elevation a couple games ago to a line with 90 and 57 yielded instant results. Why not keep him there?
  • Yeah, I didn't foresee Hoffman as a third-line winger, but that's where he's been most of the time. I thought once put on the O'Reilly-Perron line he would stay there, but Berube sees a need for a good forechecker on each line, so there you go. To many, having a deep enough lineup where Hoffman is a third liner would seem a benefit, but in the Blues case, it seems to point to shortcomings elsewhere that need to be filled. I don't see Barbashev on that line being a permanent solution -- I was actually surprised it survived Monday night -- so there's a decent chance Hoffman gets back there. Hoffman has been upping his shot totals lately, which is a good sign. He's a volume shooter.
  • It seems twice in this series we have played decent hockey. Monday and when we faced Ranta... what is keeping us from capitalizing on opportunities?
    In the Ranta game, it was good goaltending. In only three games this season have the Blues had an expected goals total of more than three. The chances have been lacking, and when they get them, they're not always putting them in. At some points, it's been lack of a net front presence. A lot of shots from the outside. The goals the Blues got on Monday were promising, gotten down low, though helped along by being able to pull Kuemper out of position.
    Mr. Timmermann,
    It was easier to pick three defensemen to protect in the expansion draft when Faulk was not playing very well. As good as he had been so far, I don't feel so inclined to hope the Blues expose him for Seattle. Do you think it's a fair bet the Blues are going to lose a defenseman? Parayko and Krug seem almost certain to be protected. Would it be too big of a risk to expose Faulk and hope the hefty price and term scare Seattle off? If available, I think Dunn or Mikkola would likely be taken.
  • Unless Seattle sees a forward that they really covet, or the Blues change their backline, a defenseman is going to be lost. The cost of protecting four defensemen is too high, leaving too many forwards exposed. Which is one reason to think about trading Dunn. If you're going to lose him in the draft, trade him, get someone back (actually, get a draft pick back) and lose someone else, maybe a forward in that case. There's always been the potential for a gamble in leaving Faulk exposed and hoping his salary scares Seattle away, but the Kraken have to hit the league's salary floor, so they have to pick more than just 29 guys who make $1.5 million a year. 
    But the reality is, the Blues are going to lose somebody they would like to keep. That's the reality of the expansion draft. They have to accept that and move on. 
  • Whats going on with the refs this year. When is holding an opponents stick down called hooking or slashing. Is the league playing with AHL refs. Too many weak calls. This is the NHL can the boys just play. Or do these refs just have to have that camera time Tom??
  • It's a tough year for everybody. The whistles will get put away at some point, I would imagine. But not a shining season so far.
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