I don't drink coffee and, since it's Ash Wednesday and I'm Catholic, so I'm not eating a roast beef sandwich. (But enjoy!) I've been looking up a lot of numbers today.
Gordo on Friday might be a better person to ask that question too, since he saw the 91 team and I didn't, but I'm always reluctant to say some team is the best ever.
I think the Blues have lower-cost versions of Krug in Perunovich and Walman, but I don't know that the Blues are willing to give either of them top-four minutes. Still, I think acquiring a player like that would give them too many puck-moving defensemen. It would be tough to have a shutdown pairing.
The Blues are playing better without Scandella, but his departure coincides with the scheduling getting a lot softer. So while the Blues have gone 6-0-1 since Scandella went out, they've had one game against a playoff team. His defensive numbers 5 on 5 have been the worst on the team, opponents are 17 percent above the league average in expected goals with him on the ice, though Krug is at 15, so he's not out there by himself. But Krug's numbers are pretty much offset by some very good defensive numbers that Scandella doesn't have. Walman has played well enough that doesn't seem to be a rush to get Scandella back. But Scandella is going to be hard to get rid of. He has two more years to go at $3.275 million a year and other than that brief stint when he first came to St. Louis, he's been an average defenseman.
I don't know that I see Kostin climbing up to be a top line forward, unless there's a niche for a winger who is going to throw his body around and win pucks, which all in all is not a bad skill to have. Thompson needed some time for his game to catch up with his body, which is also what the Blues are kind of hoping with Logan Brown. We will have to see how Kostin does after a couple years in the league, but right now, I'm seeing him in a third or fourth line role. With this franchise, as it's built now, there are too many options to use ahead of him. But maybe he has a Barbashev-like career.
We're coming into the home stretch, so if you've got some questions, now is your chance.
It's a decision that doesn't have to be made now, unless any of the parties is putting a high value on security. The last two months will, I suspect, make this decision a lot more clear. If Binnington finishes strongly, then the value of Perron's power play skills goes up. If Binnington doesn't, than Husso's value goes up. One question will be how much the Blues are willing to invest in the goalie position next season, especially when they know they've got two promising prospects a season away. Do the Blues want to pay their backup goalie $4 million (or if it's Binnington, $6 million), or do they re-sign Husso and look to trade Binnington, sort of like the situation Montreal was in when they had Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak.
And on that note, thanks for stopping by and spending a few hours with me. Thanks for all the kind words too, and next week, we'll be that much closer to the trade deadline. Take care.
Until then, good day and look for plenty more from Jim in New York.