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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:21 am 
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6 weeks brings us about to the end of January/beginning of February. So supposing weset Schwartz' return to the February 6th game against Minnesota, I count between now and then 11 games that they should be at an advantage regardless of being shorthanded, out of 22 games. Assuming that they inevitably blow a couple of those but likely also win a couple of the games against tougher opponents, and assuming no other key injuries, we're looking at them going about .500. Have some guts to call up a couple of kids to temporarily revamp the 3rd and 4th line because they'll need all the offensive help they can get right now. I'm talking Kostin and Thompson because they're the best options we have right now. Keep Blais on the ice and out of the press box, and just go with that. Grinding the opposition into submission won't work at this time except to keep the team off the scoreboard and have opponents exposing weaknesses and drawing stupid penalties hand over fist when frustration sets in.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:41 pm 
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They sent Blais down when they recalled Schmaltz and Barbashev, which I don't get. Seeing as Blais is a skill player, and not a 3rd line grinder, it should have been a natural fit to slide him into Schwartz's position, since Steen moved to his off-wing when they moved him to the Schwartz-Schenn line. Instead, (not knocking Jaskin's play), they move Jaskin, who is a solid 3rd line player, onto the top line.

Paajarvi-Barbashev-Berglund is a line doing absolutely nothing. Yes, Berglund helps a ton with the penalty kill, but that line isn't generating anything in 5-on-5 play and is more of a 4th line than the Blues actual 4th line.

Even with Jaskin on that top line, the other 3 lines are generating chances. Bad luck in this last game on several of them and ridiculous goaltending on a few of them. However, moving Jaskin down to the 3rd line and putting a skill player in that spot on the top line - we would likely see more impact from that 3rd line, while likely continuing to see chances from the top line. I get why Jaskin is there - he does some thing similar to Schwartz - getting into the zone, arriving on time, attacking the puck, forcing turnovers - etc. Not sure the Blues have that as an NHL ready player in the minors. Blais is more skill than grind and that top line needs someone who can grind.

So I'm basically arguing against myself as to what to do....

That's how important Schwartz is to this team and has been, even over the past 2 seasons. He goes out and the Blues become just above a .500 hockey team.

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