Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 1 p.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 1 p.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    Greetings and welcome to the final regular season Blues chat. One more game in the regular season, the Blues still have a shot at second (actually a better shot than they did at this time yesterday), and then, starting next week, on Monday or Tuesday, a series with the Wild. Generally, when things are going well, there are fewer questions. We'll see if that's the case. The early look at the queue says maybe not.
    Happy hump day to you Tom, thank you for the chats.

    After last night's loss to one of the best teams in the league I am not concerned for the Blues' playoff chances. To quote the late Miriam Blue, "all is well". (If you know who I'm talking about you are old.)

    I am quite confident if Husso had been in net we win last night's game. Chief now knows he must play Ville the Kid and not Binner in every game in the playoffs. If he does that the Blues will be quite successful in Lord Stanley's playoffs.

    Whay say you?
    Binnington only starts in the playoffs if something goes terribly amiss. Husso is the goalie. Husso will be getting his first taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs, so who knows what to expect there. The first round series will be tough. The second rough series, barring an upset, will be tougher. Husso can play great and the Blues might not get through. But Husso clearly is the goalie of choice for the Blues and gives them the best chance of winning.
    Can Logan Brown be our future 2nd line center?
    He could, but he's not going to have a whole lot of time to do that. Next season, I would think, is make or break for Brown with the Blues. The potential is there, and has been since he was drafted, but he's going to have to show it next season because if not, the Blues will likely move on. He will have to make a Tage Thompson-like jump in his play. I'm sure the Blues would love it if he could, but that would be a pretty big jump. Right now, if he could be a reliable third-line center, that would probably be enough.
    Thanks for taking time for the chat Tom. With a run of extended playing time, Logan Brown’s overall game has seemed to have picked up considerably and helped the 4th line get valuable minutes. Will Tyler Bozak return from injury put Brown back in the Press Box for the playoffs?? Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    Brown's play has picked up, and while Berube expressed initial concerns about Brown not being a fourth-line type guy and more of a third-line type guy, he's had to play him by necessity and he's looked good doing it. There are plenty of options on the fourth line and much of it will depend on the health elsewhere in the lineup. If Schenn and Perron are back, then there's a choice of Brown or Bozak for the fourth line. I would think, at least at the start, they would go with Bozak, giving the nod to his experience (Brown, who spent his career in Ottawa, has never been in an NHL playoff game), and if that didn't look great in Games 1 and 2, maybe Brown steps in. But Brown has made much more of a case for being in there than existed a month or so ago.
    So what did you think of Binnington's performance last night?
    Probably, well, definitely, a step back after his previous games, at least in terms of how he looked in the net. When goalies start losing their stick repeatedly, it's seldom a good sign. But Colorado is a tough team to play against -- considering they're one of the two best teams in the league, the Avs are best team he's faced all season -- so it wasn't going to be easy regardless. In the old days, like two or three years ago, you'd say it was one of those games and shrug it off. Now, at a point where every move he makes is scrutinized, shrugging isn't as easy.
    Is it possible that starting Binner 3 games in a row is two fold. 1 to get him ready if he's needed in the playoffs and 2 he's being show cased for a trade this summer.

    Thanks for the chats.
    They started Binnington because this was the last chance. Husso will be the playoff goalie, and will be playing every game for the rest of this season, so it was the last chance to give him a night off since they want him to play against Vegas in the finale to stay ready for the playoffs. And if they need Binnington for the playoffs, it was a chance to get him ready as well. The chance of a trade exists, but I don't know that they need to showcase him. I'm not sure that one game vs. Colorado would be the tipping point for a team considering acquiring him. They needed to keep him ready and give Husso a break.
    Tom, when you or Jim are on the road with the team, do either of you watch the opposing teams morning skate?
    On the road, yes, because they're on the ice before the Blues, though in some places, like Boston, you can't because the Bruins skate at their practice facility on game day and not at the arena. It's tougher to watch the opponent's morning skate at Enterprise because we're usually doing interviews at that time.
    Were my eyes deceiving me via CGI or was the STL Post-Dispatch logo in the ice at the blue lines when we recently played the Coyotes? Seems odd in their arena? ... Thoughts?
    During the regular season, the ads at the blueline at each game are done digitally. So we're out there at times, and other sponsors are there at other times with a push of the button. I wish they could make the logo a little bigger because it seems hard to read.
    Has the NHL come out with the TV schedule for the playoffs? Is the plan to have all games televised via ESPN or TNT or will be it select games that are broadcast nationally?
    They have not, at least not that I've seen. NBC had just about every game televised on some network the last few years (except for a few that showed up on NHL Network).  I would think after having every game televised, the NHL would want to keep that going, though with an increased use of ESPN+, maybe it's not as big of a deal to them. My big concern is whether the dreaded 8:45 (or later) start still exists. We'll find out Friday night, I would think.
    To Tom and my fellow chatters....will Stanley Cup playoff experience, particularly experience winning the cup, make a difference against the Wild? The Blues have ELEVEN players who have won the cup with either the Blues or anther team and Krug who had a deep run in 2019. The Wild has one player who has won cups, some goalie from Pittsburgh. I think experience makes a difference. Your thoughts?
    The Blues didn't have a whole lot of experience in 2019, especially compared to Boston, and that seemed to work out OK for them. Maybe it helps at the margins, but Minnesota has some pretty good players who I would think won't be diminished by not having extensive Stanley Cup playoff experience.
    Landeskog could possibly miss the playoffs or not be 100%. Without him Colorado is more beatable but is that enough to upset them?
    Sure, that makes them more beatable. But they've got a lot of other pretty good players, and there will be a big gap between them and Dallas or Nashville in the first round, and the difference there is going to be more than one player. And who knows how Landeskog feels by the second round.
    Tom, who can reporters speak to from the Blues during the season? I've heard the assistant coaches are off limits. Can you talk to anyone in the front office besides Armstrong? How does that impact your job? And finally, who was the last Blues player you dealt with, either current or former, who made it clear he did not like dealing with the media? I know hockey players generally have great reputations but I am sure are prickly. I heard Ryan Miller seemed uncomfortable during his brief time here. Thanks.
    Doug Armstrong and Craig Berube speak for the Blues. I think the last time I interviewed an assistant coach was when Martin Brodeur filled in as the goalie coach, and even then, he was tentative. There are times it would be great to talk to David Alexander, because goalie is a pretty specific position that coaches don't feel comfortable talking about. (Or they just don't want to.) It would be great to talk to Mike Van Ryn about handling the defense, or Jim Montgomery about the penalty kill or Steve Ott about the power play or faceoffs or just anything in general because he's a great quote. (Not to say Van Ryn and Montgomery aren't, but Ott is world class.) Different people bring different insights. 
    I wasn't on the beat regularly during the brief Ryan Miller Experience; he was OK the one time I had to deal with him. My classic story of not wanting to deal with the media is Tom Barasso in his even briefer time with the team, when he told he couldn't talk to me because it was a game day. He was on injured reserve at the time. 
    Tom, do you think players like Mikolla, Toropchenko & Rosen will see much ice time in round 1 or will Chief go with the vets?
    On defense, it will depend on Scandella's status. If he's out, somebody's got to go in, most likely Rosen based on recent experience. If Scandella is good to go, I think the usual six will get the games and Mikkola and Rosen will watch. I think Toropchenko will be in the lineup for the playoffs. How much ice time he and the fourth line get will depend on how the game plays out. Right now, I'm thinking a Walker-Bozak-Toropchenko line for Game 1 of the playoffs, with Brown on standby.
    When will the NHL publish their schedule for the first round?
    I would think we would see it Friday night when games are done, though I suppose if all the series are locked in after Thursday's games, it could come earlier. (Have to confess, I haven't checked to see if that's mathematically possible.) Unless there are private events that don't show up on the building calendars, there don't seem to be any building conflicts in the first round in St. Paul or St. Louis until the very end of the first round. (New Kids on the Block are at Enterprise on May 14.)
    Kyrou was noticeably flying last night compared to what he's looked like for quite awhile. Was it a health or injury issue? Don't you see the Wild really going after him physically so he's not only ineffective offensively but also a liability w turnovers and lack of responsible defense that's he's shown?
    If it was a health or injury issue, Berube didn't seem to be cutting him much slack after some of his in-game adventures. There clearly could be a mental toll; this is more hockey than Kyrou has ever played. I said this on the podcast we recorded this morning: Kyrou's not going to have some huge overnight change with regards to defense this season. That will happen in the offseason, when he gets stronger. He can learn some turnover responsibility, but as I've said before, Kyrou is going to be a high-event guy. Things will happen with him on the ice, good and bad. You hope the good outweighs the bad. The challenge for the Blues and Kyrou, and again, it's not likely to happen in the next few days, is for him to have a better feel for when he can take risks and when he can't. He is a player who takes risks; it's part of his game, and you don't want to take that away from him. But he can learn to manage those risks better. Improved play on his part is essential because it's a big part of making the Blues a three-line team.
    Tom, I know they're holding Schenn and Perron out to let them heal a bit. How much at risk is each one of missing playoff time? And will the Blues bring up another forward (or two) to supply depth for the playoffs? Can they bring up more and under what circumstances? Great job on the Blues this year, Tom. Keep it up!
    I have no inside info here, but I think Schenn and Perron are probably in the class of guys who would have played in those games if it was the playoffs. If there's any doubt about Perron or Schenn or anyone else, the Blues will likely call up Joshua right away to give themselves a cushion at forward, and activate MacEachern when he's ready to play, but after that, with Springfield in the playoffs, they're likely to keep most of those guys there and playing, figuring it's better to have them playing games there than watching games in St. Louis, and that they can fly them in if needed in an emergency. If Springfield gets eliminated, then they will bring more guys in.
    Once the NHL season ends, the Blues can bring in as many guys as they want. The salary cap no longer applies. It's just a question of how many guys they want to pay and provide living accommodations for. 
    Nice to see both Kyrou and O'Reilly come alive last night. That was a positive from that game. Any chance Chief will leave Kyrou with O'Reilly and Saad?
    I expect that when Perron is back, he will return to his normal spot. The O'Reilly line plays an important defensive role, and having Kyrou there isn't going to cut it.
    This season has been as enjoyable to watch as any in recent memories. Like everyone I'm hoping for a long playoff run to put "a cherry on the top". That cup and parade was euphoric and it would be great to do it again. Where do you put the teams chances?
    It's going to be a tough climb. In 2019, the top three teams in the Central were separated by one point. The Blues and Jets were even on points; There was not much daylight between them. San Jose finished with two more points than the Blues. The Blues are going to have to beat a bunch of really, really good teams right from the start with Minnesota. They will have their work cut out for them.
    on the surface the eastern conference appears to be loaded but do you feel it's a little misleading since there's such a large discrepancy in points between the top 8 teams and the rest of the conference? could you make the argument the west is the better conference top to bottom and do you think having more parody in the west will benefit the western conference teams in the playoffs?
    It's certainly a been a weird year -- though not as weird as some others we've seen lately -- with how the East's eight teams were pretty much settled by Jan. 1. That no doubt inflated some point totals, though at the same time, Buffalo right now is a team you wouldn't to face. They would have beaten the Blues in Buffalo if they had any level of finishing ability. Whether this helps or hurts is something that will be decided after the fact. If a West team wins, it will be because East teams weren't tested throughout the season and West team's benefitted from their conference's parity. If an East team wins, it will be a sure sign of that conference's overall supremacy. And I don't care that there's a disparity between the top and bottom teams in the East. Florida, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Carolina are all extremely good teams.
    Tom, I was concerned when Army brought on en Hitchcock earlier this season. Felt like a pressure move on Berube. Is Hitch still around? And if so, what is he doing?
    Hitchcock is living in Palm Springs and drops in on the team when they're in the neighborhood, in Southern California or Arizona, and he's always available by phone. I asked Berube when they had Hitchcock rejoin the team what would it mean to him to be able to call Hitchcock and talk about stuff and he said it wouldn't make a difference because he called him and talked to him already.
    That had to be the worse broadcast team yet for a Blues game. The woman talked too much about nothing and the man couldn't pronounce Berube. I don't mind the TNT crew with Keith Jones. Hopefully we don't get ESPN for the playoffs
    With two networks doing games, I don't know how they're going to divide things up, whether it will be a grab bag or whether certain networks will follow certain divisions or conferences.
    Love your reporting, Tom. Hey, with Binner so shaky, any chance Charlie Lindgren gets called up, just in case? I realize it's the playoffs, but seems Charlie deserves a look, if necessary. He played with such confidence and poise when he was here earlier, and he was a spark.
    Don't know if they'll want a third goalie around working with the team just in case or if they'll be content with Lindgren and Hofer staying sharp in Springfield, but if Charlie Lindgren gets in a playoff game, it would mean that something serious has happened to both Husso and Binnington. What I'm surprised is that the Blues haven't extended Lindgren to have him under contract for next season, but it's also possible that his camp may be expecting an NHL deal to come along rather than the two-way deal the Blues would offer.
    What's your theory on why most goalies have "Jekyll and Hyde" careers? They remind me of most NFL kickers who are great than lose it and some never return to stardom. Do you see this happening to the two present w the Blues? Will Lindgren be the next star if Husso follows Binnington's path?
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