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Old
04-19-2012, 01:59 PM
  #126
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Originally Posted by mmitchell19 View Post
Barring a new #1 LD acquisition, I've been curious how Russell and Petro might look as a pair.

It seems that the need for a new Petro partner is driven in part by his current partners' tendency to defer to Petro to move the puck out of the zone. (Colaiacovo does this a LOT.) That gives opposing forecheckers the opportunity to put a radar-lock on Petro at the top of the circles and try to run him through the end-boards. With Russell on the left, you'd have two solid transitional puck-movers to help minimize D-zone time. Russell is also more solid defensively than I remembered him being with Columbus.

Then go Cole/Shatty and Jax/Polak, or Jax/Shatty and Cole or new #6 D/Polak.

I guess the downsize is lack of size on that top pairing...they could get trapped deep by big aggressive forecheckers and have difficulty winning the puck back...but I'd think that would be mitigated by solid center play in the D-zone, which we currently have and will continue to have.
I've wondered how a Russell/Petro pairing would go. I can't imagine the size issue would be a serious problem, given how quickly and efficiently both have been getting the puck up ice, with passes or nine of hearts. Unless the other team just takes runs at them.

But like you said, we have size, grit, and solid backchecking on each forward line. Gotta wonder if it's going to be experimented with next year.

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04-19-2012, 02:10 PM
  #127
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If Russell was on the top pairing, I believe, he would easily be exposed. He is great with Polak on the 3rd pairing, so why mess with a great thing. Same thing can be said about Jackman and Shattenkirk. Pietrangelo seems to make his partners look better than they really are, so if we can get an upgrade over Colaiacovo/Huskins, we will be just fine.

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04-19-2012, 02:30 PM
  #128
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I don't trust a guy like Russell on the top pairing. I like what he brings to the table offensively, but his lack of size would make it difficult going up against the top lines.

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04-19-2012, 02:34 PM
  #129
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The guy that would make allow Pietro to have an optimal effect on the game, in Hitchcock's system, isn't on the Blues right now.

I'm happy with Polak and Jackman as shut-down guys on the other lines. I'm thrilled with Shattenkirk as the 2nd line puck-mover. Russell is a perfect fit for his role on the team on the 3rd pairing.

I'm not sure where Cole fits in, but he could eventually be in the position Polak/Jackman are filling. But I think he's just not a realistic choice as the Pietro partner. Because of that, I won't be surprised if he's moved....or becomes the team's #7 defenseman next year (although I'd prefer more of a journeyman experienced guy in that role).

The Blues tried to get a LHD to put with Pietro last off-season. They failed, and made due with what they already have. Colaiacovo will likely be gone, and other pieces are likely to be moved if they acquire a guy through trade (rather than winning the UFA sweepstakes).

Looks like Stewart is a probable odd man out. Where would you put him on the top 9 if Schwartz and Tarasenko are both coming? So...a package with Stewart / Cole / other pieces could be great value for a top caliber LHD. Just depends if that trade is out there.

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04-19-2012, 05:08 PM
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmitchell19 View Post
Barring a new #1 LD acquisition, I've been curious how Russell and Petro might look as a pair.

It seems that the need for a new Petro partner is driven in part by his current partners' tendency to defer to Petro to move the puck out of the zone. (Colaiacovo does this a LOT.) That gives opposing forecheckers the opportunity to put a radar-lock on Petro at the top of the circles and try to run him through the end-boards. With Russell on the left, you'd have two solid transitional puck-movers to help minimize D-zone time. Russell is also more solid defensively than I remembered him being with Columbus.

Then go Cole/Shatty and Jax/Polak, or Jax/Shatty and Cole or new #6 D/Polak.

I guess the downsize is lack of size on that top pairing...they could get trapped deep by big aggressive forecheckers and have difficulty winning the puck back...but I'd think that would be mitigated by solid center play in the D-zone, which we currently have and will continue to have.
I haven't noticed Colaiacovo setting up Pietrangelo to be hit much at all. Petro is highly aware of his own time and space. He's excellent at making the immediate pass to his open partner if forecheckers are bearing down on him.

The issue isn't finding a partner who can take the puck moving load off of Pietrangelo, the issue is fiinding a partner who can do these things consistently, in no particular order:

1) Make the correct pass to move the puck out of the zone. Colaiacovo gets a D on this.
2) Be physical enough to absorb contact. Colaiacovo gets either a D- or an F.
3) Be able to hold the puck in at the opposing blue line. Colaiacovo is a D+.
4) Be versatile enough to kill penalties. Colaiacovo is an F.
5) Make the correct decisions about when to pinch and when not to. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
6) Have enough speed to catch up to an odd-man rush (that is probably your fault to begin with). Colaiacovo gets a D.
7) Not take stupid penalties because you're out of position and running around or use your stick because you aren't strong enough. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
8) Get a shot through traffic and on net from the point. Colaiacovo gets a B-.
9) Not be a weak link on the power play overall (including holding the puck in). Colaiacovo gets a C. He's average.
10) If Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk were to be injured, could he be counted on for 22+ minutes? Coaiacovo cannot. F.

It staggers the imagination that P-D writers (JR, Miklasz) are saying Colaiacovo had a great Game 3. He had a B+ on point #8 and a B+ on point #9 and posted Ds and Fs across the board on the other things.

But back to your point about Russell, provided that they were to replace Russell on the Polak pairing with a player of that same profile (Fairchild?), I'd say he's a better option than Colaiacovo. For now, though, You can't swap Colaiacovo and Russell because Colaiacovo-Polak would be an unmitigated disaster.

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04-19-2012, 05:27 PM
  #131
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In conclusion, Pocket is not a fan of Colaiacovo.

Lets all agree that Colaiacovo won't be back, and just leave him out of any conversation that isn't related to the playoffs.

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04-19-2012, 05:42 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
In conclusion, Pocket is not a fan of Colaiacovo.

Lets all agree that Colaiacovo won't be back, and just leave him out of any conversation that isn't related to the playoffs.
Not so fast there - if the Blues go DEEP into the playoffs with Colaiacovo as Petro's partner, he probably gets a one- or two-year contract offer from the Blues.

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04-19-2012, 05:52 PM
  #133
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Not so fast there - if the Blues go DEEP into the playoffs with Colaiacovo as Petro's partner, he probably gets a one- or two-year contract offer from the Blues.
I don't care how deep they go, if he continues to play like the hot garbage he's been in the playoffs, not a chance they keep him. Not a chance in hell.

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04-19-2012, 07:43 PM
  #134
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I don't care how deep they go, if he continues to play like the hot garbage he's been in the playoffs, not a chance they keep him. Not a chance in hell.
In the playoffs he has played fine, even great last game. Down the stretch he played sub par, but hes always been a pretty inconsistent player. At his best he is a nice complementary offensive defenseman who wont kill you in your own zone. At his worst, he is prone to dumb plays...or injured.

It is unlikely that we do resign him though. I figure they have Cole and Russell already penciled in for two of the lefty spots. Its unlikely they bring back Carlo over Jackman, and Im still not sold the Blues bring him back. If they bring Jackman back, it probably means they wanna put Cole with Petro, barring a trade.

But I really dont see a spot for Carlo next season, that 6th and final defenseman spot will likely go to Jacks or come to us via UFA or trade. You got to think Petro's partner is a spot that Hitch and Armstrong want to upgrade this offseason. Doubtful the Blues are going to want to invest much money in a marginal player who has trouble staying on the ice.

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04-19-2012, 07:51 PM
  #135
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In the playoffs he has played fine, even great last game. Down the stretch he played sub par, but hes always been a pretty inconsistent player. At his best he is a nice complementary offensive defenseman who wont kill you in your own zone. At his worst, he is prone to dumb plays...or injured.

It is unlikely that we do resign him though. I figure they have Cole and Russell already penciled in for two of the lefty spots. Its unlikely they bring back Carlo over Jackman, and Im still not sold the Blues bring him back. If they bring Jackman back, it probably means they wanna put Cole with Petro, barring a trade.

But I really dont see a spot for Carlo next season, that 6th and final defenseman spot will likely go to Jacks or come to us via UFA or trade. You got to think Petro's partner is a spot that Hitch and Armstrong want to upgrade this offseason. Doubtful the Blues are going to want to invest much money in a marginal player who has trouble staying on the ice.
He was terrible last game. Was awful in his own zone. Took a bad penalty. He threw two pucks at the net that other guys did all the work on, which means literally nothing. On his third assist, he made one move that kept the puck in. However, he didn't even hold the zone consistently.

If PavelDatsyuk made a video consisting of only Colaiacovo's plays not one person could watch it and say he had anything but a bad game. But he was credited with three asissts so it must have been a great game? Is this real life?

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04-19-2012, 07:52 PM
  #136
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He was also atrocious in Game 2. In real time in the GDTs far more people than me noticed how bad he was. Both GDTs.

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04-19-2012, 08:10 PM
  #137
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I don't care how deep they go, if he continues to play like the hot garbage he's been in the playoffs, not a chance they keep him. Not a chance in hell.
I've been hoping for two seasons that they'd move Carlo, why now?

I've given up hope and just assumed that Army and Co. like having a marginally effective, injury-prone defenseman on the roster.

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04-19-2012, 08:18 PM
  #138
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I've been hoping for two seasons that they'd move Carlo, why now?

I've given up hope and just assumed that Army and Co. like having a marginally effective, injury-prone defenseman on the roster.
Because they don't have to move him any more. His trade value had been nil. They waited a long time into free agency to sign him last time. It was not a priority.

He was healthy scratched in Game 1. He knows it, he wasn't happy about it, he's commented on it. The guy is so terrible they healthy scratched him for a player so terrible they can't now healthy scratch Colaiacovo for. Despite what the writers say, distracted by the shiny objects of assists, there's no way the hockey evaluators don't see what I'm describing in his game. No way will he be back if these guys have a clue what they're doing.

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04-20-2012, 11:21 AM
  #139
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
If Russell was on the top pairing, I believe, he would easily be exposed. He is great with Polak on the 3rd pairing, so why mess with a great thing. Same thing can be said about Jackman and Shattenkirk. Pietrangelo seems to make his partners look better than they really are, so if we can get an upgrade over Colaiacovo/Huskins, we will be just fine.
In what manner do you think Russell would get exposed on the top pair? Lack of size / strength? Lack of defensive prowess? Just curious.

I think he'd be more reliable / consistent with Petro than Cola is. I'm just speculating about possible what-ifs in the event that we don't land our ideal #1 LD, but perhaps stick with who we have or find a vet bottom pair LD to our liking.

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04-20-2012, 11:32 AM
  #140
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
I haven't noticed Colaiacovo setting up Pietrangelo to be hit much at all. Petro is highly aware of his own time and space. He's excellent at making the immediate pass to his open partner if forecheckers are bearing down on him.

The issue isn't finding a partner who can take the puck moving load off of Pietrangelo, the issue is fiinding a partner who can do these things consistently, in no particular order:

1) Make the correct pass to move the puck out of the zone. Colaiacovo gets a D on this.
2) Be physical enough to absorb contact. Colaiacovo gets either a D- or an F.
3) Be able to hold the puck in at the opposing blue line. Colaiacovo is a D+.
4) Be versatile enough to kill penalties. Colaiacovo is an F.
5) Make the correct decisions about when to pinch and when not to. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
6) Have enough speed to catch up to an odd-man rush (that is probably your fault to begin with). Colaiacovo gets a D.
7) Not take stupid penalties because you're out of position and running around or use your stick because you aren't strong enough. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
8) Get a shot through traffic and on net from the point. Colaiacovo gets a B-.
9) Not be a weak link on the power play overall (including holding the puck in). Colaiacovo gets a C. He's average.
10) If Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk were to be injured, could he be counted on for 22+ minutes? Coaiacovo cannot. F.

It staggers the imagination that P-D writers (JR, Miklasz) are saying Colaiacovo had a great Game 3. He had a B+ on point #8 and a B+ on point #9 and posted Ds and Fs across the board on the other things.

But back to your point about Russell, provided that they were to replace Russell on the Polak pairing with a player of that same profile (Fairchild?), I'd say he's a better option than Colaiacovo. For now, though, You can't swap Colaiacovo and Russell because Colaiacovo-Polak would be an unmitigated disaster.
To your point #1 above, that's what I notice & what I'm sensitive to...maybe overly sensitive. It seems like Colaiacovo gets token pressure and bails out with a pass behind the net to Petro an inordinate amount of the time. That leaves Petro with a forward bearing down on him from the left-wing side, and creates the possibility that the forward forechecking Cola would veer left and chase after Petro as well. I remember a few games earlier this year (one Detroit game in particular) where he got trucked several times for this reason, and I'm worried that will get him hurt one of these days.

I agree that Petro does a good job making a quick pass most of the time. But it seems he wouldn't have to react as quickly if he had a partner that could make a smarter play more consistently. That's the advantage I'd see with Russell over any of our other potential LD's (i.e. Jax, Cole, Huskins...again, barring acquisition next year of a higher-quality 1st-pairing LD).

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04-20-2012, 11:54 AM
  #141
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Oduya, even though he just played a terrible game 4 last night for the Hawks, is a UFA this summer. He might be a little pricey, but I think he could be a good partner with Petro. Plus, I love saying his name

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04-20-2012, 01:59 PM
  #142
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In what manner do you think Russell would get exposed on the top pair? Lack of size / strength? Lack of defensive prowess? Just curious.

I think he'd be more reliable / consistent with Petro than Cola is. I'm just speculating about possible what-ifs in the event that we don't land our ideal #1 LD, but perhaps stick with who we have or find a vet bottom pair LD to our liking.
He would be playing above his ability level. I just don't think he is good enough to go against the opposition's top lines. It would be similar to how Jackman became exposed when he faced top competition or when Brewer was forced to go against top competition or Colaiacovo this season against top competition.

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04-20-2012, 11:46 PM
  #143
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I haven't noticed Colaiacovo setting up Pietrangelo to be hit much at all. Petro is highly aware of his own time and space. He's excellent at making the immediate pass to his open partner if forecheckers are bearing down on him.

The issue isn't finding a partner who can take the puck moving load off of Pietrangelo, the issue is fiinding a partner who can do these things consistently, in no particular order:

1) Make the correct pass to move the puck out of the zone. Colaiacovo gets a D on this.
2) Be physical enough to absorb contact. Colaiacovo gets either a D- or an F.
3) Be able to hold the puck in at the opposing blue line. Colaiacovo is a D+.
4) Be versatile enough to kill penalties. Colaiacovo is an F.
5) Make the correct decisions about when to pinch and when not to. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
6) Have enough speed to catch up to an odd-man rush (that is probably your fault to begin with). Colaiacovo gets a D.
7) Not take stupid penalties because you're out of position and running around or use your stick because you aren't strong enough. Colaiacovo gets a D-.
8) Get a shot through traffic and on net from the point. Colaiacovo gets a B-.
9) Not be a weak link on the power play overall (including holding the puck in). Colaiacovo gets a C. He's average.
10) If Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk were to be injured, could he be counted on for 22+ minutes? Coaiacovo cannot. F.

It staggers the imagination that P-D writers (JR, Miklasz) are saying Colaiacovo had a great Game 3. He had a B+ on point #8 and a B+ on point #9 and posted Ds and Fs across the board on the other things.

But back to your point about Russell, provided that they were to replace Russell on the Polak pairing with a player of that same profile (Fairchild?), I'd say he's a better option than Colaiacovo. For now, though, You can't swap Colaiacovo and Russell because Colaiacovo-Polak would be an unmitigated disaster.

P9
I agree with you that Cola needs to go away this summer, but your judgment scale of him is WAY off. Most of those D's should be closer to the C range and your #8 and #9 grades should be a level higher. You are being way to harsh on the guy and I don't see any logical reason for that attitude.

Cola is what he is, a 2nd unit PP specialist who is best used in a 4/5 role at even strength. He does his job well enough most of the time, but he is simply not a capable top pairing D man which is what we are asking him to be right now.

When Cola and Polak were paired together over the last few years(and they have been, several times in fact), they were a very solid pairing that most teams would have been comfortable with as their 2nd pairing. Again, you are being way to harsh on Cola for whatever reason.


The Blues will be freeing up 3.5 mil between Cola and Huskins and could double that amount if they were to put Stewart on the block. There is no reason for Army not to find an upgrade on Cola this summer. That said, there is also no reason to drag Cola through the mud for no reason. The guy has done everything we've asked him to do, has put up decent stats every year and is decent enough in his role. Thank him for his service and let him go his way.

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04-20-2012, 11:48 PM
  #144
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Oduya, even though he just played a terrible game 4 last night for the Hawks, is a UFA this summer. He might be a little pricey, but I think he could be a good partner with Petro. Plus, I love saying his name
No thanks.
Oduya hasn't been the same since his last year in NJ. His offensive game has disappeared and his mobility has gone steadily downhill.

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04-21-2012, 01:19 AM
  #145
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P9
I agree with you that Cola needs to go away this summer, but your judgment scale of him is WAY off. Most of those D's should be closer to the C range and your #8 and #9 grades should be a level higher. You are being way to harsh on the guy and I don't see any logical reason for that attitude.

Cola is what he is, a 2nd unit PP specialist who is best used in a 4/5 role at even strength. He does his job well enough most of the time, but he is simply not a capable top pairing D man which is what we are asking him to be right now.

When Cola and Polak were paired together over the last few years(and they have been, several times in fact), they were a very solid pairing that most teams would have been comfortable with as their 2nd pairing. Again, you are being way to harsh on Cola for whatever reason.


The Blues will be freeing up 3.5 mil between Cola and Huskins and could double that amount if they were to put Stewart on the block. There is no reason for Army not to find an upgrade on Cola this summer. That said, there is also no reason to drag Cola through the mud for no reason. The guy has done everything we've asked him to do, has put up decent stats every year and is decent enough in his role. Thank him for his service and let him go his way.
I'll explain the logic. I can't agree I've rated him too low on the PP. I said he's average. I consider C average and that's what I gave him. And no goals and 8 PP assists in 64 games this regular season is average at best for a 2d unit PP specialist, particularly one who costs the team PP zone time often by fumbling pucks at the blue line. Considering that this IS the best thing he does and is average at it, the D ranges for defensive work and decisions should make more sense. He's been better in previous years, but I'm rating him on what I see from him now.

For example, I gave him a D (below-average) on what I'll call catch-up speed. How often do you see him truly catch up with a forward who's got a step on him? Polak is very fast and can do this. Russell's got plenty of speed. Colaiacovo, once you're by him, you're either getting a scoring chance or he's taking a penalty virtually every time.

I agree we can move on this summer (Hitch is clearly playing him as what he thinks is his least terrible choice since he was willing to healthy scratch him in Game 1), and he's obviously a nice guy as a person, but this is solely critiquing his on-ice performance and fit with the Blues.

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04-21-2012, 10:38 AM
  #146
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Pocket, I couldn't dissagree with you more on your assessment of Cola.
He is a slightly better than average D man who's career has not been what it could have because of consussion problems. Every one of your grades is too low except for #8. There isn't a catagory listed that he is at least a C. A few obvious differences :
#4 - Cola can play in any situation. He killed penalties in the past however the additions of Pie and Shattenkirk has pushed him out of the PK rotation.
#6 - Cola has excellent catch up speed. He has hustled back and broken up plays after the puck being poked past him at the blue line. Polak and Russell are two of the fastest D men in the league and Cola is not far behind them.
#7 - Stupid penalties? Not often.

Colas weak points are he does struggle from time to time making poor decisions at the point that cuases an odd man rush. He has had to tone down the physical part of his game because of concussion problems that doesn't make him as effective as he could be. The fact is that he is an asset to the team and the organization. Will he be back next year? I don't know but give the guy some credit. According to your ratings he should be playing in the AHL.

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04-21-2012, 11:26 AM
  #147
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Some names that might be worth considering this offseason...


Possible FA Defensemen?

Brad Stuart | 32 | $3,750,000
Barret Jackman | 31 | $3,625,00
Matt Carle | 27 | $3,437,500
Bryan Allen | $2,900,000
Carlo Colaiacovo | 29 | $2,125,000
Greg Zanon | 31 | $1,933,333
Johnny Oduya | 30 | $3,500,000

Possible FA Center?
Daymond Langkow | 35 | $4,500,000
Jarret Stoll | 29 | $3,600,000
Oli Jokinen | 33 | $3,000,000
Jiri Hudler | $2,875,000
David Jones | 27 | $2,500,000
Paul Gaustad | 30 | $2,300,000
Chris Kelly | 31 | $2,125,000
Jochen Hect | 34 | $3,525,000
Jay McClement | 29 | $1,450,000

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04-21-2012, 11:56 AM
  #148
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Some names that might be worth considering this offseason...


Possible FA Defensemen?

Brad Stuart | 32 | $3,750,000
Barret Jackman | 31 | $3,625,00
Matt Carle | 27 | $3,437,500
Bryan Allen | $2,900,000
Carlo Colaiacovo | 29 | $2,125,000
Greg Zanon | 31 | $1,933,333
Johnny Oduya | 30 | $3,500,000

Possible FA Center?
Daymond Langkow | 35 | $4,500,000
Jarret Stoll | 29 | $3,600,000
Oli Jokinen | 33 | $3,000,000
Jiri Hudler | $2,875,000
David Jones | 27 | $2,500,000
Paul Gaustad | 30 | $2,300,000
Chris Kelly | 31 | $2,125,000
Jochen Hect | 34 | $3,525,000
Jay McClement | 29 | $1,450,000
I think Jackman will be back. Great warrior and does everything we ask of him. The highlighted players are guys I would be interested in to play with Pie.

As for centers - I don't see much there. I like Hudler - but not as a 3rd line center due to size. Jokinen has slowed down a lot. I have no interest in Hect or Langkow. And I think we are seeing Stoll for who he truely is as a player the past two years. Maybe bring back McClement. But I am still for giving that spot to Sobotka or McRae.

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04-21-2012, 05:14 PM
  #149
PocketNines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlweir View Post
Pocket, I couldn't dissagree with you more on your assessment of Cola.
He is a slightly better than average D man who's career has not been what it could have because of consussion problems. Every one of your grades is too low except for #8. There isn't a catagory listed that he is at least a C. A few obvious differences :
#4 - Cola can play in any situation. He killed penalties in the past however the additions of Pie and Shattenkirk has pushed him out of the PK rotation.
#6 - Cola has excellent catch up speed. He has hustled back and broken up plays after the puck being poked past him at the blue line. Polak and Russell are two of the fastest D men in the league and Cola is not far behind them.
#7 - Stupid penalties? Not often.

Colas weak points are he does struggle from time to time making poor decisions at the point that cuases an odd man rush. He has had to tone down the physical part of his game because of concussion problems that doesn't make him as effective as he could be. The fact is that he is an asset to the team and the organization. Will he be back next year? I don't know but give the guy some credit. According to your ratings he should be playing in the AHL.
I couldn't disagree with you more about disagreeing with me more. Hitchcock healthy scratched an above-average veteran defenseman? My ratings, to be clear, make an average NHL defenseman's skills a C. If I give Cola a C that says he's NHL average in that skill. The D range is below average for NHLers. All three specific things you disagreed with I just don't agree with. He has taken plenty of bad penalties. Just beat him and he'll take you down and draw the 2 minutes. He's put the team shorthanded multiple times early in games this playoffs alone. LOL Cola doesn't have excellent catch up speed. I mean, he just doesn't. As far as playing in any situation, yes, it's legal for him to be played on the PK, that is within the rules. But he's bad at it, and that's why he doesn't do it anymore. Every other Blues defenseman is a better PKer.

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04-22-2012, 05:11 AM
  #150
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Cola had only 22 penalty minutes this season, less than all of the other starting Blues D men. That does not support your assessment. That is 11 minor penalties in 64 games which is actually pretty impressive. Pointing out that Cola was benched for a playoff game doesn't help your cause either when that game is the only one the Blues lost in the series. This is the first season that Cola has not see much time on the PK since he joined the Blues. Just as he isn't the best option on the PK he is the best option to be paired with Pie. Hitch has experimented with other partners but has chosen Cola as his best option. It certainly doesn't mean he is a top 2 or top 4 D man it means that on this team today and most of the season he is the best option. It's easy to dwell on the negatives and over look the positives. Cola has been a solid part of this Blues team that recorded the 2nd most points in it's history this season. Bad mouth him all you want, he is a better player than you make him out to be.


Last edited by stlweir: 04-22-2012 at 05:54 AM. Reason: addition
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