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Blues hosting Ducks 7pm: suspended player edition

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Old
03-17-2013, 03:09 AM
  #326
GrandPapillon
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Originally Posted by Multimoodia View Post
I agree with the sentiment that Perron had one of the worst-effort defensive games of his career tonight. It was painful to watch.
Now, the frustrating thing about that was in the first period he was looking very good in the offensive zone but after he and Berglund did not convert he just seemed to...fade...
Consistency, thy name is still not David Perron. May never be.
Frenchie is still an astoundingly talented devil though.


Allen may be proving me wrong. I thought he needed further seasoning simply because Bishop played so many minutes in Peoria (Allen may have shared duties but Bishop was always the one who was going to be called up first, etc.) and he seemed to be a bit inconsistent. I am now wondering ever-more how much of the issue was actually Peoria rather than his own capabilities.
Regardless, if Allen is still putting up anything close to these numbers at the end of the season I would have a hard time not getting excited over the possibility of running two #1's out there in 2013-2014. I will say that Allen looks more like the type of goaltender who is an actual #1 and not a #1A like Halak.

Best game by Russell yet. I know we cannot expect every game from his to be this effective, but even 80% would make him an extremely valuable 3rd defenseman.

Cole actually looked far better than I thought he would, he managed to seal and force fairly large, talented players to the outside repeatedly. I can only think of a few mistakes he made and at least two of them were a result of him not knowing his partner/playing on the opposite side of the ice he has been used to this season. When he simplifies his game he shows he can be an effective defenseman.

When everyone recovers (if?) Steen needs to stay on the wing. Sobotka is evolving in to a player who can adequately or better play 3rd line center in the Blues system. I suppose this could be an unsustainable pace, but if it is not and this new Sobotka is the new the Blues will have for the future then they need not look for 3rd line centers and instead should only be pursuing 2nd line or better.

That was the D'Agostini effect. Both he and Berglund looked better with Tarasenko. With D'agostini, Perron started pressing and Berglund started disappearing. If Oshie isn't back soon and Hitchcock wants to keep Schwartz and Sobotka with Tarasenko, Cracknell would probably do better with Perron and Berglund. At least he can cycle the puck with them and not lose it.

D'Agostini serves no purpose whatsoever. None.

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Old
03-17-2013, 03:15 AM
  #327
Multimoodia
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Originally Posted by GrandPapillon View Post
That was the D'Agostini effect. Both he and Berglund looked better with Tarasenko. With D'agostini, Perron started pressing and Berglund started disappearing. If Oshie isn't back soon and Hitchcock wants to keep Schwartz and Sobotka with Tarasenko, Cracknell would probably do better with Perron and Berglund. At least he can cycle the puck with them and not lose it.

D'Agostini serves no purpose whatsoever. None.
To a point I can agree that Dagger is dragging that line down.

But several times Perron made a lazy stick-sweep instead of stepping in to the play like he typically does when he is involved.

I noticed the pressing more when Perron was in the offensive zone (several Blues players have a tendency to stand still in the offensive zone, but Dagger seems to think he is rooted to a single area...damnit gents...MOVE when Frenchie has the puck he usually finds the players that move), but defensively most of the poor performance was on him.

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03-17-2013, 03:18 AM
  #328
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Also, I cannot see the Ducks going that far in the playoffs.

They are a one, maybe two, line team. Very dominant, but the play is such a drop-off between those main line(s) and the rest...and Selanne is looking awfully old as of late.

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03-17-2013, 03:41 AM
  #329
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The problem with Russell is that his defensive game relies on his speed and his pokechecking. He simply was missing too many pokechecks and his stickwork was just awful. Now that he's cleaned that up he is getting back to the Russell we saw last year.

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03-17-2013, 04:16 AM
  #330
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A campground I visit has wifi and when it was cold and rainy there in the fall, I watched some European games, including a couple of Sobotka's Czech league team. Sobotka was all over the place and had a three or four point game. His shot still is not NHL-level and he doesn't have the explosiveness in his decision-making or dekes to replicate his offensive success in the AHL and elsewhere, but I think getting big offensive responsibility and success again, for a while, has definitely pushed his game forward.

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Old
03-17-2013, 09:30 AM
  #331
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Backes as first line C is a bigger deal than Sobotka as the 3rd. But it's a more difficult problem to fix. I do think what you see is what you get with Sobotka--I don't think there's a huge untapped upside there. But what we are getting is pretty perfect for this team.

RE: Perron. I thought it was interesting when the announcers talked about Perron working on faceoffs with Nichol at practice. He even sort of won one during the game. I think his heart is in the right place, but I do wish someone would tell him (and Backes) they aren't playing for last decades Red Wings. Too many little finesse pass attempts that don't work. Too much skating around looking for perfect plays instead of making simple plays that keep the flow going. If this was the NBA he'd be a player you hate: too much dribbling and risky plays that lead to turnovers. Hero ball.

I thought Dags was actually pretty solid, and showed some grit in the D and dirty zones. I think Perron's problem early was exactly what one of you guys said above. He didn't connect on a couple opportunities and got his head down. I think he does have a problem similar to a lot of young NBA guys, someone told him he was going to be a star and he tries to do too much, puts too much pressure on himself. Give up the puck and trust your teammates, dude!

Backes just tries to lead the team in all categories, a different way of not playing to your own abilities. I think at his best he's pretty similar to Clarkson on the Devils, but Clarkson doesn't have the leadership responsibilities Backes has--plenty of vets and Kovy to fill that gap. Backes just seems to carry a heavy mental load around and tries a little too hard in the wrong way.

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Old
03-17-2013, 12:04 PM
  #332
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
A campground I visit has wifi and when it was cold and rainy there in the fall, I watched some European games, including a couple of Sobotka's Czech league team. Sobotka was all over the place and had a three or four point game. His shot still is not NHL-level and he doesn't have the explosiveness in his decision-making or dekes to replicate his offensive success in the AHL and elsewhere, but I think getting big offensive responsibility and success again, for a while, has definitely pushed his game forward.
Sobotka has some pretty decent vision for a 3rd line center. The reason he had not been putting up points is due to the quality of his linemates IMO. Nichol and Reaves are never going to be able to convert that much. The move up the lineup has helped significantly.

I also believe Sobie's shot is not such a detriment. While I agree that it is in no way quick or hard. He seems to use it effectively for a 3rd liner. Of course he has times when he shoots it right into the keeper, but what 3rd liner doesn't?

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03-17-2013, 12:50 PM
  #333
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Sobotka has some pretty decent vision for a 3rd line center. The reason he had not been putting up points is due to the quality of his linemates IMO. Nichol and Reaves are never going to be able to convert that much. The move up the lineup has helped significantly.

I also believe Sobie's shot is not such a detriment. While I agree that it is in no way quick or hard. He seems to use it effectively for a 3rd liner. Of course he has times when he shoots it right into the keeper, but what 3rd liner doesn't?
Right on point...

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Old
03-17-2013, 01:01 PM
  #334
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Man, some of you are tough on Dags. He drew a penalty, had three shots in 9.5 minutes of ice time. If I'm a team like Nashville or Columbus I would want Dags, a guy that can come in and give you goals.

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Old
03-17-2013, 01:57 PM
  #335
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Originally Posted by rrude View Post
I do think what you see is what you get with Sobotka--I don't think there's a huge untapped upside there. But what we are getting is pretty perfect for this team.
If what the Blues are going to get is the Sobotka who is playing right now...then they have their #3. This one pays more attention in the offensive zone and trusts his instincts more. The Blues need a true 2-way center to be playing pivot on the third line. The problem with Sobotka is that he was strictly defensive and a bit a of a liability in the offensive zone.

Quote:
RE: Perron. I thought it was interesting when the announcers talked about Perron working on faceoffs with Nichol at practice. He even sort of won one during the game.
I actually suspect they have him working on faceoffs because he is on Berglund's wing and Bergie tends to get tossed from the circle on a regular basis. Unless Oshie is the right wing the next best player to have take the faceoff would be the left winger. Perron in this case.

Quote:
I think his heart is in the right place, but I do wish someone would tell him (and Backes) they aren't playing for last decades Red Wings. Too many little finesse pass attempts that don't work. Too much skating around looking for perfect plays instead of making simple plays that keep the flow going.

I thought Dags was actually pretty solid, and showed some grit in the D and dirty zones. I think Perron's problem early was exactly what one of you guys said above. He didn't connect on a couple opportunities and got his head down. I think he does have a problem similar to a lot of young NBA guys, someone told him he was going to be a star and he tries to do too much, puts too much pressure on himself. Give up the puck and trust your teammates, dude!
Dagger looked better than he has...but still should not be on a top 2 line on a team with deep playoff aspirations.

Re: Perron

I love Frenchie...really do. He sees a game which very few other players see. McDonald does when he is on the ice...Kariya did the few times Perron had the opportunity to play on his line...and it appears Tarasenko does and I will use a play last night to explain it. And also to explain an issue I have with the Blues in the offensive zone.

Sometime during the middle of third period, Hitchcock changed the lines to temporarily put Perron-Berglund-Tarasenko on the ice. First shift they had was against the big line of the Ducks and as with virtually every other line, they could not get out of their own zone.
Second shift though, Shattenkirk made a board pass to Berglund who carried it over the Ducks line with support.
He throws it to the opposite corner (defense was going off for a change) and Perron gets it due to the Ducks defense having some communication issues.
Frenchie pulls the puck out, dekes to the inside and curls to outside, just above the circles. This drew one of their defensemen to the inside where Perron was not going as well as getting a forward to make the wrong step to cover.
Tarasenko sees this and heads to the high slot. Perron recognizes this, delays another half second and instead of dishing it to the defense (like our team typically does) saucers it over to Tarasenko. It gets over the defending forward's stick and lands just a bit too late for Tarasenko....bounces off his skate I believe.
Ducks clear the puck.

The important part of the above play was this:
Tarasenko moved to a better area of the ice...actually that Tarasenko moved at all. Too often the Blues, upon entering and establishing the zone, go static. The players move about 3 ft to one side or the other but very little else. They do not go to clean areas where the best chance for offense lies.
Part of this, I am sure, is the defensive system they employ. As I noted earlier, that play gave the Ducks a clear when going back to the defense would have kept pressure on them longer. North-South vs. East-West.
But the other part of this seems to be that most of the players are not thinking on Perron's level. This is one of the reasons that, while I do enjoy watching him play, I understand why moving Perron is likely the most attractive forward for the Blues consider. Undeniable talent but not one that necessarily meshes well with the Blues at all times.

Quote:
Backes just seems to carry a heavy mental load around and tries a little too hard in the wrong way.
Plus, his style is one which leads to physical ailments that take their toll as the season goes along. The problem is once he starts having those issues he cannot play the style he is most effective at as well...leading him to not play as well overall.
Bit of a catch-22 for him.

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Old
03-17-2013, 02:00 PM
  #336
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I also believe Sobie's shot is not such a detriment. While I agree that it is in no way quick or hard. He seems to use it effectively for a 3rd liner. Of course he has times when he shoots it right into the keeper, but what 3rd liner doesn't?
Actually my issue with Sobotka's shot is that it is ineffective. It is far too slow to be any real danger without a near-open net.

I would like to see someone work with him over the off-season on this as I think he could really benefit from some help. It does not need to become a great shot, just an adequate one.

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03-17-2013, 02:48 PM
  #337
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Originally Posted by Multimoodia View Post
The important part of the above play was this:
Tarasenko moved to a better area of the ice...actually that Tarasenko moved at all. Too often the Blues, upon entering and establishing the zone, go static. The players move about 3 ft to one side or the other but very little else. They do not go to clean areas where the best chance for offense lies.
Part of this, I am sure, is the defensive system they employ. As I noted earlier, that play gave the Ducks a clear when going back to the defense would have kept pressure on them longer. North-South vs. East-West.
But the other part of this seems to be that most of the players are not thinking on Perron's level. This is one of the reasons that, while I do enjoy watching him play, I understand why moving Perron is likely the most attractive forward for the Blues consider. Undeniable talent but not one that necessarily meshes well with the Blues at all times.
Actually I was wondering while watching Tarasenko off puck whether he was doing what he was supposed to be doing positionally, because he seems to look for open areas on the ice rather than staying in a particular zone like most of the Blues. Of course, with his shot, he may have the okay to look for it a bit. But I was thinking at the time, that might get taught out of him. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

A couple years ago I predicted Perron would be a 40 goal scorer as soon as last year. So I am a believer in his talent. But I think he's forcing some plays and wish he'd let the game come to him.

By contrast, Stewart is really in a groove and has even had some nice setup attempts in the past few games. Why are his working and Perron's failing (when they do)? Timing and confidence would be my guess. I feel like Perron is thinking the game and Stewart is just reacting.

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Old
03-17-2013, 06:18 PM
  #338
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I missed the game last night, how did Cole look?

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03-17-2013, 06:24 PM
  #339
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I missed the game last night, how did Cole look?
Not bad but not great. He was kind of just...there.

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03-17-2013, 07:13 PM
  #340
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I missed the game last night, how did Cole look?
After sitting and playing the right side, better than I expected, but nothing special. He made a couple of really good defensive plays, he got his shot through and high on Hiller a couple times, jumped up on the play well a couple times, and only made one gaff that I recall: a muffed clearing attempt.

He can and has played much better, though.

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Old
03-18-2013, 12:41 AM
  #341
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I missed the game last night, how did Cole look?
I don't recall any glaring mistakes. Jake Allen had to make several bigtime saves to win this one...and I'd say he kind of stole the game except that Hiller also played really well in the 2nd half of the game. (The Blues weren't able to capitalize, but I thought he looked shaky in the first period.)

For a game missing Pietro against the only team that's within sniffing distance of Chicago (and playing on a hot streak) this was a huge win for the Blues. I think Cole did what was asked of him, in a pretty tough spot. The team played a much simpler game, and they looked like the Blues from last season. The most telling thing I saw was the way the whole team celebrated after the OT goal. It brought a tear to the eye.

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03-18-2013, 01:18 AM
  #342
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I did quite enjoy that celebration too. The whole team was ectastic, and the Berglund and Schwartz thing was pretty funny. I liked Stewart's quote to sum it up:

Quote:
Stewart's GW-goal was his 14th this season, 5th in 3 last gms. “I might have over-celebrated, but I don’t care … I’m having fun," he said.
- From JR.

Personally, I like that attitude. This team finally looks like they are back in a groove that we saw all of last season, and I think having that swagger is part of that, and Stewart brings it. They win with it.

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03-18-2013, 11:04 AM
  #343
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I love that attitude, don't limit yourself, Stewart

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03-18-2013, 12:21 PM
  #344
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Chris Stewart is just 1 goal and 1 assist away from tying his totals for all of last season(79 GP). Dedication clearly pays off.

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