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.

  • If not every team plays the same number of games, how do you think the NHL will decide the standings? Using a points system means that you can't go by winning percentage. If you try to use a system that accounts for the number of points possible, do you consider every game worth 2 or 3 points?

    In some ways, it would be easier to just have a round robin tournament where all the teams in a division play each other after the season to see who advances, kind like a final four bracket, except that Canada division has an odd number of teams. Playing the many postseason games would also push the playoffs into the Olympic window, should that still be a thing that happens.

    Tom, do you think the league would consider a pause following the regular season and then play the postseason after the Olympics so they could have the time needed to short out the existing scheduling imbalance?
    The league hasn't said it, but points percentage (points divided by (number of games times two)) would almost certainly be the deciding factor. It's what they did last season. Now, what if some team, say Minnesota, played drastically fewer games than the rest of the division? Don't know if they'll set a minimum number of games you need to play.
    Restarting after the Olympics is possible, but unlikely. That would be a 17-day gap. It also would push back the start of the 2021-22 season, which the league is hoping to make as normal as possible, and could endanger the NHL taking part in the Olympics. And the Olympics are to begin in late July, so if you pause then, you're probably down to two or four teams by then if for some reason you chose to make up games after the season. But what would that look like while teams are making up games? Minnesota playing games for two weeks with opponents like the Blues going into play after having a week off? That hardly seems fair. 
    Is Montgomery in any danger of losing his command of the power play?
  • 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.
  • Given Kostin's recent good play, have the odds increased that he will be playing for the Blues sometime this season?
    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.
    So far, the Blues haven't had to deal with the type of COVID-related issues that have stopped other teams from playing. While there is still much science doesn't know about lasting immunity, have you gotten any sense from the organization that the Blues are less concerned about experiencing a significant outbreak since so many of the teams players already contracted the virus last summer?
    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 seem to not work behind the net much. Lack of cycle it seems this year. What gives?
    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.
    Another referee question. Jean Hebert has been in the league 10 years and still one of most inconsistent, if not downright awful, officials in the game. How does the NHL supervise these guys nowadays? There used to be off-ice supervision. Is there still?
    Tom, I hope the fans don’t place the lack of recent success at the feet of our new captain. It’s nothing more than just a title. Players still have to come to the rink prepared and it doesn’t appear some of them are. I can’t believe Sanford is the best option we have right now on left wing. Barbashev is a non factor and Dunn is just a human pylon. What kind of package would the Blues need to put together to get Brady Tkachuk or a player of his ilk?
  • Tom does our Captain Ryan O'Riley have what it takes to lead or fire this team up on the ice? We all know coach get's them fired up in between periods. But I dont see the same Captain-ship as we did with Alex. When we fell behind you could always see Alex getting players fired up for a come back. I dont think Ryan has what it takes to lead a team on the ice, or to a Final. From the looks on the ice, I dont think our players respect him. Faulk or Tarasenko would be a better choice. Thoughts??
    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.
    Happy Wednesday Tom. Thank you for the chat.

    Its apparent the Blues have problems with small and fast forwards. It was the Canucks last year in the playoffs and now the desert dogs. The boys made positive strides Monday and should have won if not for the late penalty. Is it too many undisciplined penalties or is it a deeper issue(s)? Maybe we can't catch them.
    Right now, it's clear that the Blues would not want to face the Coyotes in a playoff series. And the good news it's unlikely they would meet in the first round, since they're more likely to be 3 and 4 in the division.
    The penalty situation has been bad around, and while you can say some of the calls weren't deserved, that's not the case for all of them. It's not as though the Blues deserve zero penalties. And penalties like Schwartz's high stick in the last game are things you just can't do. 
    While I've been typing, Jim's been writing. Here's his report from today's practice:

    Practice update: Berube ponders sitting Mikkola

    STLtoday.comYoung defenseman was not in Blues' top 3 pairs in Wednesday's practice.
    I personally think the blues could take a line from Hitch book and “play simple”. Why is it hard to get on same page this year? Is it really as Chief says and just “Lack of effort” ... what do you think of O’Reilly captaincy (albeit an all to early take)?
    Playing simple is one of the things Berube stresses most. He wants guys who can play a good north-south game, rather than those who play an east-west game. He does not want his team to try to make fancy plays. There have been some new faces mixed in, and maybe more significantly, some old faces taken out, that have made adjusting a little trickier this season. Penalties are often the result of a lack of effort, not moving one's feet and then reaching out with a stick to slow a player who's getting past you. The Blues have not been strong on the puck, and certainly some of the lost puck battles could be blamed on "lack of effort." 
    Seems to me O'Reilly has been fine as captain, though it's really hard to say with any certainty since we see the team at the same distance you do right now. 
    Any thoughts on end of OT rules? Garland gets delayed penalty with :02 seconds left in OT and is allowed to partake in Shoot out. Someone could break someone else’s stick, or slash someone with 5 seconds to go and clock runs out and no repercussions.
    Just something I was thinking the other night.
    Oh and by the way, Garland scores in SO
  • 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
    Tom where are the "Black & Blue" St. Louis Blues? No one fears the Blue Note anymore! Arizona not only faster but also look more aggressive and hard hitting. No way STL can hang with Colorado right now.
    by Tom where are the "Black & Blue" St. Louis Blues? 2/10/2021 8:59:26 PM
    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.
    Any idea why the Coyotes always seem to have a late man busting down the slot wide open? Forwards just heading toward the puck instead of identifying the delayed threat and covering? Forwards not getting back? Take away the tips from last-second odd-man situations, and the Blues win two of the three they lost.
    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.
    Thanks for the chat TT. It seems like the wing on the PP is shooting the one timer from the top of the red faceoff circle. The one time I did see Hoffman shoot from the dot, he scored. Seems like the big scorers get all the way down to the dot. Looks like a tougher angle for the goalie to get to. Also, the pass over seems too low. The goalie is waiting by the time the shot gets taken. Think there might be anything here?
    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.
    Hi Tom,
    Do you think Chiefs message is getting stale? I love Chief and think he is a great coach but when he keeps calling out a portion of the team that he doesn’t feel is playing hard and they don’t do it what should he do? Thanks
    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.
  • Correct on the slow/low assumption Tom. Thanks again
    Tom, Does Sanford deserve to play on any line so far? Poganski looks ready to take that place. Same for Gunnerson, Wahlman looks faster and more aggressive. If there going to play a rush line they need to be faster and more tenacious on the puck. What does Sanford or Gunnerson do well?
    Sanford deserves to play because he's better than the other options. He has shown he can score goals. He's also shown he's maybe the streakiest guy around, and right now this is a low-confidence time for him. Berube has liked him on the penalty kill and he may end up to be more of a defensive forward for the team. But so far this season, the Blues have better without Sanford on the ice than with him on the ice. Hard to judge much about Poganski since we haven't seen him play since last season, and then not much. It sounds like he's going to get a look soon, but I wouldn't expect him to be a savior. 
    Gunnarsson has been a plus defensive player so far, particularly on the penalty kill. But his numbers are down over the past two seasons. 
    Have all of the reverse retro uniforms been burned?
    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.
    What is it about Arizona's style of play that is giving the Blues so much trouble?
    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
    Speaking of the 'Black and Blue' Blues, I don't think we have the ability to wear down teams like we did in the 2019 playoffs. Too many small d-men. We also miss a big body like Pat Maroon, a guy who could park himself in front. Maybe Clifford could be the guy to screen the goalie on the PP? Right now the goalie sees the puck coming.

    Your thoughts?
    Putting Clifford on the power play would be one gutsy move. The Blues have several other guys who they could put in front of the net and expect them to do something with the puck. And O'Reilly or Sundqvist probably just as much width as Clifford does. 
    As for the defense, the Blues have made it their calling card to have big long defensemen who can take away a lot of space, but there is apparently not an infinite supply of those players and sometimes, the really good free agent on  the market is Torey Krug. The Blues still have some big long D -- Parayko, Bortuzzo, Mikkola -- and will have to adapt. 
    Which division will the Western Division winner play in the playoffs?
  • 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.
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