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Blues v. Kings Comprehensive Preview/Prediction

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04-29-2013, 11:16 AM
  #1
BBSuns
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Blues v. Kings Comprehensive Preview/Prediction

http://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-play...geles-kings-2/

Here to discuss.

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04-29-2013, 02:11 PM
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Still here to discuss; would love other's predictions as well as thoughts about the series.

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04-29-2013, 03:12 PM
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Very interesting, I generally agree with the ultimate assessment.

I especially agree with the underlined portion below and think Hitch will be making a pretty large mistake if he doesn't keep the 4th line intact (at least for the first game and then play it game by game depending upon their performance):

"Also, the addition of T.J. Oshie into the Blues lineup will certainly be a huge upgrade on offense; but who sits out may be the toughest question to resolve for Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. In all likelihood, it will be the rookie Vladamir Tarasenko or a guy from the Blues 4th line. Considering their recent success and the size of the Kings 4th line, I wouldn’t take out any of the Blues 4th line players."

In the end, if the refs call this series fairly and our guys match or exceed their effort (skate a full 60 minutes and nothing less), I think we win this series in 6 games.

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04-29-2013, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by carter333167 View Post
Very interesting, I generally agree with the ultimate assessment.

I especially agree with the underlined portion below and think Hitch will be making a pretty large mistake if he doesn't keep the 4th line intact (at least for the first game and then play it game by game depending upon their performance):

"Also, the addition of T.J. Oshie into the Blues lineup will certainly be a huge upgrade on offense; but who sits out may be the toughest question to resolve for Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. In all likelihood, it will be the rookie Vladamir Tarasenko or a guy from the Blues 4th line. Considering their recent success and the size of the Kings 4th line, I wouldn’t take out any of the Blues 4th line players."

In the end, if the refs call this series fairly and our guys match or exceed their effort (skate a full 60 minutes and nothing less), I think we win this series in 6 games.
Yes, the size of the Kings forwards is basically unmatched in the league. They were able to bully teams last year. This is a big reason why I dont think Schwartz can remain on the top line. Yes, he keeps the puck very well and I love how he drives the net, but hes just too small if Hitch goes top line v top line in this series> which he should. I think the Blues most dominant line will be their second line v. the Kings 2nd line...based on lines in practice, looks like Senko may sit with oshie taking his spot on the 3rd line, leaving the 4th line in tact and thus also keeping Schwartz on the top line. interesting


Last edited by BBSuns: 04-29-2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: more thought explaining needed
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04-29-2013, 03:29 PM
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why does everyone think size is what matters? Like just because antropov is 6'4 or whatever and sobotka is 5'10, are u really gonna tell me antropov is tougher??? hell no. it's the way you play. if ur 5'9 and play like your 5'9 then you'll get eaten alive by L.A. hence mcdonald. If your like sobotka who's i wanna say around 5'10 he will be very effective because he plays like he's 6'4 and is probly pound for pound our strongest player. Schwartz will be just fine against L.A. I actually prefer him going up against Regehr. I have a feeling schwartz-backes-steen if they remain together could eat regehrs pairing alive on the forecheck. the quickness and relentlessness by schwartz and steen on the forecheck will result in many turnovers by regehr. and could lead to Goals for us.

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04-29-2013, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BBSuns View Post
Yes, the size of the Kings forwards is basically unmatched in the league. They were able to bully teams last year. This is a big reason why I dont think Schwartz can remain on the top line. Yes, he keeps the puck very well and I love how he drives the net, but hes just too small if Hitch goes top line v top line in this series> which he should. I think the Blues most dominant line will be their second line v. the Kings 2nd line...based on lines in practice, looks like Senko may sit with oshie taking his spot on the 3rd line, leaving the 4th line in tact and thus also keeping Schwartz on the top line. interesting
I didn't have that bit of intel...where did you hear it? How often do the practice lines translate to the game lines?

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04-29-2013, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by carter333167 View Post
I didn't have that bit of intel...where did you hear it? How often do the practice lines translate to the game lines?
line combos in practice via Lou Korac:

9-42-20, 10-17-25, 57-21-74/91, 79-32-75.

I'd say it means something; its preparation for the game ahead so I assume Hitch is looking at how Oshie looks on that 3rd line. If he likes what he sees, hell prob insert him in Franks spot for game 1 and make changes accordingly.

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04-29-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by STLBLUES44 View Post
why does everyone think size is what matters? Like just because antropov is 6'4 or whatever and sobotka is 5'10, are u really gonna tell me antropov is tougher??? hell no. it's the way you play. if ur 5'9 and play like your 5'9 then you'll get eaten alive by L.A. hence mcdonald. If your like sobotka who's i wanna say around 5'10 he will be very effective because he plays like he's 6'4 and is probly pound for pound our strongest player. Schwartz will be just fine against L.A. I actually prefer him going up against Regehr. I have a feeling schwartz-backes-steen if they remain together could eat regehrs pairing alive on the forecheck. the quickness and relentlessness by schwartz and steen on the forecheck will result in many turnovers by regehr. and could lead to Goals for us.
Size matters considering the style of play of these teams .

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04-29-2013, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by STLBLUES44 View Post
why does everyone think size is what matters? Like just because antropov is 6'4 or whatever and sobotka is 5'10, are u really gonna tell me antropov is tougher??? hell no. it's the way you play. if ur 5'9 and play like your 5'9 then you'll get eaten alive by L.A. hence mcdonald. If your like sobotka who's i wanna say around 5'10 he will be very effective because he plays like he's 6'4 and is probly pound for pound our strongest player. Schwartz will be just fine against L.A. I actually prefer him going up against Regehr. I have a feeling schwartz-backes-steen if they remain together could eat regehrs pairing alive on the forecheck. the quickness and relentlessness by schwartz and steen on the forecheck will result in many turnovers by regehr. and could lead to Goals for us.
I definitely agree that not all 5'9" are created equally...there are a lot of factors that determine a matchup. As to the 4th line, I'm not advocating keeping them together b/c of size but rather b/c they have produced much better play as a unit than when Hitch has subbed in a "top 9" forward on the 4th line. Also, and again, I'm not saying we commit to that 4th line on anything other than a game by game basis. If they are over-matched in the first game, then, fine, we should sub in someone from the "top 9" on the 4th line.

Candidly, I think we have several "top nine" forwards who have been practically invisible for the last month and, thus, would probably look to pick the guys from that group who will make the least turnovers and silly plays.

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04-29-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by carter333167 View Post
I definitely agree that not all 5'9" are created equally...there are a lot of factors that determine a matchup. As to the 4th line, I'm not advocating keeping them together b/c of size but rather b/c they have produced much better play as a unit than when Hitch has subbed in a "top 9" forward on the 4th line. Also, and again, I'm not saying we commit to that 4th line on anything other than a game by game basis. If they are over-matched in the first game, then, fine, we should sub in someone from the "top 9" on the 4th line.

Candidly, I think we have several "top nine" forwards who have been practically invisible for the last month and, thus, would probably look to pick the guys from that group who will make the least turnovers and silly plays.
Speaking of top 9 forwards, if Hitch goes with Perron-Berglund-Oshie, I think they can make some noise against Richards line. He's only put up 15 ES points this year.

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04-29-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BBSuns View Post
line combos in practice via Lou Korac:

9-42-20, 10-17-25, 57-21-74/91, 79-32-75.

I'd say it means something; its preparation for the game ahead so I assume Hitch is looking at how Oshie looks on that 3rd line. If he likes what he sees, hell prob insert him in Franks spot for game 1 and make changes accordingly.
OK....I'd be very happy with the 4th line. How do you feel about the other three?

Which line or combo do you feel has the best chance to hold the Kopitar line in check?

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04-29-2013, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by carter333167 View Post
OK....I'd be very happy with the 4th line. How do you feel about the other three?

Which line or combo do you feel has the best chance to hold the Kopitar line in check?
I originally wanted Backes on Kopitar, but idk if it will work with young Schwartz on his line. I like the prospect of Oshie-Backes-Steen honestly. Two shut-downs and a two-way forward.

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04-29-2013, 03:45 PM
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Interesting article. I have no major qualms with anything said.

I agree that it will be Blues in 7. I think we have a lot of the same elements that made the Kings so successful last year

-Playoff experience after getting their ass whooped the year before (Big factor in my opinion)
-Hot goalie
-Fast finish after major acquisition (Carter for Kings, Jay-Bouw for Blues)
-Strong bottom 6 (Very interested to see what Hitch does with line combos)

Should be a great series, much more competitive than last year

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04-29-2013, 03:49 PM
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I originally wanted Backes on Kopitar, but idk if it will work with young Schwartz on his line. I like the prospect of Oshie-Backes-Steen honestly. Two shut-downs and a two-way forward.
Interesting...if we can find a line to play even with the Kopitar line, we get some effective play against Quick by going to the net and we get a fair shake from the refs, I really think that we will win this series.

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04-29-2013, 03:51 PM
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One tidbit: Oshie said the other day that he will be at 90% for the first game and, since we are discussing lines, here's something on the King's practice:

"Sutter mixed up the lines in the practice this morning.

Clifford - Kopi - Carter
Brown - Richards - Williams
King - Stoll - Lewis
Penner - Richardson - Nolan.

No idea if those will be the lines tomorrow. I'd rather keep the normal top line in tact, as it's been pretty dominant all season, but Carter flanking Kopitar could be quite dominant as well. I do hope Clifford stays in the top 6 over Penner though. Clifford is playing really well."


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04-29-2013, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by carter333167 View Post
One tidbit: Oshie said the other day that he will be at 90% for the first game and, since we are discussing lines, here's something on the King's practice:

"Sutter mixed up the lines in the practice this morning.

Clifford - Kopi - Carter
Brown - Richards - Williams
King - Stoll - Lewis
Penner - Richardson - Nolan.

No idea if those will be the lines tomorrow. I'd rather keep the normal top line in tact, as it's been pretty dominant all season, but Carter flanking Kopitar could be quite dominant as well. I do hope Clifford stays in the top 6 over Penner though. Clifford is playing really well."
The only thing that's different is Penner and Clifford. I've watched a few Kings games this year, Clifford is no joke. Guy loves to spend all his time around the net. He's a big body. He works and works and works to get to the net with the puck. Penner has 2 goals this year; Clifford has 2 in his last 2 games.

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04-29-2013, 04:22 PM
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The only thing that's different is Penner and Clifford. I've watched a few Kings games this year, Clifford is no joke. Guy loves to spend all his time around the net. He's a big body. He works and works and works to get to the net with the puck. Penner has 2 goals this year; Clifford has 2 in his last 2 games.
That brings up an interesting point: whose D will be more effective at clearing the front of the net combined with the corresponding offensive unit's tenacity at getting to the front of the net. The Blues really need to win this battle b/c, IMO, Quick is better close-in than Elliott. Elliott, by contrast, IMO, is better at absorbing/preventing rebounds on long/mid-range shots.

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04-29-2013, 04:31 PM
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That brings up an interesting point: whose D will be more effective at clearing the front of the net combined with the corresponding offensive unit's tenacity at getting to the front of the net. The Blues really need to win this battle b/c, IMO, Quick is better close-in than Elliott. Elliott, by contrast, IMO, is better at absorbing/preventing rebounds on long/mid-range shots.
The Blues plethora of PMD really help in terms of their transition game, escape game and breakout game. This will help deter the Kings style of forecheck and in-zone offense.

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04-29-2013, 04:33 PM
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Nice read.

Thanks for posting.

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04-29-2013, 04:54 PM
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Nice read.

Thanks for posting.
Thank you for reading!

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04-29-2013, 06:07 PM
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I guess there's no need for the Blues to respect the point shots of the Kings' Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin, right?

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04-29-2013, 07:02 PM
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I guess there's no need for the Blues to respect the point shots of the Kings' Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin, right?
they do; Muzzin has been a nice addition considering this is his first NHL-season. Voynov has a very good shot from the point too. However, when you compare the PMD as a whole for both teams, the Blues have a slight edge. They have two #1 dmen on this team, their 2nd pairing is very solid and i could argue that they have the best 3rd pair in the NHL playoffs

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04-29-2013, 07:08 PM
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I guess there's no need for the Blues to respect the point shots of the Kings' Slava Voynov and Jake Muzzin, right?
Depends.
As long as they can ensure Muzzin stays in his own zone and keeps coughing up the puck at the worst possible moments, then no respecting the point shot is likely not their largest concern.

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04-29-2013, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BBSuns View Post
line combos in practice via Lou Korac:

9-42-20, 10-17-25, 57-21-74/91, 79-32-75.

I'd say it means something; its preparation for the game ahead so I assume Hitch is looking at how Oshie looks on that 3rd line. If he likes what he sees, hell prob insert him in Franks spot for game 1 and make changes accordingly.

That 4th line is going to eat the Kings alive.

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04-29-2013, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Inglorious Backes View Post
Interesting article. I have no major qualms with anything said.

I agree that it will be Blues in 7. I think we have a lot of the same elements that made the Kings so successful last year

-Playoff experience after getting their ass whooped the year before (Big factor in my opinion)
-Hot goalie
-Fast finish after major acquisition (Carter for Kings, Jay-Bouw for Blues)
-Strong bottom 6 (Very interested to see what Hitch does with line combos)

Should be a great series, much more competitive than last year
I'd second this. It is imperative that Hitch's puck-control approach be able to find a way to work in order to cut down on SOGs and to create scoring opportunities that the Kings' strong forechecking took away last year. I think the addition of Bouwmeester and Leopold helps to deal with this problem. It is the key to the entire series in my book.

Sidenote: Is it a given that Doughty is the best d-man on the ice in this series?? The author of the analysis seems to think so. My homer streak may be showing and maybe I just haven't watched Doughty enough to make a fair assessment but I'd say Pietrangelo edges him out. Opinions?

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That 4th line is going to eat the Kings alive.
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