So this is an idea I got based off a the "grade your GM/Coach thread" on the main boards a couple of weeks ago. The concept is simple grade this teams players and coaches and GM on A-F system and if you feel like it give a little explanation as to why they get that grade.
McDonald: Before his most recent battle with PCS he was doing everything but scoring, creating tons of chances. Would love to see him back soon to help jump start our offense. B+
Steen: What can I say about Mr. Reliable. Hardest working guy in the NHL. Period. A
Backes: Centering the line that is shutting down top lines all across the NHL and putting up good offense as well. However earlier in the year he took a couple of bonehead and retaliatory penalties that cost us. Still #Backes4Selke A-
Oshie: Struggled early in the season and was benched for trying to be too fancy. Since put on top line has been arguably our best forward. B+
Perron: Only going off a small sample, but it seems like he isn't missing a beat. A
Stewart: It seems like the Stewart we got from the Colorado trade last year and the Stewart this year are two completely different people. Offensively he has just been bad both with and without the puck. I swear if I see him do one more drop pass right inside the opponents blue line I am gonna kill someone. Defensively he has been nothing special but hasn't really had any glaring mistakes, which is the only thing saving him from a failing grade. D
Berglund: I think I put Bergy in the same category as Stewart, however he has been very strong with the puck. Where he needs to improve is his offensive play without the puck, he seems to struggle getting seperation from his man. However defensively he has been rock solid since the coaching change and is even getting time on the PK. C
Sobotka: A couple of weeks ago Panger said he would be happy with a forward core that exist of twelve sobotkas'. Hard to argue that logic, this kid is all heart. A
Arnott: He bounces back and forth from the player I expected him to be and being invisable. Has not really let down or exceeded expectations. B
Langenbrunner: I often see him make the smart play on the defensive side of the puck but he seems to be having trouble gaining chemistry with his linemates stalling his offensive capabilities. C+
Porter: I think he has proven he has what it takes to stay in the NHL. Would like to see him use his speed a little more and maybe get a bit more physical. B-
Reaves: I know he brings more than just hitting and fighting but I would like to see him do a little more hitting and fighting. B-
Grachev: His play in the preseason was incredible and why he filled a bottom six role admirely his style of play is suited more for top six. When he was given a chance in the top six he failed stick. C+
Nichol: I feel like he started poorly, losing faceoffs and our PK was just as bad as our PP. As the year has gone on he has quietly gotten better but I am still baffled by this signing as we have slew of young capable bottom six players in the wings. D+
Sterling: In his limited time I felt like he played fine at the NHL level.
Pietrangelo: #27 just has this calming effect on me when he is on the ice. Whether he is digging a puck out of the corner or skating out of the defensive zone against a heavy forcheck I just feel like nothing will go wrong. Outside of that would like to see him take a little more control on the PP and put up a little more offense. A
Shattenkirk: Defensively he has been good, offensively he has been outstanding. As of right now he is best piece from that big trade last year. A+
Colaiacovo: The man made of glass has well been made of glass. When he is healthy I think he has been good, not deserving of all the criticism he gets. B
Jackman: Dudes a warrior. B+
Huskins: Before his injury he was arguably our best defenseman. A
Russell: He scares the hell out of me with all his dingle-dangles in the defensive and neutral zones but always seems to pull it off. Hard to argue with his stats. A-
Polak: Entire games go by without me noticing Polak, but in a good way. When I do notice something he does it is almost always something good. B+
Cole: Should be playing in the NHL but having depth defensively is never a bad thing. B+
Fairchild: He looked fine in his one game, just even more defensive depth. C+
Elliott: What can I possibly say about Ells that has not already been said. So far the best free agent signing this year. A+
Halak: Very weak start to the season but since the coaching changes has been on par with Elliott. B
Armstrong: So far, so good. He has pulled off trades that needed to be done and filled a lot of holes in this team. However, as small a deals as they were I have a hard time believing we couldn't get better offers for the likes of Brewer and Boyes. B+
Hitchcock: You can not argue with his success, defensively our team is the best it has been in years and we are winning games. All that needs to be done now is getting our offense going, including the PP. If he can get the offense going we will be true force be reckoned with. A-
There it is my grades for the team, feel free to post yours and like I said you don't need to give explanations. I did mean to get this out earlier during the 5 day break but have had some issues getting it done.
I pretty much agree with all of yours, except I would give a higher grade to Nichol. He is winning 54% of his faceoffs, which is below his what he has done in the past, but I would give him a C+. I would probably give Stewart an F, but your reasoning for him not getting an F is good.
McDonald: Tough to give him a grade as he's only played in three games. N/A
Steen: He does everything you ask of him. I still don't think he's the guy we want on the top line but he's performing well right now A
Backes: He's currently on a better offensive pace then he was in each of the two seasons he put up 31 goals. Done a great job as captain and I think he deserves some credit for getting guys to buy into Hitchcock's system #Backes4Selke A+
Oshie: You almost have to count it as seperate guys under the different coaches. I give him a C+ under Payne and an A+ under Hitchcock averaging at a B+
Perron: Doesn't seem like there is much rust on him at all. He's giving that second line a boost for sure. Very curious to see how he does over the full season. A-
Stewart: He's been the most disappointing player this season in my mind. I don't think it's time to give up on him and trade him away but he definitely needs to step his game up. D-
Berglund: Another guy I expected more from at the start of the season. There were some people who thought he would replaced Backes as the top line center. Doesn't look even close to what he could be. He has looked better since Perron came back however. C
D'Agostini: One of my favorites on the team, but he's been frustrating to watch at times. I legit think he has the best shot on the team but there are too many times where he passes up the chance to shoot to make a pass. I wonder if there is a confidence issue. Hope he can turn it around C+
Sobotka: I would love to see what a guy like Chris Stewart would be with Sobotka's heart and work ethic. A-
Arnott: He's been a positive influence. I don't think we neccessairly see everything he does for this team on the ice. Been a solid contributor and I think he was a good pickup. B
Langenbrunner: I put him alongside the same lines as Jason Arnott, though I don't think he's been quite as effective on the ice. I think both guys are people we'll be glad to have on the team come playoff time if we are still in contention. C+
Porter: I think he's a guy who's caught in the numbers game. He has future as a solid bottom six winger in the league. There are just other guys I would play before him right now. C+
Reaves: I love this guy. I think to label him as just a fighter is really selling him short. I would like to see him on the fourth line every night. I think he could be a solid PK guy in the future. Always working hard on the ice. B-
Grachev: Needs more time in the minors. I think his skill set can be that of a top six winger but simply wasn't ready when given the opportunity earlier. C
Nichol: I thought this was going to be one of the more underrated signings of the offseason. I thought he was going to really improve us on faceoffs. He's improved a little slightly from his start lately but in hindsight I think it might have been better to just give McRae the opportunity instead. C-
Sterling: Saw very little of him. Not really fair to give a grade N/A
Crombeen: I only throw him in here because I don't think there is a spot for him on this team anymore which speaks to our organizational depth now N/A
Pietrangelo: He's looking like he's going to be everything we've hoped he'd be. There isn't a situation on the ice that I don't want him on for. It'd be nice if he chipped in a little more offensively but that's nit picking A
Shattenkirk: He's the best piece from that big trade last year. I think his defense was a little underrated going into the season. Offensively he looks really really good. Always seems to find a way to get his shots to the net and oftentimes it seems like they find the back of the net be it straight in or off a deflection A+
Colaiacovo: I'm not a fan personally. He cannot seem to stay healthy and I think I'm to the point where I'd strongly consider putting him in a package to upgrade. I'd like to see more of Cole at Cola's expense C+
Jackman: Does not deserve the criticism he gets IMO. I'd hate to see where this team is without Jax on the back end. B+
Huskins: I was really disappointed when he got hurt as he was playing as well as anyone else on the team at the time. Hopefully when he gets back he continues his high level of play A-
Russell: I was in favor of this trade and I think he's been a good player for us. I know +/- is a pretty terrible stat overall but he is a +9 B+
Polak: The perfect compliment to the right side of our defense behind Petro and Shatty. He's a guy who I think probably deserves more credit than he gets. Glad he's locked up A-
Cole: I'd like to see more of him, preferably over Cola. I guess it's good thing depth wise. Certainly have a log jam on the left side B+
Fairchild: He filled in nicely for the one game. Don't think we see him again anytime soon especially when Huskins comes back. Really need to free up the logjam N/A
Elliott: He's doing decent I guess. Kind of meh signing. Hasn't really worked out A+
Halak: I'm not sure what Hitchcock did to flip the switch, could just be the defensive system, but Halak has been great since the change. It's great to have two goalies playing well. Gives you a great chance to win every night. B
Armstrong: I like every trade he's made really. Think he probably could have gotten more for Brewer but we freed up cap space and got a pick and decent prospect back. No complaints A
Hitchcock: The defensive turnaround has been awesome. I think i'd like to see more improvement out of the powerplay. Might need more than just one practice Overall he's done a very good job A-
Last edited by Dolph Ziggler: 12-16-2011 at 08:46 PM.
I would bump Oshie to an A-... the man is a beast after a little rocky start. He has been tearing through the opponents lines and forcing hands and turnovers. He is exactly what we need more of to get plays going our way.
AS for all of the others... I completely agree and give this team overall a B.
Here is something fun to think about. If you were to group the NHL by its new conferences and look at the Blues' record against the other current top-four teams, here's how it breaks down.
Against the New Patrick, 4-0-0 (wins at PHI, at PIT, at WSH, vs. NYR). Against the New Adams, 1-0-1 (win vs. FLA, OT loss in a game they mostly dominated vs. TOR, no games vs. BOS or BUF). Against the New Smythe, 4-2-0 (home and home wins against both VAN and SJ, but home and home losses to LA, the lowest pct. team of each of these other 12, no game against PHX). Against New Norris, 3-2-1 (home wins vs. DET, home split vs. CHI, road reg loss and OT loss against MIN).
Combined 9-2-1 other conferences.
Combined 12-4-2 against all new format playoff teams.
If Calgary (14-14-3) were to pass LA (14-13-4) then that 4-2-0 becomes 6-1-0.
When you think back on the games against these top teams, the Blues have been dominant for most of these games.
For that I give them a well-earned team A, regardless of the special teams.
This Blues team is good. A very good skating, tenacious team. If this team can stay healthy they can do some damage in the playoffs. First things first. The best part of this season is that there are certainly areas for improvement, the PP is currently last in the league. We know Stewart and Bergund can play better and DP57 is finding his stride. AMac hopefully will return and Huskins played well before his injury.
Not only is this a talented team in all areas but mgt has drafted well and has talent in the pipeline and has all their draft picks with an extra 3rd rounder in the upcoming draft. It appears that the new owner (whoever that turns out to be) will purchase this franchise when it is on the rise and stable.
GM - an A, a forgotten deal was unloading Brad Boyes contract of $4.3MMish. The money helped to sign some of the veterans that were brought in this off season. Boyes is on IR with a knee injury but was struggling with 2 goals and 6 assists in 21 games.
Last edited by stlweir: 12-16-2011 at 02:16 PM.