Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Hey gang, I'm here! Sorry for the delay. I'm good to go for the next few hours and we have plenty to discuss. Blues lost a big game last night. Plenty of drama on and off the ice. Cardinals win in grand slam fashion. College football is featuring a nice Jerry Springer moment between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher. And more! Let's roll.
    Binnington should have been fined by the NHL for the water bottle toss. What a weak, petulant act. If you want to do something, limp across the hall and fight the guy. Otherwise, wait until next year. But tossing an empty water bottle? Weak sauce and unprofessional.
    Fined for heaving an empty piece of plastic in a guy's general direction? In a sport where players break one another's sternums in legal plays? No thanks. Binnington lost his cool, no doubt. He at that point had to have known his season was likely over. He and Kadri have history. The setup -- one locker room connecting two dressing rooms -- is a bit of an invitation for funny business. No excuses. Should not have done it. But I don't think he deserved a fine. Kadri laughed about it. Kadri is getting the last laugh often in this series. Binnington, by the way, is headed to Toronto to get his knee checked out.
    I'm a Blues fan living in Colorado. Lord give me strength.
    Be strong. I think it'll be over Wednesday. Not exactly a big, bold take, I know.
    Mo gets crushed a lot in these chats, and deserves a fair amount of it, but as someone who categorized the Mikolas deal as a bad signing I’d like to amend my stance. He has been terrific so far this year. But aside from Mikolas what is the bedrock of this rotation? Right now it is Waino outpacing Father Time, a boom-or-bust Matz, and 2-3 starters who look more like openers. How much stock can they really put into a Flaherty return to ace form?
    Mikolas has been really, really good. Proving he can do more than just stay healthy, but stay healthy and go deep into games while using his deep selection of pitches. This is how he looked during that All-Star season, before the injury. After that, yes, concerns are fair. I'm not as worried as some about Dakota Hudson. Jordan Hicks in the five spot works best if he's the only one making shorter starts, not one of multiple starters making certain starts. Drew VerHagen and Steven Matz were supposed to add good depth and they have been underwhelming, or hurt. Liberatore can help. Can't truly count on Flaherty helping much until he's pitching to hitters and recovering well from live action. He's not there yet.
    So about Kadri staying clean and not hurting anyone....
    He would argue that's what he has done, and that the Binnington injury was not his fault, just a fluke.
    I don't buy that wholesale.
    I think he saw a chance to get a collision onto Binnington, knew it would be a gray-area situation and took advantage of it.
    Remember, it happened a game after the Avalanche had been hit with a goalie interference penalty.
    They were clearly trying to get Binnington rattled. It was part of their game plan.
    I figured Kadri would have a quieter series in the drama department after the Faulk hit last playoffs and his media cycle this offseason and entering the playoffs that revolved around painting him as some misunderstood (at best) or reformed (at worst) player.
    I was wrong ,clearly.
    Any threats and derogatory comments towards a human being are absolutely reprehensible. I'll say that first. That said, isn't it a little bizarre to see Nazem Kadri suddenly portrayed as a hero who vanquished evil? Of course, St. Louis is now being painted with a broad, negative brush as well. Are they just forgetting the 16 games he's missed for attempting to injure and actually injuring other players? Not to mention the fact that he intentionally ran Binnington just days ago. Two years in a row that this guy takes out a Blues player during a playoff series. How is Berube the bad guy for simply pointing that out?
    Agreed. A few idiots on the Internet should not define an entire city and fanbase. I appreciate Colorado coach Jared Bednar -- and Kadri as well, to be clear -- pointing that out last night. Kadri enjoys the boos and fan angst, and obviously it helps fire him up as a player people like to cheer against because of how he plays. Booing a guy who was involved in a controversial play is not the same as threats made, or crap about race, ethnicity, religion and so on. Some idiots used a hockey debate to peddle hate and that's unfortunate. I would love nothing more than the losers who caused the police investigation to get exposed. But can't it also be unfortunate that the response from some has been to trash Berube? Berube, one of the few coaches with First Nation ancestry out there, is getting ripped apart, mostly by a bunch of White media guys, let's be honest, because he didn't handle the situation like they wanted him to? I'm sorry, but there is real irony in that.
    I've emptied out my bank accounts, took out a second mortgage, and placed it all on the Avs winning on Wednesday. When was the last time you had this much of a sure bet in sports? Making lemonade, baby!
    The boys did not seem to have high spirits leaving STL, I can confirm.
    What are the chances "Chucky Sideburns" gets the start in game 5? I'd like to see it and think it could give the team a spark. Husso has been great all year, but he seems to be reverting to his play last year. 3 goals on 3 shots in a row deflates the team...
    Nothing with Berube would surprise me, but unless forwards not named David Perron and Ryan O'Reilly emerge from their slumber, it won't matter. Husso is not as sharp as he was at times this season. The Blues are really missing Binnington's puck play since he's been out. His ability to pass and help the Blues get Colorado out of the Blues zone and get the Blues moving into Colorado's zone was key to helping limit Colorado's wicked offense. Can Lindgren help there? I'm not sure. If he's the guy the Blues want to have as the backup next season, maybe throw him into the fire and find out? But let's be clear here. It would be a big desperation move, and it flopped, that's the series. Could be anyway though. It wouldn't surprise me.
    What have you thought about Berube this series? Personally, after his great work in the first series with matchups, I haven't seen it, from an offensive standpoint, in this one. The two home games especially. First change shouldve been a big opportunity to get some of the slumping lines going.
    I thought his Game 2 moves were pretty masterful. Redid his top three lines. Got a split in Colorado. That's huge. The series changed dramatically when the Binnington injury happened. I don't think the Blues have an answer for losing him. They're not going to say that, but they have been off since then.
    While I'm not a huge Jeff Albert supporter, how much does Yepez, Donovan, and Gorman coming up and hitting well do for the argument that he should be sent packing? Also, it's noticeable to me that the minor leaguers have been subjected to the pitch clock, they don't mess around in the box and the pitchers work quickly. Do you think it will be in the big leagues soon and do you think that veteran players that aren't used to it will take exception to the quick pitching?
    John Mozeliak has gone to great lengths to explain and argue that the success of minor league hitters can be traced to Albert, whom he hired and has defended for seasons now. The Cardinals have not changed Albert's title but they do view him as more than a major league hitting coach, but more like a system wide offensive coordinator, I think. So they feel that his instruction, because his vision is what is defining the organization's approach from top to bottom now, is helping these young thrive through the minors. If that's the case, then it should bode well for him when young guys debut and hit. My question will be how do they hang, adjust and stick? The Cardinals are not lacking in guys who debut and pop. They're lacking in guys who debut and continue to grow and develop offensively as major leaguers. Tommy Edman has done it. Harrison Bader has done it. I think Dylan Carlson is getting there. Paul DeJong has struggled. Tyler O'Neill is struggling. The Cardinals at the end of the day are always going to be a draft-and-develop team under the DeWitt ownership model, so if the Cardinals can show this is the season that Albert's method is going to work for the next generation of Cardinals hitters, the front office can say the long-term plan is working. If the minor leaguers hit a wall and can't get helped in the dugout they share with Albert, that's not a good development.
    I guess some of your earlier answers make my question moot but I am going to ask it anyway: did this series turn on Binnington’s injury or is Colorado just the better team and them winning inevitable? Secondarily, what can be done about this a-hole Kadri? To me, it does not matter if no penalty was called. The league should suspend him again for, at least, twenty games. Thanks, Ben.
    Seems like it to me. And the Blues very well could have lost with Binnington. Colorado is really good. I picked them to win in 7 before the injury to Binnington, which of course changed everything. Binnington was as locked in as any goalie in the postseason. The Blues were playing confidently in front of him. They have not looked like that team since he limped off the ice. Nothing will be done about Kadri. He was not penalized for the crash into Rosen and Binnington. The league declined to review the incident. He wasn't even penalized for his shove of Perron that  sparked his go with Barbashev and Perron last night.
    Is the Jeff Albert System the cause of the top minor league prospects having success?.... Or is it more likely that Randy Flores has done a great job identifying hitting talent in the draft?
    If runs are scored and games are won, everybody looks good.
    As a Blues fan, shocked by how many in the local media and fans are pushing this false narrative that Kadri intentionally injured Binnington. I think there's a reason former players, other media and the rest of the hockey community is making fun of us freaking out over a rough, but completely legit, hockey play on a loose puck in front of net. Kadri is what he is, but to gin up outrage over this is completely unnecessary.
    He could not have known the play was going to result in an injury to Binnington.
    It's impossible to know something like that.
    He could have viewed the play as a chance to get contact on the goalie, and in a spot where it was a gray area.
    So he did.
    This stuff is not that hard to figure out, guys.
    He took advantage of a scenario. It worked out perfectly for him and his team.
    He didn't get pushed into Rosen. There was no one behind him. Rosen tried to put on the brakes. Kadri barreled through. Goalie interference in a spot like that, with a goalie's teammate involved, is a pretty murky area. Kadri knows that.
    David Perron has been fined $5,000 for his cross-check on Nazem Kadri. WOW! Can we sue the league?
    Probably just as much for his little chicken wing jab thrown at Kadri after he scored his second goal. As I said earlier, nothing is going to happen to Kadri from the league in this series. He's become the hero in the eyes of many. League clearly trying to set a tone before a Game 5 that could get ugly.
    Do you think the Cardinals front office has made roster moves more swiftly this year since letting Shildt go? Last year it seemed like it was more on Shildt to figure it out and they wasted a lot of time in June figuring out the roster wasn't strong enough to win. Since they have a vested interest in Marmol succeeding, do you think they will continue to fortify holes and make uncharacteristically quick roster decisions since this is the front office's hand picked guy?
    They had a vested interest in Shildt succeeding as well. They promoted him too. And fired a previous manager they hired in order to do that. I think the front office and Marmol probably communicate better. That's one of Marmol's strengths. And I do think the front office is more in action mode this season, because it's feeling more pressure than it has in a long time.
    Beating the Avs three straight would be a herculean task, but I guess anything is possible. The Blues look comparatively slower than the Avs, 5 on 5. If we get bounced out of this round, what changes do you see on the horizon to make this team faster? Our power play has been phenomenal so far, so that's a plus. Kyrou needs to get stronger. He gets striped of the puck quite easily.
    The Blues can be pretty fast. Their offense can be pretty robust. A lot of teams look slow against Colorado. Avs have elite speed. Blues more than speed at forward need some more length, athleticism and defensive skill required to slow down teams like Colorado.
    "This stuff is not that hard to figure out, guys."

    Respectfully, Ben, you're in the vast majority who seems to be saying it's a fact that Kadri "took advantage" of the situation. Him and Rosen are going for a loose puck, there's plenty of video evidence that shows their trajectory is not going toward Binnington until they bump into each other. And he should be trying to go through Rosen, lest we forget there was a loose puck right in front of net. Lastly, the sports psychology stuff doesn't really work on what Kadri is or isn't thinking in the moment, let's not try and project that onto someone.
    Respectfully, if you think players don't think about those things in real time, you are underestimating players.
    I'm still not sure about hicks being a starter
    I know they want to keep him healthy bit they could of put him in the minors to work out his pitching.
    They could, but they think his stuff can help them win here at the major league level. He went five innings his last time out. Allowed three runs. That's a fine start for the last man in the rotation these days. Problem was the Cardinals scored two runs in that game and wound up losing 8-2. I think people are mostly against the idea of Hicks starting because it's different than what they are used to. Flaherty isn't ready yet. Matz is hurt. It's not Hicks' fault the Cardinals did not add a more sure-thing starter than Matz this offseason. He may be, for now, legitimately the best option. Liberatore is not waiting in Memphis anymore. He's making starts along with Hicks. If he pitches much better than Hicks, and the rotation starts to get healthier, there could be a debate to be had. That, I agree with.
    If the blues don't come back in this series, what do you think the offseason looks like for them in terms of adding speed and necessary parts to take down Colorado next year?
    The goalie situation seems settled as long as the knee injury is something Binnington should bounce back from. Husso hits free agency. Blues go with Binnington and Lindgren. That frees up some cash. Figuring out a way to bring back Perron would be nice. Tarasenko's future will have to be addressed again. Trading from forward depth could be an option. Some length and athleticism on D seems like a must. That's the start of it.
    IMO, the Blues (including Berube) have lost the one thing that has set them apart since 2019....composure. Their loyalty to a fallen brother has caused them to respond emotionally and lacking discipline. They have lost focus, and the belief that their talent and effort can make up for losing #50. Husso, or Chucky Sideburns for that matter, could help them win the series if the rest of them use their talent, focus and effort to get the job done. Agree?
    I thought they would play Colorado tough but lose this series -- even with Binnington. So I would be a phony to suggest they should win it now that they're without him. They could certainly play better than they have since Binnington went down. The performance of the forwards outside of a few, mostly David Perron and Ryan O'Reilly, has been pretty disappointing. Colorado is beating Husso on shots Binnington would have stopped, and Binnington's passing and handling are missed now as Colorado gets more time in their offensive zone. It's not an excuse. Just facts. Blues were dealt a brutal card in a series they had to be at their best to win, and they have not shown much resiliency since the brutal card landed. They tried to compare the Binnington injury to the hand pass situation against San Jose during 2019. They haven't handled it that way, though.
    There's a veteran LH bat available coming off of 21 games at AAA with an OPS over 1.000, interested?
    Matt Carpenter? Saw the Rangers let him go. He had been hitting pretty well in Round Rock. No, that ship has sailed here. Although his at-bats might be a bit more power-producing than Corey Dickerson's have been so far.
    “That frees up some cash.”

    Husso makes the minimum so it doesn’t free up anything. Stick to baseball.
    Um, he's about to be a free agent, so he won't make the minimum moving forward.
    If Blues wanted to keep him they had to pay, and figure out how to handle that with Binnington's contract.
    Feel free to find another chat if you don't like the discussion here.
    I promise we'll be fine without you.
    After watching Pallante walk the first two hitters he faced in a pretty important part of the game, my first thought was "get him out of there." But of course MLB has a 3 batter minimum. What would happen if Marmol just walked out there and removed him and put in another pitcher, despite the rule? Is there a punishment for changing pitchers prior to 3 batters?
    Only way it could happen would be if Pallante was hurt.
    I have been surprised more teams don't fudge the injury clause of the rule.
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