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Jaroslav Halak to Toronto?
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01-15-2013, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mt.Crested Butte, CO
Originally Posted by
Don't take it to heart, every team in the cap era is going to have weaknesses. You can tell me your team is far better with Andy McDonald, and I could say the guy has only played about half a season every year that he's been with the Blues (except for 1, although last year he played only 25 games).
My point is, you have question marks just like everyone else does. I'm sure most Blues fans are aware of this, don't get defensive because it's coming from a fan of a rival team. My point was valid.
You mistook me. Not defensive. I just figured you probably weren't aware of an important drill-down in those numbers. The Blues were crappy on the PP to start the season (dead last when Hitchcock took over in both PP and PK). The terrible start (and McDonald's injury) masked what was actually quite a good powerplay under Hitchcock and when healthy. (Remember that Perron didn't come back until December either.)
I think it goes without saying that a team hurt by key injuries is going to see its production drop. But if it seems less defensive let's not even use players who might be injured and just use Hitchcock. The Blues were 42-for-229 (18.34%) in the regular season under Hitchcock, and that was all but 13 games (a legitimately large sample ... the Avs only had 223 PP chances all season). 18.34% is good enough for 11th overall in the league over the whole season. Had they converted one more PP goal under Hitch, his numbers would have ranked 7th.
Given that the Blues played radically better with Hitchcock as the coach (and he's still the coach), arguing that the Blues' norm is a power play weakness team simply isn't true. It's not the very best (though the Blues were 23.3% effective with McDonald in the lineup ... 27 for 116 ... which would have EASILY been #1 in the league if extrapolated over a full season), but it IS a team strength under Hitch and not a weakness. And that's before adding Tarasenko and possibly Schwartz (who was great as QB of Team Canada's PP) to the lineup this year.
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