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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:50 am 
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Reeling from a pair of decisive losses, the Minnesota Wild got back to the basics and earned a win Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights. To put together a streak, Minnesota will need to prove it has recovered against one of the teams that provided one of those previous lopsided defeats.

The Wild host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday after St. Louis and former coach Mike Yeo earned a 6-3 home win against Minnesota on Nov. 25. St. Louis is trying to get back on track after back-to-back losses since beating the Wild.

"It's going to be a tough test tomorrow and the way we're going right now, we're not giving ourselves a chance to win hockey games," Yeo said. "It doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel like we're dangerous. We're too easy to score on right now."

The Blues will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Friday night. The loss coupled with Winnipeg's win against Vegas means St. Louis isn't in first place in the Central Division for the first time this season.

Backup goaltender Carter Hutton allowed three goals on 21 shots against the Kings on Friday before being replaced by Jake Allen, who likely will start Saturday. Allen is 7-3-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 12 career games against Minnesota.

Allen stopped 22 of 25 shots in the earlier win against the Wild.

But St. Louis went just 2-3 on a five-game homestand before starting this two-game road trip.

"We need to go on the road and focus on what we need to do," Blues center Paul Stastny said. "That's the beauty of playing back to back. With 82 games, you can't get too high or too low. We'll fix a few things and we'll be ready."

St. Louis has won its last 12 games on the second night of back-to-backs, including a 4-0 record this year.

Of course, the Blues are saying many of the same things Minnesota was after losses at St. Louis and Winnipeg by a combined score of 13-5.

A 4-2 win against Vegas on Thursday certainly calmed the storm.

"Yeah, that was good," Wild goaltender Devan Dubynk said after making 29 saves in the victory. "We wanted to make sure we were playing solid defensively. When you come off a shellacking like Winnipeg, we were just trying to get back to feeling like we used to feel and I thought we did a good job of doing that for the first half of the game, and then to be able to take it over after going down in the third period was fun to see."

Coach Bruce Boudreau liked the response from his team.

"I think when teams get smoked pretty good, their character shows through," Boudreau said. "We got the two goals in the third from a veteran center that's been a captain, so these guys know what it's like to get beat bad, but they know what it's like to come back."

The two goals came from Eric Staal, who leads Minnesota with 23 points and is second on the team with 10 goals. Staal, who has five goals in his last nine games, had the final two goals in the comeback.

The Wild scored the final three goals of the game after Vegas had scored twice in the third to take the lead.

"I think collectively the last two games we haven't done a good enough job of reloading hard and then making the right decisions through the neutral zone," Staal said after the game. "It's pretty obvious with a score of 6-3, 7-3. So tonight I thought we did a lot better job of that and because of that, it was nice to be rewarded with some goals and a win. You got to remember how we did that and the success it brought and bring it again on Saturday."


Jay Bouwmeester returned to the lineup on Nov 21st. Blues record is 2-3 since his return and the Blues defense hasn't scored one goal. Coincidence or X-factor?

X-factor argument: Other than Bortuzzo, Bouwmeester is the slowest defenseman; keeping Bouwmeester in the lineup over Bortuzzo forces a LD to play his off-side, which seriously impacted the Blues D vs the Kings.

Coincidence argument: Hard to make one. Would have used playing stronger conference opponents, but the Blues lost to the Ducks. Yes, the Kings and Predators are strong conference opponents when compared to the easier Eastern Conference teams the Blues started the season against.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:05 am 
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Just win the game. This team hasn't looked anything like the one from 1-2 weeks ago.

At least they tend to play well in the 2nd of back-to-back games. So there's that.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Oh hey, I didn't realize the Blues were losing tonight. I thought the next game was tomorrow for some reason.

Wild 5
Blues 1

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:22 pm 
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theohall wrote:
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Reeling from a pair of decisive losses, the Minnesota Wild got back to the basics and earned a win Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights. To put together a streak, Minnesota will need to prove it has recovered against one of the teams that provided one of those previous lopsided defeats.

The Wild host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday after St. Louis and former coach Mike Yeo earned a 6-3 home win against Minnesota on Nov. 25. St. Louis is trying to get back on track after back-to-back losses since beating the Wild.

"It's going to be a tough test tomorrow and the way we're going right now, we're not giving ourselves a chance to win hockey games," Yeo said. "It doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel like we're dangerous. We're too easy to score on right now."

The Blues will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Friday night. The loss coupled with Winnipeg's win against Vegas means St. Louis isn't in first place in the Central Division for the first time this season.

Backup goaltender Carter Hutton allowed three goals on 21 shots against the Kings on Friday before being replaced by Jake Allen, who likely will start Saturday. Allen is 7-3-0 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 12 career games against Minnesota.

Allen stopped 22 of 25 shots in the earlier win against the Wild.

But St. Louis went just 2-3 on a five-game homestand before starting this two-game road trip.

"We need to go on the road and focus on what we need to do," Blues center Paul Stastny said. "That's the beauty of playing back to back. With 82 games, you can't get too high or too low. We'll fix a few things and we'll be ready."

St. Louis has won its last 12 games on the second night of back-to-backs, including a 4-0 record this year.

Of course, the Blues are saying many of the same things Minnesota was after losses at St. Louis and Winnipeg by a combined score of 13-5.

A 4-2 win against Vegas on Thursday certainly calmed the storm.

"Yeah, that was good," Wild goaltender Devan Dubynk said after making 29 saves in the victory. "We wanted to make sure we were playing solid defensively. When you come off a shellacking like Winnipeg, we were just trying to get back to feeling like we used to feel and I thought we did a good job of doing that for the first half of the game, and then to be able to take it over after going down in the third period was fun to see."

Coach Bruce Boudreau liked the response from his team.

"I think when teams get smoked pretty good, their character shows through," Boudreau said. "We got the two goals in the third from a veteran center that's been a captain, so these guys know what it's like to get beat bad, but they know what it's like to come back."

The two goals came from Eric Staal, who leads Minnesota with 23 points and is second on the team with 10 goals. Staal, who has five goals in his last nine games, had the final two goals in the comeback.

The Wild scored the final three goals of the game after Vegas had scored twice in the third to take the lead.

"I think collectively the last two games we haven't done a good enough job of reloading hard and then making the right decisions through the neutral zone," Staal said after the game. "It's pretty obvious with a score of 6-3, 7-3. So tonight I thought we did a lot better job of that and because of that, it was nice to be rewarded with some goals and a win. You got to remember how we did that and the success it brought and bring it again on Saturday."


Jay Bouwmeester returned to the lineup on Nov 21st. Blues record is 2-3 since his return and the Blues defense hasn't scored one goal. Coincidence or X-factor?

X-factor argument: Other than Bortuzzo, Bouwmeester is the slowest defenseman; keeping Bouwmeester in the lineup over Bortuzzo forces a LD to play his off-side, which seriously impacted the Blues D vs the Kings.

Coincidence argument: Hard to make one. Would have used playing stronger conference opponents, but the Blues lost to the Ducks. Yes, the Kings and Predators are strong conference opponents when compared to the easier Eastern Conference teams the Blues started the season against.


Both Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson should not be on this team and if it wasn't for Schmaltz's struggles at the NHL level and Walman's current struggles in Chicago, I'd say it's worth it to try to move both of them before the month is out. Bouwmeester is old as the hills by the standards of a hockey player who played as many consecutive games as he did before he started breaking down and Gunnarsson just kind of sucks.

I will take some fault for putting the jinx on though, I recall suggesting a while back that the Blues should move Bouwmeester while he was still injury free because that wouldn't last forever and then he'd lose all his value once he started spending time on IR. As I recall, he injured himself probably a week or two after I made that comment.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:14 pm 
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I thought Stastny's wraparound would go in. Blues should be ahead 4-1 already with all the O-Zone possession they've had.

Maybe The Blues can score on this faceoff penalty! :banana:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:16 pm 
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Let's score on this PP!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:26 pm 
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The Blues had better score on THIS PP!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:32 pm 
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The Blues should have scored on that last PP, but they just passed the puck around and took telegraphed, shots in Dubnyk''s line of sight, instead of having other skaters skating towards the net. Now they must kill off a penalty or lose the game.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:36 pm 
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That's a TERRIBLE icing call, 2 Wild players could have touched that puck easily.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Well that's a big steaming bucket of suck.

Need mor goalz

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:41 pm 
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The Blues should have won this game 4-1 in regulation, and. of course, they lose in OT. :cussing:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:01 pm 
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The Blues DO need some kind of shake-up. I'm not sure just benching a few veterans, and bringing up Barbashev and Kostin will help any. They problem is that The Blues skaters are not skating 20-30 minutes of games, and are not playing fundamentally sound hockey they are not backing up their driving teammates, not following up on plays, not backchecking well, not moving their legs on The PP, and not putting out the extra effort on The PK. Before this game, I'd have guessed that the team was riddled with the flu, playing sick. But, they had a lot of energy tonight (at least on offence), they just didn't play smart. Maybe they need a pep talk from a sports psychiatrist?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:26 pm 
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Doug Armstrong needs to make a trade for a decent scoring forward (preferably a RW, or right-shooting centre. But, anyone who is a dependable scorer, who can stimulate the offence, will help.

But Yeo has to also get this team back to playing disciplined, smart hockey, and bring back their confidence.

There's been long enough now for LOTS of film of The Blues' new offensive system of 5-man wave O-Zone entries, and lots of Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko in action. Opponents have adjusted to what they've been doing, and they've been a lot less productive. Yeo's got to do something to change the team's mentality. Also, The Blues need to take a new strategy on The Power Play, and have the discipline to stick to it. None of my youth coaches would have stood for such lack of discipline. Players would have been riding the pine, and others playing, plus some extra hours of practise added.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:35 am 
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With as much shuffling of lines as Yeo has done (to no avail) over the last couple games, I don't know if trading for a new name would make much of a difference. I guess if gives a couple more options for line combinations, but we've been having different line combinations already, and the only guy who has scored in two games has been Berglund. Not Schenn, not Schwartz, not Tank.

I think the biggest factor is our offense has become too predictable (like you mentioned, Robb) and teams have been able to disrupt our gameplan. It always looks the same, always tries the same moves, always goes to the same spots, always looks to make the same passes.

As we say, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. Well, the enemy has adapted, and we need to adjust tactics in turn.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:16 am 
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What the Blues need hasn't changed since Backes left: a right hand shot forward that can play on the power play and finish his chances. Until that player's acquired or Robby Fabbri miraculously recovers, the Blues will have to continue to play fringe NHL players in their top 9 (Paajarvi, Sundqvist, Jaskin, etc).

I know fans here hate Andrew Shaw (shudders), but he fits the above description and would be an upgrade over the 3 players mentioned. Saw a rumor he's on the block and it shouldn't take a king's ransom to acquire him.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Hmm.... Bouwmeester returns - Blues go 2-3-1. Bench him!!!! The team was playing better without him. I don't care what he's being paid. The point is to win, right?? I know, Bouwmeester didn't really do anything wrong in this last game, but the team - as a unit - was playing better without him.

There are 3 right-handed shots in the pipeline. Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Tage Thompson.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Every team will have some downs. The last three games sucked for sure, but let's see what happens this week. If they're still playing like shit, heads should roll. I just don't see Thompson as big enough and there's no way Kyrou or Thomas would be joining the team in the immediate future.

For the love of god get Bouwmeester out of there.

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