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01-22-2013, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I've scanned only a chunk of this thread, but a lot of the same stuff is being said and I agree with most of it.

Pietro's first half was off bigtime, but he really pulled it together in the third period and OT. He was running on adrenaline in the first game and even though Detroit didn't challenge much, he made some really nice defensive plays. He's never been the kind of guy who has consecutive so-so performances, but it could be a grind through the next five to ten games for him, Perron, Backes, and maybe Oshie to look more like themselves. I'm not concerned, but it's real.

Speaking of that line: Perron is definitely rusty, but I don't think it's as bad as some folks are saying. He looked dangerous and aggressive at times early and the Predators are a team whose checking prowess can really put a guy off his game. I'm honestly more concerned with his penalties than anything, and I'm not that concerned about that. Like Stewart, a powerplay goal will give him some spark, hopefully sooner than later.

Oshie looks faster this year. A little out of rhythm, even with three points in game one. Man, do I ever want to see him shoot the puck more. Show him tape of Tarasenko getting open.

The great thing about Backes is that even when he looks ineffective offensively, his defense doesn't sag. Late last year, he wasn't hitting like he has been this year. Dude is on a mission and a short season could benefit him a lot, now that I think about it, so that he isn't as worn down from his physical play when the playoffs begin.

I'm a Cole fan and he looks better than I expected. Really hope he keeps it up. In fact, at this point, if they're adding Redden into the lineup, sit a forward and play seven D. Cole will benefit more from consistency. We'll see how he looks on the second of back-to-backs against a very dangerous team, though.

Really liked Russell's play. Every time he makes an aggressive risk, it pays off because he's well-positioned and fast enough that the risks appear greater all the way up to execution.

Steen is more noticeable on wing, but he's just fine at center. Love that line.

Berglund, Polak, Jackman, and Sobotka have been warriors so far. I desperately hope these guys are healthy come playoff time.

And since the only defenseman I haven't mentioned is Shatty, I'll go ahead and say that his play suddenly seems years more mature. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think I've seen him cover for his teammates defensively more, taking control of plays that have disrupted the Blues' composure in their own zone. Maybe it's something more...regardless, it seems like the Blues might be poised to cross that threshold of defensive ascendance - they have one of the best defenses, but there were still times last year when two or three of Jackman, Colaiacovo, and Huskins would look lost, while Polak and Shattenkirk would be fine, but unremarkable; meaning that Pietro was the only standout. I think we're seeing a glimmer that two, three, or even more defensemen could have great games on any and every night.
Agree completely w/ just about everything.

Man, I'm glad hockey's back! Couldn't be more excited for the Blues.

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