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Old
03-06-2013, 02:30 AM
  #776
Halak Ness Monster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Who's overrating him? Nobody thinks he's anything more than a #2C (or a #3C ideally). Do you disagree with that?

The guy's on pace for 30+ goals. I'm guessing most teams would be pretty happy with that out of their #2 center, regardless of what his assist totals happen to be.

Second line players have flaws, and tend to be inconsistent. That's what separates second line players from first line players.

If the team was playing well, this wouldn't be an issue. But they aren't so we're thrashing around looking for whatever scapegoats we can. So far tonight we've tabbed Hitchcock, Backes, Perron, and Berglund. Have I missed anyone?
First of all, can everyone stop with the "Who's doing that?" questions. I'm growing sick of it. I see about eight questions like that every week. Just say you aren't saying that. It's pretty simple. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.

Second, you call Berglund a second line player three times. No, I don't agree he is a second line player. MAYBE if you have a great first line center that can step it up when the game is on the line. However, often we have to turn to Berglund to create offense with the game on the line. Not a Getzlaf, Sedin, or even Bergeron.

Third, that 30 goal pace would be very nice if he could maintain it. We'll see. He has 0 goals and 1 assist in the last 6 games during a time when the Blues need some of their "top 6" talent to step up. Berglund has mysteriously disappeared. He does that, though.

As for scapegoats, we've been looking for scapegoats pretty often since Game 4 of the 2009 quarterfinals against Vancouver. It'd be nice if this team actually played up to expectations more than once every two or three years.

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03-06-2013, 02:31 AM
  #777
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Even amid all the chaos in the third, Halak getting pulled felt significant at the time. I think Hitchcock views Jaro as soft. Soft mentally. Bad body language after goals. Soft physically. Injury prone. He finally reached the tipping point with him after goals 4 and 5.

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03-06-2013, 02:32 AM
  #778
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Nobody has the #1 job. Sometimes goalies have to carry a team when the team desperately needs it. That's what a #1 is. No current Blues goalie is carrying the team when it needs it. Therefore no Blues goalie is #1. Realistically the goalie market is weak to the point that we're better off letting three guys battle it out than two and collecting some crappy 5th round pick.

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03-06-2013, 02:39 AM
  #779
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What if we're all wrong and it's actually Halak getting traded...

Heard it here first.

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03-06-2013, 02:42 AM
  #780
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Originally Posted by Halak Ness Monster View Post
The first time a large chunk of this core had reasonable/significant playoff aspirations was in 09-10. The year after they made the playoffs and got swept by Vancouver.

Members of this core that were around in 09-10:
David Backes
TJ Oshie
Barret Jackman
David Perron
Alex Steen
Andy McDonald
Roman Polak
Patrik Berglund

I'm not sure which guys you think were barely playing. Perron averaged 16 minutes a night, Oshie 18 minutes, and Berglund less than 14 because he was absolutely dreadful that year. The rest were more experienced.

Were some guys of this core not part of that team? Yes. But there is a large chunk of this core that was.
Our top two defensemen were EJ and Brewer. Kariya, Boyes, and Tkachuck all had prominent roles. Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk weren't even part of the team. Of the guys on your list, McDonald and Steen (the 1st and 4th leading scorers from that team) aren't even playing right now, and Jackman's playing extremely well. You might throw Backes and Oshie into that group as well. If you're going to imply that group is a bunch of gutless coach-killers, you're going to have to do a lot stronger sell job than what you've got going here.

Quote:
The Blues also had playoff aspirations in 10-11 after acquiring Jaroslav Halak, the goalie that led MTL to the Conference Finals, and adding Alex Pietrangelo to the back end. Everyone went on about the young core having another season under their belt and being ready to contend. Especially after finishing the previous season strong under Davis Payne. The disappointing season led to a shakeup that involved Erik Johnson getting traded.
Contend? The hope was simply to make the playoffs that year.

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Then there is no sugar coating it. This core got Davis Payne fired. No excuses or ways around it. Tonight's game is exactly what we saw to start out last year.
They were 6-7, with most of those games coming on the road. Everyone in the league was surprised that Payne was fired at that time, so it's not like it was some inevitable conclusion to the team's crappy play. Personally, I think you're reading way too much into these things.

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Overall, we have seen more disappointment from this core than anything. They have a nice run after each coach is fired but then it's back to mediocrity and inconsistency the next year then boom, a coach is fired again. What is so great about this core that it can't be shaken up?
I guess I'm just not as ready to raze the foundation to the ground based upon 22 games in a strike-shortened season as some others are around here. Especially not after as well as this core played last year under Hitchcock.

This team's confidence is low right now, and it shows in the face of adversity. The goaltending certainly isn't helping, nor are the heightened expectations. Making significant changes to the roster isn't going to suddenly restore this team's confidence level anymore than it's going to magically make the goaltenders play better.

Confidence is earned, and what I saw tonight was a team attempting to put in the effort to do just that. They outplayed a tough team short-handed on the road for 40 minutes and built a nice lead in a hard game. One bad shift, followed shortly after by two fairly bad goals, and the Blues are a disorganized mess because they blew a game they felt they needed to win after they had it well in hand.

To me, that's the mark of a young team that needs to learn how to win the hard way, not the mark of a team "with no heart", or "that's quit", or a team with glaring character issues.

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03-06-2013, 02:46 AM
  #781
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Originally Posted by Backes to the Future View Post
What if we're all wrong and it's actually Halak getting traded...

Heard it here first.
Well it's certainly possible Armstrong has an open offer on Halak and there'd be an actual return, and getting rid of an escalating contract on a guy they no longer believe in capable of carrying the team isn't the worst thing.

I doubt this is what's happening but I'm very capable of believing if someone's getting traded it's Halak. I think they are probably very displeased with his sudden late scratch last month. Oshie almost spilled it but he quickly backtracked. Trading Halak would constitute a shakeup.

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03-06-2013, 02:51 AM
  #782
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Well it's certainly possible Armstrong has an open offer on Halak and there'd be an actual return, and getting rid of an escalating contract on a guy they no longer believe in capable of carrying the team isn't the worst thing.

I doubt this is what's happening but I'm very capable of believing if someone's getting traded it's Halak. I think they are probably very displeased with his sudden late scratch last month. Oshie almost spilled it but he quickly backtracked. Trading Halak would constitute a shakeup.
I could see it happening because let's be honest, Halal has not shown that he can be a true #1. Before it was because he had to get used to the West, then the season after that was he still needed a little more time getting used to playing that many games, last year he started off bad but the Blues defense certainly carried him, so now what's his excuse?

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03-06-2013, 02:54 AM
  #783
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Originally Posted by Halak Ness Monster View Post
First of all, can everyone stop with the "Who's doing that?" questions. I'm growing sick of it. I see about eight questions like that every week. Just say you aren't saying that. It's pretty simple. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.

Second, you call Berglund a second line player three times. No, I don't agree he is a second line player. MAYBE if you have a great first line center that can step it up when the game is on the line. However, often we have to turn to Berglund to create offense with the game on the line. Not a Getzlaf, Sedin, or even Bergeron.
Berglund's talent level has nothing to do with who else is on the roster. In terms of expected role, I think it's very reasonable to say that he's a second line center on many teams, and a third line center on most true contenders. If your evaluation of him differs greatly from that, we'll agree to disagree.

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Third, that 30 goal pace would be very nice if he could maintain it. We'll see. He has 0 goals and 1 assist in the last 6 games during a time when the Blues need some of their "top 6" talent to step up. Berglund has mysteriously disappeared. He does that, though.
And are you implying that his production in the other 16 games he's played hasn't had a lot to do with the games the Blues have actually won (or that those games didn't matter)? He leads the team in goals. Regardless of how/when those came, it's a pretty safe bet that he's been important to whatever collective success this team has had this year. If the team's collective success isn't where we think it should be, it's also a pretty safe bet that there are others out there whose contributions (or lack thereof) are more disappointing relative to expectations.

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03-06-2013, 03:05 AM
  #784
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I think trading Halak without at least a borderline #1(that's how I'd classify Halak) coming back is just throwing in the towel, and I can't see that happening. He's the only goalie that would warrant a decent return, but I think management still believes in him. I believe he has the capability to play at a very high level for stretches, but is equally likely to lay an egg for stretches. That situation is obviously not ideal, but it's better than running with a rookie and a career backup that has absolutely no confidence to speak of. After all the struggles this organization has had recently in acquiring a competent goalie, I don't think they'll trade him away this quickly.

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03-06-2013, 03:06 AM
  #785
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Originally Posted by Halak Ness Monster View Post
First of all, can everyone stop with the "Who's doing that?" questions. I'm growing sick of it. I see about eight questions like that every week. Just say you aren't saying that. It's pretty simple. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.

Second, you call Berglund a second line player three times. No, I don't agree he is a second line player. MAYBE if you have a great first line center that can step it up when the game is on the line. However, often we have to turn to Berglund to create offense with the game on the line. Not a Getzlaf, Sedin, or even Bergeron.

Third, that 30 goal pace would be very nice if he could maintain it. We'll see. He has 0 goals and 1 assist in the last 6 games during a time when the Blues need some of their "top 6" talent to step up. Berglund has mysteriously disappeared. He does that, though.

As for scapegoats, we've been looking for scapegoats pretty often since Game 4 of the 2009 quarterfinals against Vancouver. It'd be nice if this team actually played up to expectations more than once every two or three years.
Just because the Blues need berglund to be more than a second line center does not make him one any more than backes playing on the first line makes him a first line center. Several players on the Blues are playing roles that do not fit their skill set. Nobody expects bergy to be a first line center and criticizing him for not being one is rather silly. You are blaming Berglund for the managements inability to bring in a 1st line center. It is not his fault in any way that you and other people think he should play like Getzlaf, Sedin, or Bergeron. He is second line center, he will always be a second line player even if he is the best center on a team he still has the skill set of a second line center. Putting some one on the first line (or any other line) does not make him a first line player. Expecting a player to perform like a first line center does not make him one either. Sobotka playing on the 2nd power play unit does not mean he is an offensive player that is good on the PP, all it means is that the team has a ****** 2nd PP unit. Do people complain that Sobotka should play better because he is relied upon to be on the PP? No they do not they complain about the lack of players to put on the PP and the coaching decisions. Its the same with Bergy you cannot complain about him for not being something other than what he is.

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03-06-2013, 03:11 AM
  #786
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The core is gonna be broken up, simple as that. Armstrong makes calculated moves when needed, and one is needed. I expect a move similar to the Johnson one.

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03-06-2013, 03:14 AM
  #787
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
The core is gonna be broken up, simple as that. Armstrong makes calculated moves when needed, and one is needed. I expect a move similar to the Johnson one.
Having Allen take over as our starter could be the shake up move we needed. We'll see Halak losing his starting job is a pretty big shake up.

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03-06-2013, 03:15 AM
  #788
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Kinda a shame it took people this long to realize Halak is no elite goalie.

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03-06-2013, 03:17 AM
  #789
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The core is gonna be broken up, simple as that. Armstrong makes calculated moves when needed, and one is needed. I expect a move similar to the Johnson one.
I don't expect a deal near that magnitude simply because there are so many teams in the hunt for a playoff spot. Even if you make a deal that benefits both teams on paper, there's a chance that move ends up biting you in the ass in an unexpected way. I think GMs are going to be very cautious, at least until there is some separation between the "haves" and "have nots"

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03-06-2013, 03:18 AM
  #790
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Having Allen take over as our starter could be the shake up move we needed. We'll see Halak losing his starting job is a pretty big shake up.
Lets not get carried away. Besides, that will most likely only light a fire under Halak and Elliott. Maybe a couple of other guys will get the message, maybe. They didn't get the message last time when Allen came up. It's going to take an actual trade, where someone from the core is shipped out.

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03-06-2013, 03:22 AM
  #791
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Our top two defensemen were EJ and Brewer. Kariya, Boyes, and Tkachuck all had prominent roles. Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk weren't even part of the team. Of the guys on your list, McDonald and Steen (the 1st and 4th leading scorers from that team) aren't even playing right now, and Jackman's playing extremely well. You might throw Backes and Oshie into that group as well. If you're going to imply that group is a bunch of gutless coach-killers, you're going to have to do a lot stronger sell job than what you've got going here.
Well I certainly didn't imply or say that they were gutless. Just underachieving. Gutless is far too strong and wrong of a word.

And you are going to have to do an even better job of selling me on the notion that they aren't underachieving, coach killers because a large portion of this core is working on their third coach right now.

To point out that Steen and McDonald aren't even playing right now is weak. The Blues lost 7 of 11 before those two excited the lineup.

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Contend? The hope was simply to make the playoffs that year.
But in your first post you said that the Blues didn't have "significant/reasonable playoff aspirations" before last season. That is what I responded to...reasonable playoff aspirations. I clearly said "The Blues also had playoff aspirations in 10-11."

Now you are changing it and saying they did have hopes in 10-11? I call making the playoffs "contending." For example: "contend for the playoffs." I think most people do.

Whatever. The Blues didn't make the playoffs in the two seasons before last year and instead got a coach fired. Not exactly rising to expectations.

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They were 6-7, with most of those games coming on the road. Everyone in the league was surprised that Payne was fired at that time, so it's not like it was some inevitable conclusion to the team's crappy play. Personally, I think you're reading way too much into these things.
They played poorly and the Blues could NOT afford to miss the playoffs for a third straight year. The troops weren't responding to Payne so he was fired before it got too late like with Murray in 09-10.

Nothing more to read into it other than the Blues played well in 09-10 under Payne and for some reason decided not to play well in 10-11 under Payne. They got Payne fired with their poor play through 13 games. Simple as that.

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I guess I'm just not as ready to raze the foundation to the ground based upon 22 games in a strike-shortened season as some others are around here. Especially not after as well as this core played last year under Hitchcock.
Is it 22 games or is it 2 1/4 years of average hockey and 2 fired coaches with 3/4 of great hockey mixed in?

I'm not ready to "raze the foundation". I don't believe I ever implied or said that. However, I think you've got blinders on if you think Armstrong isn't looking to make at least one major shakeup move.

My big concern right now is that the magic that Hitchock had last year has worn off just like it did with Murray and Payne. If it has, I would notice the trend and shake up the core of the team rather than the coaching staff.

Shaking up the coaching staff has been the easy move in the past. However, it may take more this time around.

HOPEFULLY the boys pull their heads out of their butts soon and play well. That is ideal.

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03-06-2013, 03:25 AM
  #792
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Just because the Blues need berglund to be more than a second line center does not make him one any more than backes playing on the first line makes him a first line center. Several players on the Blues are playing roles that do not fit their skill set. Nobody expects bergy to be a first line center and criticizing him for not being one is rather silly. You are blaming Berglund for the managements inability to bring in a 1st line center. It is not his fault in any way that you and other people think he should play like Getzlaf, Sedin, or Bergeron. He is second line center, he will always be a second line player even if he is the best center on a team he still has the skill set of a second line center. Putting some one on the first line (or any other line) does not make him a first line player. Expecting a player to perform like a first line center does not make him one either. Sobotka playing on the 2nd power play unit does not mean he is an offensive player that is good on the PP, all it means is that the team has a ****** 2nd PP unit. Do people complain that Sobotka should play better because he is relied upon to be on the PP? No they do not they complain about the lack of players to put on the PP and the coaching decisions. Its the same with Bergy you cannot complain about him for not being something other than what he is.
You took a minor part of my post and twisted it around.

Berglund's skill set makes him a 3rd line center. Simple as that.

Slow, soft, poor vision, and poor passer. It has nothing to do with him not being Getzlaf.

He has 9 goals this season. Great. He has 3 assists and had 38 points last year. Great.

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03-06-2013, 03:34 AM
  #793
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This team has zero resiliency when the other team pushes back, God the Kings parked guys in front of the net without and trouble at all. As for Berglund I got into an argument like two years ago telling people he wasn't a 1st line center and I'm not happy being proved right...Jesus Christ just painful to watch the team come apart like that last night.

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03-06-2013, 03:53 AM
  #794
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Originally Posted by EastonBlues22 View Post
Berglund's talent level has nothing to do with who else is on the roster. In terms of expected role, I think it's very reasonable to say that he's a second line center on many teams, and a third line center on most true contenders. If your evaluation of him differs greatly from that, we'll agree to disagree.
Well I never said he wouldn't be a 3rd line center on most contenders. In fact I said he is perfect as a 3C on a contender.

I said he isn't a 2nd line center on a lot of contenders.

See: Boston(Krejci/Bergeron), LA(Kopitar/Richards), Vancouver(Sedin/Kesler), San Jose(Thornton/Pavelski), Pittbsburgh(Crosby/Malkin), Carolina(Staal/Staal), Detroit(Datsyuk/Zetteberg) for a few examples just off the top of my head.

As for his talent level, if you can role out Getzlaf on line one for 20 minutes and in the final minute of game in which you're down one, then you MAY BE(I said MAYBE, not definitely) able to stomach having Berglund as your second line center. If you've got Backes on line one, well not so much. Suddenly you are hoping for a bit more from Berglund on that second line because you're not sure what line one will give you night in and night out.

He could probably center Chicago's 2nd line but this is a great example of where having superior talent in other areas makes it easier to stomach moving a man up a line. Toews and Hossa are beasts on the 1st line and Patrick Kane creates all the offense on the 2nd line with Sharp and his 30 goals and 70 points there as well. That kind of talent enables them to play Dave Bolland on the 2nd line.

Quote:
And are you implying that his production in the other 16 games he's played hasn't had a lot to do with the games the Blues have actually won (or that those games didn't matter)? He leads the team in goals. Regardless of how/when those came, it's a pretty safe bet that he's been important to whatever collective success this team has had this year. If the team's collective success isn't where we think it should be, it's also a pretty safe bet that there are others out there whose contributions (or lack thereof) are more disappointing relative to expectations.
I don't really know what you are getting at and it is late so I'll just sum up my feelings about Berglund:
I loved the kid as a prospect and as a young NHL player. Like most on here, I've been willing to look past the deficiencies in his game mostly because he offers great size, a long reach, and an ability to play center.
Lately, as in the past 100 games, I've wondered if he is ever going to take that next step and be a consistent 50-60 point, 2nd line center. I'm at the point where I've stopped hoping for it. I feel that the weaknesses in his game are going to prevent it.

Through his first 4 1/4 seasons, he is averaging about 45 points a year. He is on pace for around 45 points again. Is that what you want from your 2C when 1C is only giving you 55 points a year?

If Berglund, as part of a package, can be turned into a #1 center, I make that trade with little hesitation.

That is all I've really said about Berglund.

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03-06-2013, 03:55 AM
  #795
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Berglund is Michal Handzus.

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03-06-2013, 04:00 AM
  #796
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Berglund is Michal Handzus.
Pretty much exactly this. Not a bad thing, he just shouldn't be our full time 2nd line center.

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03-06-2013, 04:02 AM
  #797
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Originally Posted by Halak Ness Monster View Post
Well I certainly didn't imply or say that they were gutless. Just underachieving. Gutless is far too strong and wrong of a word.

And you are going to have to do an even better job of selling me on the notion that they aren't underachieving, coach killers because a large portion of this core is working on their third coach right now.
You listed 8 guys as the core. The biggest contributors to this team's struggles right now are the play of the LHD and goalies, and the only part of the core you listed that has anything to do with either of those problems is Jackman, and he's having a great year. I'm failing to see how the current struggles of this team are rooted in the core you've named, unless you think they're more responsible for the play of Redden, Russell, Halak, Elliott, etc. than those guys are themselves.

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To point out that Steen and McDonald aren't even playing right now is weak. The Blues lost 7 of 11 before those two excited the lineup.
The Blues were 10-7-1 with those guys in the lineup this year. That's a 96 point pace, even with our goaltending playing as crappy as it is. Is that a pace that normally justifies significant adjustments to a team's core 18 games into the season for you?

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But in your first post you said that the Blues didn't have "significant/reasonable playoff aspirations" before last season. That is what I responded to...reasonable playoff aspirations. I clearly said "The Blues also had playoff aspirations in 10-11."

Now you are changing it and saying they did have hopes in 10-11? I call making the playoffs "contending." For example: "contend for the playoffs." I think most people do.
Hoping to make the playoffs doesn't count as significant/reasonable playoff aspirations in my book. That's when you expect to make the playoffs, and hope to do some damage while you're there. I think (and thought at the time) anyone who expected the Blues to make the playoffs in 10-11 was expecting too much. YYMV, I suppose.

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Is it 22 games or is it 2 1/4 years of average hockey and 2 fired coaches with 3/4 of great hockey mixed in?

I'm not ready to "raze the foundation". I don't believe I ever implied or said that. However, I think you've got blinders on if you think Armstrong isn't looking to make at least one major shakeup move.
I specifically said "as some others are around here" in a post where I was addressing you personally, so I have no idea why you're taking that as a comment on your views. I think it's pretty evident that there are some Blues fans who are ready to do just that right now.

Regardless, I think that lumping this squad in with the teams from two and three years ago is a silly thing to do. The team roster and expectations are radically different, and (as I noted above) the guys on your list aren't responsible for the most glaring weaknesses on this team.

Without getting into a semantic discussion of what qualifies as a "major shakeup move", I'll go ahead and say that nothing would surprise me at this point. There's a big difference, though, between not being surprised by something if it happens and by actively campaigning for something to happen.

As I mentioned above in another post, I think the biggest problem with this team right now is its confidence level, and I don't see that being fixed simply by making a major trade to shake things up.

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03-06-2013, 04:04 AM
  #798
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Originally Posted by bleedblue1223 View Post
Pretty much exactly this. Not a bad thing, he just shouldn't be our full time 2nd line center.
Right, not a bad thing. Handzus has had a long, productive, useful career as a big bodied two-way center in that #2/3 center mold. We have him, we have a #2 center in Backes and we have a #4 in Nichol and a #4 in Arnott. Also Steen who doesn't fit.

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03-06-2013, 04:17 AM
  #799
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Originally Posted by Halak Ness Monster View Post
<snip>

Lately, as in the past 100 games, I've wondered if he is ever going to take that next step and be a consistent 50-60 point, 2nd line center. I'm at the point where I've stopped hoping for it. I feel that the weaknesses in his game are going to prevent it.

Through his first 4 1/4 seasons, he is averaging about 45 points a year. He is on pace for around 45 points again. Is that what you want from your 2C when 1C is only giving you 55 points a year?

If Berglund, as part of a package, can be turned into a #1 center, I make that trade with little hesitation.

That is all I've really said about Berglund.
I have no problem with a trade that turns Berglund into a #1 center (although I doubt that would ever happen). I doubt any Blues fan would have a problem with that.

I just think you're being a bit harsh with the pros and cons of the player that is Patrik Berglund, and also with your expectations for a second line center.

Last year center #30 in scoring had 51 points. The year before that center #30 had 54 points (Berglund was #33 with 52). Averaging 45 points would make Berglund an average #2 center league-wide in terms of scoring. Consistently putting up 50-60 points would make Berglund a bottom-third (#20-30 overall) #1 center, statistically.

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03-06-2013, 04:22 AM
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Stepping back and thinking about this game, this was so especially disappointing because we could all see a statement third period of effort like the first two would have been a MAJOR building block for this team, almost the exact elixir it needed. And still the team spit the bit. And we were all aware that there was a clear possibility they'd have a third period letdown before it happened. I don't think anyone was particularly surprised. Having that letdown was a statement by the Blues to themselves about their identity. They're pretenders. There has to be massive sustained improvement before I or most fans would change their mind about that now. We have a borderline 7-10 range team in the conference until further notice.

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