Hockeyviz.com puts them at 94.9 percent and figures they need about 19 points out of the remaining 20 games to be pretty much a lock. So .500 hockey the rest of the way seems do-able. The race is tight, but the closeness of the race is in spots 2 through 4, but the gap back to the first team out is seven points out, so that's a bit more of a margin, and those teams thart are further back are there because, well, they're not as good. 95 percent might be more accurate, since a losing streak now would change how things look, but I think they're fairly safe.
Last night seemed to go well, so I would think we'll see Leddy and Parayko for the time being, with Scandella taking a shift every now and then depending on the situation, and Mikkola usually being a scratch. Though with the status of Krug in doubt after he left the game early last night with what looks like a hand injury, that may change things. The Blues didn't practice today so we won't have a Krug update until tomorrow. Not sure who would move into that spot if he was out, but they got Leddy to be a top four guy, so he'll be up there somewhere.
Interestingly, among the St. Louis press corps, I'm the only one who doesn't wear a jacket and tie to games, so I may not be the best person to have an opinion on this. There are some guys on the Blues who like getting dressed up. Some are pretty serious about it.
The biggest question is what is the fate of Tarasenko. Even if he doesn't want to be traded anymore, going into the last year before becoming a UFA is when guys get traded, so if Armstrong doesn't think Tarasenko will re-sign, a trade could happen just because that's hockey. If that's the case, it opens up a whole lot of space and all sorts of things can happen. And the goalie situation will have to be dealt with. Does Husso stay or go, and if he stays, what does that mean for Binnington .Perron is putting to rest all doubt about whether he should get a new contract. The Blues will want to address the defensive situation that led to the acquisition of Leddy. Is he the answer and someone they try to re-sign or do they think Mikkola can be the answer with more experience. Does someone like Barbashev get moved to make room for a younger forward like Neighbours? Kostin's spot seems to be in danger. If Tarasenko or Binnington is moved, that opens up the cap space to sign a goal scorer. If neither moves, there is less big-ticket tinkering to do.
Rosen has been their go-to callup guy this season, so probably him, unless they wanted to see what they had with Witkowski. Also might be situational, if they needed a right-side guy, which Witkowski is.
Pretty much like you did. Tarasenko could get traded after the season not because he wants it because Armstrong thinks he'll be leaving as a UFA after next season and wants to maximize his return. But as we saw last offseason, Armstrong isn't' going to give him away, and this season proved he's not going to be a problem.
It's tough to rate these things from afar and I kept waiting for Berube to smirk, but I think Berube was looking to start the session by praising his team, and with the first question instead being about Krug, that threw everything off kilter. And if you look at the first 10 minutes of the first period, the Blues did not generate a whole lot, so it's not like the first period was a Rembrandt.
Well, I'd have scratched Scandella a few times, so it's you and Berube seeing things differently, not you and me. Experience -- and its partner, predictability -- carries a lot of weight in the NHL. Over the course of their careers, Scandella has been better than Mikkola on offense, not as good on defense. In this season, the Blues have been better on both sides with Mikkola rather than Scandella but Mikkola remains below the league average in both categories.
As for coats and ties, what can I say, they're a classy bunch. I relented and wore a tie for the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, but I wore either a bow tie or a bolo.
No, and I'm not sure if they have the same digital rights issues they have with the Cardinals. But it's also something I haven't been following closely.
I think another two-year, $4 million AAV contract is increasingly possible for Perron.
Berube certainly did want to praise his guys. But in a case where you never know when the session will end, sometimes you have to lead with the nuts and bolts so you know that question gets in.
Kyrou has gone seven games without a goal, one game shy of his season long goal-less streak, which was at the start of the season. (He had two goals in Game 2, then didn't score for eight games.) His expected goals percentage and Corsi percentage, two numbers I look at, have been increasingly up and down. Puck battles have not bee a strength for Kyrou, and it's one of the reasons a main thing for him in the offseason is to get stronger so he can win more battles. It's not a thing he's going to get better at it between now and the end of the season. Kyrou, as I've mentioned before, is a high-event player, meaning when he's on the ice, things are going to happen at both ends of the ice. It also means he's usually going to have to be paired with defensively responsible linemates. Berube values defensive responsibility. But if you have enough guys who are defensively responsible, as just about every other Blues forward is, you can take a chance with one guy who's maybe not as responsible. That's the Kyrou situation.
It's easier to make big trades in the offseason, because it doesn't have to be dollar-in, dollar-out. Teams can go over the cap in the offseason. So that makes it easier to make the trade, though the complication will always be the timing. Can the Blues re-sign Husso before they trade Binnington? Does having Husso re-signed give other teams increased leverage over the Blues in a Binnington deal? Armstrong said at the trade deadline that the Blues are at a point where they value their draft picks because they need to add some youth in the system, so they're not going to toss them into a deal just to make it happen, especially if it's too unload someone rather than get someone. If the Blues were to trade Binnington, the team that's getting him would be acquiring because they want him. Any team that gets Binnington won't be lukewarm about him, because that will be a big commitment. They'll have to be all in. So trading Binnington would be tough, which is why the Blues need to play him to try to have him get better because the best solution for the Blues is to have Binnington be their best goalie.
The main thing I know about him is that he's from Holland, Mich., where relatives of mine live and where Witkowski is held in high regard for making the NHL. Immediately after the trade went down, I heard from a nephew of mine about it. Looking at some analytics on him, both his offensive and defensive numbers have been trending down. He's about to turn 32 and was in Detroit's farm system, so I wouldn't expect him to be an impact player but he gives them some depth.