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.

    Now that they've lost, the seventh defenseman may have run its course. MacEachern is back in Springfield, so the options for the fourth line are Brown, Bozak, Walker and Toropchenko, and at this point, it seems the only one you can write in ink is Toropchenko.
    Does the signing of Vadim Zherenko mean it's curtains for Colten Ellis with the Blues?
    I don't think so. The Blues could lose Husso and Lindgren, both UFAs, after this season, so it could be Hofer as the backup to Binnington and Ellis and Zherenko at Springfield this season or they could sign a free agent and everyone moves a step back. Someone in there could be a trade chip, and it well could be Ellis. It's very much in flux and how free agency plays out will be telling. From a long-term goalie situation, the playoffs are working out well for the Blues because Husso is not driving up his price. 
    Have we seen Husso play his last game as a Blue?
    That's Husso's call to some extent, so it will be his decision as to re-sign or not. He drove up his value in the regular season, and there was the risk in the playoffs of it jumping through the roof with a strong postseason. Right now, that's not happening, but if Binnington has a bad game in Game 2, who's to say Husso's not in the net for Game 3? It's not as though he showed he can't play in the playoffs.
    Wainwright was on 101 this morning & he was talking about the Cardinals season to date… You have to go into the game believing you can win. You can’t sit back & hope the other team will make a mistake that you can capitalize on. Those words applied 100% to last nights game. Other than Binner, the whole team was timid. I think Waino should get on a zoom call with the Blues & give them a pep talk. The man is very wise
    As someone who moonlights on the baseball beat, I can attest that Adam Wainwright is a wise and insightful man. I don't think the Blues didn't think they could win, but they also were hesitant, maybe not letting the game flow as well as it should. Colorado gives you a lot to think about. The Blues should handle Game 2 better because of their Game 1 experience.
    Tom, do the Blues practice blocking shots? A lot of the time they look so awkward going down. Maybe they should have the team sit down and watch some old games of Al Arbor and Bobby Plager. They knew how to block a shot.
    Teams don't really practice blocking shots. No teammate is going to rip a game-speed shot at a teammate in practice for obvious reasons, and that's the only thing that would really be instructional. (They do work on tipping shots in an offensive manner.) It's a matter of knowing the principles of it, knowing when you're blocking a shot and when you're getting in the goalie's way and making it worse and when you're overcommitting and allowing the guy to not shoot and get around you for a better shot. Anyone can get in front of a shot (given the requisite amount of courage required to do that) but it's knowing where and when. The how is the easy part.
    Tom, I'm of the mindset that after the season is over and the dust has settled, it's time to sell high on Binnington and make Husso the goalie of our future. There are plenty of teams that would take Binner and his contract. Husso could be had for half of Binners contract. Do you see Leddy and Bozak coming back?
    I don't see Bozak coming back. He'll be 36 and the Blues will have younger and cheaper options. The Blues probably won't be able to afford Leddy, unless they clear some significant cap space, such as Tarasenko and/or Binnington. And keeping Leddy would mean not keeping Mikkola or Perunovich, and if the Blues can't trade Scandella, now they're back to having eight defensemen they value. 
    I do not think there are a lot of teams that would take Binnington and his contract. (Though it only takes one.) Any team that acquires Binnington is committing to him being their goalie for the next five seasons, at a significant price tag. Many teams don't like going that long on contracts with goalies. And it's one thing to do it when he's your own organization's goalie. But to bring in someone from the outside under that circumstance, while giving up someone else, would be a bold step for a GM. 
    Plus Binnington has a no-trade clause, so he has some say in the matter. If he doesn't want to go to Arizona, the Blues can't make him. 
    I did think the 1st period flew by. At one point they said there had not been a whistle for 7.5 min. That was nice with the late start and the delay until the other game ended.
    I'm always a fan of that, though they still manage to get in their required TV timeouts in each period. But the fewer whistles the better, except in the third if you're writing. Then you can use some stoppages. But if they wanted to play the first period in 20 minutes, I'm fine with that.
    I'm not sure the Blues played a worse game all year than they did last night. The 2nd period was especially atrocious. They've shown the ability to rebound and change their play.

    I live in KC and watch a fair amount of Avalanche games and can also say that this was one of the better games the Avs have played. Could have easily been 9-2. They had so much pressure on for virtually the entire game.

    How do the Blues fix the puck control? Passes weren't crisp or, when they were, they couldn't hold on to the puck. They seemed almost surprised by how the Avs attacked in the neutral zone. So many turnovers. Then even in the offensive zone, the puck movement was poor or non-existent and allowed the Avs to simply poke at the puck and regain control.
    Oh, I'm sure I could dig into my book and find a worse game. And they've had some bad second periods too, including against the Avalanche. The second Colorado game on Oct. 28 wasn't very good. Calgary on Jan. 27 stunk. How about Ottawa on March 8. All candidates. 
    There are very few problems in hockey that aren't fixable. The Blues have had puck control issues at times during the season. It was bad during that stretch of losses in March right before they got hot to finish the season. The Blues looked bad against Minnesota in Game 3. They looked much better in the games that followed. 
    The difference will be that Colorado is a lot better team than Minnesota. And Colorado is likely going to get better as well. 
    The Blues seemed content last night to keep it close and then wait for their chance. That probably wasn't the actual strategy, but it looked like it at times. It's not a great one. 
    Is Arizona going to get a new stadium? The deal they have with ASU seems terrible and will only compound their problems and will surely have some long lasting effects. Would they consider moving? Move them to KC and creates a natural Blues rivalry. KC has stadium waiting for tenant.
    Seems like Arizona is going to get a new arena in Tempe at some point. I think the time spent at ASU can be interesting, but then, my livelihood doesn't depend on it. Playing in such a small place could create a great atmosphere and I hope I get a chance to cover a game there.
    As for Kansas City, I think looking down the road, 10 years from now, the NHL is going to rather be in still-growing Phoenix than be in Kansas City, And if the Coyotes did move, Houston or Quebec City are more likely destinations.  
    I thought that Neighbors would probably be replacing Bozak and in reality they need to find a spot for Perunovich and that could be Leddy's spot.
    The Blues will want to find space for Neighbours, and then there are players like Kostin and Joshua (who's a UFA) they'll have to decide on. I'd be surprised if the top nine forwards all come back, because the NHL doesn't work like that. How the defense shapes up is a bit trickier; they seem very committed to Faulk, Krug and Parayko, Perunovich is an up and comer, and they've certainly invested time in Mikkola. Bortuzzo is an old standby who would be a scratch if Scandella returns. Leddy's next contract will almost certainly be for less, but even then, that unit can start looking old.
    With the emergence of Perunovich, does that make Krug expendable?
    While similar in skill sets, the Blues like Krug and I don't see them forcing him out for Perunovich, especially considering Perunovich's lack of experience. The guy just hasn't played that much. And Krug has a no-trade clause.
    Something I've always wondered: Can you give a sense of what intermission is like in the locker room? Is it mostly rest, relax, rehydrate, with a coach pep talk and game planning for next period thrown in? Or is it mostly pep talk & game planning, with a side of rest, relax, rehydrate? Is film used extensively to highlight good/bad plays from previous period?
    I can't give you one because I've never been in the room for one, but the coaches go to their area and plan while the players go to their area and hydrate and sit and talk about the game and do things like that and then the coach comes back at the end and says a few things, maybe draws a diagram or two or shows a video, and then it's back at it. It's not the coach talking to the players for 15 minutes. At least that's my impression. A lot of it is the players by themselves.
    Hi Tom...thanks for the chat! The Avs earned that win last night and they certainly looked the part of Cup favorites, but man did the Blues help them look good. I mean... they were Washington Generals-like. Fumbling with the puck, not committed to getting it in deep and holding on to it, throwing it out of the zone like a hot potato, lackluster individual play(we know the culprits), and not moving their feet. I'm of the opinion that altitude also came into play (at least I want to believe that) because man did they look gassed. Looking forward to all of the adjustments in Game 2. Avs have to lose at some point this post season.
    The Avs were the better team last night. The Blues are better than they showed. At their best, can the Blues beat the Avs? Some of the time, but not all of the time. The chances of the Blues winning this series are like the chances of an NFL kicker missing a 49-yard field goal.
    That's the spirit, Hockey Larry, no pessimism here! The Blues aren't the favorite, but I'll rooting for them until the very end, whenever it may be.
    I swear, some fans aren't happy unless there's something to complain about.
    Man, those Avalanche are fast! I still have us winning in 6!
    Want to acknowledge some optimism in the chat.
    I thought the Blues were far too passive in Game 1. They seemed to back out of a lot of 50-50 plays in the neutral and offensive zones for the sake of getting back defensively. I'm sure Chief was preaching that you have to be on the right side of the puck leading into the series, but I thought they overdid it. Would you agree?
    Colorado is a team will put you on edge. They come at you fast, and again and again. You can not let down for a shift. The Blues have been overly focused on that, to the detriment of their overall game. Defensemen not wanting to get beat going back the other way won't go forward as much. Who knows what got into the Thomas line. All sorts of things happen. The Blues will learn some lessons. The last series showed how much things can change and how quickly. But the Blues will have to be on their game against Colorado every night.
    If the Blues are going to win this series, which I think they can and still have a good shot at winning. If the Blues are going to prevail, they must win Game 2. I've heard people say all the time that you can overcome a 2-0 deficit, but with this Avalanche team, the chances of this Blues team overcoming those odds is insignificant.

    If the Blues are going to win, they must take a lot of positive points from yesterday's game and there was plenty. The Avalanche with all their fancy skaters, had to grind, pound goals on net and constant will to scrape out a win. If the Blues make these guys work this hard, and can stretch this to a long series, the Avalanche very well could run out of gas. The Blues should look at this as this will be the worst performance of theirs they'll have in this series and they could and probably should have won. There's no reason why the Blues shouldn't have been able to sustain pressure for a a chunk of the third and stole the game. They have a ton of talent too. There's no excuses when your opponent leaves the door open. Now, it's time to see if this Blues team has the heart of the 2019. I love playoff hockey. Have a good one!
    I'm sure Colorado came away from that game saying we can do a lot of things better, but I always think it's easier for the losing team to adapt its game to get a win the next time out, unless there's a massive talent gap. I don't think a win is an absolute for the Blues, but being down 2-0 is a step in the wrong direction for them.
    Mr. Timmermannn:I don't understand how anyone, including you, can criticize Jordan Binnington's play in goal last night. The fact is, he got the Blues into OT and had Berube gotten the players to play differently than they did in the 2nd and 3rd periods, one lousy shot in OT could have won it for the Blues.
    Binnington made a lot of great stops. He had a great game, under very tough circumstances. He faced a lot of rubber. Colorado bungled several prime scoring chances. At the same time, if you were to rank the quality of Colorado's chances, two of their three goals came on chances that were in the bottom 25 percent. Then how do you look at shots off the post? Were they so precisely played by Binnington that that was all they had to aim for, that he took away that entire side of the net, or were the shots an inch or so off and bounced away from the goal rather than in. And the Blues almost won
    I prefer to be an optimist. Binnington has mojo back. ROR is showing why he won a Conn Smythe. Five of our top 9 forwards had brutal nights. Mikkola is playing solid. Leddy can skate it out of our zone. Win games 2 & 5, split at home and win it in 6! LGB
    Thomas has struggled since right before his point-streak ended in the regular season. Seems like teams have figured out that when you limit his east-west movement and passing and make him go north-south, he's not the same player.
    Thomas is one of those guys the Blues can't afford to be a non-factor, because he's one of their top two centers and is intimately involved in almost everything. Since Thomas' 17-game point streak ended, he has three points in nine games. Hockey has a way of doing that to you.
    OK, I've got to write a story, so that will be it for this week. We'll be back next Wednesday, most likely at our usual time. Jim and Hochman are cranking away in Denver and their stories should be online soon. And we can all revel in Game 3, which starts at a normal time on Saturday. 
    Thanks everyone for stopping by. 
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement