Backman – Showed plenty of offensive ability and held his own in the defensive end. Backman made crisp passes out of his end and at times carried the puck well through the neutral zone. He was the Blues best defenseman last night.
Brimanis – Didn’t do anything to stand out defensively, but did turn the puck over a few times in his own end creating scoring chances for the Stars. Based on last night’s showing, he doesn’t look like an NHL defenseman.
Brown – Hustled, but didn’t show much offensive creativity. He fought hard in the corners and wasn’t afraid to go into traffic. I wouldn’t say that he is an NHLer though.
Divis – This guy still can’t stickhandle to save his life and he had a little trouble with rebounds, but he made some nice saves. IMO Divis is the best netminder on the roster. Now if he could just learn how to use the paddle.
Finley – He had an awful night. I hope it was just rust, because he didn’t look good with or without the puck. Definite waiver wire material.
Jackman – Solid night in his own zone, and showed some real offensive potential. However, he pinched too often resulting in odd man rushed versus Koivisto (not a good situation). He needs to choose his moments a little better.
King – Showed some feistiness, but there are guys in my adult league that can skate better. He needs to go back to power skating class.
Koivisto – Stickhandled better than anyone on the ice. A real offensive threat, but he needs to choose better times to shoot. Defensively, he was schooled several times. Maybe the Blues need to try him on the wing.
Laflamme – Didn’t stand out at all. May never be better than a 7th or 8th defenseman.
Low – Same old Low. Worked hard, hit well, but just can’t skate or stickhandle.
Martins – Hustles more than anyone. Solid 4th liner.
Mayers – Looked quick and very feisty. Didn’t do much offensively, but didn’t get much help. I’m glad to see he is back to where he was before the injury, but isn’t any better than before the injury either.
McLaren – Decent fight, but that was about it.
Nickulas – Fought for the puck well, and created one of the Blues few scoring chances. He had a pretty good game. He is definitely not a scoring line type of guy, but he should be a capable checker in the NHL.
Osgood – He had a rough night, but didn’t get much help from the guys in front of him.
Panzer – He looked quick. For his size, he wasn’t afraid to fight for the puck. He also showed flashes of creativity. However, IMO he isn’t ready for the NHL.
Pavlikovski – Showed flashes of skill and quickness. However, he avoided all contact if at all possible. He also glided too much for my taste.
Pohl – He fought for the puck hard against the boards, but rarely came away with the puck. He seemed to take a lot of hits. He hustled, but didn’t create much offensively. I was expecting more from him.
Tkachuk – He looked like he was going about 85%. I wonder if he is able to create scoring chances on his own, or if he needs someone else to create them for him. Even if it is just preseason, I would have thought Walt would have more pride in his game than to give that kind of effort.
Valeev – Feisty, but I expected more in that area from a guy fighting for the pest role. Overall he did a decent job, but I just expected him to hit anything and everything, and that wasn’t the case.
Overall the Blues had a pretty bad game. Dallas really controlled the game and the score could have been worse if not for some fine netminding from Divis in the second half of the game. Backman and Jackman were the only two defenseman that looked capable of handling duties at the Blue’s blueline. Offensively, I think the Blues only had one good scoring chance.
Considering who the Stars put out there (Modano, Arnott, Young, Morrow, Numminen, Matvichuk) and who the Blues put out there (Tkachuk, Jackman and a bunch of 3rd/4th line guys, #5/6 d-men and prospects), I don't look at last night real hard. It would be like Dallas playing Worcester - it's not a real good way to judge players on either side.
"You better get to livin', because dying's a pain in the ass." - Frank Sinatra