Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 2 p.m. Wednesday

Join Blues beat writer Tom Timmermann for his live chat at 2 p.m. Wednesday

Get your questions ready and join in at 2 p.m. Wednesday for our weekly Blues chat.

    Hello everyone. It's time for, maybe, the final chat of the Blues season. Let's see what's on people's minds.
    Can we agree that since the beginning of March, Husso has been average at best. How does that complicate the goaltending situation for the upcoming season?
    I just ran NHL goalie stats from March 1 to the end of the regular season. Husso is 21st in goals-against at 3.08 and 21st in save percentage at .904. I don't have the ability to look at how he's done relative to expected goals in that span, but he has had some good games in that span, but also some bad games, and if you look down his game-by-game results, there are a lot of 4s, 5s and a 6 in there in the goals-allowed column. 
    Rather than complicating the Blues goalie situation, it simplifies it. Binnington played well enough down the stretch for him to be the team's No. 1 goalie next season (health permitting) and Husso will probably not be quite as hot a commodity on the free agent market as it once looked he might be. So it will be easier to re-sign Husso than it might have been earlier. It will still be Husso's call as to whether he tests the market or not, and I wouldn't be surprised if he does. Someone may well make him an offer, but I wouldn't think a team will be looking at him as their No. 1 for next season. Standard disclaimer: It only takes one team to change all that. 
    Great money-making opportunity for those so inclined this evening. Empty out those bank accounts, head over to your favorite sports book, and drop it all on the Avs for the win tonight. Perfect example of a sure-thing.
    One thing I have learned from years and years of watching hockey: There is no such thing as a sure thing in this sport.
    I assume that Chucky Sideburns will be a hot topic today…..your thoughts?
    Berube quickly dismissed a question about using Lindgren after the morning skate, saying he never even considered it. That would be a tough position to put a guy in and Husso has played a lot of good hockey this season, some as recently as May 2. Husso put in a decent body of work this season behind a defense that often didn't do him a lot of favors. I'd say your chance of getting a hot Ville Husso is better than getting a hot Charlie Lindgren.
    Hello, Mr. Timmermann. Does Tarasenko's disappearing act so far in this series against Colorado make him less appealing to Armstrong as far as signing a contract extension? Also, if Husso doesn't have a really strong game tonight, do you think he's played his way out of St. Louis, with Hofer or even Lindgren backing up Binnington next season? Thanks for your time.
    A lot of other events besides this series would go into a decision on a Tarasenko extension, but the biggest would be: Does Tarasenko want to sign an extension with the Blues? I don't know that he does. Tarasenko has answered one of the biggest questions coming into this season, that his shoulder will not impede his play.
    Husso has not played his way out of St. Louis by any means. Absent any big offers from other teams, there's an excellent chance he's back next season. The Blues would probably be good with re-signing Husso in the $2 to $3 million range. If the bidding on him goes much higher than that, the Blues may let him go and look to the future.
    Lindgren is also a UFA, so he might get offers as well. In Binnington, Husso, Lindgren, Hofer and Ellis, that's one more goalie than the Blues need at the NHL and AHL level. At least one of them, I would think, won't be back. Lindgren will be hoping for a one-way deal somewhere after his season. The Blues will want Hofer and Ellis (who played in the ECHL most of the season) to get all the AHL games. Lindgren could be the NHL backup if Husso signs elsewhere. Problem is with both UFAs, Blues will want to get one of them wrapped up early, which may not be possible.  
    Is Stl viewed as having classless fans by outsiders or do most reasonable people believe this is just a few bad eggs making a bad representation of the city?
    Would probably be easier for me to say if I was in another city, but on the cosmic scale, this wasn't more weight on the good side. Both Bednar and Kadri said they know it's a few isolated people (possibly just one with multiple accounts) and not the fan base as a whole, and Kadri said he didn't hear anything racial or threatening yelled at him during the game other than boos.
    Ottawa is looking for a top 4 defenseman with years of control in exchange for the 7th pick in the draft. I think Army has to seriously consider unloading Parayko and his bloated contract.
    In terms of playing shutdown defense, Parayko is pretty much the best the Blues have. If you thought the Blues defense was spotty this season, the Blues defense without Parayko would have been even spottier. The Blues have a lot of offensive-minded defensemen. Getting rid of Parayko would not make the Blues defense even better, and it's probably simpler to keep the guy you've just given a six-year contract to than ship him off and find someone new to do that. 
    Also, he's got a no-trade clause that goes into effect on July 1. 
    In the post-game discussions, did the team provide explanations for why they only had 6 shots through the first period and a half?
    I don't think the question was put to them in that way, but this was Perron's response to the team's trouble getting anything going at 5 on 5:
    "Just gotta build it more. Its pretty simple. We did it one game. We made them defend. If we turn it over at the blueline, their D-zone has to go back and get forechecks. They can just get going with speed. If we don’t do that enough, we see what happened tonight. They transition. They’re a good hockey team over there. They got great players, and we gotta kind of play with our depth even more than what we’ve been doing."

    The Blues were sloppy with the puck in their own end and had a hard time getting it out of their zone, and with the amount of zone time Colorado had, there wasn't a whole lot of chances for the Blues to shoot.

    Are you suprised that Buch, Thomas and Vladi are being put on the same line considering their recent struggles?
    Maybe it's safer to keep them all in one place? 
    I'm not surprised at all by anything Berube does with lines, and he will probably be quicker than ever to rearrange things if the results aren't there. The group has worked well together before, again very recently, so I don't think another chance can hurt. Well, I guess it can hurt given the circumstances, but that group has done well enough this season to warrant another look. 
    Krug and Perunovich seem to be mirror images of each other. Similar styles, both smallish and left shots. Is there room on the Blueline for both or are the Blues better moving one?
    They are similar, but Perunovich has played so little in the NHL that turning the keys over to him would be very, very premature. Since March of 2020, Perunovich has played 43 games, and only 26 in the NHL. At the same time, the Blues have invested a lot in Perunovich and waited a long time, so I think they'll wait a little longer because he's finally on the doorstep. At some point, the Blues will have to look at the situation with Faulk, Krug and Perunovich, but not yet.
    Maybe the key to tonight is letting Colorado score 1st and letting MacKinnon score?? Since the opposite hasn't worked so far
    In the Minnesota series, scoring first was the key. In the Colorado series, it hasn't been. One thing I think that would help the Blues would be to not only score the first goal, but also to score the second goal.
    Of the 6 pending UFA's on the current roster (this includes Chuckie Sideburns), who are the most likely to return?
    On the current roster, I'd rank them in order of return likelihood: Perron, Rosen, Husso, Lindgren, Leddy, Bozak. There won't be a price issue on Bozak, but I don't think there will be a roster spot for him, and Husso and Lindgren are either/or.  In the minors, MacEachern and Joshua are both UFAs. Joshua would probably rank second on the above list.
    I Like what Leddy has done since he has been here. with Perunovich running the power play, and doing a pretty good job, what would you think of trading Krug and using his salary to sign Leddy and Perron?
    I really don't think Krug is going anywhere and again, Perunovich is decidedly untested at the NHL level. It may be hard to separate Leddy's numbers from playing with Detroit, but Krug is the better, and more expensive, player. And the Blues like Krug. Not that they don't like Leddy, but they've liked Krug longer.
    Tom, should the Blues be looking to sell high on Tarasenko or Barbashev and look at signing a player like Fiala? If you want to save some money and strengthen your defense, trade Parayko and sign Zadorov who is an UFA. You’d be saving over $4m and you’ll be getting basically the same player, only more physical. With the emergence of Perunovich you could trade Krug and shed his $8.5m contract next season. I would also attempt to trade a 4th or 5th round draft pick to acquire Ryan Reeves. This team need toughness and right now Bortuzzo is our only guy.
    I would certainly think that Tarasenko and Barbashev would be attractive trade pieces this offseason, and may well never be more attractive. This smacks of being a career season for Barbashev, and one I would not expect him to repeat. Of course, I flatly predicted, multiple times, in this chat before the season began than Tarasenko's days as a 30-goal scorer were over, and I was exceptionally wrong on that. (Though in my defense, I was not prepared for the big increase in scoring everywhere this season, and this might well have been a 25-goal season for Tarasenko otherwise.) Tarasenko would be a trade candidate because he's entering the final year of a contract, there's ample reason to think he's not going to re-sign, and the Blues need cap space if they want to make other changes. A Tarasenko trade makes a lot of things possible.
    Again, I don't think Krug is going anywhere. They like him and what he brings and Perunovich's 5 on 5 offensive numbers are nowhere near as good as Krug's. And Krug also has a no-trade clause. 
    Surely Husso has a short leash tonight with how shaky he has been playing? I'm surprised that Lingren was "was never considered" for starting this pivotal game 5...
    I'm not surprised. Husso has been the Blues' goalie for a lot of the season and has won them a lot of games and he wasn't terrible last game, especially when compared to the Blues' non-existent offense. He gives them a much better chance than Lindgren.
    Happy Wednesday Tom. Sorry but this is NOT the last Blues chat!

    I am hopeful the Blues can bring home a win tonight and we have a game six. If not this year's playoffs have answered many questions, namely can Binner of the future be the Binner of 2019 (yes), is Husso worth signing for big bucks (no), should we trade Tarasenko in the summer or use let him go and sign a shut down d-man (yes), does Army need to sign a shut down d-man (yes). The season was very entertaining and fun so I got my money's worth. What say you to any of this?

    Thank you Tom for your Blues coverage is this is the last chat.
    Well, it's definitely not the last Blues chat. We'll be back next week, but the question is if the season is still going on or not. It will take a lot for the Blues to keep us from clicking into offseason mode.
    Yes, Binnington can be the goalie again.
    Yes, Husso will probably be cheaper to re-sign in the offseason.
    Trading Tarasenko to open up cap space for some other moves seems very very possible, especially considering that he'll be easier to trade this offseason than last one because he showed he can still play in the NHL. 
    Doing something to shore up the defense is needed, though moving the pieces around on a defense that has three guys in Faulk, Krug and Parayko all pretty much locked in, will be tricky. 
    But it's definitely not the last chat. Just very likely the last one while the Blues are still playing. 
    Not that you should take your eyeballs off the chat, but here's Jim's pregame report from Denver. Scandella and Walker will be back in the lineup is the biggest news (Rosen and Perunovich are out). 

    Blues Game Day: Berube says threats, slurs to Kadri are 'in no way acceptable'

    STLtoday.comBlues coach had been criticized for a "no-comment" on the subject Monday.
    Hey Tom, got any salve for us fans who not only are dreading a shockingly abrupt Blues exit from the postseason after Binnington's injury, but the fact that rising villain Kadri still has a chance at the Cup while we wait to find out whether his victim Binner has a potentially career-impacting injury?
    Not really. Toured the soccer stadium today. Looks very nice with the seats and grass in place.
    On the Blues front? Well, it should be easier to re-sign Husso in the offseason? Don't know if that's much comfort. The Blues have a winning record on the road in the playoffs and won their most recent game in Colorado? Things looked pretty bad after Game 3 against Minnesota and they turned that one around?
    Things did change really quickly, didn't they? 
    Any word on the team's morale?
    I'd label them serious. 
    Look, they want to keep playing. They know they screwed up badly in Game 4 and if there was any shock about losing Binnington, it's passed. They have also realized any revenge on Kadri is best to wait until next season. 
    I don't understand all the Parayko criticism. The team has asked him to focus on shutting down the other teams top line and have yet to find him a suitable partner. Leddy is the latest attempt to do so but even he is geared more toward the offensive side of things.
    He's the best defensive defenseman the team has and the Blues are not counting on him to be a two-way player other than to take the puck up ice, though I have to say he's used his shot a bit more in these playoffs and to good effect. But they pair him with offensive guys so he can focus on defense.
    Tom, I think Krug should be more important to the Blues. Not only for his offensive ability but his heart. I wish every Blues player played with Krugs intensity. Why does this team have problems with consistency? It’s the playoffs, you finish your checks, you play hard. Your thoughts Tom ? Thanks.
    I've never quite figured out the consistency thing, other than that we all have good days and bad days. Some weeks the chat is rolling and I'm reeling off keen, insightful and humorous responses. Others it's a slog. Krug is a lot like Schenn, or going back a couple years, Steen. He's an excellent leader.
    Hi Tom, Seen you had a chance to tour the new MLS stadium. Did they give you the full tour or just a partial and will we see a story coming soon on it?
    There's still a lot of construction going on, so a lot of places you can't get to. I tagged along on the tours they're giving season-ticket holders as they pick out their spots, so I was mostly in the seating areas. For now, we're letting the pictures tell the story, and they should be up on the website soon.
    Now back to hockey. 
    Hi Tom. We wind tonight and Friday and go to OT on Sunday. Book it! LGB
    Teams that are down 3-1 look at it that way: The pressure is on the team up 3-1 because if they don't win Game 5, they're going on the road for Game 6 and if the other team wins there, then they've lost two in a row and it comes down to a Game 7 and collars are getting tighter. But Colorado has yet to lose on the road this postseason, so other than the travel hassle, playing again in St. Louis probably won't faze them.
    I don't think the Blues will or should trade Tarasenko unless he has made it clear to Armstrong that he has no intentions of signing an extension. It's time to find a partner for Parayko and move on from Scandella. Top targets should be UFA Zadorov or reacquire Edmunson from Montreal. Your thoughts?
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