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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:54 pm 
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seems like every winter we have a stretch like this where the Blues have a long run of suck. Its the sort of stretch that often gets someone fired. Maybe we can fire Hitch again and have Brodeur work with Allen. Hmmm guess those aren't options. Hard to imagine Yeo getting canned since he's basically just 1 year on the job at this point. Armstrong just got signed to a 4 year extension I doubt he's going anywhere anytime soon. That leaves reworking the roster.
Don't have a lot of cap space to work with but there are clearly areas that could be improved. Getting Scwartz back will help a lot. But there are still too many guys named Paajarvii and Sundqvist and Upshall. Steen is playing like crap. And Tarasenko just doesn't look right a lot. Its a testament to how great a player he is that he's posting a point a game and still I wonder if he's playing hurt. He keeps trying to thread the needle on passes (worked last night) when there is no one on the team we'd rather shoot the puck than him.

There is no margin for error this year. The entire division has a positive goal differential. I don't have a lot of confidence in Armstrong figuring out how to fix things; he hasn't shown much aptitude at that in the past. I think the Schenn trade was arguably his best and he had to deal 2 firsts to get Schenn and more that albatross contract of Lehtera's (that he signed him to in the first place).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Oh wait- this isn't a Led Zeppelin tribute thread? :okman:

Yeah. I feel you- it seems like an annual ritual. The goalie loses a step or two (Halak, Elliott, Allen just to name the most recent), the offense all hits a cold streak at the same time, the special teams suck (ok, this is pretty much constantly Blues hockey), the coach talks about how the losses are acceptable (but keep happening), the GM does nothing (or something minor) at the trade deadline.

The good news is the team typically always rebounds from these funks and finishes the year fairly strong. The goalie ends the season with the best numbers in the league (since a certain date), Tarasenko gets back to scoring in bunches, the defense straightens out, and the Blues finish close to the top of the Division and get eliminated in the 1st or 2nd round.

Oh wait, did I say that was good news?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:00 am 
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I can't help but wonder how much differently things would be right now if Fabbri wasn't injured. He could be picking up the scoring lost by Schwartz' absence, and therein lies a major problem with this team--sub-satisfactory secondary scoring.

As far as short term, getting Schwartz back will help a lot, but a trade also needs to be made. Long term, I have zero expectations for Fabbri. He's the definition of fragile, I'm not 100% sure but I think Fabbri might be the Italian word for "made of glass".

Can you trade guys on IR? I wouldn't be against them packaging Fabbri along with some others in order to land a true top 6 forward. Someone will bite because obviously he has a lot of upside, but it's risky to keep him because each passing injury will just make it less likely he ever plays a big role with the club.

I submit to you my "never happening" trade of the day:

Fabbri + Bouwmeester + Schmaltz + the next available 1st round pick for John Tavares, understanding that the long term money for Tavares comes from not bringing back Stastny after this year.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:00 pm 
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I dunno, I'm just not that down on the team right now. I mean, the results lately have been bad. Some of the play has been too. Weren't scoring enough for a bit (although the chances were there in some of the games). Allen has been bad lately too. Not as bad as last year at this time, but bad. So, I get where people are coming from.

But, I guess I just expect stretches like this to happen periodically. I don't want to say that it's ok. The team certainly shouldn't think so. But, I expect rough stretches like this and just hope that it makes them better for the playoffs. Besides, when there aren't rough stretches like this, the question is always whether they know how to overcome adversity. Hopefully the break is good for them, they get Schwartz back soon, and things return to a normal level. Because the team is not as bad as their last 15 games.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:37 am 
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2 of the last 3 games (Flyers, Panthers), Blues wingers were being lazy in their own end and bit the Blues in the butt. Before those 2 games, the Blues were not playing poorly in terms of being in the right place and doing the right things. They just weren't finishing chances. Those 2 games and the wingers not helping like they should, however, could also be a consequence of fatigue having played 21 games in 40 days.

We'll see what this team looks like after the break, and hopefully, shortly after the break, when Schwartz returns.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:58 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:

I submit to you my "never happening" trade of the day:

Fabbri + Bouwmeester + Schmaltz + the next available 1st round pick for John Tavares, understanding that the long term money for Tavares comes from not bringing back Stastny after this year.

I'm glad you said "never happening."

Fabbri is damaged goods. It would be insanity to trade any assets for him unless you know he's ok, which may be never.

People have tried to trade Bouwmeester on this board for years. Once again, this is a hard player to trade. He has a no trade clause. His contract is $5.4 million against the cap. He is 34 years old. He provides zero offense, whether it's feeding transition or putting numbers on the scoreboard. He has become injury prone. He could hang his hat on his skating ability once upon a time; no longer. Why would any team want this player? Thanks Doug.

Jordan Schmaltz has failed to beat out Robert Bortuzzo 2 years running.

All this for one of the league's elite players.

You're right, never happening.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Eh I'm not terribly worried. Getting Schwartz back will be huge when it happens. Get healthy and stay healthy... sometimes the hardest thing. When healthy, we have the best top 6 forwards we've had in a long time.

I don't think this team needs to make a trade right now. We have a month and a half until the trade deadline, I'm sure Army will look at it when it's time to see if there are some tweaks to be made. We also have the cap flexibility this offseason to keep around whoever we acquire at the deadline, so Army can look ahead a little bit this trade deadline to maybe a more permanent fixture acquisition a la Miller.

When the season ultimately ends it'll be interesting to see what we decide to do with Stastny (if anything) and perhaps more importantly his suddenly available $7 million annual cap hit.

As it sits right this second we'll have close to $12 million in cap space with only Stastny, Fabbri, Jaskin, Edmundson, our 4th line, and Carter Hutton up to possibly be re-inked. Either fortunately or unfortunately, none of those guys should carry a huge hit. Edmundson may be the heftiest of the group.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:25 pm 
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With the amount of young talent that should be with this team next season, I pray the Blues don't play the loyalty card to Stastny and keep him by over-paying him.

So Blues top 6 forwards right now - Tarasneko, Schenn, Schwartz, Stastny, Steen, Thompson.

Berglund and Steen simply aren't producing.
Sobotka has reverted back to what his career numbers tend to show - which happens when you aren't playing with Tank and Stastny.

And do we even have to discuss Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin.

Yes, Jaskin sometimes contributes. But what in the heck, besides kill penalties, are Sundqvist and Paajarvi even contributing??

Brodziak is doing more than expected. Upshall is filling his expected role. Then there's Thorburn.

That set of players is not a playoff success waiting to happen. All it takes is losing any one of the top 6 forwards and the team doesn't have someone capable of keeping that the top 2 lines successful offensively, to the point neither line works at all - which is what we are seeing right now.

Edmundson and Dunn should be the 1/2 LD. Unfortunately, we have Jay Bouwmeester playing almost 20 minutes a not. Fortunately, Edmundson is getting more ice time. The problem with Bouwmeester - he is too slow for the system they've implemented which encourages the defense to attack up ice - especially if that means being the first in the offensive zone or acting as an F2.... Bouwmeester is too slow to do this. On top of that, he can't play at all on his off-side. They are forcing the rookie Dunn to play his off-side, because he's more capable than Bouwmeester... Does anyone still think it's a coincidence the defensive goal scoring dried up since Bouwmeester's return?? Just use the eyeyball test when Jay-B is on the ice and ask yourself if he's capable of skating like a forward. He no longer fits the system. Hell, Bortuzzo skates harder than Bouwmeester. Bortuzzo is playing like a guy who wants to win something.

Right defense is fine. And what's kind of sad, the outstanding pairing of Dunn and Bortuzzo - they were playing outstanding - keeps getting broken up to accommodate Bouwmeester - who has a whopping 2 points in 16 games.

The over-paid weight needs to go, however it goes, to make way for the future. The future should be next season - unless we continue to get the standard Blues mantra of size is more important than skill, which is what the whole Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin thing is about, and the loyalty thing which has screwed this team in the past. These 2 attitudes are holding this team back.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:57 pm 
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One other thing which is bothering me.

The Blues #1 power play with 4 forwards and 1 D sucks. It sucked for half of last season, too.

The Blues have 4 defenseman capable of playing the points very effectively on the power play. Dunn/Edmundson Pietrangelo/Parayko. Heck, the Blues could roll that out and not have to shift defensive pairings for a game, if they kept Bouwmweester as the 3rd D with Bortuzzo. FYI, Edmundson in junior was the man running a power play from the left side. Learned that watching Hockey Central when those guys claimed not to be surprised by Edmundson's offensive output to start this season.

Why not try both units with 3 F 2 D? What's it going to do? Be worse?? That would be hard.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:22 am 
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theohall wrote:
With the amount of young talent that should be with this team next season, I pray the Blues don't play the loyalty card to Stastny and keep him by over-paying him.

So Blues top 6 forwards right now - Tarasneko, Schenn, Schwartz, Stastny, Steen, Thompson.

Berglund and Steen simply aren't producing.
Sobotka has reverted back to what his career numbers tend to show - which happens when you aren't playing with Tank and Stastny.

And do we even have to discuss Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin.

Yes, Jaskin sometimes contributes. But what in the heck, besides kill penalties, are Sundqvist and Paajarvi even contributing??

Brodziak is doing more than expected. Upshall is filling his expected role. Then there's Thorburn.

That set of players is not a playoff success waiting to happen. All it takes is losing any one of the top 6 forwards and the team doesn't have someone capable of keeping that the top 2 lines successful offensively, to the point neither line works at all - which is what we are seeing right now.

Edmundson and Dunn should be the 1/2 LD. Unfortunately, we have Jay Bouwmeester playing almost 20 minutes a not. Fortunately, Edmundson is getting more ice time. The problem with Bouwmeester - he is too slow for the system they've implemented which encourages the defense to attack up ice - especially if that means being the first in the offensive zone or acting as an F2.... Bouwmeester is too slow to do this. On top of that, he can't play at all on his off-side. They are forcing the rookie Dunn to play his off-side, because he's more capable than Bouwmeester... Does anyone still think it's a coincidence the defensive goal scoring dried up since Bouwmeester's return?? Just use the eyeyball test when Jay-B is on the ice and ask yourself if he's capable of skating like a forward. He no longer fits the system. Hell, Bortuzzo skates harder than Bouwmeester. Bortuzzo is playing like a guy who wants to win something.

Right defense is fine. And what's kind of sad, the outstanding pairing of Dunn and Bortuzzo - they were playing outstanding - keeps getting broken up to accommodate Bouwmeester - who has a whopping 2 points in 16 games.

The over-paid weight needs to go, however it goes, to make way for the future. The future should be next season - unless we continue to get the standard Blues mantra of size is more important than skill, which is what the whole Sundqvist/Paajarvi/Jaskin thing is about, and the loyalty thing which has screwed this team in the past. These 2 attitudes are holding this team back.


The "good" news on Bouwmeester this offseason is that there will only be one year left on his deal, i.e. if Army wanted to buy out that last year we could and it wouldn't be crippling or extremely long term. There probably would be some hesitation on fully handing over the reins to Dunn (who will only be a sophomore next year) but I get your underlying point.

This team has a GLUT of 3rd and 4th liners. Mainly 4th liners. Thankfully they're all on one year deals. Of the group Brodziak and Upshall are my favorites but they're getting up there in age.

Steen could be a legitimate problem. IF he's hit "that point" where the real regression has begun, we got three years left on his deal and a $5.75 cap hit. That's too much to be paying a guy who would ultimately be down on the 3rd line with Berglund if it comes to that.

I pray that the brass had an "interview" of sorts with Army before giving him an extension on what his plan was moving forward, what he philosophically wanted to do, etc, and that it was along the lines of keeping the draft picks coming in, keeping the kids playing and get them on the ice.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:30 pm 
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One thing I didn't realize when writing that was how close Kyrou was to Stamkos in total points at the same point in his 2nd year with Sarnia. Since Stamkos went straight to the NHL from Sarnia, I will very surprised if the Blues don't have Kyrou do the same. That being said - Yeo is extremely hesitant to give younger players ice time if veterans are available. Even if said veterans are scrubs, like Beau Bennett, who they kept over the clearly more skilled Tage Thompson earlier this season.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:47 pm 
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Kyrou should be on the team as soon as Sarnia's season is over. Even if he's not completely ready for the NHL, he's a playmaker and would be a big help heading into the playoffs. He may be neck and neck with Stamkos in terms of points with the Sting, but his game is more about making the plays than scoring the goals. Put him out there with Thompson and Blais as the 3rd line. Energy, enthusiasm and green enough to not fully grasp the reality that they're in the playoffs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:53 pm 
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:plusplus:
glen a richter wrote:
Kyrou should be on the team as soon as Sarnia's season is over. Even if he's not completely ready for the NHL, he's a playmaker and would be a big help heading into the playoffs. He may be neck and neck with Stamkos in terms of points with the Sting, but his game is more about making the plays than scoring the goals. Put him out there with Thompson and Blais as the 3rd line. Energy, enthusiasm and green enough to not fully grasp the reality that they're in the playoffs.

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