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Old
11-09-2011, 12:07 PM
  #1
PizzaSteak
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Evgeny Grachev

Hello members of the St. Louis Blues fan-base.

How is Mr. Grachev doing? Getting time on the big club? Improving?


Was always a player Rangers fans (such as I) thought could be a good NHL'er, but had trouble putting everything together.

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11-09-2011, 12:19 PM
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bleedblue1223
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He's been used on the 4th line and has been effective. Every so often he will get some minutes with one of the top 9 and looks like he could fit in there if we face injuries. He has been putting in very good effort and energy, blocking key shots and playing good defense. If he keeps it up, Hitchcock will have to reward him with more minutes. He has proven that he is a NHL player by being able to play in the defensive zone as well as the offensive zone.

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11-09-2011, 12:44 PM
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Agreed,

I hope he gets some time on the top 2 or 3 lines.

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11-09-2011, 01:39 PM
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Crumblin Erb Brooks
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Hitch likes to roll all 4 lines, so he might start seeing a couple more minutes a night just because of that

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11-09-2011, 01:41 PM
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2 Minute Minor
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The big question I had early in the preseason was whether he could fill 4th line minutes effectively, or is he purely a top 6 guy. Well, he can and his is. He still has top 6 upside, but for now he needs to either go to the AHL or develop as a bottom 6 guy for a while.

I've been happy to see him getting regular starts. Not tons of minutes, but he's done a very good job at his role, and seems to have a great attitude. He's also set up some very good scoring chances (one in particular against the Blackhawks, Berglund should have finished).

I think he's cemented his position with the big club, but I'm not sure what happens when Crombeen, Perron and McDonald all return...if they all return to be on the roster at the same time.

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11-09-2011, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
The big question I had early in the preseason was whether he could fill 4th line minutes effectively, or is he purely a top 6 guy. Well, he can and his is. He still has top 6 upside, but for now he needs to either go to the AHL or develop as a bottom 6 guy for a while.

I've been happy to see him getting regular starts. Not tons of minutes, but he's done a very good job at his role, and seems to have a great attitude. He's also set up some very good scoring chances (one in particular against the Blackhawks, Berglund should have finished).

I think he's cemented his position with the big club, but I'm not sure what happens when Crombeen, Perron and McDonald all return...if they all return to be on the roster at the same time.
Grachev's waiver status will determine that more than anything I think. Anyone know?

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11-09-2011, 02:20 PM
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I think he's a legitimate top 9 2way player with top 6 upside. I hope he gets some PP time sooner than later. I have a feeling once he gets a goal or twp he'll go on a tear.

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11-09-2011, 02:41 PM
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I think he's a legitimate top 9 2way player with top 6 upside. I hope he gets some PP time sooner than later. I have a feeling once he gets a goal or twp he'll go on a tear.
Yea, he hasn't been getting many shots, but the few he's taken the last few games have been somewhat difficult for the goalies to handle. As a low-line player, he adds some great puck possession to a line by carrying it in and protecting it low in the zone, but once he consistently gets some skilled linemates, he'll be able to shoot more and we'll see a different side of him.

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11-09-2011, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
Yea, he hasn't been getting many shots, but the few he's taken the last few games have been somewhat difficult for the goalies to handle. As a low-line player, he adds some great puck possession to a line by carrying it in and protecting it low in the zone, but once he consistently gets some skilled linemates, he'll be able to shoot more and we'll see a different side of him.
As a Rangers fan and seeing him develop for a few years, I believe he has the potential to be one of those players that takes it up another notch when paired on top lines. The time he spent in the AHL, he developed a much more rounded game. I think if he is given more minutes with more skilled line mates, something really may click. I just think he wore out his welcome with the Rangers, and he wanted more playing time, which is fair enough.

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11-14-2011, 03:33 PM
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Bills09
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would love to him get a small bump in minutes to see what he can do.
7 or 8 shifts on the ice doesnt really give him much opportunity to succeed.

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11-14-2011, 04:27 PM
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EastonBlues22
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would love to him get a small bump in minutes to see what he can do.
7 or 8 shifts on the ice doesnt really give him much opportunity to succeed.
Unfortunately, the guys above him on the depth chart are all playing well themselves.

Grachev has generally done very well with his time on the ice, and there will be plenty of time down the road for him to expand the scope of his role with the team. He's certainly earned the right to be in their long-term plans as he's shown that he's capable of filling a multitude of roles. He's getting some looks in the top 6 even now while the team is relatively healthy...he'll have his chances.

Right now, IMO, he needs to work on generating more offense down below the circles. He has the size, hands, and shot to be a bigger factor in that area than he currently is...whether it be working the puck to the middle of the ice, finding soft spots in the coverage for one-timers or rebounds, or simply choosing to shoot the puck when the opportunity presents itself. Only generating 5 shots in 13 games isn't really acceptable for a guy with his skill set, even if he's only averaging 9 minutes a game. Porter has 6 shots in 7 games while averaging only 7 minutes a game, as a comparison.

That's not to say that Grachev isn't regularly creating more, and better, scoring opportunities while he's on the ice than Porter (not to mention playing a superior all-around game)...but if he wants a bigger role on this team, he's going to have to show more in that area IMO. Hitchcock wants shots, and he wants penetration to the middle of the ice. Give him those things and it's a cinch that you'll see more ice time.

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11-14-2011, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Unfortunately, the guys above him on the depth chart are all playing well themselves.

Grachev has generally done very well with his time on the ice, and there will be plenty of time down the road for him to expand the scope of his role with the team. He's certainly earned the right to be in their long-term plans as he's shown that he's capable of filling a multitude of roles. He's getting some looks in the top 6 even now while the team is relatively healthy...he'll have his chances.

Right now, IMO, he needs to work on generating more offense down below the circles. He has the size, hands, and shot to be a bigger factor in that area than he currently is...whether it be working the puck to the middle of the ice, finding soft spots in the coverage for one-timers or rebounds, or simply choosing to shoot the puck when the opportunity presents itself. Only generating 5 shots in 13 games isn't really acceptable for a guy with his skill set, even if he's only averaging 9 minutes a game. Porter has 6 shots in 7 games while averaging only 7 minutes a game, as a comparison.

That's not to say that Grachev isn't regularly creating more, and better, scoring opportunities while he's on the ice than Porter (not to mention playing a superior all-around game)...but if he wants a bigger role on this team, he's going to have to show more in that area IMO. Hitchcock wants shots, and he wants penetration to the middle of the ice. Give him those things and it's a cinch that you'll see more ice time.
To be fair, Nichol is, by miles, the worst player on the team at using his linemates. That line is about grinding, getting the puck to Grachev, and then getting to the front of the net and either waiting for the puck or creating a screen for when Grachev gets the puck to the point. That doesn't allow him to get into shooting positions very often, so it's difficult to criticize when he's frequently the cause of those other players' shots. If he's on a line with anybody else who can control the puck and make plays, it's a completely different story.

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11-14-2011, 05:27 PM
  #13
EastonBlues22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
To be fair, Nichol is, by miles, the worst player on the team at using his linemates. That line is about grinding, getting the puck to Grachev, and then getting to the front of the net and either waiting for the puck or creating a screen for when Grachev gets the puck to the point. That doesn't allow him to get into shooting positions very often, so it's difficult to criticize when he's frequently the cause of those other players' shots. If he's on a line with anybody else who can control the puck and make plays, it's a completely different story.
I agree with your analysis of the Blues 4th line, but I haven't seen him flash that ability with his spot duty on other lines either. His creativity when distributing the puck certainly goes up a few notches with better linemates, but I don't see him putting himself in prime shooting positions more effectively.

At the very least, he should be using his size more to create his own shot opportunities. He routinely passes up opportunities to "power curl" to the middle for a shot opportunity off the half-boards in favor of passing the puck to the point or cycling it down low. There upside of his (currently) vanilla offensive game is that he simply doesn't make bad turnovers...or really any turnovers at all. He gets the puck deep, cycles well, and gets it to the point if the opportunity is there. Trust me when I say that I do appreciate the value in that, but at the same time I think he has the skills to be a much more complete offensive player. Once he's shown the ability to both distribute the puck effectively and put himself in positions to finish the puck distributions of others (or the ability to generate his own shots), then I think he'll start getting real consideration for extended top 6 minutes.

As always, just my opinion.

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11-14-2011, 06:02 PM
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I think we got a pretty good look at how he gels with offensively skilled players and playmakers in the pre-season. I could see him climbing the depth a bit once guys like Tarasenko make the team and we find out the future of guys like Perron and McDonald on top of how we're going to make room in the top 9 since we can't afford to have 4 lines of $3-5M players spread between them. Seems like this team could really use a right handed play maker or true playmaking center just to balance out all of the utility guys who do well on the wings / left side but aren't known for being pass first in a good way.

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11-14-2011, 06:18 PM
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I'm not sure what the players are told, but if the 4th line is on against another team's top line....I'd be pretty happy if they just kick the puck around the boards in the other team's end for 45 seconds.

Grachev has generated some great scoring chances, but has been a bit unlucky on teammates finishing (which is due a lot to who those linemates are). I see him getting a chance like Sobotka last season, if there are injuries further in the top 6. However, right now we're looking at Perron, McDonald who would take roster spots above him. Crombeen is questionable where he fits in now.

Grachev has done a good job establishing himself as a guy that can play effectively on the bottom 6 in the NHL, not just a guy with top 6 upside that needs to develop further. I expect him to stick on the roster. His blocked shots and speed make him a guy that will continue to get minutes.

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11-14-2011, 09:18 PM
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JR had a nice piece on Grachev today. Sounds like he'll get some PK time and perhaps some PP time but will have to show a bit more in practice to get on a higher line 5 on 5. I like how Hitch is positive and complimentary while still noting what things players need to work on.

http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hocke...a4bcf6878.html

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11-14-2011, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SneakerPimp82 View Post
Grachev's waiver status will determine that more than anything I think. Anyone know?
He's waiver-ineligible (doesn't have to pass) for a pretty long time, if I recall correctly.

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11-15-2011, 12:42 PM
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Hopfully he can take this opportunity and run with it.

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11-16-2011, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteenMachine View Post
I think we got a pretty good look at how he gels with offensively skilled players and playmakers in the pre-season. I could see him climbing the depth a bit once guys like Tarasenko make the team and we find out the future of guys like Perron and McDonald on top of how we're going to make room in the top 9 since we can't afford to have 4 lines of $3-5M players spread between them. Seems like this team could really use a right handed play maker or true playmaking center just to balance out all of the utility guys who do well on the wings / left side but aren't known for being pass first in a good way.
That playmaking center you're speaking of is named Jaden Schwartz.

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11-16-2011, 04:11 AM
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That playmaking center you're speaking of is named Jaden Schwartz.
He plays left wing at the college level. Very doubtful he converts to center in the NHL.

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11-16-2011, 10:14 AM
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He plays left wing at the college level. Very doubtful he converts to center in the NHL.
I didn't know that, but I always had a feeling the Blues would convert him to LW. He is obviously too little to play center in the West.... I'm only half kidding there, the Blues LOVE having size down the middle, and playmakers on the the LW. I'm sure Schwartz will be one of those players that cause other posters to talk about the glut of centers on the Blues roster.

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11-16-2011, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverCityRumble View Post
He's waiver-ineligible (doesn't have to pass) for a pretty long time, if I recall correctly.
that's what i figured too. so unless he performs spectacularly, i'm guessing that Grachev gets sent down if Crombeen, Perron and McDonald get healthy at the same time, while Nichol rides the pine. There's no need to expose other assets to waivers in order to create room when you can bypass waivers. Of course the Blues could trade Nichol or Crombeen or both and create roster space that way, but i'm getting ahead of myself now.

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11-16-2011, 03:47 PM
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From JR's article on STLToday:

Quote:
Hitchcock said the Blues don't plan to recall a forward from Peoria. He is planning to put Evgeny Grachev in Stewart's spot on a line with center Patrik Berglund and right winger Matt D'Agostini.

Looks like he is going to get his chance with Stewart out, Im excited to see what he can do in a scoring role.

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11-17-2011, 01:16 PM
  #24
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Grachev looks like the real deal. He in effect has a three game audition to show he is worthy of top 9 duty. He may get some time on the PP as well. Looking forward to tonights game.

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11-18-2011, 08:06 PM
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I noticed Brad Winchester more than I notice Grachev.

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