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Blues @ OIL!: Revenge of the Skill

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03-23-2013, 11:36 PM
  #276
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Playing Edmonton never makes me nervous. They're just not threatening.

Halak played very well. Total team game. I love David Perron and there were moments when I could see that line click but this was as disappointed in him as I've ever been.

Backes is a one-way defensive player this year.

"Pedderangelo" – post game show on HNIC. That's a new one.
They have a lot of work to do. No grit, defense, or goaltending. They are just young offensive guys with skill and that won't win in this league.

I'd also like to point out that some time off probably helped both Tarasenko and Oshie. They both look rejuvenated. And you could probably throw McDonald into that category too.

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03-23-2013, 11:37 PM
  #277
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Welp that was a solid game. I'm starting to doubt Backes finishes with 5 goals this year.
he'll go on one of his streaks soon and score 5 in like 3 games. hopefully he can carry a hot streak into the playoffs

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03-23-2013, 11:42 PM
  #278
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Wish they had the possibility of meeting a single team in the playoffs as bad as Edmonton. It's a good win to build on, but they should beat that team 18 out of 20.

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03-23-2013, 11:42 PM
  #279
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I wonder if we should "Leak" a rumor about him getting traded, then obviously don't trade him.

Worked wonders for Dustin Brown last year, guy played all-universe after the trade deadline.

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03-23-2013, 11:50 PM
  #280
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I haven't seen this talked about, but does anyone else think we can rest easy on our 3rd line Center search due to Sobotka's play this year? His offensive skills are more than adequate for the position, IMO. And considering the future contract situation we'll have, it'll be much easier to justify giving him the raise he deserves if he's signed for that role vs. 4th line C/W.

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03-24-2013, 12:07 AM
  #281
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I haven't seen this talked about, but does anyone else think we can rest easy on our 3rd line Center search due to Sobotka's play this year? His offensive skills are more than adequate for the position, IMO. And considering the future contract situation we'll have, it'll be much easier to justify giving him the raise he deserves if he's signed for that role vs. 4th line C/W.
Yep. LHD was already a far bigger issue (the forward issue was a "tweak," the defense issue is a glaring hole) and Sobotka's play makes it a major issue (LHD) vs. a non-issue (3C).

Also really like seeing Steen back on the wing. He's not a detriment as center but he's so much more effective and natural at wing.

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03-24-2013, 12:17 AM
  #282
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I'm still loving schwartz play. he's turning into a sobotka with a little more playmaking ability (obviously not as big of hits tho). Winning battles consistently, making plays, blocking shots, doing the LITTLE things right. Future is bright here for sure. The near future i should say.
We all know he will eventually grow into his offensive abilities so showing that he can be effective defensively this early makes me very happy to see. Very mature kid and works his ass off.

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03-24-2013, 12:25 AM
  #283
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Yep. LHD was already a far bigger issue (the forward issue was a "tweak," the defense issue is a glaring hole) and Sobotka's play makes it a major issue (LHD) vs. a non-issue (3C).

Also really like seeing Steen back on the wing. He's not a detriment as center but he's so much more effective and natural at wing.
I agree. Steen is a much more effective winger. Putting him at C robs him of his most dominating element his play streaking up the boards. He wasn't awful at C, but he's just not the same player.

I like what we saw from the Sobotka line tonight, but moreso, I like what he's done all year centering himself to the play along the boards. He's always ready and positioned to make a pass, and is able to fight off checks to keep himself oriented toward the net. The key to that line's success will be finding The elusive Tarasenko in the slot (the sooner Perron gets on board with that, the better), and Sobotka's cycling play seems really conducive to feeding a shooter.

It's all about the LHD at this point. Jackman has played really well, but there's danger in leaning on him too much (knee/health)...and specifically, we'll need Jackman to be Jackman in the playoffs...not a version that's pretending to be a puck mover.

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03-24-2013, 03:16 AM
  #284
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It won't show up in the box score, but Oshie was a puck battle winning beast tonight. Player of the game for me.

Perron's game was a mixed bag. The three bad penalties are an obvious sore spot (and there was a least one more that could have been called that wasn't), but he generally played a more direct game than he has been. He had noticeably more "start and stop" in his game tonight, even though the Oilers play a loose enough game that one could float and probably get away with it most of the time. I really like the fit with Sobotka and Tarasenko. That's the C and RW whose playing styles and skill sets are most compatible with his natural instincts, and I think that showed through tonight in the way they played together. Hopefully they can keep it up against tighter checking opponents.

Blues played a strong team game tonight with relatively few mistakes. I generally expect that against the Oilers, but it was good to see it nonetheless. Happy to see Halak handle everything that made it through to him as well. Getting him on a roll would be huge for the team.

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03-24-2013, 07:14 AM
  #285
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It won't show up in the box score, but Oshie was a puck battle winning beast tonight. Player of the game for me.

Perron's game was a mixed bag. The three bad penalties are an obvious sore spot (and there was a least one more that could have been called that wasn't), but he generally played a more direct game than he has been. He had noticeably more "start and stop" in his game tonight, even though the Oilers play a loose enough game that one could float and probably get away with it most of the time. I really like the fit with Sobotka and Tarasenko. That's the C and RW whose playing styles and skill sets are most compatible with his natural instincts, and I think that showed through tonight in the way they played together. Hopefully they can keep it up against tighter checking opponents.

Blues played a strong team game tonight with relatively few mistakes. I generally expect that against the Oilers, but it was good to see it nonetheless. Happy to see Halak handle everything that made it through to him as well. Getting him on a roll would be huge for the team.
Totally agree on Oshie. That was one of the best games he's played in a while.

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03-24-2013, 08:07 AM
  #286
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I think we've finally found better line combos for everyone. It really has to do with stewarts play and conditioning, forcing himself onto the first line. He and steen seem like they can provide the offense and defense required to help out backes in his....whatever the hell that is. Mac bergie and osh is a solid line, and mac seems like hes fresher than any other time this year and oshie is being oshie. If perron can stop ruining shifts in the offensive zone that third line can be deadly. Hell, it was last night, except the goalie robbed frank of all the jewelry in his house and stole his dog.

Pie has quietly been returning to form, jax has been solid, shattenkirk is still improving somehow. Redden has good instincts, but his speed is an issue. Polak had a solid game, and russell is turning back into the russell from the kings series. He came out physical last night, which was a huge boost because the oilers were playing physical right from the start.

Halak made the important stops, he clearly wants his job back and is playing to get it. We're back to a good goaltending situation, and I feel comfortable saying that this prematurely. I'm pretty sure ells is done here.

Edit: good for sobotka as well. He makes an excellent 3rd line center, especially in between two offensive players like that.


Last edited by ManyIdeas: 03-24-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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03-24-2013, 08:11 AM
  #287
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Kudos to Russell. Really stepping up his game. +5 now. Polak as well. Beautiful read and pass to Steen.

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03-24-2013, 08:39 AM
  #288
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I hope we continue to go forward with Sobotka as the 3rd line center.

Tarasenko is too good not to use more often. Seriously.

Perron has fallen out of favor with me, and I was one of his biggest fans.

Good to see Halak getting back to form, even with Allen's play, if he gets hot, I REALLY like our chances. I couldn't care less what happens to Elliott.

All in all, I feel like this current forward group is good enough to carry us deep IF they stay healthy and IF we address that gaping hole on the left side of our defense.

I hope something gets done between now and the trade deadline.

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03-24-2013, 09:06 AM
  #289
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Sorry, it's one or the other.
That really makes no sense... You aren't even backing up why you think that.

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03-24-2013, 09:12 AM
  #290
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Backes needs a few nights off. No reason he should be playing through injuries and risking a weak playoff performance.

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03-24-2013, 11:45 AM
  #291
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Backes needs a few nights off. No reason he should be playing through injuries and risking a weak playoff performance.
This. Totally agree with you. Injuries have hurt his production this year. Would really like to see him off the pp unit. Schwartz deserves some time with his play and playmaking ability.

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03-24-2013, 12:55 PM
  #292
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I love that inside move of Frank's. He can really create scoring chances.

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03-24-2013, 12:58 PM
  #293
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I wouldn't mind seeing Jax get a couple "maintenance days" between now and the playoffs as well. He's playing some fantastic hockey this year and I'd like to see him stay as fresh as possible for the playoffs. Of course getting guys like him and Backes out of the lineup is easier said than done.

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03-24-2013, 01:01 PM
  #294
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Wasn't aware that the Blues' playoff spot was secure enough for him to take a couple nights off.

The fact of the matter is every point matters. A loss last night would have put us 2 points away from 11th spot.

If in 10 games, it's a little more certain that we are in, then maybe you can rest him. But I wouldn't do it right now. Despite what his offensive numbers may be, he's still playing very good defense (the game against Vancouver being the obvious outlier).

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03-24-2013, 01:29 PM
  #295
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Oshie is one of those players that when you isolate on him and watch his decision making, you feel very, very comfortable with him out there. This is the basis for why he's one of the few guys I'd consider fairly untouchable on the club. He just has instincts and a motor that's hard to teach. He makes many subtle, little plays that make things work.

Backes' game is so confusing to me. Defensively, when you watch him he's gold. Doesn't look struggling at all. Offensively he's simply not dangerous. He had a few reasonable shots last night but I wasn't surprised not seeing him score, the way we all couldn't believe Frank didn't convert the many chances he created.

Again, Perron is a guy in whose corner I've solidly been. Few reasons. One is I genuinely believe he drives himself to improve. Two is he's not someone who shrinks from playoff intensity. Three is he's one of the top Blues to generate scoring chances from offensive zone maneuvering. What some people call "selfish" I see as him thinking, "lots of the time when I take the extra time to wheel around here, something gets open." That said, the penalties have to stop. I do think the dive was, in his mind, probably trying to make sure he got a call to even up for the two he'd already taken, trying to pay one back. He just went too far with it. I guess if he's going to have a night like that, last night against Edmonton with the thole team playing so well was the time to do it.

We've been talking for awhile what linemates we wanted to see Frank play with and last season I remember in one of the Frank threads talking about ultimately wanting to see him with Perron and Backes when he's beginning to claim top ice time. For right now, if Perron and Frank can get some chemistry, it's going to amp up both their games. Perron can stickhandle to get open space and Tarasenko is good at finding open space and being in position to shoot. Perron at his best makes the defense scramble, which is the perfect recipe for Tarasenko, who I believe thrives in offensive zone chaos. Sobotka's relentless work ethic in forechecking and cycling the puck makes that line one with lots of potential. Last night I saw Sobotka and Frank click, and I saw Perron generate a few chances, but didn't see Perron and Frank get on the same page. It's one game, so there's time to figure it out. It's not the very best two-way line, but has the potential to be a nightmare in a matchup sense with the Blues' other two lines being capable of scoring. Steen and Stewart on one line requires defensive attention, so does the 10-21-74 line.

Pretty happy with the lines as currently constructed. And Schwartz is a guy who can fill in for injury duty right now, and next season replaces McDonald.

Happy to see Porter get the nod over Reaves, too. Reaves hasn't been bringing much this season but it's easy to see why Hitch loves Porter and couldn't risk him being claimed on waivers. I think Porter is going to be re-signed and will be a 4th/extra on a permanent basis.

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