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Old
03-20-2013, 09:12 AM
  #1
Celtic Note
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Balancing the Blues

Is this team built for the playoffs? That question is one I continually debate.

On defense I think we are solid with the addition of a #3-4 LHD, so long as they are of the defense first blend. I think that is pretty doable. Bringing in a solid, but not necessarily higher profile player should suffice. With the growth of Shatty and Petro over the next few years, we should be in good shape.

In goal we have some uncertainty for sure. But, Allen has always been a guy with potential to be a good starting tender. Right now he is showing the right progress. Halak can be a top flight player when he is on. He also can be pretty mediocre at times. Regardless, we can use the "ride the hot goalie" mentality. I am not in love with the idea, but it could work. All you need is one hot goalie to lead the charge. Niemi did that for Hawks and JS Giguere did it for the Ducks.

Our offensive group is the area bringing the most confusion. Assessing our forwards is difficult, because on paper that group looks like a strong suit. The on ice play however provokes a lot of questions. This is where the thread title comes into play. It seems we have a bit of a need to unbalance our forward crop in some areas an balance them in others. I see this on multiple levels, but the biggest areas of concern are our center pivots, gramebreaking players, and the overall balance of size/grit over our lines. I also think a battle tested vet with a vocal leadership presence is needed.

Before I offer more on these areas, I would like to hear from other posters first.

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03-20-2013, 11:16 AM
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BleedinBlueSince1972
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Built for the playoffs... My Humble Opinion - No.

The Blues current roster would be lucky to get to the 2nd round this year due to the shaky Goalie play this year. Allen has been a blessing but let's be realistic, he's a rookie, is Allen this years Cam Ward? in 2006 Ward held up well the naysayers will point out I don't see it happening. ) Blues will sink or swim on the shoulders of Halak. Or make a move for Kipper or Miller

Blues have reached a Crossroads where a trade or 2 to improve the roster involving a core player or 2 wouldn't hurt, just don't include AP27, Shattie, Stewie, Berglund all need new contracts and are in my estimation untouchable right now. Add Tarasenko and Schwartz as untouchable as well. Eveyone else can be had if it improves the Blues Roster so there you go.

The current team as is won't do much damage in the 2013 Playoffs.

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03-20-2013, 12:10 PM
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One thing I've been wondering aloud to myself recently is.....Is there a reason that there is a "Traditional" forward line set-up. What I mean by this is that most teams not named the Blues look to their top 6 guys as their scorers. They then look at their third line as grinder/energy/checker players. They then use their 4th line in a number of ways, sometimes it's for specialists (PK guy, Faceoff guy, shootout guy, goon, etc) and sometimes it's just another, less talented 3rd line.

Most teams that have won the Cup in recent memory have used the "Traditional" formula. They might have had an above average player on their third line, but they didn't look at their third line the way other teams look at their top two lines, something we do.

One thing we've seen from the Blues is that when we have two lines that can score, and two lines that can grind, we seem to win more then we lose. We saw it last year and we saw it this year. We seem to work harder, and the dips in our effort don't seem as severe. Last night we sucked for 20 full minutes. You have to go back to the LA game, which was almost 7 games ago, when a lot of the grinding type guys were still gelling into our lineup to find a dip in our effort that long.

When we have three lines that can all score, sometimes it seems like no one is willing to go out and put the shift of hard work together to snap the guys back into the, "Oh yea, we aren't the team with Gretzky and Hull anymore, we have to actually work for our goals" mentality. Everyone seems to defer to everyone else to make something happen. This last point is what drives me up the wall with this team more then anything. Everyone seems to look around and say, oh hey, so-and-so will go out and have a good shift, I don't need to play with urgency.

So I'm not sure if having a "Top 9" is really something we should strive for. Every time we seem to be fully healthy with all our skill guys, our effort seems streaky at best. That doesn't seem to happen when we only have a "Top 6."

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03-20-2013, 12:23 PM
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I'm actually not too concerned about goal. Elliott is absent this season, not sure of his status with the Blues for next year. But Halak/Allen is a tandem I'd be fine with going into the off-season. Allen will be a starter in this league, and probably ready to be the back-up for next season (and hopefully push Halak a bit). Elliott could get back into form, but its not happening in time to help with the playoffs this year.

The Blues need to beef up the defense. Jackman, AP, Shattenkirk, Polak...they are all just fine. Russell on the bottom pairing is effective, and he's playing well enough now to justify his position. Redden is fine for depth. Cole's development is what it is. I think he'll have a fine career, but they need to move him for a player that probably has a lower ceiling but farther along the development track. Or, better, trade for a more expensive player adding additional assets and get a longer term partner for Pietro. They may just go with what they've got in the playoffs this year, and that wouldn't be a disaster (and also means Redden probably is starting). I'm glad Armstrong has shown patience with making a move here, in that he's not frittering away assets to acquire someone that isn't really the answer. But at some point you start to realize the window is now.

At forward, I think Andy Mac is probably gone next season. Even if he were to take a discount re-signing, where do you put him? He's not a guy that would be functional on a checking line. I have mixed feelings about it, and I think he still has a couple good years left in a supporting role....but don't really see how he fits into the Blues' line-up (and they'll need that salary for the RFAs).

I'm excited about Jaskin just like everyone else, but I think folks are putting him into projected line-ups a little prematurely. I love Sobotka, but the Blues are better when he's a 4th line player (assuming they have a better option at #3C which they really don't right now). I'd like to see them swap Andy Mac (by letting him go UFA, or even in a trade...which I doubt they do) for a 2/3 Center. I think there are adequate pieces to craft good lines from that. The lines and chemistry are a bit disrupted from the injuries and the re-insertion of returning players, right now. But I think the lines are fine when the Blues are healthy.

About McDonald: Contending teams invest in their playoff runs. One of the ways they do that is by allowing guys to leave as UFA rather than always trying to maximize their assets (like trading those players at the deadline for picks). You have to go into the post-season with injury depth, and you have to pay those guys. Its no travesty if McDonald does end up leaving the Blues as an UFA after this season. It was just a calculated choice to improve the team for this post-season.

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03-20-2013, 12:26 PM
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BadgersandBlues nailed it. One thing to add, I believe rolling a top 9 is a viable tactic, but our players just seem to rely on skill instead of work. If our top9 wanted to work it would be fine

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03-20-2013, 12:56 PM
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Halak is a proven PO goalie and Allen has been a sensation.
The forwards aren't the problem either. Our forwards are good sized, have good speed, are fairly skilled and are all willing to play defense.

The problem with the Blues is that we our scoring is dependent on a good transition game; and our transition game can be disrupted by taking the puck away from Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk.
Fix the issue's on the left side of the defense, and this team can go as far as it wants to go.

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03-20-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
Halak is a proven PO goalie and Allen has been a sensation.
The forwards aren't the problem either. Our forwards are good sized, have good speed, are fairly skilled and are all willing to play defense.

The problem with the Blues is that we our scoring is dependent on a good transition game; and our transition game can be disrupted by taking the puck away from Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk.
Fix the issue's on the left side of the defense, and this team can go as far as it wants to go.
Halak is far from a proven PO goalie. One good playoff run does not mean you are proven. I simply do not think Halak is a real #1 goalie, but an above average backup.

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03-20-2013, 01:10 PM
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A budget team will always have holes. That's the way it is. 83% of the Conference Finalists since 2010 have spent within $2 mil of the cap with the only outliers being Tampa in 2010 and Phoenix last season.

This really should be our "Chicago 2010 team" with so many quality players still on affordable contracts. It was and is possible to create a juggernaut team without hamstringing the organization down the road but the Blues were going through an ownership change and the subsequent lockout clouded things at an inopportune time which set back the progress the team was poised to make off the ice.

The Blues have some good individual talent but they are still a sum of their parts type of team and they continue to get exposed when they divert from the system because they aren't talented enough to beat the best teams, especially over a 7 game series. Unlike the Hawks of 2010 or other good teams of recent memory, the Blues can't win playing any kind of game. Consistent success for the Blues is a very fine line and a run in the playoffs will depend on matchups.

It's unfortunate because the Blues aren't far away at all. But the fact that Armstrong will not be able to take on additional salary next season without seeing a solid roster player go the other way ties his hands from making a difference making move.

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Old
03-20-2013, 01:24 PM
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HockeyGuy73
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Pure and simple, this team is not going to do anything impressive until they learn to play a full 60 minute game. Taking a period off killed us again last night, and has happened way too many times this season.

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03-20-2013, 02:56 PM
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I'm not sure what people are expecting. Transition to be smooth and easy?

We haven't had the chance to get into any sort of rhythm with our line-up for multiple reasons. The shortened season isn't going to help that. Trying to draw conclusions on the basis of 20 games where we've had appalling goaltending, our 2 best players playing well below standard and the holes in our team being more exposed is a little bizarre. It is far too early to question how the team is built.

The whole makeshift defensive situation is pathetic though. There has been more than enough patience on the matter, Armstrong needs to go out and make something happen. We can talk about "overpaying", but value is relative to how a player improves a team. Player X might not be worth Rattie+2nd/Rattie+Cole/Cole+/Perron/whatever, but if he stabilises the defensive unit and that buys our forwards time to gel then he is sure as hell worth it.

Can this team go far in the playoffs? Yes, if we add a quality defenseman. Things just need to come together at the right time.

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03-20-2013, 03:38 PM
  #11
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We neeed Steener back at center and a left defenseman that can contribute more offensively than Russell and Redden.

If you look at Boston and Las cup teams though, their defenses were pretty average outside of Chara and Doughty.

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03-20-2013, 03:53 PM
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HockeyGuy73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alklha View Post
I'm not sure what people are expecting. Transition to be smooth and easy?

We haven't had the chance to get into any sort of rhythm with our line-up for multiple reasons. The shortened season isn't going to help that. Trying to draw conclusions on the basis of 20 games where we've had appalling goaltending, our 2 best players playing well below standard and the holes in our team being more exposed is a little bizarre. It is far too early to question how the team is built.

The whole makeshift defensive situation is pathetic though. There has been more than enough patience on the matter, Armstrong needs to go out and make something happen. We can talk about "overpaying", but value is relative to how a player improves a team. Player X might not be worth Rattie+2nd/Rattie+Cole/Cole+/Perron/whatever, but if he stabilises the defensive unit and that buys our forwards time to gel then he is sure as hell worth it.

Can this team go far in the playoffs? Yes, if we add a quality defenseman. Things just need to come together at the right time.
Other teams have the same 48 game schedule, some are doing quite well, some not so much. The thing we had going for us is we had basically the same team in place that we had last season, which made a good run. Expectations were high, and they should be. I don't think the issue is with one d-man. One more player isn't going to make the whole team compete for all 60 minutes. The responsibility lies on the guys in the room. Yeah, we have had injuries, but we also had the forward depth to over come those injuries.

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03-20-2013, 04:17 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alklha View Post
There has been more than enough patience on the matter, Armstrong needs to go out and make something happen. We can talk about "overpaying", but value is relative to how a player improves a team. Player X might not be worth Rattie+2nd/Rattie+Cole/Cole+/Perron/whatever, but if he stabilizes the defensive unit and that buys our forwards time to gel then he is sure as hell worth it.
I agree with the above. I said something comparable to this earlier, when we were floundering. All I got back was, "Don't overreact!" type responses. This issue isn't new, it isn't going away, and it needs to be addressed. Patience is cool and all, but it's been 2+ years. Now it's bordering on unwillingness to get it done. If we have to overpay to bring in the guy we need, then so be it. If it takes Rattie+Cole+Jaskin+1st+2nd to get OEL or comparable, then god dammit, so be it. If it takes Rattie+Cole+1st to get Seidenberg/Staal, or someone of his caliber, then once again, so be it. The only thing that is going to screw this team is not making it deep into the playoffs. If we do that, we can easily afford to pay for all our RFAs.

We let AMac walk in the offseason, pick up a 3rd line center, and go into the next year with:

Steen-Backes-Oshie
Perron-Berglund-Stewart
Schwartz-XXX-Tank
Porter-Sobotka-Reaves
Craknell? D'ags? Nichol? XXX? (Doesn't really matter, it will be cheap grinding type players)

I guess it comes down to what you think we should do/when you would like our window to truly open. If you think we should go for it this year, then we should make a trade even if we overpay. If you are content punting on this year, then we should stand pat, hope that Jaskin/Rattie are both ready for next year, and give us a much more strong bargaining chip such as Oshie/Perron to trade away, with Jaskin/Rattie (and their cheaper contracts) taking their place. I personally don't prefer this option, since I think Jaskin/Rattie could suck just as much as they could rock, and also because I think if we start shipping out core guys, guys who negotiated with us in good faith throughout their careers, it will lead to other players sitting there and saying, "Hey, why give you the benefit of the doubt on a 1 year/2 year bridge deal, I want my money now" type of mentality.

Obviously I'm in the, I want to win now camp. I don't want to morgage our entire future, but seriously, Jaskin and Rattie are both NOT blue chip prospects. If we can change them and picks for a top flight LHD man, or change one of them and a pick for a really solid Sekera/Staal whatever type Dman, we need to **** or get off the pot.

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Old
03-20-2013, 04:53 PM
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Alklha
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Originally Posted by HockeyGuy73 View Post
Other teams have the same 48 game schedule, some are doing quite well, some not so much. The thing we had going for us is we had basically the same team in place that we had last season, which made a good run. Expectations were high, and they should be. I don't think the issue is with one d-man. One more player isn't going to make the whole team compete for all 60 minutes. The responsibility lies on the guys in the room. Yeah, we have had injuries, but we also had the forward depth to over come those injuries.
These are unrealistic expectations. No team is 100% switched on for the entire game, and there are going to be times in a game when you get overrun. Last night we got beat with a great shot to go 1-0 down and then disappeared for a bit. It isn't acceptable, but it happens to every team. Good teams just don't lose the game when they don't play at their best for 10/15minutes.

Does 1 player change that? It depends on the impact the player has. If we get a player that can stabilise the defence, then we are less likely to be running around like headless chickens every time the opposition is putting on the pressure.

Every team does have the same 48 game schedule, I'm not sure what you are getting at there. The point is that we've not exactly had time to get adjusted to our top 3 lines with such few games, and over an 82 game season it wouldn't be as significant as it is now. The injuries have hampered that adjustment too.

Also, just because the personnel is largely the same doesn't mean this is a second year team. Moving Steen to 3C (or Sobotka as 3C) is a significant move, as is the fact we have added two rookies in Schwartz and Tarasenko as everyday players. Losing Arnott and Langenbrunner's experience isn't as insignificant as some like to believe; as we at least had some stability when they were in the lineup, even if their play wasn't great.

And again, it isn't easy for the forwards to make these adjustments when we are getting garbage goaltending and makeshift defence. Easy to say that we were winning games when our 3rd line was less skilled, but we were winning games when our goalie was making a big save when we needed it. Allen didn't do that on the second goal last night (not blaming him for the loss, but over the past couple of weeks he stops that second goal).

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03-20-2013, 05:59 PM
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PocketNines
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IMO they need an impact player on left defense, period. There are a few types of assets in this league. Impact players (any position), complementary pieces (any position) and borderline/role players (any position).

The Blues don't need complementary pieces anywhere. They don't need borderline/role players anywhere. They need one impact player on left defense. Then they would have three impact defensemen in the starting lineup, which is a recipe for going deep in the playoffs. Two such defensemen is too thin.

They have enough depth and skill and two-way play on the forward lines that they don't need an impact player there. They need three strong transition, all-situations defensemen.

We've been talking about this for over two full calendar years. The answer hasn't changed.

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03-20-2013, 07:05 PM
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The more I think about it, the more I wish we could be sure Elliott would rebound next season. If we could clear Halak off our books, it would go a long way to getting us the room financially to get that impact player we really need.

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03-20-2013, 07:07 PM
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How many impact LD are there in the league? It's important to make the playoffs and then see what happens. The Kings and NJ proved that last year.

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03-20-2013, 07:23 PM
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One thing I've been wondering aloud to myself recently is.....Is there a reason that there is a "Traditional" forward line set-up. What I mean by this is that most teams not named the Blues look to their top 6 guys as their scorers. They then look at their third line as grinder/energy/checker players. They then use their 4th line in a number of ways, sometimes it's for specialists (PK guy, Faceoff guy, shootout guy, goon, etc) and sometimes it's just another, less talented 3rd line.

Most teams that have won the Cup in recent memory have used the "Traditional" formula. They might have had an above average player on their third line, but they didn't look at their third line the way other teams look at their top two lines, something we do.

One thing we've seen from the Blues is that when we have two lines that can score, and two lines that can grind, we seem to win more then we lose. We saw it last year and we saw it this year. We seem to work harder, and the dips in our effort don't seem as severe. Last night we sucked for 20 full minutes. You have to go back to the LA game, which was almost 7 games ago, when a lot of the grinding type guys were still gelling into our lineup to find a dip in our effort that long.

When we have three lines that can all score, sometimes it seems like no one is willing to go out and put the shift of hard work together to snap the guys back into the, "Oh yea, we aren't the team with Gretzky and Hull anymore, we have to actually work for our goals" mentality. Everyone seems to defer to everyone else to make something happen. This last point is what drives me up the wall with this team more then anything. Everyone seems to look around and say, oh hey, so-and-so will go out and have a good shift, I don't need to play with urgency.

So I'm not sure if having a "Top 9" is really something we should strive for. Every time we seem to be fully healthy with all our skill guys, our effort seems streaky at best. That doesn't seem to happen when we only have a "Top 6."
I was thinking the exact same thing. We succeeded last year by having a true Top 6, with two solid checking lines featuring veterans that could score the occasional goal (Arnott, Langs). I always thought that if Tarasenko came over, he would replace one of the other RW's (likely Stewart). I also thought that Schwartz would spend this year in Peoria, and replace Andy Mac next season. As it stands right now, we have too many "top 6 scoring" wingers to fit on one team. On the one hand, you can say that this is a good problem to have, but on the other, it does throw off the balance of a winning team - as you said, the recent Cup winners (Boston, LA) had a Top 6 / Bottom 6 setup, and got timely scoring from that Bottom 6.

I know Steen can play either scoring/checking, and Dags is more suited for a scoring role. As such, we have 4 LW's and 4 RW's to play on two lines. It's an odd balance, and we end up having to play guys out of position or run with three scoring lines - which worked temporarily in the first week of the season, but is now causing us to get exposed. And people on this board keep mentioning Jaskin/Rattie possibly playing for us next season - more scorers?!? Where do we put them?

The best way I see to make this work, without trading core pieces, is to transition to having Backes as a true 3C, a guy who you put out there to shut down the other team's top line and score the occasional goal. Similar to what Detroit eventually did with Yzerman, or what happened with Bobby Carpenter.

For years, we keep projecting Berglund as our 1C of the future - if so, then put him in that spot and let's go find us a 2C. If Berglund stays at 2C (which is where I think he fits perfectly), then we begin the daunting task of finding the mythical "#1C". It doesn't have to be a star like Crosby or Tavares, just a true "scoring line" center, either via FA (Weiss, Bozak, Roy) or trade (that-guy-in-Colorado-whose-Dad-once-played-for-the-Blues).

This summer should be interesting - as 2 Minute Minor suggested, we're a much better team when Sobotka plays on the 4th line. If Backes stays in the Top 6, there are going to be several solid bottom-6 Centers available during FA (Boyd Gordon, Kyle Chipchura, Dave Steckel, Tim Connolly) if we don't re-sign Nichol. Personally, I'd love to see us also sign Rylan Schwartz for center depth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
IMO they need an impact player on left defense, period. There are a few types of assets in this league. Impact players (any position), complementary pieces (any position) and borderline/role players (any position).

The Blues don't need complementary pieces anywhere. They don't need borderline/role players anywhere. They need one impact player on left defense. Then they would have three impact defensemen in the starting lineup, which is a recipe for going deep in the playoffs. Two such defensemen is too thin.

They have enough depth and skill and two-way play on the forward lines that they don't need an impact player there. They need three strong transition, all-situations defensemen.

We've been talking about this for over two full calendar years. The answer hasn't changed.
And this is where you and I will continue to disagree. The last two Cup winners only had ONE impact d-man on their roster (Chara, Doughty). Most of the other teams in the league are jealous of the TWO that we have - why do we need THREE? Having three scoring lines and three impact defensemen is bordering on NHL13 GM mode.

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03-20-2013, 07:27 PM
  #19
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How many impact LD are there in the league? It's important to make the playoffs and then see what happens. The Kings and NJ proved that last year.
What happened is a very large Kings forecheck tossed our D around like 6-year olds. We need some size on the back end.

Since you opened the door: the Devils made the Finals with a line of Carter, Bernier, and Gionta, 3 fringe AHL/NHL players, not just playing, but making a big contribution.

One reason is vet leadership: a system, a tradition of winning and the vets that pass it on.

The Blues can't connect with something that doesn't exist--their own success in the playoffs--but it wouldn't hurt to have a couple older players to mix in with all the might-be-great-someday, high upside guys.

And I completely agree with the posts in this thread that limited 4th line players--the Porters and Cracknells--are a big part of most playoff teams' success. The three players in that Devils line mentioned above probably won't even have NHL jobs in three years, but the right chemistry in the right moment and they made the Finals.

So if you trade one of our precious assets for a sure-handed, not as high upside, but proven LD, and let the Porters and Cracknells have their day, who knows?

Of course, said LD has to be available...

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03-20-2013, 08:32 PM
  #20
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What happened is a very large Kings forecheck tossed our D around like 6-year olds. We need some size on the back end.

Since you opened the door: the Devils made the Finals with a line of Carter, Bernier, and Gionta, 3 fringe AHL/NHL players, not just playing, but making a big contribution.

One reason is vet leadership: a system, a tradition of winning and the vets that pass it on.

The Blues can't connect with something that doesn't exist--their own success in the playoffs--but it wouldn't hurt to have a couple older players to mix in with all the might-be-great-someday, high upside guys.

And I completely agree with the posts in this thread that limited 4th line players--the Porters and Cracknells--are a big part of most playoff teams' success. The three players in that Devils line mentioned above probably won't even have NHL jobs in three years, but the right chemistry in the right moment and they made the Finals.

So if you trade one of our precious assets for a sure-handed, not as high upside, but proven LD, and let the Porters and Cracknells have their day, who knows?

Of course, said LD has to be available...
I'm not sold that we need size per se. I do think we need an upgrade from the Reddens/Colaiacovos/Coles in our top 4. Unfortunately, Jackman just works best with Shatty. Those two have great chemistry, not to mention that I think Jacks is much better suited for a little more sheltered minutes 5v5. I think Jacks has looked better with AP this year, but there are too many times where he just can't make a simple cross ice pass back to AP's tape. For whatever reason, Shatty and Jacks work much better together then AP and Jacks.

I truly think all we need is a LHD who can play against the top players at even strength and make a crisp, tape-to-tape first pass out of the zone. Doesn't have to be flashy, doesn't have to be amazing, or offensively skilled, or even be a great PKer, as we have plenty of guys who fill those roles. We just need a Dman that can handle 18-20 minutes of 5v5 play a night against the top line of other teams, and not look like Jacks from 2-3 years ago with the puck.

This is another reason why this is getting to be untenable for me. I can't believe it's -that- hard to identify this type of player and make a solid trade (even if we have to over pay for it) vs. continuously trying to pull guys off the scrap heap to band-aid the problem.

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03-20-2013, 08:52 PM
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Willie Mitchell was a monster for the Kings last year. He already was one of the league's elite defensive D and Jackman is playing well but he's a notch below Mitchell. Voynov didn't put up the stats, but Jack Johnson became available because Voynov is a totally legitimate impact-caliber defenseman (as he is showing this year putting up plenty of points and playing big minutes).

Then you had Scuderi who was a 22 minute defenseman and is capable of stepping up into that role.

The Bruins had Chara and Seidenberg, who played 27+ minutes a game during that postseason run. I mean, we could run Jackman out there 27+ minutes a game, or Cole or somebody, but come on. Seidenberg also played over 23:33 during that regular season. Granted, they didn't have a third guy, but the Blues also don't have two guys who are going to play 27+ minutes a game. The Bruins also didn't have Chara go down injured during a series like the Blues did last year.

The Blues have Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk but need at least one more guy. He doesn't have to be Shea Weber caliber (obviously) but he needs to be in the Giordano/Vlasic range. Someone you can count on.

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03-20-2013, 10:56 PM
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Willie Mitchell was a monster for the Kings last year. He already was one of the league's elite defensive D and Jackman is playing well but he's a notch below Mitchell. Voynov didn't put up the stats, but Jack Johnson became available because Voynov is a totally legitimate impact-caliber defenseman (as he is showing this year putting up plenty of points and playing big minutes).

Then you had Scuderi who was a 22 minute defenseman and is capable of stepping up into that role.

The Bruins had Chara and Seidenberg, who played 27+ minutes a game during that postseason run. I mean, we could run Jackman out there 27+ minutes a game, or Cole or somebody, but come on. Seidenberg also played over 23:33 during that regular season. Granted, they didn't have a third guy, but the Blues also don't have two guys who are going to play 27+ minutes a game. The Bruins also didn't have Chara go down injured during a series like the Blues did last year.

The Blues have Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk but need at least one more guy. He doesn't have to be Shea Weber caliber (obviously) but he needs to be in the Giordano/Vlasic range. Someone you can count on.
Hold on - did you just put "Willie Mitchell" and "elite" in the same sentence??

As if that wasn't confusing enough, the rest of your argument also perplexes me. You help prove my point by saying that the Kings/Bruins won Cups with Mitchell/Scuderi/Seidenberg on their back end, but then insist that the LD that WE need to get has to be someone like Giordano/Vlasic - young guys on great contracts that teams wouldn't move without significant assets going the other way. Why can't we go out and get a Scuderi/Seidenberg-type? That's what I keep lobbying for. And why mention Petro's injury? We're supposed to have three elite d-men in case one gets injured? Those are the risks you take - if one gets injured, the other ones are supposed to step up (like what Ottawa is doing this year).

All I've been trying to say is that we can address the LD issue by acquiring a "Jackman clone" with a hockey trade or via FA (Tallinder, Klesla, Leopold, Regehr, Douglas Murray, even Scuderi himself), without having to package a core forward + prospect to get a stud d-man. I'd much rather use that package to upgrade our Center position. And the debate continues...

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03-20-2013, 11:05 PM
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Hold on - did you just put "Willie Mitchell" and "elite" in the same sentence??

As if that wasn't confusing enough, the rest of your argument also perplexes me. You help prove my point by saying that the Kings/Bruins won Cups with Mitchell/Scuderi/Seidenberg on their back end, but then insist that the LD that WE need to get has to be someone like Giordano/Vlasic - young guys on great contracts that teams wouldn't move without significant assets going the other way. Why can't we go out and get a Scuderi/Seidenberg-type? That's what I keep lobbying for. And why mention Petro's injury? We're supposed to have three elite d-men in case one gets injured? Those are the risks you take - if one gets injured, the other ones are supposed to step up (like what Ottawa is doing this year).

All I've been trying to say is that we can address the LD issue by acquiring a "Jackman clone" with a hockey trade or via FA (Tallinder, Klesla, Leopold, Regehr, Douglas Murray, even Scuderi himself), without having to package a core forward + prospect to get a stud d-man. I'd much rather use that package to upgrade our Center position. And the debate continues...
Yes, Willie Mitchell is an elite defensive defenseman in the NHL. I said that last year before the Kings made their run, and he was hugely impressive in the playoffs. There really shouldn't be any confusion on this point. Saying the Kings were only a one defenseman team is just not true. They had an emergent Voynov (who is top pair caliber), Doughty, and Willie Mitchell, who is a rich man's Jackman.

Mentioning Pietrangelo's injury should be obvious. Lose a skilled forward, the team trucks right along. Allow an opponent to target Pietrangelo or Shattenkirk and the team is simply done in the postseason. That's a ridiculous risk to take when you don't need to take it. Case in point – just last year!

Doughty ... Pietrangelo
Voynov ... Shattenkirk
Mitchell ... nobody
Scuderi ... Jackman

Frankly Scuderi was/is probably a better postseason performer than Jackman as well.

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03-20-2013, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by PocketNines View Post
Doughty ... Pietrangelo
Voynov ... Shattenkirk
Mitchell ... nobody
Scuderi ... Jackman

Frankly Scuderi was/is probably a better postseason performer than Jackman as well.
Once again, you're proving my point - in order to match the top 4 from last year's Cup-winning defensive corps, all we need is a Willie Mitchell-type. A 35-year-old injury-prone shut-down defensive defenseman, who managed to stay healthy long enough to put together a very impressive playoff run. That shouldn't be too hard to find.

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03-20-2013, 11:54 PM
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Once again, you're proving my point - in order to match the top 4 from last year's Cup-winning defensive corps, all we need is a Willie Mitchell-type. A 35-year-old injury-prone shut-down defensive defenseman, who managed to stay healthy long enough to put together a very impressive playoff run. That shouldn't be too hard to find.
Sounds like the defensive version of Ryan Whitney.

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