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Game #39: St. Louis Blues vs. Pheonix Coyotes

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01-04-2012, 05:21 AM
  #101
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Never thought the team would start losing, but I think they should still trade Berglund if they can get a needed piece like an upgraded actual 2d line center in return. One game where he gets golden chances (that he still can't finish) and people are pulling the "I can't believe anyone wanted to trade this guy" card? Yeesh.
Berglund has actually beed good all season. He just hasn't been scoring but in general neither has the rest of our team. I honestly don't think we will find a much better 2nd line center with out over paying.

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01-04-2012, 06:58 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
Last year, centers 60 to 31 in scoring had 37 to 54 points and the same range for points per game was .5 to .7. And many of those guys are considerably worse than Berglund defensively. Plus, he's just a few points out of that range in a year when the whole team is failing to score. He's not a #1 center, but he is definitely a 2nd line center.

I'm open to discussion about what kind of 2nd line center a playoff team or a Cup contender needs, or that Backes isn't dangerous/productive enough for the Blues to also run with Berglund, or any number of sensible analyses. But let's be clear about what we're talking about instead of casually saying Berglund isn't even a second line center.
what he said. and i'll keep saying it again, Berglund is still 23 years old, hell much of the core of this team is 25 and under. Yes they should be improving, but we have to be reasonable in regards to expectations. And to piggy-back on what rumrokh said, what other options for 2nd line center are available who have his production, salary, youth, and upside?

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01-04-2012, 08:40 AM
  #103
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Berglund and Stewart aren't going anywhere. This team has earned the opportunity to stay together and make a playoff run this year.

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01-04-2012, 11:44 AM
  #104
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Originally Posted by bmessier View Post
"Pretty weak goal given up by Halak... those little goals blown makes me die a little inside when he is in net"

Yea, he's pretty poor indeed:

By Month GP GAA SA SV SV% SO
November 7 1.55 177 166 .938 1
December 6 2.08 167 154 .922 0

SA SV SV%

Tonight 25 24 .960
So you try to smack me with some statistic? He let's in weak goals frequently. He played well and it was well enough for the win. I am not disputing that. But those weak goals are morale punches for a team who has problems producing goals. Should be easy, routine saves that he let's slide past. Obviously you are a Halak fan and hate to see your boy get smacked. That is fine... but you have to admit he let's in too many softies. If you can't admit that, then I am sorry. You won't change my opinion based on some statistic.

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01-04-2012, 11:47 AM
  #105
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Berg and Stewart debate... I would entertain offers made, but I do not know any off hand that I would much rather swap out for them. I may not be their biggest fans, but I also do not see a lateral position that I would want either that will be made available.

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01-04-2012, 11:50 AM
  #106
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Berg and Stewart debate... I would entertain offers made, but I do not know any off hand that I would much rather swap out for them. I may not be their biggest fans, but I also do not see a lateral position that I would want either that will be made available.
Colorado gave up on Stewart too soon. Calgary probably wishes they had hung on to Brett Hull for one more season.

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01-04-2012, 12:08 PM
  #107
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I like that Halak is getting the results we're looking for, but I still feel more comfortable with Elliot in net. Halak still seems to be pretty tentative and not coming out to challenge shooters enough. His rebound control still does not seem to be as good as Elliot's either. I like that both goalies are getting it done, but personally, i just feel better on games when Elliot is getting the start.

Really like the way Stewart played last night. He was skating harder without the puck and was throwing his body around a bit more too.

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01-04-2012, 12:56 PM
  #108
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I like that Halak is getting the results we're looking for, but I still feel more comfortable with Elliot in net. Halak still seems to be pretty tentative and not coming out to challenge shooters enough. His rebound control still does not seem to be as good as Elliot's either. I like that both goalies are getting it done, but personally, i just feel better on games when Elliot is getting the start.

Really like the way Stewart played last night. He was skating harder without the puck and was throwing his body around a bit more too.
I guess the reality is the organization has a lot of money tied into Halak's future and none with Elliott.

The front office has to be rooting for Halak. But I'm certain they are leaving the game decisions up to Hitchcock.

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01-04-2012, 01:46 PM
  #109
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I guess the reality is the organization has a lot of money tied into Halak's future and none with Elliott.

The front office has to be rooting for Halak. But I'm certain they are leaving the game decisions up to Hitchcock.
While I agree that all of this is true, I think the FO has to consider the fact that Halak to this point in his NHL career has only been great when he has competition. In acknowledging this, we also admit that he is inconsistent. I think that inconsistency rings true both over the course of the whole season and from minute to minute. Halak does let in soft goals fairly frequently, which is bad in itself, but probably more troubling is his body language after giving up goals. I think the players in front of him see this and as a result have less confidence in Jaro. That not exactly a good recipe for success.

It is my recommendation that we keep Elliot around for another year. If that means paying the guy $2.5M for a season, then so be it. I would suggest telling Elliot that he has a chance at the starter role and will likely get no fewer than 30 games. If he wins the #1 spot then he will earn start level money the following year, at which time the Blues can unload Jaro. If Elliot thinks he can command more money on the FA market or that it is a better decision to move elsewhere then let him take that chance. Bishop is still an option, assuming we resign him.

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01-04-2012, 02:18 PM
  #110
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Look like the Yotes got 2 Pie delivered

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01-04-2012, 02:54 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by Celtic Note View Post
While I agree that all of this is true, I think the FO has to consider the fact that Halak to this point in his NHL career has only been great when he has competition. In acknowledging this, we also admit that he is inconsistent. I think that inconsistency rings true both over the course of the whole season and from minute to minute. Halak does let in soft goals fairly frequently, which is bad in itself, but probably more troubling is his body language after giving up goals. I think the players in front of him see this and as a result have less confidence in Jaro. That not exactly a good recipe for success.

It is my recommendation that we keep Elliot around for another year. If that means paying the guy $2.5M for a season, then so be it. I would suggest telling Elliot that he has a chance at the starter role and will likely get no fewer than 30 games. If he wins the #1 spot then he will earn start level money the following year, at which time the Blues can unload Jaro. If Elliot thinks he can command more money on the FA market or that it is a better decision to move elsewhere then let him take that chance. Bishop is still an option, assuming we resign him.
I'd offer Elliott up to $3 million to stay, if his final stats resemble what they are now. If he's told he can compete for the starting job, and guaranteed a minimum of 30 starts, and he's offered only $2.5 M, he'll probably be stolen away from The Blues. I want badly at least one more year with both Halak and him, until we can see which is the best bet.

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01-04-2012, 03:05 PM
  #112
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Originally Posted by Celtic Note View Post
Halak does let in soft goals fairly frequently, which is bad in itself, but probably more troubling is his body language after giving up goals. I think the players in front of him see this and as a result have less confidence in Jaro. That not exactly a good recipe for success.
There are two sides to this coin.

I understand the point you're making that his demeanor is often too nonchalant for the type of goal he let in. However, when he is making saves and the team is struggling to clear the puck, this demeanor comes off as calm and composed under pressure.

Montreal fans complained of this as well.

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01-04-2012, 03:45 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
Last year, centers 60 to 31 in scoring had 37 to 54 points and the same range for points per game was .5 to .7. And many of those guys are considerably worse than Berglund defensively. Plus, he's just a few points out of that range in a year when the whole team is failing to score. He's not a #1 center, but he is definitely a 2nd line center.

I'm open to discussion about what kind of 2nd line center a playoff team or a Cup contender needs, or that Backes isn't dangerous/productive enough for the Blues to also run with Berglund, or any number of sensible analyses. But let's be clear about what we're talking about instead of casually saying Berglund isn't even a second line center.
You make a good point taking the whole league into consideration. It's my fault for not being more precise with my wording.

What I'm always thinking when it comes to the Blues is in terms of building a winner, a team that can fight and be expected to win in the playoffs. So when I think 2d line center in that context I'm measuring Berglund against teams who can actually fight and win a round.

Last year, these eight teams won at least a playoff round: Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, Nashville, Boston, Tampa, Washington and Philadelphia. Berglund could have been a top-two on Nashville but not on any of the others. You could maybe try to argue Brooks Laich in Washington.

Vancouver: D Sedin, Kesler
San Jose: Thornton, Pavelski
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Boston: Krejci, Bergeron
Tampa: Stamkos, Lecavalier
Washington: Backstrom, Laich
Philadelphia: Carter, Richards

Other playoff teams Chicago (Toews, Sharp) and Pittsburgh (Crosby, Malkin) show how important having two strong centers are. Nashville advanced a round without potent scoring centers but also got to play a one-line team in Anaheim. Phoenix, LA and NYR put up no resistance in the playoffs. Montreal and Buffalo's centers were somewhat meh, but teams like that are going to make the playoffs in the east.

So I will concede that it's inartful to say Berglund can't put up points in the range of a 2d line center. In the context of the entire league he can. When I say there's an upgrade needed at 2d line center I only mean to compare with the teams in the league with any shot of winning something. I've been taking this as a given in terms of thinking about where the club needs to improve but not saying it.

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01-04-2012, 03:55 PM
  #114
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Originally Posted by underslept View Post
There are two sides to this coin.

I understand the point you're making that his demeanor is often too nonchalant for the type of goal he let in. However, when he is making saves and the team is struggling to clear the puck, this demeanor comes off as calm and composed under pressure.

Montreal fans complained of this as well.
I see it a touch differently.

I like when Elliot lets up a goal, he looks frustrated, shakes it off and gets back to normal pretty quickly. Thats ideal for me. But Halak's body language (to me) leans more toward depressed or sulking.

You got to keep your chin up and say: "Whats done is done, it won't happen again...(deep breath)... ok, I am ready to go... let's win this! (thats what I get with Elliot)

If I put words to Halak's demeanor it would read: "Darn, (under breath) can't do anything right. (sigh)"
Maybe I am off, but as a defenseman reading that body language I would be thinking..." Oh man here we go again (head shake)". My response to Elliot's body language is...(Talking to Elliot) "Its ok bud, we'll get it back...we got this. (stick tap to the pad)."

That difference in mental state can be the difference in believing you can come back and actually do so in the process.

*Thats not to read... Halak is not a good goalie and we can't win with him.

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01-04-2012, 03:58 PM
  #115
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Originally Posted by HooliganX2 View Post
Berglund has actually beed good all season. He just hasn't been scoring but in general neither has the rest of our team. I honestly don't think we will find a much better 2nd line center with out over paying.
It's entirely possible we won't find a better center without overpaying but I definitely object to the idea that Berglund has actually been good all season. That's fiction.

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01-04-2012, 04:32 PM
  #116
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You make a good point taking the whole league into consideration. It's my fault for not being more precise with my wording.

What I'm always thinking when it comes to the Blues is in terms of building a winner, a team that can fight and be expected to win in the playoffs. So when I think 2d line center in that context I'm measuring Berglund against teams who can actually fight and win a round.

Last year, these eight teams won at least a playoff round: Vancouver, San Jose, Detroit, Nashville, Boston, Tampa, Washington and Philadelphia. Berglund could have been a top-two on Nashville but not on any of the others. You could maybe try to argue Brooks Laich in Washington.

Vancouver: D Sedin, Kesler
San Jose: Thornton, Pavelski
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg
Boston: Krejci, Bergeron
Tampa: Stamkos, Lecavalier
Washington: Backstrom, Laich
Philadelphia: Carter, Richards

Other playoff teams Chicago (Toews, Sharp) and Pittsburgh (Crosby, Malkin) show how important having two strong centers are. Nashville advanced a round without potent scoring centers but also got to play a one-line team in Anaheim. Phoenix, LA and NYR put up no resistance in the playoffs. Montreal and Buffalo's centers were somewhat meh, but teams like that are going to make the playoffs in the east.

So I will concede that it's inartful to say Berglund can't put up points in the range of a 2d line center. In the context of the entire league he can. When I say there's an upgrade needed at 2d line center I only mean to compare with the teams in the league with any shot of winning something. I've been taking this as a given in terms of thinking about where the club needs to improve but not saying it.
I can't see any fault in looking at Berglund's play from that perspective. We for sure have to be measuring our team against the best.

Also, I don't disagree that either Berglund is going to have to play better or we need a better center to make it to that next level. I do however think we need to stay patient and let some more of the year play out. Berglund has improved his all around play, even though his point production has been beyond frustrating. So there is some positive growth in areas that usually take more time to develop. The good news is we can afford to be patient with Berglund (IMO), because we are winning despite he and Stewart's lack of point production.

Being patient, albeit hard, is a very good strategy that has paid off for the Red Wings. If we look at their top two centers, I think we can become more comfortable with Berglund. At age 23 Datsyuk amassed 35 points and at 24, 51 points. Zetterberg had 44 points at age 23 and 43 at age 24.

Looking how patience paid off for the Blues, we can look to Backes who at age 23 had 31pts. and at 24 had 54pts.

San Jose had to wait a little too:

Sedin @ 23 = 39pts.____@24 =42pts.
Kesler @ 23 = 37pts.____@24 =59pts.

Again, I think your right to point out that Berglund this year isn't getting it done, but I see next year as a better place to say whether he will be good enough for us to go far in the playoffs.

Feel free to disagree.

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01-04-2012, 05:49 PM
  #117
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The Wings had the luxury of patience. The Blues are essentially gambling the rebuild on Berglund. The Sedins also had each other, a factor that's hard to overstate as far as chemistry.

I must be in the minority but I was incredibly frustrated by Berglund last night as well. I saw a guy just not able to get it done even in a game where he finds himself in a shooting position multiple times.

I don't think the WC counts. A sampling of some of the better players on bad teams on a far wider ice surface (which is a HUGE difference for Berglund whose problem is inability to have enough room to turn around and go square at the net with any consistency) does not mean much at all to me. When was the last game where you thought, wow, Patrik Berglund is taking over this game and showing us a flash of that potential he has? For me it's all the way back to last season. I haven't seen it this year. For me to be sold the patience idea I need to see more of it.

His defensive game is at or barely above average and he's awful at faceoffs. He can get exposed against top lines. Look at the Anaheim game when Getzlaf and Ryan dominated his line. In Detroit when they have the last change they can avoid Backes to match up with Berglund who isn't at all as fast or defensively responsible as Backes. Granted Backes is a high standard but the thing is if Backes is out there expending energy to shut down the opposing top lines then Berglund has to be able to score to win his matchup and I just don't have any confidence in him doing it consistently or in those playoff type games.

Basically if there's any deal to be had where the Blues can upgrade their 2d line center they could be dangerous this year, right now. If Berglund later becomes consistent, so what? The Blues will already have their upgrade that they hoped Berglund would become and godspeed to the kid because he's not a bad guy.

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01-04-2012, 06:21 PM
  #118
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I see it a touch differently.

I like when Elliot lets up a goal, he looks frustrated, shakes it off and gets back to normal pretty quickly. Thats ideal for me. But Halak's body language (to me) leans more toward depressed or sulking.

You got to keep your chin up and say: "Whats done is done, it won't happen again...(deep breath)... ok, I am ready to go... let's win this! (thats what I get with Elliot)

If I put words to Halak's demeanor it would read: "Darn, (under breath) can't do anything right. (sigh)"
Maybe I am off, but as a defenseman reading that body language I would be thinking..." Oh man here we go again (head shake)". My response to Elliot's body language is...(Talking to Elliot) "Its ok bud, we'll get it back...we got this. (stick tap to the pad)."

That difference in mental state can be the difference in believing you can come back and actually do so in the process.

*Thats not to read... Halak is not a good goalie and we can't win with him.
I understand what you're saying here. As a defenceman I would be reading his body language as such as well. I feel like the team knows him pretty well though, so I'm not sure they're always taking it that way since it's quite clear he doesn't react like Elliott would in that same situation.

What I'm getting at is, when he's playing very well and stopping everything, he maintains this type of demeanor and people respect him for being calm and composed under pressure.

It's only when he lets in a softie that his demeanor really becomes a problem, when he's under pressure, I believe it helps the team to have a goaltender who doesn't get flustered visually very easily. I know it would drive me bananas to put a lot of pressure on a goaltender and not see him react. So like I said originally, Halak's demeanor has it's benefits. Depending on the situation it can be good or bad.

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01-04-2012, 06:25 PM
  #119
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The Wings had the luxury of patience. The Blues are essentially gambling the rebuild on Berglund. The Sedins also had each other, a factor that's hard to overstate as far as chemistry.

I must be in the minority but I was incredibly frustrated by Berglund last night as well. I saw a guy just not able to get it done even in a game where he finds himself in a shooting position multiple times.

I don't think the WC counts. A sampling of some of the better players on bad teams on a far wider ice surface (which is a HUGE difference for Berglund whose problem is inability to have enough room to turn around and go square at the net with any consistency) does not mean much at all to me. When was the last game where you thought, wow, Patrik Berglund is taking over this game and showing us a flash of that potential he has? For me it's all the way back to last season. I haven't seen it this year. For me to be sold the patience idea I need to see more of it.

His defensive game is at or barely above average and he's awful at faceoffs. He can get exposed against top lines. Look at the Anaheim game when Getzlaf and Ryan dominated his line. In Detroit when they have the last change they can avoid Backes to match up with Berglund who isn't at all as fast or defensively responsible as Backes. Granted Backes is a high standard but the thing is if Backes is out there expending energy to shut down the opposing top lines then Berglund has to be able to score to win his matchup and I just don't have any confidence in him doing it consistently or in those playoff type games.

Basically if there's any deal to be had where the Blues can upgrade their 2d line center they could be dangerous this year, right now. If Berglund later becomes consistent, so what? The Blues will already have their upgrade that they hoped Berglund would become and godspeed to the kid because he's not a bad guy.
How many lines in the league don't get dominated by the Getzlaf/Ryan line? That's a pretty high standard.

I thought Berglund had a great game last night. I think you're in a hypercritical mode for him, if you didn't appreciate that he played great last night. He created some good chances, played great defense, and was a bit unlucky not to get a goal before the empty-netter. Even the empty net goal, I thought he showed some great assertiveness to win the race to the puck and muscle it past the defender.

Frankly, I think both Berglund and Stewart are showing signs of turning the corner this season. I doubt the team is looking to make a trade involving either guy, so I expect we'll get a chance to see whether its true.

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01-04-2012, 06:28 PM
  #120
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I understand what you're saying here. As a defenceman I would be reading his body language as such as well. I feel like the team knows him pretty well though, so I'm not sure they're always taking it that way since it's quite clear he doesn't react like Elliott would in that same situation.

What I'm getting at is, when he's playing very well and stopping everything, he maintains this type of demeanor and people respect him for being calm and composed under pressure.

It's only when he lets in a softie that his demeanor really becomes a problem, when he's under pressure, I believe it helps the team to have a goaltender who doesn't get flustered visually very easily. I know it would drive me bananas to put a lot of pressure on a goaltender and not see him react. So like I said originally, Halak's demeanor has it's benefits. Depending on the situation it can be good or bad.
Who are Halak's friends on the team? Does he have any? At first I thought he was just a bit shy and still the new guy. But he's been here long enough I would expect a bit more news about him doing stuff with guys. Have I missed something?

I think that's not necessary, but it would speak a bit to how he's perceived by his teammates.

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01-04-2012, 06:53 PM
  #121
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I can't believe this one game is making people cry "don't trade Berglund!!!"

Even if you don't want him traded, he scored an empty net goal and missed two other glorious scoring chances once again. That's 5 now in the past 3 games alone by my count.

He played pretty well but it was one game, and the point is that he can't capitalize in those situations and put the puck in the net. He needs to finish.

It's just a dumb, pointless argument.

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01-04-2012, 07:08 PM
  #122
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So you try to smack me with some statistic? He let's in weak goals frequently. He played well and it was well enough for the win. I am not disputing that. But those weak goals are morale punches for a team who has problems producing goals. Should be easy, routine saves that he let's slide past. Obviously you are a Halak fan and hate to see your boy get smacked. That is fine... but you have to admit he let's in too many softies. If you can't admit that, then I am sorry. You won't change my opinion based on some statistic.
I'm not trying to smack you. I'm just pointing out that Halak has been VERY good the past 2 months (He's even got better stats that Elliott in December) and yet, I still read these negative comments about him. What will it take for you to get decisively behind him? He does seems to be way better ever since he "kinda" lost his starting to Elliott however. I hope he'll be our goalie for the playoffs so he can, again, deliver a performance for the ages like he did in Montreal

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01-04-2012, 07:40 PM
  #123
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How many lines in the league don't get dominated by the Getzlaf/Ryan line? That's a pretty high standard.

I thought Berglund had a great game last night. I think you're in a hypercritical mode for him, if you didn't appreciate that he played great last night. He created some good chances, played great defense, and was a bit unlucky not to get a goal before the empty-netter. Even the empty net goal, I thought he showed some great assertiveness to win the race to the puck and muscle it past the defender.

Frankly, I think both Berglund and Stewart are showing signs of turning the corner this season. I doubt the team is looking to make a trade involving either guy, so I expect we'll get a chance to see whether its true.
I know it's a high standard to shut down the Getzlaf line, however I was making a point about his defense not being quite as special as some are making it out to be. By no means do I think he's a defensive liability. I feel like I've seen him bent over skating hard to get back in a play he's trailing lately but by and large his defense isn't a problem. I've just noticed a tendency to trumpet his defense as a way to mitigate criticism of his offensive failings and so the comment was geared toward that. I believe he's average or a little above average. I'm not being hypercritical of that.

I felt like he worked hard and got open more often last night which was a plus. The Blues have struggled giving themselves a cushion in games they've dominated this year and last night I was frustrated by his inability to finish golden setups a few times. That's what the team needs and by the time the ENG was scored the threat of Phoenix coming back was miniscule compared with the times he had his opportunities he couldn't bury. Yes, Berglund skated hard and in general I feel like he gives a sincere effort most nights, but since finishing has been a major issue and he still couldn't do it I don't think being frustrated with that even in a more active skating game is being hypercritical. If he's not a playmaking center and he's not a finishing center, what is he?

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01-04-2012, 08:39 PM
  #124
Thallis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDream View Post
I can't believe this one game is making people cry "don't trade Berglund!!!"

Even if you don't want him traded, he scored an empty net goal and missed two other glorious scoring chances once again. That's 5 now in the past 3 games alone by my count.

He played pretty well but it was one game, and the point is that he can't capitalize in those situations and put the puck in the net. He needs to finish.

It's just a dumb, pointless argument.
To be fair though it was pretty much 2 games that made people cry to trade him. Given we only want to trade him for an upgrade, there's not many guys in the league who would be realistically available. Big trades are a rarity in today's NHL.

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01-05-2012, 02:57 AM
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDream View Post
I can't believe this one game is making people cry "don't trade Berglund!!!"

Even if you don't want him traded, he scored an empty net goal and missed two other glorious scoring chances once again. That's 5 now in the past 3 games alone by my count.

He played pretty well but it was one game, and the point is that he can't capitalize in those situations and put the puck in the net. He needs to finish.

It's just a dumb, pointless argument.
Then why are you having it?

The whole league misses scoring chances, get over it.

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