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01-26-2013, 11:09 PM
  #143
bluemandan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
No, he's not. But should thr Blues play him even if they determine that combos without him are better for the team just to help Cole? I don't think so. That's something a rebuilding team does. That was the 2005-2008 Blues. The 2013 Blues are Cup contenders and need to play who gives them the best chance to win.

Whether that's with Cole or without Cole, I don't think we know yet. I think all 7 guys are going to see plenty of minutes because with such a condensed schedule, there will be injuries and Hitch will rest guys as well, especially older guys like Jackman and Redden. I see this as a 7-man rotation more than the typical top-6 and 7th guy. I think both Cole and Redden will see plenty if time and we shouldn't bother bickering over who helps the team more. That will sort itself out and both will likely play plenty.
In a shortened season I agree with you.

In a regular 82 games season, I'd go with the Tony LaRussa approach. Play your prospects, and your role players (sometimes under the guise of rest days for the older players) a lot early in the season to develop them a bit, and see what you actually have when the game is on the line. After the All-Star break (or more likely, the Winter Classic) you start rolling out the line-up that gives you the best chance to win on a nightly basis.

Now, the team obviously needs to be a contender for something like this to work. If you are going to struggle to make the playoffs, you can't afford to spend games doing this. It is certainly easier in a 160+ game schedule than an 82 game schedule.

Now, that isn't to say you have to play your role-players and prospects every game early on. Just that they should receive more playing time early in the season than perhaps their play warrants.

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