Hello one and all. And welcome to our first Blues chat of 2022. Let's get going.
That's a good question. At one rink - and I can't remember which - they're in a huge glass-enclosed case on the floor.
I don't have to think too hard on this one. Underrated: Anaheim. Overrated: Montreal.
Can I say everything? And we're not even halfway through the season. For starters, I'm surprised the Springfield call-ups have done so well - especially Charlie Lindgren. Suprised at the number of COVID cases on the team - 14 players, 1 coach. Surprised at the offensive production of Ivan Barbashev. Surprised that the Blues boarded the team bus in Minny in beachwear. I could go on, but I'll stop there.
Not since COVID. The last trip the Post-Dispatch took with the team was just before the orignal COVID shutdown in March of 2020.
Nothing that I can point to with certainty. Maybe management wants to see how the team performs in the playoffs after flops in both the past two postseasons.
I know it sounds like a copout, but I can't ponit to just one player. For one, there's so much ground to cover here in terms of all the players who have been injured and/or been on the COVID list. Their worst stretch of the season - in early to mid Nov. - came at a time when Schenn (hiis first injury) and Krug (COVID) were out. Mikkola also was on the COVID list at that time, but he wasn't playing anyway when healthy, so it's hard to include him. And when Schenn went out with a second injury - the one he's just coming back from - the team went 4-1. So I don't know.
Don't get me wrong. The Blues have a rabid fan base. This is a great hockey town. But I think it will take more than one Stanley Cup - a lot more than one Stanley Cup - to change that.
As long as the Blues are healthy - and as you mention, that's a big if - that might all depend on how Logan Brown plays. Kostin is waivers-exempt, so there are no ramifications if he's sent down to Springfield. But right now, Kostin has to reclaim a spot in the lineup whenever he gets another opportunity. His play had leveled off before the injury.
Armstrong's philosophy of collecting a lot of good to really good players certainly has paid off in St. Louis. And it has helped them get through some of the lean roster times when they've been hit with injuries and COVID. Getting Saad and Buchnevich for reasonable prices certainly helped push this along.
Mikkola had trouble with puck management, particularly when it came to zone exits. Berube mentioned this on more than one occasion in the past. They also wanted him to be more physical. He's doing much better on both counts, and playing with a lot more confidence.
Best of luck to you. But come back when you've won an MLS Cup.
He's a fun guy to watch. He is physical, plays with energy, and skates well for his size. Like a lot of players, he needs to find more offense to his game to be more than a fourth-liner in the NHL.
There's not a hard and fast number in terms of players on the COVID list before a game gets postponed. I believe the NHL takes it on a case-by-case basis. As for minimum number of available players, I'm not sure there is one magic number there either. Teams have played with as few as 10 forwards this season - the Blues among them. I think once you get down to 15-16 skaters you're apporoaching the danger zone.
Tough call. If Tarasenko continues to play at anywhere near the same level he's at right now, I think you keep him for at least the rest of this year. But if he still wants to be traded - and I've heard nothing to indicate otherwise - maybe you trade him in the offseason to get something for him.
It's JIm, not Jeff. But no biggie there. I have trouble getting my kids' names straight half the time! As we've talked about frequently on this chat and elsewhere, I think the need for a top 4 defenseman is still up for debate. But I think the Blues have plenty of proven wingers.
I think it's still Colorado and Vegas. And II haven't looked at any odds lately, but I'd guess they're still the betting favorites.
The specifics were not explained to me, but I was told it's a pretty complicated set of circumstances that would have to take place for him to be recalled from juniors this season, to the ponit that it's not going to happen. Neighbours has five goals and 18 assists in 12 games so far this season for the Edmonton Oil Kings, a little bit off his pace from last season. He missed a couple of weeks with the Oil Kings while playing for Team Canada in the abbreviated World Junior, but is back with Edmonton now.