I don't know if they're at that point. Armstrong and Berube expressed confidence the other day that they'd end up playing a full 82 games. O'Reilly wasn't so sure. Here's the thing: after you test positive and go through the quarantine or isolation period, you don't have to be tested for 90 days. The Blues have had 14 players on COVID and none of them are at the stage where they have to get tested again. So mathematically, I guess they've reached the point where there aren't that many players left who can test positive.
If anything, maybe they move the game up to the afternoon.
Pretty sure it's going to be Alexei Toropchenko.
I don't see it happening. If I understand the emergency goalie provisions corrently, Lindgren has until Jan. 3 before he can be sent back to Springfield without having to clear waivers. If that's true, and I think it is, he would only have tonight's game and the Winter Classic before then. And I think we all expect Binnington to be in goal for both of those games.
Interesting poiint. The hit totals certainly increased once all of the callups were here - especially Joshua and Toropchenko. But in doing some research on this for something I wrote a couple of weeks back, I was somewhat surprised to see that the overall hit totals weren't all that high for the Blues even in the Cup year. (Although the hit totals were amped up considerably in the playoffs that year.) I think they have enough players under contract who can hit people. For example, what would you think of a fourth line of Kostin-Joshua-Toropchenko? The question is, who goes to make room for them on the roster?
You know, we've discussed this a lot in various forums - chat, NetFront podcast, online, radio - and I think it's maybe the No. 1 question swirling around the team at the moment.. If you think Mikkola is the answer, then no. if he's not the answer, then I think the answer is yes. But at the moment, I couldn't predict which way the Blues will go on this. And remember, whatever moves you make you've got to squeeze them into an already tight cap situation.
Even in a league that seems to be trending towards speed and skill, it does seem like physicality remains an important component of playoff success. So yes, I think a physical Blues team would be a more successful Blues team in the playoffs. As I mentioned before, the Blues have other players who can play that style such as Joshua and Toropchenko. But if you commit to them it means somebody else has to go.
Well, let's not forget Tarasenko's thoughts on not getting the captainship after Petro departed for Vegas. I don't sense that he has a particularly warm and fuzzy relationship with O'Reilly. But it's really hard to gauge that from the outside, especially since we're not in the locker room in the COVID age. I will add that a lot of players do seem to think highly of Tarasenko - Robert Thomas among them.
I don't know if they read the chat. But Armstrong has said he pays attention to what's on Twitter. Berube has said he reads stories. I've heard Berube make statements on certain topics that lends credence to the fact he is paying attention to what's being written about the team - at least by the mainstream writers. David Perron seems to have a sense for what's being said or written about the team.
I think it just shows how meaningful the Olympics are to many players. I think that's especiallyt true for some of the foreign players. But I also think there are just as many players, if not more, who were wary of going to Beijing given COVID and the COVID protocols in place in China. They just haven't been as vocal about it as Tarasenko or Brad Marchand.
Based on the results of last season, and what we've seen so far this season, why would you think anything else? Although I do think the gap may have closed some between the teams.
There's no guarantee that Lindgren ends up on the taxi squad. I think it's more likely he ends up in Springfield. Doug Armstrong has made it plain on more than one occasion that he's not a big fan of the taxi squad. He'd rather have players playing. And for the most part, I see his point. One thing that's different about the taxi squad this year, you can only be there for 20 days, which I think would prevent you from getting too stale.
I see your poiint. I also have a sense for how important representing Russia in the Olympics is to Tarasenko.
I don't know if "dilemma" is the right word for it, but yeah, let's see what happens with the skill guys back in the lineup.
Hah! I've had enough practice by now.
Wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
Thanks for the question. I haven't talked to any Blues people about Loof and Dickinson for a while. Obiously they're high on both players. If you're playing in the World Juniors, you're a pretty good prospect , right? Loof is playing overseas in the Finland pro league (the Liiga), so he's seeing good competition. Dickinson is putting up pretty good numbers for the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL. I guess, we should write something on these guys in the semi-near future.