I watched Colorado closely down the stretch because I picked up Philipp Grubauer for my fantasy team. He caught fire ala Binnington and saved them. That is a one-line team, but that is a heck of a line, right up there with Boston's top line. The 'Lanche got somewhat better defensively, too, which surprised me. Earlier this season they subjected their goaltenders to a shooting gallery.
That is very low, even in this chilly market. He is hitting like a $20 million-per-year guy once again, although getting that money these days would be tough. He would have to get at least $70 million for four years, right?
The Blues also shifted away from "Rearviewmirror" to close out their pregame warm-up. That's a change I object to.
On the flip side of that, I hated to see the movement against massive roster expansion for September. That gave a lot of younger guys a nice taste of the big leagues and allowed teams with good farm systems (like the Cardinals) have to win the arms race with massive bullpens. In fact, the Cardinals were one of the teams that exploited the 40-man rule so well that the change became necessary,
Sometimes spring stats are telling, sometimes they are no. Obviously the competition level in exhibition play is much worse. On the other hand, if a hitter is seeing the ball well and squaring up pitches on the bat, that can carry over even to the colder weather and the real games. And if a hitter is horrendous in the spring, that can have a negative carrryover too.
I hope you put at least a hondo down on that. That could buy a decent weekend of fun.
For the record, Stan Kroenke is a "land-hoarding recluse." But to Stan's credit, his boy Josh has both Denver teams in a better place after years of abject failure.
The dreaded app blackout? That cannot stand! NBC definitely needs to get its act together in that case. As for the Benn line, Stars coach Jim Montgomery gets the last change at home and he will want the Faksa checking line on O'Reilly. That will force other Blues lines to take Benn/Seguin/Radulov. That will be an interesting chess match. Which Blues line will Montgomery try to exploit with his top line?
He has taken some shots for sure. I believe the players association needs to dig in and take care of the younger players who are getting exploited big time in the current environment. The issues are clear and I believe they are winnable for the players, since owners are no longer throwing stupid money at old guys.
Luke Voit could have been the cornerstone of a Cardinals dynasty? Unlikely. I look at the numbers Mozeliak acquisitions like Ozuna, Goldschmidt, Fowler and J. Martinez are putting up and I look at the standings and I wonder what the fuss is. Couldn't this wait until the team is slumping?
Obviously Carpenter had slow starts before. And he's always struck out a lot. But . . . you do wonder what the rush was in giving him that extension. He wasn't going anywhere. You look at Carpenter's age and you look at another weeks-long struggle and you start wondering if Mozeliak will have more dead money on his hands in a few years.
This is not the first time a team tried to block out-of-town fans from buying tickets. That is all part of playoff gamesmanship, trying to create the best possible home-ice advantage. There are workarounds, of course, but the Stars don't want to see planeloads of Blues fans arriving for Game 3.
I'm guessing the Blues want to make sure their sell out their playoff games before they start getting cute. There have been some Jets and Stars fans at the games this spring.
Eddie sure liked that playoff pick Brett Hull put on him for a series-clinching goal. The man went berserk at the old barn.
That's fair. I didn't see the rush there, either, especially for those many years. As it turned out, the market went south on pitching. Had the Cardinals waited, they might have gotten Miles for half of that at some point.
Some fans live in the unhappy past, some fans want to see a thrilling live event. Playoff hockey is thrilling. There is a whole new generation of Blues fans who never got to know Garth Butcher.
There is certainly no need to expand the playoffs. You're right, making it to the postseason should mean something. When 16 of 21 teams made it, some of those series were dreadful.
I believe it's been around for a while, in one form or another. Red Wings fans used to travel en masse before their team went into the crapper.
Piscotty had his ups and downs here, as did Grichuk. They had to earn their at bats in prime lineup spots and at times they didn't. There was nothing usual about how the Cardinals handled their development. They've had a lot of outfield competition in recent years. And they have more of this year, as Bader will find out during the weeks ahead.