I would take the under on those two and the .235 mark. I hope they prove me wrong because the team would be more interesting to watch if they could hit .250 or .260 while also doing what they do defensively.
The Chief could have put Hoffman on the top power play sooner. There were stretches when that unit wasn't clicking and he was still relegating Hoffman to a lesser role with the man advantage. Berube believes power-play time is to be earned, not awarded. Getting him to show enough two-way effort in 5-on-5 play wasn't easy. It was getting to the point where Mike's value in the marketplace for 2021-22 was taking a hit. Now he is pumping up his stock again.
In theory the Cardinals could really take off if they can add more offense behind the pitching that has come around nicely. But that will be the big "if" that Mozeliak will deal with as the season unfolds.
Sanford is not a great fit on the fourth line. It's really hard to play really hard with limited opportunity 5-on-5. Like a lot of players, if Sanford can't earn a spot in the Top 9 than it's better to sit him and stick a hungry grinder -- like a MacEachern -- in tha blue-collar role.
Williams has great range coming in or over. Going back . . . that has been a problem. He has a strong arm but he's had some mishaps with his throws too. But there may be something there.
The coaching staff emphasizes getting ahead in the count. Every coaching staff makes that same plea. Cabrera has always been wild and right now Hicks is struggling to regain his command as he comes back from surgery. As we saw so vividly with Trevor Rosenthal, that's not unsual.
I would bet on The Chief, but his buddy Rick Tocchet is a beast. Bob Bougher was a rugged player. Rod Brind'Amour wasn't a fighter, but he is jacked and fit. Darryl Sutter is no kid any more, but he's ornery. He impresses me as somebody who would fight to the death, like Brian Sutter. Once Gerard Gallant is back in the mix he would contend as well.
I do not believe Hoffman or Berube would be thrilled with this scenario. I see Mike getting a mulit-year deal elsewhere and happily moving on.
The Blues have a long way to go yet to be ready to take out Vegas or Colorado. Those teams have been on a much higher level all season. That said, the Blues have the ability to become a real contender and they still have time to elevate their game. They have shown signs of it, but mostly they have done it for just a period or two in any given game.
If Molina is healthy, Molina plays. As he showed before getting hurt, he can still play at a very high level. Down the road Knizner will be an interesting guy because he can hit and he has a corner infield background. I could see him a utility role. If the DH comes to the NL as expected next season, he could fill the DH role and be positioned to slide in to catch as needed. He could be in the lineup as a DH and catch in the case of an emergency, since the only drawback to that would be forcing the pitcher to hit.
Clearly the Cardinals are concerned about Dean's fielding, That explains why he mostly pinch-hit while Bader was out. Now that Bader is back, Dean could become the odd man out this season if Bader hits at least some and the other guys stay healthy.
That, or the manager could just ask the umpire to throw his pitcher out of the game. That would have been the workaround that Didi Gregorius wouls have appreciated.
Growing I was the world's biggest Dave Bing fan. Man he was on some bad teams. Otto Moore! Butch Komives! I listened to the games on the radio and kept score. Then Bob Lanier came around. Again, I was a huge fan. My dad sprung for tickets for a charity dinner that included a meet-and-greet. Bob could not have been nicer. I stood next to him and went, "whoa!" What does a kid say to somebody that large?
Similar roles for sure. They matched up against top forwards, killed penalties and drove play as well -- both at even strength and at 5-on-5. "Killer" Gilmour played with an edge. I'd say he was a quick and tenacious player while O'Reilly is more persistent and tenacious, if that makes sense.
Yes, Erik ranks as a draft disappointed. That was not the best draft ever, but first overall is first overall. The expectation for him was an Alex Pietrangelo-like career.
Yes, that does speak to O'Reilly's excellence.
Yeah, we need blue sarcasm font. Carpenter was put on week-to-week status by Mozeliak. It's fair to ask if he would still be on the team at all right now if he didn't hit that homer. He is NOT in the lineup today, if what I see is correct. Bader is back in the No. 8 slot and center field while Carlson moves back to right field.
Husso has improved his stock for sure. I'd say he earned the back-up job for next season and then we'll see where it goes from there.