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.

    I only see the Blues acquiring a veteran D in season if someone else gets hurt. We saw this a few years ago when the Blues had a bunch of forwards get hurt and Armstrong was concerned about going to deep into the depth at, probably San Antonio at the time and having to play too many youngsters. I think that was when they brought in Brouwer and had another PTO training as well. So unless there's a situation where the Blues might have to play Tucker and Kessel, I don't see them doing that. Though the time to make that move would be when either Tucker or Kessel steps into the lineup, so if there are two more injuries, that's when the Blues would be inclined to do something.
    Bortuzzo is certainly not at a point in his career where one would expect an upward turn in his performance, though he's still slightly above average defensively. (No guarantee that applies to this season; he has looked slow at times in the preseason.) (He did have a very good season on the PK.) 
    Going into camp, the Blues were looking good with their depth on defense. Losing Scandella and Perunovich put a dent in that. That has turned it into a topic of concern, depending, of course, on how you feel about Calle Rosen. 
    And welcome to the third, though sometimes abbreviated, hour of the chat. All depends now on how long the questions hold out.
    Was the Klim Kostin trade one that could help the blues defense this year or more so a depth more and giving Klim a fresh start somewhere else?
    I don't think Kostin was going to play a lot this season. Assuming the lines listed below are what we see on opening night (or above when the chat is over and they reverse the order of everything), Toropchenko, Brown and Alexandrov are certainly ahead of him, and depending on the situation, they might well turn to Frk or Highmore ahead of him as well. 
    It's a combination depth/fresh start move. The Blues need a defenseman and Samorukov wasn't fitting in Edmonton's plans so it was a trade of two spare parts. Samorukov is low down on the depth chart (maybe he can prove otherwise in Springfield). Whatever future Kostin has in the NHL, it was probably not going to happen in St. Louis, and that may have been the same for Samorukov in Edmonton. And it does work. Logan Brown has revived his career in St. Louis. As I said earlier, if you see Samorukov in St. Louis, it means that the Blues medical staff is doing a lot of rehab work. 
    On a personal note, I just had to correct the spelling of Samorukov on every reference, so I'll be OK if he stays in Springfield until I get the hang of it.
    It seems like every year or two there's a new "point of emphasis" for the league in terms of penalties for the officials to call more often. The most recent example I can think of is cross-checking. Do you know if there's any such "point of emphasis" this year?
  • There has been no rash of any particular call this season in the preseason, so it's not like when they went all in on slashing a few seasons back and there were six of them every preseason game. If there is a point of emphasis, it has not been made clear publicly.
    I think the Blues should trade Tarasenko closer to the trading deadline, even if they are in playoff contention. This ensures a ROI and allows DA to see where the team is at that point. What say you?
    I say only trade him if it looks like the Blues clearly don't have a chance at the Stanley Cup. If Tarasenko is having any kind of a season, that should get them a decent return for a player I would think will be very unlikely to re-sign with them. But if the Blues are cruising along in second in the Central, seems like getting rid of who is likely one of your leading scorers sends a bad message to everyone, players and fans, that winning isn't a priority. And, as discussed earlier in this chat, the Blues have a lot of players with long contacts who are going to be old in those final seasons. If those guys are not producing and are untradeable, those are going to be rough seasons, with a lot of money tied up in older players. The Blues have a chance now. It's not a big window, but it's a bigger window than they're likely to have three or four years from now, so if there's a chance this season, they have to make a run for it. Unless some team is offering some incredibly hot product, the Blues have to do what they can to win now because there's no guarantee better times lie ahead.
    Gary Unger belongs in the Blues' HOF. He scored 30 or more every full season in which he was in a Blues uniform. Crazy consistency. He was the Blues' best player nearly the entire time.
    I would think Unger would be an early inductee. Not clear how many players will go in this year in addition to the original 10, but if Unger's not in this season, he'll be in next season. This season could be Hall, Bowman and Berenson.
    OK, we're in the home stretch. If you've been waiting to ask something, now's the time.
    Tom is Logan Brown’s shoulder injury serious enough to go on injured reserve or will he simply be a scratch until deemed ready to play? It’s a shame because he seemed to be on a good trajectory early in pre-season. Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    Hard to say because we don't know the specifics on it, and I don't know that the Blues do either until he gets checked out again, but he tried to go out on the ice in Charleston and didn't stay very long, so that's not too promising. He has not been on the ice much at all in the past week. Its severity will determine whether he goes on IR or not. If Toropchenko is cleared to play, giving the Blues an extra forward, then they can hold off on putting Brown on IR if it's not too serious. But if Toropchenko isn't cleared, they will probably call up someone, most likely Alexandrov, before going on their trip out west, which will necessitate putting someone, presumably Brown, on IR.
    Do you think alexandrov will be on roster for home opener
    All depends on the status of Brown and Toropchenko. If both aren't cleared for opening day, than Alexandrov is the likely choice, but the Blues are looking to save all the money they can against the cap, so they might not call him up until after the Columbus game. They won't want to go to Seattle with just 12 heathy forwards. Blues are off Thursday, so we probably won't know until Friday. And possibly Saturday.
    I can see the analytics guys concerned about Scheen and Barby’s shooting percentage declining, but Scheen had some tough health luck and is normally a mid 20 goal guy and is likely to be the same, and a regression from Barby suggests only about 10-12 fewer. Thomas may not hit 20 goals but +50 assists again for such a young guy on a natural upward curve should be doable. Kyrou slumped in the second half but has always been dangerous per minute played. And he should get more minutes without Perron. RoR struggled at times offensively along with Perron last year. It’s hard to see them dropping the roughly 15 points from last seasons total as the analytics community seems to be suggesting.
    The gap between the high projections on points for the Blues and the low projections is at the most 14 points, so it comes down to 5-7 games that you win instead of lose or lose instead of win. So it's a pretty fine line. The Blues are just unpredictable enough for their to be that many games that go the other way. 
    I charted last season the number of games where the Blues won games they should have lost (based on expected goals) and lost games they should have won. In those games, the Blues won 14 they should have lost and seven they should have won (and lost two in overtime they should have won). So some of those 15 points they would need to drop are baked into a regression to the mean. 
    Who are the best players to watch?
    On the Blues? Jordan Kyrou is good for an eye-popping skating move with the puck every few games and Robert Thomas is most likely to make a pass that makes you go oooh.
    Tom I have streamed a couple of the preseason games but it’s difficult to learn a lot because of the lack of intensity from the “proven” players. Is there any indication Jordan Kyrou with big contract in hand is committed to playing a Berube style of play. Defending and winning puck battles? I assume the Blues are hoping playing with ROR will be a good influence on him. Osmosis!! Thanks
    Being committed to it and being able to do it are two different things. Kyrou wants to win puck battles, but some times is clearly overmatched on them, which is why he needs to get stronger. He worked in the offseason to do that. Is he stronger now to where he wins battles he has lost in the past? We will see. And he knows he has to defend better, and playing with O'Reilly, he'll be called on to do more. If Berube doesn't see that, we'll know because he'll shake up the lines because having Kyrou on the O'Reilly will minimize that group's ability to shut down the other team's top line. There were a lot of times last season when Kyrou wasn't in the right place defensively, or was slow getting into the play. That will have to change. But also remember: Jordan Kyrou is unlikely to be a Selke candidate at any point in his career. The Blues just need him to get close to the league average.
    Not that I want to get in the habit of taking requests, or asking for specific responses for chatters, but someone asked for how Roy Hobbs sees the season, and Roy has graciously responded. Here's his answer (in two parts). You won't be surprised to know that Ville Husso is mentioned.
    I understand a fellow chatter wanted my prediction on the Blues this year. I believe Army is playing with fire with the Blues goaltending position. Husso should have been resigned mainly because with him and Binner we have a playoff spot pretty much assured. Great tandem. Now it's gone to a dice roll because Binner cannot perform at high level consistently in a long season. Not physically possible. The Blues are contenders because of Berube and the players by in to his style. We are thin on the Blue line as well but goaltending to me is precarious. I hate to be Eyore but I see the Blues stumbling a bit around mid season. Maybe Vladi gets traded to the Rangers then for a haul. We will be lucky to make the playoffs this year. It's 50/50. Injuries will happen throughout the league and depth will decide the Blues fate. Or lack of depth!
    So to be clear I don't think the blues make the playoffs this year.
    And just like that, we reach the end of another chat. Jim's on the road trip next week, so you've probably got me again, unless the timing works for him in Seattle, which it probably doesn't since the Blues morning skate would come in the middle of it. There are a few questions I didn't get to, but they're mostly on different topics or questions I don't know the answer to anyway.
    So welcome to the start of the season and see you all next week when we'll have all of one game to discuss! Thanks for joining in. 
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