The Blues have had a system where everybody lends a hand, so the power play has never been exclusively Montgomery's. Steve Ott was out on the ice today running the show when they did power play work. It's a constant exchange of ideas among the staff as to what they should try.
Right now, they're decreased because he's in Russia. The KHL season ends at the end of the month and then the playoffs will decide when Kostin can rejoin the Blues. (At this point, I'm assuming he'll stay in the KHL until his team's season is over,because at least there he'll be playing.) Assuming he has to go through quarantine when he gets back, that's another two weeks, then some time to work in with the team and get used to the smaller ice. And then we'll see how much of a season there is and what the Blues forward situation is. If by then Bozak, Tarasenko and Thomas are back in the lineup and no one else has gone out, there may not be room for him. A lot of question marks still out there.
Perron said it again today: Teams that get COVID outbreaks may just be unlucky, and right now, the Blues have been lucky. The Blues haven't had enough players to have COVID already to have herd immunity, and those that had it had long enough ago that they may have lost much of their immunity. If anything, the earlier troubles they had may have made them a bit more religious to knowing what the dangers are if they don't follow the rules, and first hand knowledge of how bad it can be. So we'll see what happens.
The Blues go maybe once a game where they get the puck in and keep it in and run up the zone time. So that's good, but it's not enough. Their propensity for turnovers leads to that. Also, and I assume Darren Pang has mentioned this on broadcasts because we were talking about it the other day, the Blues last year and before were good at dumping the puck into the zone in a place where they had a good chance of retrieving the puck, or at least being 50-50 for it. Now, they don't do that as much, and they dump it in and turn it over. Before you can have zone time, you have to have the puck.
Differing opinions on the Blues captain. I think back to a couple seasons ago, when there was talk about whether the Blues should take away Pietrangelo's C because the team was struggling. That seemed to work out. Taking away O'Reilly's C this quickly would be a bad thing to do. O'Reilly is a guy who leads with hard work. He takes every loss very personally. I don't think the Blues troubles are from a lack of leadership, at least one month into the season.
As for that referee question that I inadvertently hit a few questions back, there's no change in off-ice supervision of referees. Tapes are reviewed, games are analyzed. It's certainly a little different this season in that the personal, face to face element isn't there, but, as I said earlier, it's a tough season for everyone. And refs do more travel than anyone else and they're flying commercial.
Yeah, it does seem like someone with a penalty late in overtime should have to do more than sit out the five seconds or so that's left, but it doesn't come up all that often. And the shootout is just a different animal altogether
Right now Arizona doesn't fear them and they're the only team the Blues play. But I don't know that teams particularly fear other teams nowadays. It will be a lot easier to assess this Blues team when they play someone else for a change. Which right now won't happen until next Thursday when they play San Jose.
The Coyotes are quite adept at taking a turnover and quickly having numbers coming back the other way. If they always seem to have a late man busting down the slot wide open, I would say that means that there are probably forwards who aren't getting back quickly enough. That can also happen because the other team is just faster than they are.
I assume you mean slow instead of low. Moving the puck quickly is one of the keys to the power play. That's how you get shots. The Blues appear to be taking more one-timers on the power play than in the past. For that to happen, they have to move the puck quickly across the ice. The Blues also seem to have trouble with very aggressive power plays, which keep them from getting set up. It has always seemed to me that other teams have been able to take far more shots into an open portion of the net than the Blues do.
I think the Blues would say that the style of play they need to win is being hard on the forecheck, getting the puck and setting up offensive zone time. Doing something other than that is not how this team is built. The Blues won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago doing that, so I would think that message should still ring loud and clear. And there are enough new faces, Faulk, Krug, Hoffman for starters, who haven't been around long enough for anything to get stale.
One would hope. Though I have to say, I didn't hate them as much as I thought I would. But I thought I would hate them an awful lot and I only strongly disliked them.
Just about everything, it would seem. They've made it hard for the Blues to get into the zone, then get set up in the zone, they've made the Blues speed up their play and turn over the puck, and then countered quickly, and they've won the special teams game
The four division winners will be ranked by points and the team with the most will play the team with the least. So we won't know until we get there.