Well, Dennis Gates filled his biggest need by landing point guard Sean East today. So he has landed two of the top JUCO prospects in the country and one of the top players in the transfer portal. He also got a four-star recruit to re-commit to Missouri, which was huge. I'm not sure the other two Horizon League transfers he added can make a big impact in the SEC, but that's about the only negative I can muster at this time. He hired a big-time assistant coach and he has working hard to revive the fan base.
Mike Shildt sure didn't need the negative headlines. He got back into big-league circulation with his fill-in coaching work and it would have been better if that time passed quietly. That said, most baseball people who review this unhappy incident will realize that Mike did nothing out of the ordinary.
We forget that the shoulder was an issue for some time. Now he has confidence in it and it shows. That, plus the jump in his skates has helped him turn back the clock.
That rule changes from season to season. And, really, it is different from game to game. Yesteryear's dreadeed "skate in the crease" rule was too strict and current too much is let go. Any jostling in front of the net gives an opposing forward the green light to crash into the net.
Noah Carter is a scorer with the strength to muscle into the lane, but he is not a consistent 3-point threat. The same goes for Kobe Brown. And Ronnie DeGray III. Mohamed Diarra comes advertised as a good perimeter shooter for a big, but we'll have to see about that. Sean East has been a OK outside shooter at lower levels. Perhaps the team's best spot-up shooter from behind the arc is Boogie Coleman, who to this point has stayed out of the transfer portal.
This is the question with this team. The Blues have tremendous offensive depth, so they are more than willing to go up and down the ice trading chances. We're seeing that over and over for long stretches of games. Of course, it's hard to win playing this way in the postseason. Given the makeup of the defensive corps and the dearth of elite checking forwards, perhaps their best defense will be a good offense -- but one that pins opponents into the zone rather than one that exchanges rushes with the opponent.
These Russian players have nothing to do with the conflict in Ukraine and fans are generally treating them that way.
Tyler O'Neill has star potential. He is a level up from Bader. And O'Neill could be just fine going year to year, collecting big arbitration awards ahead of free agency and a nine-digit deal. Buying into that potential free agency would be expensive for the Cardinals. I don't see Tyler selling himself short. Hs fielding/speed/power mix gives him massive earning potential.
The Blues are going to make the postseason, so the Wild game is bigger. Home ice against the Wild could decide the series. The Blues have excelled at home this season.
Points of conflict between Mike Shildt and John Mozeliak seemed to include the failure to get pitching help sooner last season, the push for more game input from the analytics team and hitting strategy. As Shildt admitted, he saw himself as a keeper of the Cardinal Way. His passion for protecting that organizational heritage got the best of him. Obviously he made his arguments more forcefully than Mozeliak appreciated.
Injuries cut into Rolen's effectiveness and longevity. When healthy, he was one of the top fielders of all-time at a premium position. When healthy, he was an offensive star as well.
I can't imagine it. There are only so many sports dollars in this market and the MLS will start grabbing its share soon enough.
I imagine Husso would have some wiggle room, but not much. A bad goal is one thing, but a terrible game is another. If Binnington closes the season well, his postseason experience will make him an attractive option.
As noted earlier, I see Husso getting the call. And if he plays well, he will keep the role. But the likelihood of using both goaltenders is higher than usual.