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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:04 am 
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Chicago is starting to pull away from Minnesota a little too. That race isn't over by any means, but if we hold onto 3rd and Chicago holds onto 1st, we're looking at a series with Minnesota. I guess we'll see how the season finishes, but Minnesota seems like a team that doesn't know what to do now that they aren't front running.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:54 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:00 pm 
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Toasted Oates wrote:


:letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:59 pm 
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That's all well and good, but I still want to see more offense. The goal differential is misleading. It's not because we're scoring more, it's because we're giving up less. That, alone, won't get the job done in the playoffs.

Maybe if Schwartz could freakin' snap out of his funk we could be cooking with gas heading into the playoffs. It would do the whole team well for him to pick a good time to get hot and maybe we could win a series.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:04 pm 
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Before Yeo G/Gm 2.82 12th EV G/Gm 2.10 29th
After Yeo G/Gm 2.67 19th EV G/Gm 2.00 29th
Scoring went down. Only defense improved.

I agree Schwartz scoring goals could easily be the difference between winning and losing in the playoffs. Still want to see more from Sanford and if he and Barbashev can start clicking. Paajarvi, again, blew a glorious scoring chance from the same position as in the Ducks game with Schwartz setting him up this time. If you are at the top of the circle be ready for the puck, Magnus!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:32 pm 
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The puck may not be going in the net for Schwartz but he has been buzzing pretty good for awhile. Other than 91, he is their most dangerous forward right now as far as generating scoring chances. It's only a matter of time before the levee breaks.

More offense? Sure. It's been good the last couple weeks but we'll see if they can sustain. All 4 lines look pretty fluid right now, though.

Also, if they could get some offense from a defenseman other than 27, that'd be great.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:16 am 
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We could absolutely stand with improving our average goals/game by a good .5, but considering how this team was playing 2 months ago, priority one was to get the defense and goaltending in order, and based on those stats, it looks like they have done that.

Now that defense and goaltending are performing, let's work on improving that offense. Because like glen said, you need both to succeed in the playoffs. 11 games to go.

The problem I see is the quality of teams we play in those 11 games- we may get a false sense of improved offense from beating up on ARI and COL. The bottom line is, we can't take our foot off the pedal and sit back now that things are starting to go our way a little.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:59 am 
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I'd like more scoring too, but we are 14-7 under Yeo (right?). We are playing better under him than we were under Hitch and it can't just be chalked up to the honeymoon period now. We're still in small sample size territory, but things are going reasonably well.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Yes, the Blues are playing way better under Yeo overall, especially in terms of doing what's needed to win games and didn't have the classic "let down" game we've seen over the past 6 years. The forwards not immediately waiting beyond center ice on line changes is a major change. The wingers actually working their whole wing in the defensive zone and not just the top 3rd of it is another major change. The Blues, as a team defensively, are actually defending the whole defensive zone and not just the bottom half. This has dramatically reduced high danger scoring chances against - which was a real problem before Yeo took over. Overall, the Blues are giving up more shots on goal/game, but they aren't good shots from low in the slot or inside the faceoff dots. They are also denying that late trailer play where the puck would go from behind the net out high to someone entering the zone late. This was another huge problem. So Yeo has fixed this team in some very significant ways.

Yes, the Blues could use some improved scoring.

Yes, the Blues schedule is soft so we could see improved scoring, but it be due to the opponent.

However, that same soft schedule and improved scoring could have the team playing more confidently entering the playoffs. Kind of a Catch-22 and we don't know which way that will shake out.

What I'm afraid of - Sanford and/or Barbashev get put back on the bench over Jaskin/Yakupov/Lehtera/Paajarvi simply because the four are "bigger and experienced" even though none of them are more skilled than those two. And letting them play even when not producing will continue into the playoffs. Skill with speed, not size-speed-experience, are more critical in the playoffs now. Ask the Penguins.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:55 pm 
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theohall wrote:
Yes, the Blues are playing way better under Yeo overall, especially in terms of doing what's needed to win games and didn't have the classic "let down" game we've seen over the past 6 years. The forwards not immediately waiting beyond center ice on line changes is a major change. The wingers actually working their whole wing in the defensive zone and not just the top 3rd of it is another major change. The Blues, as a team defensively, are actually defending the whole defensive zone and not just the bottom half. This has dramatically reduced high danger scoring chances against - which was a real problem before Yeo took over. Overall, the Blues are giving up more shots on goal/game, but they aren't good shots from low in the slot or inside the faceoff dots. They are also denying that late trailer play where the puck would go from behind the net out high to someone entering the zone late. This was another huge problem. So Yeo has fixed this team in some very significant ways.

Yes, the Blues could use some improved scoring.

Yes, the Blues schedule is soft so we could see improved scoring, but it be due to the opponent.

However, that same soft schedule and improved scoring could have the team playing more confidently entering the playoffs. Kind of a Catch-22 and we don't know which way that will shake out.

What I'm afraid of - Sanford and/or Barbashev get put back on the bench over Jaskin/Yakupov/Lehtera/Paajarvi simply because the four are "bigger and experienced" even though none of them are more skilled than those two. And letting them play even when not producing will continue into the playoffs. Skill with speed, not size-speed-experience, are more critical in the playoffs now. Ask the Penguins.

This is a great post.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:47 pm 
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These are a couple of opponent's recent shot charts. What they did to the Wild was absolutely ridiculous, but looks darn near exactly like what the Wild did to the Blues in the 2015 playoffs.

ImageImage

For reference, this the Wild's shot chart (5-1 loss) from the 1/26 game and is representative of what was happening in most Blues losses before the coaching change.

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