11-02-2003, 05:35 AM
That was a very bad sign last nite losing to the Black Hawks. A championship team can't give away games. There's no excuse for not working hard every nite.
So far this year - comparing last year to this team -
GOAL - Huge improvement. Osgood/Johnson could be a great combo. Much better than Johnson/Brathwaite.
DEFENSE - Better. The addition of Pronger and Baron, plus hopefully Backman, more than makes up for losing MacInnis. There is good depth and it's paying off already.
OFFENSE - Not as good as last year, but could improve. Stillman, Rucinsky and Nash have been replaced by Sejna, Rycroft, Heerama and Danton. It's a negative right now but the kids should improve. If not, the Blues can always get a veteran scorer for the playoffs (hopefully).
This should be a better team than last year. Only winning in the playoffs will prove that.
11-03-2003, 03:57 AM
Why don't we address the real problem with the Blues right now: Stupid penalties. It happened again last night. If this doesn't go away this team will have a hard time winning it all. They constantly put themselves a man short at inopportune times.
Excellent point. Here's one stat - last year the Blues were tied for 7th in times short-handed. This year they are 12th so far.
That's a little progress.
11-03-2003, 06:14 AM
At least we finally beat Detroit at the Joe, and with the team at less than full strength no less. *Very* encouraging sign, we got the first goal and struck quickly both times they tied things up. Osgood was stellar in the 3rd when the Wings had 25 shots. It's the kind of game the Blues have needed to play for a few years now, and should give them a lot of confidence when the other top teams in the league come calling.
Now play disciplined and we become a very tough team to play against.
11-03-2003, 07:46 AM
The Blues have too many 'grinding' forwards: R.Johnson, Mayers, Rycroft, Nickulas, Danton, Drake... that's 6 guys who stand little chance of doing anything offensively. Granted it was particularly noticable last night as Cajanek, Mellanby and Demitra, most importantly, where all out but Pleau must add a legitimate top 6 offensive winger to this team.
Quit overlooking the fact that Bogunieki is out. He is an offensive type forward and as you just said we need another one of those. When Bogi gets healthy our offense will start to look like it did last year. Not only that, but the addition of Mayers to this lineup gives us an eliment we did not have last season. He brings both speed AND SIZE to the rink which is something we were missing last year. The way I see it, when our offense gets healthy we could very concievably roll four scoring units. Rycroft and Nicklas you can pretty much guarantee will not be on the lineu when everyone is healthy. That would leave Low, Mayers, RJ, Danton and Drake as our muckers. If we spread those guys out correctly we could have a mucker, a "skill" and a passer for every line. Check these lines out.
Walt Cajanek Demitra
Heerema Weight Mel(Heerema has done pretty well with Weight)
Sejna Mayers Danton(Danton and Sejna appeared to have some chemistry)
Drake RJ Bogi
I do not see any lack of skill in those lines. In fact, I see four very potent 2 way lines with both size and speed being mixed almost evenly.
If we were to get that top 6 forward where would he fit into our lineup when we're healthy? Who do we scratch of our skill guys and what impact does that have on the rest of the lines?
11-03-2003, 08:00 AM
I won't say Reed Low isn't impressing me less and less the more I see him, but I will say that every time I watch him lately, I start to miss Basil McRae more and more.