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"The Hockey News" predicts the 7th place for the Blues

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08-25-2011, 09:19 AM
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frostyflo
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"The Hockey News" predicts the 7th place for the Blues

http://www.thehockeynews.com/article...ions-No-7.html

not much to disagree with this article but what do you think? where will we end up?

I`m usually pretty pessimistic and can see us, with a lot of bad luck again, finish slightly outside of the PO-spots. I also fear that our D-core is abit too young

on the other hand if the guys continue where they ended last season we just have to be in...

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08-25-2011, 11:55 AM
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If we're one of the healthy clubs this season there's no reason not to expect this team to leap frog a lot of the fringe teams that were ahead of us in the past. That factor alone could wipe out a would be contender to being at risk of missing the playoffs altogether, and it seems to happen every year.

While some of our closer competition improved in the summer we have stabilized a team that seems poised to win, and left ourselves open to make the same improvements at the deadline when a new ownership is in place and the revamped roster knows its strengths, weaknesses, and consistency.

I think a healthy Blues team will not only make the playoffs but strongly consider flipping assets for a win-now move if they deserve it.

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09-02-2011, 09:12 AM
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"The Hockey News" predicts the 15th place for the Oilers

Imagine a world in which your GM is at the lottery table for 3 years running. Can't see Tambellini holding on to his job if the Oil don't get to the playoffs.

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09-02-2011, 12:05 PM
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He'd have to be smart enough to actually build a defense, so he's pretty much SOL if Whitney isn't their savior.

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09-02-2011, 09:59 PM
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I think 7th is a fair projection for us. We don't have a strong enough defense to vault up, and we have enough depth that scoring won't be a huge issue. All in all, I think Halak's play will make or break this team.

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09-03-2011, 12:16 AM
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rumrokh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bacheesh View Post
I think 7th is a fair projection for us. We don't have a strong enough defense to vault up, and we have enough depth that scoring won't be a huge issue. All in all, I think Halak's play will make or break this team.
If Halak stays healthy, I just don't see his play realistically breaking the team. I think his worse patches last season were greatly exaggerated and mostly due to high percentage shots being allowed due to an injury-hampered team lacking confidence. And his better patches included several stolen games. Halak lost maybe a couple games at most due to play that was below expectations. Conklin, on the other hand, was miserably bad.

Yea, it's possible Halak craps the bed, just like any other player; but I think that's a very small possibility. If he plays just like he did in 2010-2011, they have a good shot at the playoffs.

I want the ease of saying one thing will make or break the team, but it won't. It's a lot of separate pieces that are uncertain. Health, progression of youngsters, coaching, faceoffs, penalty killing, and many other things.
But if I had to target the most prominent thing, it's solidification of the team. Identity, leadership, temperament of the highs and lows, defined roles, game-long and season-long intensity. The deal is that this process is affected by other issues (health and coaching) and affects other issues (progression of youngsters).

It's easy to get cause and effect mixed up with something that's somewhat nebulous. But you can see the way bad teams unravel in the second half of the year and the way great teams come together in the playoffs. If the Blues can stay healthy enough to gel and get confident, they'll make the playoffs, even if Halak isn't a difference-maker in the regular season.
I might actually place more responsibility for the team's success on back-up goaltending, which, if was competent last year, could have put them in the playoffs.


Last edited by rumrokh: 09-03-2011 at 12:40 AM.
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09-03-2011, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
I might actually place more responsibility for the team's success on back-up goaltending, which, if was competent last year, could have put them in the playoffs.

I agree! Halak could have been better last season, but realistically he wasn't a problem. It was the backup goaltending that was abysmal. If the Blues have to suffer through a prolonged injury to Halak this season, the prospect of having to rely on a Bishop/Elliott tandem scares the hell out me.

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09-03-2011, 10:18 AM
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I agree! Halak could have been better last season, but realistically he wasn't a problem. It was the backup goaltending that was abysmal. If the Blues have to suffer through a prolonged injury to Halak this season, the prospect of having to rely on a Bishop/Elliott tandem scares the hell out me.
Agreed. I'm really hoping that one of Elliott/Bishop can step up and be a quality backup but I certainly have my concerns...and if Halak goes down for any length of time, then I'll REALLY be concerned! I hope I'm proven wrong but, I'd view backup goaltending as the Blues' biggest weakness right now.

I'm also concerned about defensive depth. The Blues defense last year was pretty much average but since then they replaced EJ and Brewer with Shattenkirk and Huskins...and then depth-wise, replaced Strachan and Oystrick with Syvret. The Blues were hurt badly last year due to injuries to a forwards core that wasn't very deep but this year, they improved forward depth but now look awfully thin at D IMO. A couple injuries to the wrong d-men and it could REALLY hurt this team.

The most important factors though might be more intangible things like killer instinct (the Blues were horrible last season with finishing out games they led late), cohesiveness, chemistry, leadership, etc. This team has all of the makings to really make a big step forward but there are also plenty of weaknesses I see that could result in them basically treading water yet again. Hopefully things bounce in the right direction for the Blues this season.

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09-03-2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STL fan in IA View Post
Agreed. I'm really hoping that one of Elliott/Bishop can step up and be a quality backup but I certainly have my concerns...and if Halak goes down for any length of time, then I'll REALLY be concerned! I hope I'm proven wrong but, I'd view backup goaltending as the Blues' biggest weakness right now.

I'm also concerned about defensive depth. The Blues defense last year was pretty much average but since then they replaced EJ and Brewer with Shattenkirk and Huskins...and then depth-wise, replaced Strachan and Oystrick with Syvret. The Blues were hurt badly last year due to injuries to a forwards core that wasn't very deep but this year, they improved forward depth but now look awfully thin at D IMO. A couple injuries to the wrong d-men and it could REALLY hurt this team.

The most important factors though might be more intangible things like killer instinct (the Blues were horrible last season with finishing out games they led late), cohesiveness, chemistry, leadership, etc. This team has all of the makings to really make a big step forward but there are also plenty of weaknesses I see that could result in them basically treading water yet again. Hopefully things bounce in the right direction for the Blues this season.
I think Ian Cole definitely will step up his game and ameliorate the loss of Brewer and EJ. It's his 3rd year of being a pro, with his skill and physical gifts it's his time to shine. I think the Blues are just deep enough at D to make the current roster work. The top 6 spots are more or less locked up, barring a regression from Nikitin, and Cole and Huskins will be the top candidates for any injury call-ups, so the Blues should still be more than capable if 2 of our D not named Pietrangelo or Polak go down.

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