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Game 3: Blues at Blackhawks 1/22/13 at 7:30 CST

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01-23-2013, 04:02 PM
  #401
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Was hoping Petro would have a bounce back game, but he still didn't look like himself yet. He's never going to be burner or anything but his closing speed has been bad and guys are flying around him on the outside. I'm confident he'll be back on his game within a few weeks, but you can definitely tell he's not himself yet. His reads aren't quite instantaneous yet either.

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01-23-2013, 07:04 PM
  #402
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A couple of thoughts:

Elliott looks pretty sharp. I bet he wants that Stalberg shot back, but overall he did a great job against the 9-10 odd man rushes we gave up throughout the whole game.

The top line looks rusty. All three guys didn't play overseas, and it shows. We're going to need them to shape up, and quick.

AP looks bad. (Nice I can say that even though he has 4 points in 3 games) Once again assuming rust. See above.

I don't ever want to see D'ags unless he's going to be in our top 9 as a replacement for injury/rest.

I think it's time for Langs to call it. Too many other younger, hungrier, speedier options to choose from. Give him a tie and put him behind the bench as an assistant coach. Yes, I get it was his first game, and everyone should be given a pass for a bit due to rust.....but we have too many other options who are better sans rust playing then him.

An overall super sloppy game from us, but 3rd in 4 nights, on the road, and we didn't bow our heads, we kept coming. Nice to see that.

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01-23-2013, 07:18 PM
  #403
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Anybody know Langs salary this year?

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01-23-2013, 09:59 PM
  #404
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Originally Posted by Mike Liut View Post
Anybody know Langs salary this year?
$1.5 million with another 250k in incentives, I believe.

He's far from being a difference maker, but he's a quality depth option and I would probably rather have him starting than someone like Cracknell in the playoffs if we have injury issues. Even if he doesn't play much, he's worth that salary just for the locker-room presence.

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01-23-2013, 10:46 PM
  #405
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I would like to know how many times the Blues play other teams when it's their 3rd game 4 nights and the 4th game being a back to backer compared to the Blues having to do it. It's a HUGE advantage. Hopefully it's pretty even (or a slight advantage for the Blues)

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01-24-2013, 01:21 AM
  #406
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Thoughts on the Blackhawks game:

- Crawford had a great game. I don't think he can play like that consistently, though, but I give him credit for winning last night.

- The Blues made a LOT of mental errors. The 3-0 was actually not the fault of their defensemen on that particular play, but of the forwards not getting the puck in deep in an obvious situation where it was possible and necessary. Hitchcock's forecheck system works by outnumbering the opponent wherever the puck is. So, the team has to play in a way such that people know where that is. The defensemen pushed forward, and the puck was turned over at the Blue line. It was painful to watch.

- The good news is that these types of mental mistakes are all fixable, and reflect on a level of rust. Some practice time and a few more games will help. I think after getting embarrassed like that (and still nearly pulling it back even in the 3rd period) the team will be pretty receptive to Hitchcock's message.

- I'm honestly not sure what to expect from Wade Redden....or whether to expect him to secure a starting spot in the line-up. If he does, who sits? I can see sitting Cole for a game here and there, same with Jackman (for different reasons). Maybe Russell and Polak from time to time? I suspect that Redden ends up being the 7th D-man and gets scratched most of the time the roster is fully healthy.

- I like what I've seen from the Blues so far this season. No team looks particularly sharp, but the Blues have shown a tenacity and a belief that they will win. The rest will come. When they get Hitch's coaching internalized again, and start firing on all cylinders, I think we're going to see an elite team that is a ***** to play against.

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01-24-2013, 02:21 AM
  #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
$1.5 million with another 250k in incentives, I believe.

He's far from being a difference maker, but he's a quality depth option and I would probably rather have him starting than someone like Cracknell in the playoffs if we have injury issues. Even if he doesn't play much, he's worth that salary just for the locker-room presence.
Awful contract for what he provides...

I'd rather have Porter or Cracknell in the lineup. They are underrated at their role.

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01-24-2013, 02:46 AM
  #408
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Awful contract for what he provides...

I'd rather have Porter or Cracknell in the lineup. They are underrated at their role.
Porter's such a key cog that he just cleared waivers. Is he so underrated that every GM in the league doesn't recognize his worth?

He's a fine depth guy who can play with some energy, but who offers relatively little beyond that. There are literally dozens of players in the league just like him, which is why nobody else bothered to pick him up. Fans love it when guys like him throw their bodies around, but it's not a rare skillset, and it isn't what wins hockey games.

Langenbrunner is clearly a better player than someone like Cracknell, even now. Cracknell might have the better physical skills at this point, but Langenbrunner is the guy who will reliably produce the gap control, correct angles, and puck management that Hitchcock builds his teams around, regardless of linemates or situation. It's not sexy, but it's winning hockey.

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01-24-2013, 03:05 AM
  #409
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Porter's such a key cog that he just cleared waivers. Is he so underrated that every GM in the league doesn't recognize his worth?

He's a fine depth guy who can play with some energy, but who offers relatively little beyond that. There are literally dozens of players in the league just like him, which is why nobody else bothered to pick him up. Fans love it when guys like him throw their bodies around, but it's not a rare skillset, and it isn't what wins hockey games.

Langenbrunner is clearly a better player than someone like Cracknell, even now. Cracknell might have the better physical skills at this point, but Langenbrunner is the guy who will reliably produce the gap control, correct angles, and puck management that Hitchcock builds his teams around, regardless of linemates or situation. It's not sexy, but it's winning hockey.
Lol at waivers as your argument.

We would be perfectly fine without Langenbrunner, he adds nothing and is not why we win games. Ohhh but his experience!!!!!

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01-24-2013, 03:22 AM
  #410
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Originally Posted by BlueDream View Post
Lol at waivers as your argument.

We would be perfectly fine without Langenbrunner, he adds nothing and is not why we win games. Ohhh but his experience!!!!!
It's not an argument, it's the simple truth. Every team in the league had a shot at taking Porter for free, and not a single one did. This isn't the first time he's cleared waivers, either. If he was in any way a unique or valuable commodity, he would have been claimed. He's not.

Some day I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts on what wins hockey games, or even what you think Hitchcock thinks wins hockey games. After that, you might take some time to break down the relative strengths and weaknesses of Langenbrunner and Cracknell as players, to make a case for why the latter should be on the 23 man roster over the former.

Until then, you're more than entitled to your opinion, but I personally find it to be a far from convincing one.


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01-24-2013, 10:25 AM
  #411
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
It's not an argument, it's the simple truth. Every team in the league had a shot at taking Porter for free, and not a single one did. This isn't the first time he's cleared waivers, either. If he was in any way a unique or valuable commodity, he would have been claimed. He's not.

Some day I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts on what wins hockey games, or even what you think Hitchcock thinks wins hockey games. After that, you might take some time to break down the relative strengths and weaknesses of Langenbrunner and Cracknell as players, to make a case for why the latter should be on the 23 man roster over the former.

Until then, you're more than entitled to your opinion, but I personally find it to be a far from convincing one.
After three years of Danny Hinote and one year of Darryl Sydor, one would think people would understand the Blues love having a past-their-prime veteran on the team.

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01-24-2013, 10:54 AM
  #412
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It's times like these when I'm reminded that most fans have never played or coached a sport at a high level.

That's not to devalue the perspectives of those that haven't, but sometimes it can be difficult to appreciate the value that others might place on something without the benefit of a similar personal experience.

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01-24-2013, 04:40 PM
  #413
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I respect your ideas Easton, but here is my counter argument.

If we put Langs on Waivers, does anyone claim him? I don't think so. Maybe the Oilers, just b/c there like the Blues of 3-4 years ago and might want some veteran depth.

Porter and Cracken will do just as much, if not more then Langs. I'm glad he knows angles, but I don't think he has the foot speed to get there anymore.

We have enough veteran leaders in Jackman, Redden, Nichol, Backes. Do we really need to pay a guy 1.5 million to be a "leader"?

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01-24-2013, 05:41 PM
  #414
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadgersandBlues View Post
I respect your ideas Easton, but here is my counter argument.

If we put Langs on Waivers, does anyone claim him? I don't think so. Maybe the Oilers, just b/c there like the Blues of 3-4 years ago and might want some veteran depth.

Porter and Cracken will do just as much, if not more then Langs. I'm glad he knows angles, but I don't think he has the foot speed to get there anymore.

We have enough veteran leaders in Jackman, Redden, Nichol, Backes. Do we really need to pay a guy 1.5 million to be a "leader"?
I didn't see any evidence of him missing angles in the (admittedly) small sample size of ice time he's had this season, and his angles were very good last season.

I agree that he's lost footspeed, so the tradeoff with him is that you lose some aggressiveness on the forecheck as a result (since he wouldn't have the speed to be a factor in transition defense if he didn't keep himself on the defensive side of the puck). The flip side is that you can always trust him to be where he needs to be against teams that are dangerous in transition. I think it's fair to say that Hitchcock values that pretty highly, given the system he's installed here.

Now, there's only so many teams that play that style of hockey. Obviously, places like Edmonton and Colorado would be a terrible fits for Langenbrunner given the coaching philosophies in place there, and there's zero chance he would be claimed by them. It's entirely possible that no team would claim him, but his value to this team isn't inherently tied to how he's valued by other teams.

In a game against arguably the top team in the league in transition attack, a game where the Blues gave up numerous odd-man rushes and prime scoring chances due to poor positioning and poor puck management, I can't remember a single time when the 4th line was exploited or exposed by the other team. That doesn't seem to hold much value around here, but I'm willing to bet that Hitchcock noticed and appreciated that.

Now I'm not arguing that Langenbrunner should be a full-time player. I just think there's reason to believe that the Blues value him more highly than Porter at this time. I also think that the Blues brass probably disagrees with those who think that "energy" is all that matters (or is the prime consideration) when it comes to depth players.

This whole conversation stemmed from the loss in Chicago, as if Langenbrunner's play (relative to Reaves' presumed contributions) was somehow a significant contributing factor to that result. I don't see it.

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01-24-2013, 06:12 PM
  #415
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I'd be shocked if no one claimed Langenbrunner off waivers (if he were put on). He'd be viewed as a bottom 6 guy...but there are plenty of teams whose bottom 6 looks bad enough that Langenbrunner could really help them. Heck, even NYR would have to think about it. I think Blues fans are starting to get spoiled by our phenomenal depth and forgetting what it was like just a few years ago.

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01-24-2013, 11:52 PM
  #416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
I'd be shocked if no one claimed Langenbrunner off waivers (if he were put on). He'd be viewed as a bottom 6 guy...but there are plenty of teams whose bottom 6 looks bad enough that Langenbrunner could really help them. Heck, even NYR would have to think about it. I think Blues fans are starting to get spoiled by our phenomenal depth and forgetting what it was like just a few years ago.
Habs fan dropping in..

Even if Langenbrunner didn't get picked up on waivers, he'd definitely get picked up on re-entry waivers (half the salary). No doubt about it. Langenbrunner brings enough locker room presence to be worth his money.

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