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Game #31: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators

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Old
12-17-2011, 11:36 PM
  #151
Blues88
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Well every once in awhile he should outplay the other goalie in a shootout but it's much more on the shooters when it's the rare exception that actually get a SOG during a clear breakaway.

One thing I notice from watching a lot of other games around the league is there seems to be high correlation between coming in on the goalie with speed (success) and the terrible east-west slow dekefest method Blues shooters seem to favor (and still can't get a shot on net). Yeah, Kane scored that way but that's the exception when you watch a lot of other shootouts. It's speed that seems to have great success more often than the slow east-westfest.
It would be nice but it's wholly overblown when we can't score a goal.

You bring up the manner in which our shooters attack the shootout and I agree. I rail about this with regularity to anyone who'll listen (luckily my buddy gets equally flabbergasted).

Oshie has good a good handle but the book is out on that move. The puck rolled on him tonight but he barely opened up Rinne and I'm not convinced he would have scored even if he lifted the puck. Berglund is a shootout amateur, and though I can't question his rationale in shooting low, I would prefer a guy with that kind of reach do a simple fake to backhand and roof it. They make these goalies look better than they are by doing one too many moves or trying to slowly approach and deke quickly. Rinne is a phenomenal goalie but he's plays a sever butterfly style. Same with Halak. You move a guy from side to side and he's hedging his bets on making a pad save-his glove and blocker aren't really in the mix at that point.

I was shocked Perron's attempt was as anemic as it appeared. He barely got Rinne to commit either. A little speed to catch these guys off guard and back them up quickly, a fake, and roof it. They're all capable, and as sad as it is to play such a solid game and lose in this manner, you have to be able to win games when given the opportunity. It's a 1 v 1 where the shooter is uncontested and has the advantage (in my mind). You have to at least score once.

Kane is on a different level as far as deception is concerned. Perron is the only one on our team in that vicinity, and even he trails handily in that area.

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12-18-2011, 12:01 AM
  #152
EastonBlues22
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
I don't disagree that he's been better, but I think if you took Perron out the mix he'd revert. I still don't see tons of hustle, I see almost no physicality outside of one or two moments in the Rangers game (I remember thinking, ah, *someone* wants to be on 24/7 when they happened).

What I think is happening is he's benefiting from Perron being able to control the puck in the offensive zone more. Previously, his line would get the puck into the offensive zone but very quickly they'd lose possession and out it would come. Now with Perron able to stimulate more zone time, Stewart is able to have an opportunity to get to better areas of the ice. He's made a solid handful of nice passes in the last month, which IS better than what came the month prior. Since I see the finishing as the team's #2 problem after the PP (they're related), and that's why he's been brought here, the extremely modest uptick still stands out to me as someone not doing their specific job. In other words, while he's gotten slightly better, he remains the #1 problem.
I don't want to sound like I think he's playing at the top of his game...I certainly don't. I agree that there's still plenty of room for improvement in both those areas. At the same time, though, I'm at least encouraged by the way things are trending.

With regards to Perron, I think that's a bit of a double-edge sword. Sure he's important to making Stewart a better player (and Berglund as well, for my money), but IMO those aren't really knocks against either player. Players almost always perform better when they're performing roles that play to their talents. As you noted, having Perron on their wing is allowing them to do the things they actually do well (hand the puck off after good boardwork, finding space for a shot, getting to the net to screen or to look for a rebound, etc.), as opposed to the things they aren't nearly as well suited for (penetrating the middle with superior puck distribution, etc.)...but having them around benefits Perron in the same sort of synergistic way. As a unit, I think they complement each other rather well.

What you're saying makes me think that our perceptions of what's going on during the game aren't really that far apart, and that this is more of a semantic discussion than anything. In other words, I think our "disagreement" is mostly about how we're choosing to express what we're perceiving, not necessarily in the perceptions themselves.

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Old
12-18-2011, 12:21 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Nobody said it was "good enough", but if you don't think his play has improved (and that he has something to do with the overall play of the line that he's on), then I personally don't think you're seeing things very objectively here.

He was clearly our worst forward for awhile, and now he's clearly playing at a much higher level. He has 8 points now in 15 games under Hitchcock. Things are generally trending in the right direction for him with regards to how he's playing the game (as well as with his production), and the team is playing well. I know that the finer points of how the game is played (and their importance, for that matter) aren't beyond you, so "calling him out" at this point just makes it look like you have a bone to pick to me. It may not be your intention, but that's how you're coming across.
That about sums up my view on the issue as well. Stewart seems to have come alive since Perron's return, and that line is productive. Its only a matter of time until Stewart regains even more confidence and starts scoring with regularity.

Poor Halak, he had a chance to even his record (at least in terms of points). He has so many hard-luck losses where the team should have won the game. Its pretty hard to win a shoot-out when your shooters never get a goal.

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12-18-2011, 12:29 AM
  #154
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
I don't want to sound like I think he's playing at the top of his game...I certainly don't. I agree that there's still plenty of room for improvement in both those areas. At the same time, though, I'm at least encouraged by the way things are trending.

With regards to Perron, I think that's a bit of a double-edge sword. Sure he's important to making Stewart a better player (and Berglund as well, for my money), but IMO those aren't really knocks against either player. Players almost always perform better when they're performing roles that play to their talents. As you noted, having Perron on their wing is allowing them to do the things they actually do well (hand the puck off after good boardwork, finding space for a shot, getting to the net to screen or to look for a rebound, etc.), as opposed to the things they aren't nearly as well suited for (penetrating the middle with superior puck distribution, etc.)...but having them around benefits Perron in the same sort of synergistic way. As a unit, I think they complement each other rather well.

What you're saying makes me think that our perceptions of what's going on during the game aren't really that far apart, and that this is more of a semantic discussion than anything. In other words, I think our "disagreement" is mostly about how we're choosing to express what we're perceiving, not necessarily in the perceptions themselves.
That's a fair way to put it. I know we're both watching all the games closely and know hockey very well. For me, I tend to get down on players more when I see teammates making heroic efforts night after night and one guy not holding up his part of the bargain. With Stewart, I know we've both seen him not give the same effort on board battles as seemingly the entire rest of the team, which is the least you can do when the puck isn't going in for you or you aren't generating or finishing scoring chances. That bothers me and shifts the burden of heavy skepticism onto the player to prove he's really not just a passenger. Hard effort is the one thing you have a right to expect from every NHL player.

When I see a guy prove me wrong for the benefit of the team I'm quick to point it out because the most important part of observing and commenting on games is talk about what you actually see. Keep as much of an open mind as you can because that way you'll never lose sight of the real agenda – seeing the Blues build a perennial Cup contender and eventual winner. As long as you're doing that I think having occasional harsh commenting on a guy or an aspect is fine; that's my own philosophy. Not everyone must or even should subscribe to it. I'm thrilled overall with what I see this year (which is why I gave the team an overall A in the grading thread) but we've all been so patient and waited so long to see the payoff from slowly assembling a winner that it's important all the right pieces be in place. This is the reason I do ridiculous things with my occasional insomnia like watch games in Siberia at 5 in the morning.

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12-18-2011, 01:43 AM
  #155
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One good thing about the Blues last month of so of play, they're still getting points in a lot of losses. Regulation losses have been few and far between. Tonight's game felt like a loss, but the reality is that they outplayed the Preds the majority of the game and got 1 out of 2 points.

Now...start a new 4 game winning streak!

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12-18-2011, 02:18 AM
  #156
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Originally Posted by 2 Minute Minor View Post
One good thing about the Blues last month of so of play, they're still getting points in a lot of losses. Regulation losses have been few and far between. Tonight's game felt like a loss, but the reality is that they outplayed the Preds the majority of the game and got 1 out of 2 points.

Now...start a new 4 game winning streak!
Agreed!

Closing out these kinds of games is a skill and essential down the stretch. Games like this one and the one against the Avs are situations that can sting 2 months from now when you're in a division like the Central.

Halak kind of got shafted (again). Oh well, here's to tomorrow!

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12-18-2011, 02:42 AM
  #157
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I hate giving up points to Nashville, wish our PP would take advantage of the fact that our PK has pretty much gotten a vacation.

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12-18-2011, 07:33 AM
  #158
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Hard to complain when you get a point on the road. But the Blues would have won this game if it was scored by judges.

Another great team effort. Would have liked to see Langenbrunner bury that shot from the tough angle in close.

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12-18-2011, 09:57 AM
  #159
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As well as the team is playing if and when they start scoring some goals look out. Stewart needs to start banging some people. Dags may be ready to go on one of his sscoring streaks. He looked pretty good at center I thought.

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12-18-2011, 09:58 AM
  #160
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Large Blues contingent in The Bridge tonight. Hope everyone that made the trip enjoyed Smashville.

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12-18-2011, 12:32 PM
  #161
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Another great team effort. Would have liked to see Langenbrunner bury that shot from the tough angle in close.
yeah, that guy needs to work on his reaction time.

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12-18-2011, 09:24 PM
  #162
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Large Blues contingent in The Bridge tonight. Hope everyone that made the trip enjoyed Smashville.
Me and two buddies made the trip, a great time. I felt like every where I looked there were Blues fans, it was definitely awesome.

Nashville fans are dumb though, they started to chant Halak's name but completely said it wrong lol, it was priceless.

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