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.

    Keep Vladi he's still in his prime. ROR is on the other side of the mountain. FIND out if Vladi would except a 5 year extension and the C after ROR is moved. If he still wants to test UFA then he needs to ok a trade to any team . Everyone is guessing that he wants to leave but no one knows. Army needs a plan going forward a retool means keeping Vladi.
    So you think Armstrong doesn't know if Tarasenko would OK a deal? Seems like that would be something he would have wanted to know maybe a year and a half ago.
    To me, it seems like the two biggest problems with the Blues right now is careless play in the defensive zone and a league-low shooting percentage. The defensive zone miscues can be coached to be fixed, the team just needs to execute.

    However, the Blues have been a high shooting percentage team the past few years, and it looks like it's been regression to the mean in that regard, and really the only way to fix that is to just keep shooting.

    Do you think the front office can afford to just chalk it up as one of those years? Or will Armstrong actually make a move to try and get out of the hole. He refused to admit he made a mistake with the Scandella deal in the offseason, do you think he can admit he constructed this team wrong?
  • I don't know that he needs to admit he constructed the team wrong. His actions will bear that out when he starts trading players. I don't think there's a world where the Blues limp along and finish with 70 points and Armstrong says, "I still believe in this team." (And a word about him standing by Scandella: Armstrong saying, 'Boy, I made a bad call with the contract I gave Scandella,' seldom leads to trade partners lining up at your door.) 
    The Blues had the second most goals above expected last season; this year, they have the most below expected. These things happen. At this point, continuing to shoot is about the only thing they can do offensively and hope their luck changes. (Well, and get to the front of the net. That would be good.)  
    A non-playoff season will hurt the team's bottom line. It will also accelerate the changing of the guard. 
    Tom, I have never seen a team needing to be blown up more than the Blues BLOW UP THE TEAM AND GET READY FOR NEXT YEAR'S DRAFT.
    You've apparently never lived in Ottawa. Or Phoenix. How about Chicago? Lots of teams have needed to be blown up over the years, and some have been in much deeper holes than the Blues.
    Tom I know answers are almost impossible to come by. If they were easy the Blues would have already made the changes to play competitive hockey. My question is: When watching the Bruins game the other night, while the Blues were on the PP it almost looked like they were on the PK instead. They were good in that regard last year but have looked totally inept so far this year . Do they miss Montgomerys coaching? Perron’s passion, leadership and slap shot, or is it a confidence thing? Or do you think other factors involved? Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    It's hard for me to think that there was some secret sauce that Montgomery had that MacTavish doesn't, or that the rest of the Blues coaching staff can't figure out. Berube alluded to it the other day. When they fall behind, they start to fundamentally play differently. Less aggressively. Opponents see that and take it to them and pretty soon one goal becomes two and two becomes three. That one power play in Boston was dreadful. They miss a lot of things. Would the presence of Perron and Bozak in the room help at a time like this? Probably wouldn't hurt, at least in the room.
    There are plenty of guys who are candidates to be benched. Not a whole lot of forwards who are dazzling at the moment, on either side of the puck. Kyrou at least is a threat to score.
    Tom,

    The Blues are giving up a lot of backdoor goals. And it seems lately like their opponents are looking for those moments. Is the lack of coverage at the post usually the fault of the defenseman or one of the forwards?
    That's a spot where a defenseman should be.
    Could you see a situation where the team re-signs 91? My concern with trading him or 90 is that it doesn’t address the biggest need which is defense. I’d trade 47 and/or 55 as well 90 for pucks/prospects, re-sign 91 and build his statue. Trading 90 allows you to attain new leadership. 47 and 55 allow you to revamp the backend.
    Tarasenko has asked to be traded. So far, given multiple chances, he has never said that is no longer the case. So even if the Blues wanted to re-sign him, I don't know that I would think he would want to recommit to the team. If the Blues are not in the playoff race in a month or so, I see no reason for them to keep him. If they are rebuilding, they're not doing it around a 31-year-old forward. Better to take that money and look for a younger forward on the free agent market. I've said before the problem with trading Parayko; he's the one defensive defenseman they've got. Krug and Faulk are better candidates to trade, though because of his age, Parayko is probably the more appealing for other teams. Many people in this chat wanted Krug traded long ago to make way for Perunovich, which no longer seems like an obvious thing to do. 
    But really, if this team doesn't turn things around pretty quick, most everyone except Thomas and Kyrou will be available if the price is right. But the Blues are going to want to stay competitive, so it won't be a wholesale departure. But anyone in the final year of his contract will be a candidate.  
    Blues defenseman have lost size and players like Krug do not have the size and strength. Krug has been getting shoved around or is too smalltoboxout opponents. Opponents know they can succeed if they crash the net.
    I haven't brought his name up yet this season, but Jared Spurgeon of Minnesota is 5-9, 167 pounds, and a very good defenseman.  A couple seasons ago, he was one of the best. You don't have to be 6-5. Yes, there are advantages to being tall and big, and there are more really good big defensemen than small ones. But it can be done.
    And yes, opponents know they can crash the net against the Blues. There have been no shortage of Blues defensemen, both big and small who can be seen having a guy score at the backpost behind them. 
    Tom. Thanks for the responses. However, many of them continue to just be counterpoints to the initial comment, without giving much direction one way or the other. In plain terms, what do YOU think the Blues should do?
    Right now, a lot of it is mental. They need to not collapse when they give up a goal. They need shots to go in. They could have been up 2-0 on Boston in the first period, they could have been up 2-0 on Philadelphia. They have not been able to cross over that line to make that happen. In many ways, the offense they have been generating has been sufficient to win them games. Four of the eight games in the losing streak, they have had 3 or more expected goals. That usually gives you a decent shot at winning. 
    Systems-wise, that backpost defense could use some work. And obviously, just cutting down on the mistakes, which are happening at really bad times. (See Parayko last night.) 
    The problem for the Blues is they have put themselves in such a hole that they can't wait for the luck to start going their way. These eight games are going to make it hard to get back in to the race, though also at the moment they are six points out of fourth place in the Central. Two good weeks and they could be in the mix. Trouble is right now it's hard to see two good weeks. But it's hockey. Things change fast.  
    I know a lot of fans are wanting a big trade or to do something drastic to get the team winning, but there has to be another GM willing to make the trade. With the no trade clauses and long term higher dollar contracts, I am not sure what move Army can do that would make this team that much better.
    It's still early. The Blues are not that far out of a playoff spot, and other teams are still getting a feel for what they have. Absent a team losing a key component to an injury and seeing a gaping hole in their unit, I think everyone is going to be inclined to wait at the moment.
    Even though the losing streak isn't all Berube's fault, Armstrong can't start making wholesale changes to the roster, so the alternative would be firing Berube and bringing in a new coach, preferrably from outside the organization. If the new coach can't turn the team around, then players like Tarasenko and O'Reilly, both of whom are pending UFAs, should be traded.

    I don't know about you, but I would also try to trade the very disappointing Parayko. IMO, he's a lightweight on defense. Thanks.
  • There is a very small number of moves the Blues can make, and that goes for most other NHL teams, which is why coaches get fired so quickly. A coach in a different spot in franchise history than Berube or with a different contract may well have been fired by now. Mike Yeo was fired for less. Armstrong has expressed his confidence in Berube, and I think Armstrong will start taking the team apart before he fires Berube.
    How long before we see the headline "O'Reilly reunites with Perron in Detroit"? A) soon B) trade deadline C) start of free agency D) other
    Unless Armstrong gets a great offer from Detroit, he might want to avoid trading O'Reilly there. 
    If things don't change soon, b) will be way too late. 
    Happy (I think) Wednesday Tom. Remember Blues Fans....WE WON THE CUP!

    I heard a loud noise last night around 9:30pm Eastern time, it must have been the cup window closing on the Blues. It was going to happen, its just a year earlier than what mgt was hoping.

    Time to re-tool the team, this year's draft has several franchise-type players, right now we win the first pick!

    Several players are misfits for Berube hockey, Krug is too small, in fact the d-men except for Colt 55 are too small, we will lose ROR and Vladi, you name it. Time for a restart. And yes, shop Colt 55 to get rid of his contract, yes he is big but he hasn't and won't live up to what we thought was his potential.

    My rant is over, your turn Tom.
    I'd suggest waiting just a bit longer before selling the players for scrap. If you want to get a good draft pick, the Blues will be just as likely to be in the race for one a month from now as they are today. The only reason to make a move now is to try to change something with the team, generate some kind of spark. It wasn't that long ago that good things were expected of this team.
    Its early November. Serious injuries will start soon like they have since NHL began. Teams not named Blues will have holes to fill and salary cap space will appear as players go on LTIR. Players will move soon enough and not on the AHL shuttle.
    Yes, but LTIR is only a plus if the injured player is going to be out the whole season. If the guy is coming back in April, you have to have a plan for what you're going to do when that happens.
    Of course it would be silly for the Blues to just put a player on waivers and not get anything for him. But don't they kinda do that already when they just let good players walk at the end of their contracts and get no return then either?
    I think there's a difference between that happening in November and it happening in May.
    Not a question, just a rant. I am surprised by the simple mistakes that are being made. Too many times a Blues player has had the puck on his stick in the defensive zone and has failed to clear it. Those failed clearing attempts turn into goals. The play by Parayko last night at the end of the period was just brutal. My son has been playing hockey since he was 5. He's still playing in college. Every coach he has ever had has preached the simple message, "Get it out of your zone!." These guys have heard that message. They know what they are supposed to do. They just aren't executing simple, basic plays.
    There is a member of the St. Louis media who says pretty much that exact thing in the press box four or five times a night: Get it out of the zone. (It's not me, not that I don't think it.) Parayko's case last night is symptomatic of a wider thing: The safe and smart thing is to get the puck out of the zone, but when a player thinks, I can spring someone for a scoring chance, the way things are going now with goals hard to come by, that seems like a good option. Until it's not.
    Hi Tom: is it just me or is there a forcefield around the opponents net? More specifically, is there a stat for shots that actually hit the goalie or net and, if so, are we below average? Seems like the Blues are off the mark a lot.
    At 5 on 5, the Blues miss the net on unblocked shots 31.25 % of the time. That's fourth worst in the league, behind Nashville, Carolina and Washington. Thanks to moneypuck.com for the answer.
    You know what this team needs? It needs Hitchcock to come back and remind them that there's a defensive zone too. The team is so worried about scoring goals that they're down 3-0 before they have 10 SOG. When you can't score goals then you dang well better make sure the other team doesn't score either. Giving up almost 5 goals a game (in the last 8) would be tough for Gretzky's Oilers teams to overcome.
    I think Berube has reminded them of that. 
    The problem for the Blues is that they're deficient on both sides right now, and sometimes in trying to fix one, they make the other one worse. The effort to find offense hurts them on defense, and the effort to find defense hurts them on offense. 
    I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment that Kyrou will be a regular 35 goal scorer. He doesn’t play a 200 foot game, gets bumped off the puck easily, or just flat out loses control. He doesn’t crash the net or even stand in front. He might end up selling tickets at the iIce Capades, but he not going to sell many tickets with his style of play now.
    Thanks for disagreeing respectfully.
    Tom, thanks for the chat.

    I watched O'Reilly's post-game presser, he looked like a guy who would like to enter into witness protection, he wants to disappear. He is having flashbacks of his days in Buffalo when he had off days to look forward to since his team lost 70% of the time.
  • For a guy who takes losses as hard as O'Reilly does, this has not been an easy stretch. Though by some offensive metrics, he hasn't been that bad, especially compared to his teammates.
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