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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Wednesday 4/26 @St. Louis - 7 PM CDT NBCSN
Friday 4/28 @St. Louis - 7 PM CDT NBCSN
Sunday 4/30 @Nashville 2 PM CDT NBC
Tuesday 5/2 @Nashville 8:30 PM CDT NBCSN
Friday 5/5 @St. Louis TBD
Sunday 5/7 @Nashville TBD
Tuesday 5/9 @St. Louis TBD

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Last edited by sseagle on Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Strong team. I really want to go to Nashville with two games in our pocket

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:59 pm 
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I've been waffling all over about how I think this series will turn out. It all hinges on how confident Nashville is after beating Chicago. There's a right level of a confidence and a wrong level of overconfidence that could bite them in the collective asses.

Right now I'm leaning towards Nashville in 6. Rinne > Dubnyk and we could barely score against Dubnyk. He wasn't the reason Minnesota lost, Jake Allen was. Dubnyk did just fine.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:22 pm 
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Until Nashville proves they can score an even strength goal vs the Yeo Blues, I'm going with Blues in 5.

Seems to me the Blues bottom two lines will be better than the Predators bottom two lines. This was where the Blackhawks had problems. Consider the ice times for their 4th line never had over 9 minutes in a game. John Hayden - 5:39; Jordin Tootoo - 6:13; Vinnie Hinostroza - 6:48; Michael Kempny - 8:51. You don't win in the playoffs rolling 3 lines these days.

Blues bottom two lines
Paajarvi/Sanford - Lehtera/Barbashev - Sobotka
Upshall - Brodziak - Reaves

Preds bottom two lines
Pontus Aberg - Colton Scissons - P. A. Parenteau
Henry Zolnierczyk - Mike Fisher - Austin Watson

The only even matchup I see in those lines is Fisher vs Brodziak. The rest favor the Blues.

And now it's time to put a name and word that don't go together in a sentence. If Lehtera can play with the same tenacity he showed in Game 5, he could be a difference maker in the series, especially with the way Sobotka has played. (Yes, I actually typed that). Barbashev does not have that level of tenacity, yet, and not playing over Lehtera, who showed that level, could be just what the doctor ordered if Barbashev's needed later.

Heck - Sobotka-Lehtera-Paajarvi could be an outstanding line. We've seen Sobotka's intensity level and huge defensive play. Paajarvi has proven to be a solid contributor at both ends. His skating has taken away numerous chances while also consistently getting the puck deep in the o-zone. One of the few forwards doing this. And, Lehtera - if he maintains that game 5 level - this is a "lookout" in a good way line.

Through 5 games, the Blues have only given the puck away 18 times. They only have 25 takeaways, though. This is largely due to the way the Blues are playing under Yeo - a closed, defensive, denial game.

Predators - 56 giveaways in 4 games. 44 takeaways in 4 games. The Hawks-Preds series was wide open end-to-end stuff most games.

How are the Predators going to deal with the Blues outstanding defensive structure - that same structure which just shut down the 2nd highest scoring team in the league?

Can the Blues stay out of the penalty box enough to allow that structure to be effective?

Can the Blues stay patient within that structure to wait for their offensive chances?

And (kind of contradicting the above), can the Blues sustain offensive zone pressure for more than one period at a time. The way the Blues opened Game 5 is the way the Blues need to play more often to keep advancing in the playoffs. The way they played the 3rd period of Game 5 is what will cost them if they keep letting that happen.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Scoring first will be extremely important. One way or the other, this is a low scoring series. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of 1-0's and deep OT games.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:29 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
Scoring first will be extremely important. One way or the other, this is a low scoring series. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of 1-0's and deep OT games.

Fortunately, the Blues weren't as horrible under Yeo when not scoring first or surrendering a lead as they were under Hitchcock this season. The Blues won 1 game this year when trailing at any point in the game before Yeo took over. They've won at least 6 when that's happened since Feb 1st. Still important. Blues record when scoring first is outstanding with the new structure.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:33 pm 
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I could go either way on this series. I think we're a better team than Nashville, but we've gotta score more. And Rinne isn't going to help with that. A few reasons to be confident though:

1. They shouldn't be looking forward to seeing Allen either.
2. Tarasenko finally scored. He gets streaky, so I'm hoping we'll see him light it up a bit this series.
3. Stastny is back. That should have a ripple effect.

Still, while Allen was great, 11 goals wasn't great. We've gotta be better than that if we want to go back to the WCF.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:02 am 
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Stastny being back should definitely improve Tarasenko's and the top line's production. It already happened in Game 5.

Scheduling - of course the NHL are morons and scheduled Eastern Conference games on 2 dates when the Blues are playing - so one late game for sure - Game 4 in Nashville and, if necessary, Game 7 in St Louis. (They could set the St Louis start time early if a Game 7 is required and Sens-Rangers go to 6 games, but I don't see any chance in hell of NBC scheduling a later start for a Rangers game).

St. Louis Blues (C3) vs. Nashville Predators (WC2)
Wednesday, April 26, 8pm: Predators @ Blues | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
Friday, April 28, 8pm: Predators @ Blues | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
Sunday, April 30, 3pm: Blues @ Predators | NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Tuesday, May 2, 9:30pm: Blues @ Predators | NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
*Friday, May 5, TBD: Predators @ Blues | TBD
*Sunday, May 7, TBD: Blues @ Predators | TBD
*Tuesday, May 9, TBD: Predators @ Blues | TBD

Ottawa Senators (A2) vs. New York Rangers (WC1)
Tuesday, May 2, 7pm: Senators @ Rangers | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Tuesday, May 9, TBD: Senators @ Rangers | TBD

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:22 am 
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I wouldn't be too worried about Sens/Rangers going 6. Ottawa will be lucky to score a goal, let alone win 2 games.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:27 am 
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Not satisfied with how the Blues' offense played against the Wild. And now we get to face an even better goalie. Definitely going to be a tough series.

Since every team plays differently, my hope is that Nashville plays differently enough from Minnesota that our style of play actually matches up better, and we don't look like we are being outplayed the entire time like we were in Round 1.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:32 am 
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I'll be watching to see if the Preds are for real. I don't think they are but the pundits are saying otherwise. Game 1 will show me a lot - whether the Blues can penetrate the Preds defense or if it's the same we saw. Also only 1 bad start time in the series listed so far - game 4 with the dreaded 8:30pm time.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Everyone is talking about "can the Blues penetrate the Predators defense?" What about the opposite? Can the Predators get through the Blues defense? It's just as relevant, but not even being mentioned. 2nd highest scoring team in the league held to 6 goals in 5 games is pretty damn impressive.

They also keep bringing up the Predators 4 line depth. Ummm.... isn't that the same thing the Blues are rolling - 4 lines fairly consistently? The only time they haven't is when in penalty trouble and one of the 4th liners ice time (Reaves) gets reduced due to him not killing penalties.

Don't expect the Predators to get anywhere close to 50+ takeaways unless this goes 7.

It's almost like no one has watched the Blues since Yeo took over or even paid attention to how the Blues beat the Wild beyond goaltending.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:16 pm 
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The Preds don't scare me. They have trash for a fourth line and seriously lack depth. Rinne was Godlike but those days are past him. He's still formidable but Jake Allen is the Now. Rinne is the Then. Yeo has found ways to keep the Blues playing consistant hockey and every move Army's made, including the 'burning' a year off Boat's contract to play now has paid off in serious dividends; I'd be surprised if the Blues didn't sweep the Preds.

The only one thing I want to see more than anything is Lehtera continuing to ride pine. I don't care how well he played in a one game situation, I'm more concerned how he plays when he's given the chance and knows he won't be benched. He isn't our solution and knowing he'll play his heart out when given a chance every now and then convinces me to keep him scratched unless we have a situation where it is necessary to activate him.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:43 pm 
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Agree that Nashville's "depth" is being a tad overblown by the scribes. Both teams trust about the same number of forwards in any situation. Don't really understand how this is an edge for Nashville any more than it would be for STL.

The top 4 D and the goaltending are great matchups. Subban/Josi/Ellis/Ekholm vs 27/19/55/6. Luxuries for both coaches; all 8 guys can play big minutes.

Two hot, confident goalies. Rinne is the goalie darling right now and that's perfect. He seems to have a better head on his shoulders than Dooooooob, though. Both guys can handle the puck, but can make their fans hold their collective breath sometimes. Fun matchup with the old vet chasing playoff glory and the young buck with the chip on his shoulder.

Let's get it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:12 am 
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Nashville's depth is being overblown because that's how bad Chicago's depth performed in the 1st round. The same depth for which Stan Bowman was lauded based on the regular season.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:47 am 
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F Nashville.

We're going to destroy those pansies.

BLUES IN 4

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:46 am 
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Nashville's edge in this is hunger - they want it really bad. It was a huge difference maker in our series with them. Blues had it in our matchup last year. Blues need to bring that same edge and hunger to this series with Preds to match up against them. Should be a good series.


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