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Blues hosting Coyotes: Watching from class the sequel!

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Old
03-15-2013, 12:11 AM
  #176
MattyMo35
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Originally Posted by OCTA8ON View Post
I think Schwartz will be better than Sobotka after this season, but I have to disagree about playing Schwartz over Sobotka. When we start playing in the playoffs, Schwartz's lack of stability will get exposed against teams like the Kings when the physicality gets ramped up. Sobotka doesn't get knocked over every other shift. Yeah, I saw the Schwartz pull up move, but did you see how Sobotka was able to drive towards the net and nearly stuff one past Smith? Sobotka gets my nod this year.
He's one of the most valuable members of the team, and it's not so much that I don't want him in the top 9, as it is I don't want Schwartz on the 4th line. Schwartz's skillset(his hockey sense, his grasp of the game) is completely wasted on the fourth line if he's trying to set up guys like Reaves and Nichol. We both know those guys are not out there for scoring goals. By putting Soby on the 4th line and top PK unit, you really utilize his strengths as a player by putting him in a primarily defensive role, and you utilize Schwartz's strengths by putting him with skilled players. I personally feel that is the best use for both players.

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03-15-2013, 12:12 AM
  #177
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Originally Posted by simon in canada View Post
Sorry, haven't been around lately, is Cole injured?
Nope. Hitch is more comfortable with Redden and Russell, who have both been much better of late.

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03-15-2013, 12:14 AM
  #178
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There's an expanded roster allowance in the post-season, isn't there? Does anyone know the rules on that? I'm just mulling over whether Elliott can really take a roster spot until the year is over or if they'll have to choose between Porter/Elliott.

There's got to be a team out there that would claim him, isn't there (Elliott?) I'm certain Porter would be snagged. And I agree with the above post that Porter probably sees ice time in the postseason.

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03-15-2013, 12:16 AM
  #179
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Originally Posted by OCTA8ON View Post
I think Schwartz will be better than Sobotka after this season, but I have to disagree about playing Schwartz over Sobotka. When we start playing in the playoffs, Schwartz's lack of stability will get exposed against teams like the Kings when the physicality gets ramped up. Sobotka doesn't get knocked over every other shift. Yeah, I saw the Schwartz pull up move, but did you see how Sobotka was able to drive towards the net and nearly stuff one past Smith? Sobotka gets my nod this year.
I think Sobotka is likely to get more icetime regardless, so I don't think anybody is suggesting they play one guy OVER the other. But their strengths are clearly different. Sobotka was ****ing terrible on the powerplay tonight, for example. If you're forcing me to choose, I would absolutely put Schwartz in any role on the powerplay ahead of Sobotka. But if you're forcing me to choose, I would also absolutely put Sobotka in any role on a checking line ahead of Schwartz. I don't understand how these players have come to be compared in this fashion.

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03-15-2013, 12:18 AM
  #180
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Originally Posted by MattyMo35 View Post
Nope. Hitch is more comfortable with Redden and Russell, who have both been much better of late.
Hmm, not happy to hear that and I am very concerned. However, I have not been able to watch the last few games, so I am no position to comment. Has Cole been that disappointing?

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03-15-2013, 12:25 AM
  #181
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Originally Posted by simon in canada View Post
Hmm, not happy to hear that and I am very concerned. However, I have not been able to watch the last few games, so I am no position to comment. Has Cole been that disappointing?
No. He hasn't played in the last few games. He was also fine before that.

Russell was terrible at first, but has improved a lot lately. Redden has steadied, but he's playing super small minutes. Neither one was particularly good tonight, but that's okay.

Cole was always played in a different capacity than either Russell or Redden have been, and I think it's much more about that than it is about Cole's performance. Cole played bigger minutes against much tougher competition. You don't do that with a player whose performance you don't like. However, they are confident they can put Redden out on the powerplay one period and then cut his minutes for half the game and not have adverse effects. As long as the team looks good, Hitch is going to roll a similar lineup. And it might be good for Cole to watch a bit from time to time, even though he's played good hockey. We'll see.

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03-15-2013, 12:27 AM
  #182
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Missed the game..but Schwartz with 6 shots! nice

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03-15-2013, 12:36 AM
  #183
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Originally Posted by simon in canada View Post
Hmm, not happy to hear that and I am very concerned. However, I have not been able to watch the last few games, so I am no position to comment. Has Cole been that disappointing?
Cole has done pretty well considering his experience level and expectations. Russell has been back to his normal play which is pretty darn good compliment to Polak and Redden has been better. I'm sure we will see Cole inserted into the lineup and Redden sit for a handful of games before much longer.

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03-15-2013, 12:37 AM
  #184
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Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
There's an expanded roster allowance in the post-season, isn't there? Does anyone know the rules on that? I'm just mulling over whether Elliott can really take a roster spot until the year is over or if they'll have to choose between Porter/Elliott.

There's got to be a team out there that would claim him, isn't there (Elliott?) I'm certain Porter would be snagged. And I agree with the above post that Porter probably sees ice time in the postseason.
This is without verification but it seems to me that after the trade deadline you can have as many folks up as you want. There's only 7 more games before the deadline if that is indeed the day after which the roster allowance expands. There's a good chance there will be at least one player still (or newly) on the IR for the next 7 games, so I really don't suspect they'll wind up having to choose.

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03-15-2013, 12:41 AM
  #185
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Don't players only need to clear waivers once now? So Porter would be exempt since he went through waivers earlier this year? I haven't dug into the new CBA yet(that's going to be summer reading) but I thought they changed the rules pretty drastically this go around.

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03-15-2013, 01:27 AM
  #186
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Originally Posted by mind_the_gap View Post
Missed the game..but Schwartz with 6 shots! nice
Haha he had one pretty good scoring chance. The rest were more hoping for rebound/nothing better to do with the puck. He stood out more with his patience that we've been hearing about since he was drafted.

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03-15-2013, 02:56 AM
  #187
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Always nice seeing a shutout win, Stewie is on fire and Steen returning. Allen is now 7-1-0 2.33 gaa and a .915 save % Not too bad for a rookie!

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03-15-2013, 06:58 AM
  #188
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Caught the tale end of the game and wow, we were flying all over that ice last night. And I was thinking to myself that it would be nice for Allen to get his first NHL shutout and bam chicken & ham it happens, so congrats to him. Loving the comments that we played like last year's team again, here's to a kick ass second half to the season.

Lazy GDT's FTW!

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Old
03-15-2013, 07:09 AM
  #189
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Once McDonald and Tarasenko are ready to return to the line-up we will certainly be in a bit of a bind with our roster.

We need to keep Porter, that means he can't be sent down and I hope we have the contract we gave Reaves on the table to him. I want to keep Cracknell as well, but I think we will probably send him down and I would be surprised if he wasn't claimed.

Easy to dismiss these guys as dime-a-dozen, but when you look at other teams 4th lines... not so much. Having Sobotka, Reaves, Porter, Cracknell and Nichol round out our 14 forwards next season would be a pretty good situation considering what they bring and the fact it would cost under $4m.

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Old
03-15-2013, 07:52 AM
  #190
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Arright, arright, I looked it up. Basically if you go here you see at the top the old CBA is the same except for these changes. There are no changes to Section 16, which is the one on playing rosters and reserve lists.

My response to 2MM above was the right instinct. In the old CBA, §16.4(a) says it's "on the date of each season's Trade Deadline" when a team can increase its roster (subject to the salary cap rules, which wouldn't be a concern in this case). That means as long as there's still at least one player besides Langenbrunner on the IR for the next 7 games, they'll entirely dodge the issue.

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03-15-2013, 09:25 AM
  #191
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Funny there's a little convo about Schwartz. I was at the game and really focused on him and I thought he was brilliant last night. All facets of the game. Stick position on the forecheck and in the neutral zone. Little plays he makes along the wall on zone exits. The huge uptick in confidence in the offensive zone. He was stellar.

But it all starts with Allen. There is just something about this kid that seems special. It's just the way he carries himself in net and how confident he looks. Technical ability, combined with size and confidence. The guy doesn't give up a rebound. It's unreal. Even when Halak is going well, his weak glove hand and shoddy rebound control always give our defenseman more work and makes things more of an adventure in front of our net. Because his rebound control and glove are so good, Allen is always able to calm things down and freeze the puck if the defense is under siege a bit. Phoenix had a rush attack on left wing in the 2nd period and the winger took a hard low shot, undoubtedly looking to create a rebound for the center lane guy, and the shot almost just absorbed into Allen's pad. Puck dropped right in front of him. Froze it. Rush thwarted. It was impressive.

His play has settled his skaters down and it's the biggest reason why they looked like the 2011-12 Blues arguably for the first time this year in the third period. They were coming in waves. Every line was dominating. The defense was outstanding. Backes might've played his period of the season. It was awesome.

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03-15-2013, 09:50 AM
  #192
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Funny there's a little convo about Schwartz. I was at the game and really focused on him and I thought he was brilliant last night. All facets of the game. Stick position on the forecheck and in the neutral zone. Little plays he makes along the wall on zone exits. The huge uptick in confidence in the offensive zone. He was stellar.

But it all starts with Allen. There is just something about this kid that seems special. It's just the way he carries himself in net and how confident he looks. Technical ability, combined with size and confidence. The guy doesn't give up a rebound. It's unreal. Even when Halak is going well, his weak glove hand and shoddy rebound control always give our defenseman more work and makes things more of an adventure in front of our net. Because his rebound control and glove are so good, Allen is always able to calm things down and freeze the puck if the defense is under siege a bit. Phoenix had a rush attack on left wing in the 2nd period and the winger took a hard low shot, undoubtedly looking to create a rebound for the center lane guy, and the shot almost just absorbed into Allen's pad. Puck dropped right in front of him. Froze it. Rush thwarted. It was impressive.

His play has settled his skaters down and it's the biggest reason why they looked like the 2011-12 Blues arguably for the first time this year in the third period. They were coming in waves. Every line was dominating. The defense was outstanding. Backes might've played his period of the season. It was awesome.
This might be pedantic, but I think the difference is that Halak stops pucks and Allen is a goaltender. He tends the goal. He plays a position. Halak squares up to the puck most of the time and has quick legs and a calm demeanor, but the best way to describe his game is that he gets in the way of shots or lets the puck hit him. That's way better than being overactive, but you really notice a difference between what he does and a goalie who plays the puck well, reads passes, challenges shooters, and is aggressive with his glove.

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03-15-2013, 10:18 AM
  #193
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Another thing in Allen's favor:

He can actually handle the puck.
Twice last night a Coyote player had an opportunity to get to a puck that had died before getting to the goal-line on a dump-in.
With Halak in net that meant the Blues defender had to rush back due to the puck handling skillz Jaro exhibits.

With Allen last night, both times he came out and played the puck correctly (once quite niftily in a near-perpendicular shot off the glass that got it past the first attacker and near the stick of our defense which was rushing back) eliminating a possible scoring chance and setting the Blues up to attack with number going the other way.

A puck-handling goaltender makes a defender's job a lot easier once they are all on the same sheet of music.

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03-15-2013, 10:24 AM
  #194
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Kris Russell's play has really improved. One of only 6 active players that are plus players for the Blues right now.

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03-15-2013, 10:46 AM
  #195
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
This might be pedantic, but I think the difference is that Halak stops pucks and Allen is a goaltender. He tends the goal. He plays a position. Halak squares up to the puck most of the time and has quick legs and a calm demeanor, but the best way to describe his game is that he gets in the way of shots or lets the puck hit him. That's way better than being overactive, but you really notice a difference between what he does and a goalie who plays the puck well, reads passes, challenges shooters, and is aggressive with his glove.
Yes, good call. Allen looks like he was really taught the position. I think something like rebound control is an area where Allen looks a lot more schooled. Halak, as you said, simply makes saves but I don't think there is a deep thought process about what he's trying to do after the puck hits him. Allen is always steering pucks towards corners, using his technical ability on low shots to keep pucks in front of him, and is always cognizant of placing rebounds in non-threatening areas. And then you factor in his really good glove hand and his ability to hang on to pucks while pucks are always bouncing in and out of Halak's super-stiff mitt.

I haven't even mentioned his compete level. The way he's always looking around bodies in front of him. Moving side to side. He's very active in the net and battles hard but he's still composed and under control.

We all know the fickle nature of the position, but there is definitely something about him.

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03-15-2013, 11:00 AM
  #196
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Once McDonald and Tarasenko are ready to return to the line-up we will certainly be in a bit of a bind with our roster.

We need to keep Porter, that means he can't be sent down and I hope we have the contract we gave Reaves on the table to him. I want to keep Cracknell as well, but I think we will probably send him down and I would be surprised if he wasn't claimed.

Easy to dismiss these guys as dime-a-dozen, but when you look at other teams 4th lines... not so much. Having Sobotka, Reaves, Porter, Cracknell and Nichol round out our 14 forwards next season would be a pretty good situation considering what they bring and the fact it would cost under $4m.
Along your line of thought, even if the league allows expanded rosters after the trade deadline, the big question for me going forward is how will Hitchcock use his lineup when everyone is healthy? He's made comments that he feels the healthier and more skilled roster tends to play one way and a less skilled, but more gritty lineup plays another. The Allen decision clearly shows he will dress the lineup that he feels gives him the best chance to win, salary and age be damned. And now suddenly the Blues are starting to click and emulate last years team while playing perhaps their best period of the year last night. Or at least the period that most resembled the stifling, dominant style that made fans of other teams despise us.

Can a more talented roster embrace what makes the Blues so difficult to play against when they are firing on all cylinders? The thing about missing a few pieces up front is that it's enabled everyone on the roster to have more of defined role. We lose scoring depth and the 2nd unit PP suffers when those guys are out but we have more of a team identity at even strength. The Blues are workin right now and aside from Allen's play, that's where the 5 on 5 success is coming from.

Injuries usually have a way of making decisions for you for but it will be interesting to monitor. I think if anything Hitchcock is probably thinking that his comments earlier in the season have some merit with the way the current roster is playing.

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03-15-2013, 11:10 AM
  #197
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I'm definitely down with an Allen / Halak combo. Both are really good goalies. Allen may take the #1 job and never relinquish it. It wouldn't hurt my feelings. I love how he plays.

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03-15-2013, 11:28 AM
  #198
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Once McDonald and Tarasenko are ready to return to the line-up we will certainly be in a bit of a bind with our roster.

We need to keep Porter, that means he can't be sent down and I hope we have the contract we gave Reaves on the table to him. I want to keep Cracknell as well, but I think we will probably send him down and I would be surprised if he wasn't claimed.

Easy to dismiss these guys as dime-a-dozen, but when you look at other teams 4th lines... not so much. Having Sobotka, Reaves, Porter, Cracknell and Nichol round out our 14 forwards next season would be a pretty good situation considering what they bring and the fact it would cost under $4m.
I'm kind of hoping this may be an opportunity to unload D'Agostini even if it is for a puck bag or 5th to 7th round pick. Hate to see Cracknell or Porter go. Smart hockey players that skate their butts off.

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03-15-2013, 12:15 PM
  #199
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Don't players only need to clear waivers once now? So Porter would be exempt since he went through waivers earlier this year? I haven't dug into the new CBA yet(that's going to be summer reading) but I thought they changed the rules pretty drastically this go around.
The only changes I think affect that kind of thing are:

Players don't have RE-ENTRY waivers. They still pass through waivers to get sent down. So Porter would be at risk on the way back down, as would Elliott. Its just when they're getting called up that they no longer are at risk.

Players coming over from European leagues don't have to pass through waivers. I think this rule is in response to the couple guys the Blues lost (unfairly, but by the rules at the time) Wellwood and I blank on the other one. This year they'd have been able to keep him. This was a good change.

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03-15-2013, 12:54 PM
  #200
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Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
The only changes I think affect that kind of thing are:

Players don't have RE-ENTRY waivers. They still pass through waivers to get sent down. So Porter would be at risk on the way back down, as would Elliott. Its just when they're getting called up that they no longer are at risk.

Players coming over from European leagues don't have to pass through waivers. I think this rule is in response to the couple guys the Blues lost (unfairly, but by the rules at the time) Wellwood and I blank on the other one. This year they'd have been able to keep him. This was a good change.
Marek Svatos. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise that we didn't get him if I remember correctly.

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