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Blues Training Camp Thread - 2007 version

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Old
09-11-2007, 07:17 PM
  #26
StLooFrenchy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
1) "Fleet, shutdown players" may be a "Dime a Dozen" but that does NOT make them spare parts. There is a reason that every SC winning team in the last decade has had a player or complete line of players in this mold. A Team NEEDS players like this both for their play on the PK(these types of player MAKE a PK unit good) and for the energy they provide the team. A player, or line, in this mold can be the difference between winning and losing a PO series.
Elite PK units have the ability to counter-attack, that is what makes them effective, and keeps the opposition tenative and nervous. Blocking a ton of shots; while admirable for the guts, when you do nothing with the loose puck; is an exersize in futility.

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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
2) Jammer, RJ and Hinote are some of the very best players in the League in playing this role. These are not just "run of the mill" grinders. These 3 have the potential to be THE top Grind line in the League.
Here we wil have to agree to disagree. IMO, they are very run of the mill indeed. I love Jammer's character, he is the ultimate team player. I could live with him; and as I have stated in an earlier thread, he is a younger Dallas Drake (without the hands). How many times have we seen RJ block/steal a puck, skate in alone, get within ten feet and shoot wide? Too many times for me. He makes no one nervous or tenative. Granted, we haven't seen enough of Hinote here, but his previous roles were good, but not outstanding. Elite shut-down/PK'ers, such as Madden, Holik (back in the day), Tik (back in the day, please don't expect me to spell his name), etc., have the ability to bite back.

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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
3) How many goals do you REALLY expect King to score? IMO you are VASTLY overrating this kid. I like King plenty; but he is nowhere NEAR as talented as RJ, Jammer and Hinote. He may be better than your "typical" Enforcer, but IMO he is NOT talented enough to push out one of Jammer/RJ/Hinote out, and it is stupid to keep him up over a skilled player just to be "carrying an enforcer".
Scoring goals, of course, will not be his job. Any he can muster will be gravy, although I feel he can bag a few, five or six would be kool with me. Along with a lot of bruised egos.


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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
IMO only one of these two will make the team and a youngster will fill out that line with Weight. THAT is the spot that Birner, Berglund, Lemtyugov, Perron, Linglet and Glumac are fighting for; NOT a spot on the shut down unit.
Not my intention to say this, just stating that said shut-down line should not be untouchable.

After all of this discourse, I know that we will see the JM/RJ/DH line start the season.

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Old
09-11-2007, 07:28 PM
  #27
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
This is a long-debated topic here at HF: what serves a prospect better - playing 6-8 minutes a night on the 4th line in the NHL, or 20-24 minutes on the 1st line in the AHL? If we were talking about guys 22 and 23 who had 3-4 years of experience with the North American game, I'd probably say "put him in the NHL." We're not - Kana, Lemtyugov, Birner, Berglund, .... none of them are older than 21, and none of them even 2 years of North American experience. They're much better served starting at Peoria, picking up the NA game and making adjustments there. If they can step to the NHL quickly, fine - but why rush them? As highly touted as they might be, and as high as the hopes are that they'll step in sooner than later, I'd be absolutely shocked if more than Berglund started with the big team, injuries notwithstanding.

But let's say Lemtyugov outplays Hinote and Birner outplays Johnson and Berglund outplays Rucinsky - then what? Again ... the Blues do not have the budget flexibility to just bury those veterans on 1-way deals in the AHL ... and who in the NHL (A) has cap space [or the space within their internal budget] and (B) a need for those guys? Few teams, if any - most teams have maxed out their budgets, cap-constrained or self-restrained; the only way to move a guy out in most cases will be to take someone else's bad contract back - and does that necessarily make things any better?

Yes .... in an ideal world, the Blues would have 2 forward spots open and tell the kids, "go fight it out." They don't - at most, they have one. Yes, I wish JD had been a little less generous with handing out contracts over the last year - but what's done is done, and we'll play with the circumstances as is ... and that means just about everyone will start at Peoria and filter up during the season as needed.
Fair enough Irish, you make some good points, as usual. I'm looking forward to October so we can see what the final roster does indeed look like, especially with regards to Berglund and Perron.

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09-11-2007, 07:40 PM
  #28
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A lot of how much ice that King gets will depend on the league as a whole. If as some have hinted at Anaheims cup win leads to more teams playing a tough guy every night in the regular season King will see a lot of ice. All of this will shake out as the season starts.

There may be some truth to all teams wanting to add muscle. The Wings have invited Aaron Downey to their camp. I know he isnt Bob Probert in any way shape or form but in recent years the Wings have scoffed at having any sort of fighter.

I know that a camp invite is nothing to get riled up about and he isnt assured of anything but inviting him to camp is more than they have done in recent years. Maybe with the Ducks winning last year The role of the tough guy will increase a bit?

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09-11-2007, 08:39 PM
  #29
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
I did not say that the line was the best in the league, I said they had the potential to be the best. If all 3 of those players play to their abilities there is no reason at all that they can't be just as good as the May, Pahlsson, Neidermayer line that most of the "experts" are calling the best checking line in the NHL right now.
Neither of the three Blues in question are even close to Niedermayer or Pahlsson; it's completely unfair, not to mention laughable, to make that comparison.

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Detroit-What do they have going for them besides their reputation? They are a 6 PLAYER team(Zet, Dats, Holmstrom, Lidstrom, Rafalski, Hasek). On paper there is no way that Detroit should make the PO's. IF they make it to the postseason it will be because they played to a very strict system and got a LOT of luck in the injury column.
Well, those are six pretty good players to base a team around. Aside from Lang and Schneider (who was basically replaced by Rafalski), the Wings are largely the same team that finished in first place with 113 points. To suggest they would have to "luck" their way into the playoffs is incredible.

Quote:
Anahiem- They lost their top 2 players this summer, plus their #3 goal scorer and signed a 38 year old D man and Bertuzzi to replace them. This team has a LOT of questions regarding it's lineup and their youngsters are going to have to step up to fill those voids. Maybe they can do it, but they're going to have to prove it to me before I jump on the Duck bandwagon.
The Ducks won't be as strong as last year, but they will still be one of the better teams in the league. Those youngsters have already stepped up. Getzlaf led the team in playoff scoring. Perry was second. And forget basing this on Bertuzzi. Anything he contributes is gravy as far as I 'm concerned, because I expect him to contribute nothing.

Quote:
Dallas- Where are their goals coming from again? This team is absolutely pathetic up front. On paper, this team should be competing for a lotto pick next year. They win games because of their adherance to their system; not because of how the team looks on paper. Turco and the D are once again going to have to be rock solid for this team to do anything; and I'm far from convinced that they can do it again with Modano and Lehtinen getting up there in age.
I don't know where their goals are coming from. Did it matter last year? Nope. Plus they will have Morrow back after he missed half of last season. They do play a tight system, and since Dave Tippett remains head coach, there's no reason to anticipate that will change.

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Calgary- Two Words- Mike Keenan.
I fully expect Keenan will turn the Flames into a circus. But usually he takes at least a little while to do that, and in the mean time, the Flames should win enough games to get into the playoffs before it all starts to unravel.

Quote:
You can spin "reason" any way you want to spin it. The bottom line is that you are giving all of those team the benefit of the doubt in a LOT of areas and not giving the Blues the same credit. I could easily show you "within reason" how the Blues could score 280+ goals and win the Pres Trophy and SC this year, but it's not realistic.
Boy, that makes sense. Please direct me to where I am giving anybody, besides maybe Detroit a little, the benefit of any doubt. Picking those teams I mentioned to finish ahead of St. Louis is entirely reasonable. What have the Blues done over the course of the off-season to make it quite likely, as you seem to be implying, that they will make the playoffs? Keeping in mind they will need about a 15-point improvment just to get 8th place. Having Andy Murray for a full season will help for sure, and Kariya was a good signing. You can hope that Stempniak and Backes continue to improve, and Erik Johnson should contend for rookie of the year.

But on the flip side, most of the team's offense, aside from Kariya, is a question mark. Weight is well past his prime, and Keith Tkachuk is..well...Keith Tkachuk. A poor leader, a me-first attitude, and mediocre production. Re-signing him was probably the only glaring mistake Davidson has made thus far, IMO. What you will get out of Rucinsky is anybody's guess. You are the one giving the Blues the benefit of the doubt, because they will need a number of things to go right in order to make the playoffs.

Quote:
The reality is, the Blues stack up even or better against any team in the League. It will be the "uncertainties" that determine the order of the PO'S. IF the Blues stay healthy; there is absolutely no reason why we can't make the PO's as a 2-5 seed and make a fairly deep run.
Actually, there's plenty of reason, I think I covered it above. If the Blues finish higher than 7th in the west, I will be stunned. There's a fine line between the optimism that most posters are displaying, and the delusion that you are portraying.

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Old
09-11-2007, 10:51 PM
  #30
Mike6749
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Can't we all just get along? So how about them BLUES?

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Old
09-11-2007, 11:34 PM
  #31
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Looking at the Blue's record under Murray last year .... we went 27-18-9. If we had him as coach the entire season and maintained the same pace we would have gone 40-27-14. That would have given us 94points. Calgary claimed the last spot last year with 96 points.

In short we weren't far away from making the playoffs ... and the outlook looks much better offensively if one considers what we did last year without KT and Gueren (and no Kariya) for a big portion of the year.

IMHO it will come down to what the results when we play the other Central division clubs. We should be better .. but so should Chicago. But Nashville will obviously be down.


Last edited by breakingaway: 09-11-2007 at 11:59 PM.
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Old
09-12-2007, 12:34 AM
  #32
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I love the Blues, and I expect big things from them this year, but if Kariya puts up more goals than Guerin did in his time here (30 in 3/4s of a season) I'd be shocked. Hopefully he sets up a few more than Billy G did though. EJ on the backline will need to do some thingsm but health, development of the kid line (and Boyes) and better coaching more than anything else will be the improvement of this team.

As for the others in the Western Conference, I don't think Minnesota is getting enough attention from those in this thread, they're one of the front runners in the conference AFAIC. If I had to handicap it right now,

1. San Jose
2. Anaheim
3. Detroit
4. Minnesota
5. Vancouver
6. Colorado

With Dallas, St. Louis, Nashville (watch out, they're still pretty good), and Calgary all finishing with similar records and battling for the final two spots in the conference.

As for the 4th line argument, at some point we're going to need to see more production from those roster spots, (the RJ shooting wide all the time comment was rather apt), but financial realities being what they are in today's NHL we're kind of stuck with those guys, as well as Cajanek and Rucinsky, for the time being. But I agree if someone is drastically outplaying them in the minors they will be called up pretty quickly.

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Old
09-12-2007, 02:06 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-carp View Post
A lot of how much ice that King gets will depend on the league as a whole. If as some have hinted at Anaheims cup win leads to more teams playing a tough guy every night in the regular season King will see a lot of ice. All of this will shake out as the season starts.

There may be some truth to all teams wanting to add muscle. The Wings have invited Aaron Downey to their camp. I know he isnt Bob Probert in any way shape or form but in recent years the Wings have scoffed at having any sort of fighter.

I know that a camp invite is nothing to get riled up about and he isnt assured of anything but inviting him to camp is more than they have done in recent years. Maybe with the Ducks winning last year The role of the tough guy will increase a bit?
King should turn some heads around if he starts. Anaheim dressing Moen, Parros, May, and Thornton should say something about their success.

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Old
09-12-2007, 03:01 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post

Well, those are six pretty good players to base a team around. Aside from Lang and Schneider (who was basically replaced by Rafalski), the Wings are largely the same team that finished in first place with 113 points. To suggest they would have to "luck" their way into the playoffs is incredible.

Boy, that makes sense. Please direct me to where I am giving anybody, besides maybe Detroit a little, the benefit of any doubt. Picking those teams I mentioned to finish ahead of St. Louis is entirely reasonable. What have the Blues done over the course of the off-season to make it quite likely, as you seem to be implying, that they will make the playoffs? Keeping in mind they will need about a 15-point improvment just to get 8th place. Having Andy Murray for a full season will help for sure, and Kariya was a good signing. You can hope that Stempniak and Backes continue to improve, and Erik Johnson should contend for rookie of the year.

But on the flip side, most of the team's offense, aside from Kariya, is a question mark. Weight is well past his prime, and Keith Tkachuk is..well...Keith Tkachuk. A poor leader, a me-first attitude, and mediocre production. Re-signing him was probably the only glaring mistake Davidson has made thus far, IMO. What you will get out of Rucinsky is anybody's guess. You are the one giving the Blues the benefit of the doubt, because they will need a number of things to go right in order to make the playoffs.

Actually, there's plenty of reason, I think I covered it above. If the Blues finish higher than 7th in the west, I will be stunned. There's a fine line between the optimism that most posters are displaying, and the delusion that you are portraying.
You make some really good points Kyle however there are a few things that I would like to point out in regards to Detroit supposedly being the clear favorite in the Central. Lang tied for 3rd in points among Detroit forwards, while I understand he was not very well liked among the coaching staff and fans he still produced. Who is going to replace him? Outside of Datsyuk, Homer, and Zetterberg their forward crop has just as many if not more questions than St. Louis. Granted Dats and Zett are elite players but the depth behind them is really not that strong. They have some fine young players in Franzen, Hudler, and Fillpula but who knows if they can produce over a full season. To me that is a huge question mark. It also frustrates me when people assume Rafalski is just as good or better than Schneider. I see the move as lateral at best. They are two completly different players with a different style of game. I will tell you this, I would much rather have Rafalski manning the point on the PP for the Wings than Schneider as a Blues fan. (As a side note, Detroit will also have three starting defensman under 6'0 which I found kind of odd)

All I am trying to say is that you can not honestly tell me that Detroit is THAT much better than St.Louis. I will freely admit that Detroit still has the edge and will be the clear cut favorite again for the Central title, but to me their overall depth is noticeably(sp?) weaker than in years past. If Hasek or Lidstrom were to go down for an extended period of time I think we could see Detroit really slip.

By the way IB, your comment about Kitchen's reign of error had me laughing for awhile.

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Old
09-12-2007, 08:31 AM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Neither of the three Blues in question are even close to Niedermayer or Pahlsson; it's completely unfair, not to mention laughable, to make that comparison.
That is your opinion.
I do not share it.



Quote:
Well, those are six pretty good players to base a team around. Aside from Lang and Schneider (who was basically replaced by Rafalski), the Wings are largely the same team that finished in first place with 113 points. To suggest they would have to "luck" their way into the playoffs is incredible.
I think Trouble's post about covered Detroit.



Quote:
The Ducks won't be as strong as last year, but they will still be one of the better teams in the league. Those youngsters have already stepped up. Getzlaf led the team in playoff scoring. Perry was second. And forget basing this on Bertuzzi. Anything he contributes is gravy as far as I 'm concerned, because I expect him to contribute nothing.
Producing in the PO's is NOT the same as producing in the regular season. Getz and Perry have proven that they are capable Post Season scorer(a rare commodity), but they have yet to show that they can carry a team offensively over the long haul. You also have the BIG question of "how much of Andy McDonald's offensive production came from Selanne?". I know you don't agree, but IMO Anahiem's offensive group is in shambles right now. They don't have any proven RS scoring; and you have to win in the RS to get to the PO's. Until Anaheim's youngsters prove to me that they can carry this team in the Regular Season I am not even remotely inclined to say that their "far and away better than the Blues".



Quote:
I don't know where their goals are coming from. Did it matter last year? Nope. Plus they will have Morrow back after he missed half of last season. They do play a tight system, and since Dave Tippett remains head coach, there's no reason to anticipate that will change.
I agree; but please explain to me how this translates to being better "on paper". Adherance to a system and staying healthy VERY MUCH fall under the "uncertainties" category.

Sorry, but "on paper" Dallas is in no way, shape or form "better" than the Blues. The Blues have a MUCH better team on paper and it's laughable to even suggest otherwise.



Quote:
I fully expect Keenan will turn the Flames into a circus. But usually he takes at least a little while to do that, and in the mean time, the Flames should win enough games to get into the playoffs before it all starts to unravel.
I disagree completely.
Calgary is in a very deep division and will have to play High level Hockey all year to make the PO's. Simply put; with Keenan as coach I cannot see that happening. IMO Colorado, Vancouver, and Minnesota are easy picks to trump Calgary and Edmonton could give them a run for their money.



Quote:
Boy, that makes sense.
I was hoping you wouldn't make me do this, but so be it.

Tell me which of these stat lines is "unreasonable" for a full season of work and good chemistry with their linemates.

Kariya 31-52-83
Boyes 33-34-67
Tkachuk 36-27-63
Stempniak 35-30-65
Weight 17-42-59
McClement 15-38-53
Cajanek 15-31-46
Backes 22-21-43
Rucinsky 13-28-41(in 60 games)
Mayers 9-10-19
Hinote 7-7-14
RJ 7-5-12
Birner 6-6-12
Whitfield 2-5-7
King 3-2-5
Backman 9-29-38
Brewer 9-28-37
Jackman 6-28-34
EJ 5-23-28
Woywitka 2-12-14
McKee 3-10-13
Salvador 2-4-6
Polak 2-3-5
Walker 0-3-3

That would put our team total at 289 goals.

Again; which of those "projections" is "out of the question" unreasonable?

NOTE: These are NOT my seasonal projections for said players, I am merely using these numbers to illustrate a point.

NOW: Between when AM took over and the trade deadline the Blues went on a 20-10-5 tear(.571 Winning %). That would project to a Seasonal record of 47-23-12 record for 106 points. If you work on the assumption that Kariya "essentially" replaces Guerin(which is perfectly reasonable to make); we have replaced all of the "lost skill" and have added a straight 20+ goal scorer to that team in Brad Boyes. Is it "unreasonable" to expect that Boyes could add 2-5 more wins to what that team was on pace for? That would give us a 50+ win team and at least a "near" 110 point team(if not more).

I fully admit that this is a "best case scenario" is fairly unrealistic; but at least from my perspective you seem to have no clue that we even HAD this kind of upside. You seem to be extrapolating from AM's "seasonal total" and calling that our "upside". That is foolishness on your part and very irresponsible for somebody who wants to write a preview for our team.


Quote:
Please direct me to where I am giving anybody, besides maybe Detroit a little, the benefit of any doubt.
Already done.

Quote:
Picking those teams I mentioned to finish ahead of St. Louis is entirely reasonable.
Again; you can spin "reason" any way you want to spin it.

Quote:
What have the Blues done over the course of the off-season to make it quite likely, as you seem to be implying, that they will make the playoffs?
As I illustrated above, after AM took over, this team was on pace for a 106 point season.

BY Resigning Tkachuk and bringing in Kariya, we have essentially replaced all of the skill we lost at the Trade Deadline AND we have brought in Brad Boyes who has tremendous scoring potential. If you can't see a masive improvement with that kind of upgrade I don't know what to tell you.


Quote:
Keeping in mind they will need about a 15-point improvment just to get 8th place. Having Andy Murray for a full season will help for sure, and Kariya was a good signing. You can hope that Stempniak and Backes continue to improve, and Erik Johnson should contend for rookie of the year.
Red herring.
Yes, Overall the Blues will need a 15 point improvement; however, that is including the "reign of Error" to start last year(7-17-4).

To be blunt; you cannot include Kitchen's run when evaluating this team.
You can either chose AM's overall record, or his record before the Trade Deadline to make you projections on. There is no chance in hades that AM will allow this team to go on a Kitchen-like run under his watch.

Based on the Overall record under AM, this team would have fallen a whopping 2 points shy of a PO berth.
Based on AM's initial stretch, we would have made the PO's easily.

This team did not need a "15 point improvement" to be PO caliber, it needed a slight upgrade and filled that void with Brad Boyes.

Quote:
Weight is well past his prime,
Weight is our 3rd line center. We don't need him to "carry the burden".

Quote:
and Keith Tkachuk is..well...Keith Tkachuk. A poor leader, a me-first attitude, and mediocre production. Re-signing him was probably the only glaring mistake Davidson has made thus far
After AM took over Tkachuk was on pace for 33 goals(with Cajanek and Dvorak as his wingers BTW; Kariya should help him get even more than that) and was one of the best defensive centers the Blues have had since Brindy and Gilmour. Bringing him back was a very good move IMO.


Quote:
What you will get out of Rucinsky is anybody's guess.
It is easy to "guess" what you will get out of Rucinsky.
When he is healthy Rucinsky will score at a 20 goal/60 point pace. The only question with him is how many games he will play.


Quote:
You are the one giving the Blues the benefit of the doubt, because they will need a number of things to go right in order to make the playoffs.
Not really.
The only thing that will keep the Blues out of the PO's this year is our health. Anybody who is questioning this teams skill level is looking too much at what the Turnip put us through.



Quote:
Actually, there's plenty of reason, I think I covered it above. If the Blues finish higher than 7th in the west, I will be stunned. There's a fine line between the optimism that most posters are displaying, and the delusion that you are portraying.
Most fans are projecting us conservatively because they don't want to get their hopes up due to Kitchen and the Lauries ineptitudes over the last 3 years. Moreover, they readily admit that they are projecting everything conservatively. That does not say anything about what they believe our "upside" to be. You seem to be discounting our Upside completely and that is where my issues come into play. This team has an INCREDIBLE amount of upside if things go right. There is no "lack of skill" on this team at any position and we finally have a coach who knows what he's doing. If things go right for this team there is nobody in the League that I'm really "scared of" in terms of matchups. Again; it will be the "uncertainties" that determine how this season plays out. We are very much in the thick of things out West and the degree of Seperation in this Conference makes everything very difficult to project. It's not realistic to expect this team to hit their Full upside; but to disregard it completely is ignorance on your part.

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Old
09-12-2007, 12:34 PM
  #36
blueshead
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All I can say about this thread is WOW!

...but to chip in my two cents I'll make it short and sweet...

> The Blues make the playoffs
> Slots 6,7 & 8 are hotly contested and it is the group the Blues fall into...won't be decided until the last week of the season. Number 8 is decided with the final game and its probably the Blues
> One of the rookies makes the team and my bet is on Berglund out of the gates and contributing from the start, Lemmy is a regular call up and shows why we all need the right attitude
> Defense is set and any change from the current slotting will be wholly dependent on whether we can pull off a trade...but what do we ask for, our problem is too many bodies
> An established forward will be traded, my bet is Rucinski (I know, I know, he has a NTC) or Mayers with a little luck maybe even a Cajanek or Hinote...
> We continue to support Jarmo's hobby...collecting draft choices...we are still rebuilding not rebuilt.

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Old
09-12-2007, 12:59 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
But on the flip side, most of the team's offense, aside from Kariya, is a question mark. Weight is well past his prime, and Keith Tkachuk is..well...Keith Tkachuk. A poor leader, a me-first attitude, and mediocre production.
Most 50 goal scorers from the mid-90's are producing the same kind of numbers Tkachuk is these days. He did have 27 goals last year, which is not too bad in comparison to most his age. If he gets between 25-30 goals, if Weight gets his 60 points, if Kariya is up between 70 and 80, if Stempniak betters his 27 goals, if Rucinsky and Cajanek chip in with 50 points, if Backes gets 40-50 points, etc. You know the drill. There are a lot of if's, but the team's pride has greatly improved under Murray, so their play should follow suit.

Besides all that, this team's strength is obviously in it's defense and goaltending (Legace's numbers on a mediocre squad last season were superb), so perhaps they won't even need to score in bunches to win hockey games.

We shall see...

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Old
09-12-2007, 02:23 PM
  #38
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I am coming late to the party but would have to agree.


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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Come on now. Ryan Johnson is a career minus-80. He has only ever played one full season. He has cracked the elusive 5-goal plateau twice. And he's 31, so he's as good as he's going to get. If he wasn't a great face-off man, he wouldn't be in the NHL.

Dan Hinote, aged 30, is a great 13th forward.

Jamal Mayers is the best of the three, and I hate to go back to plus/minus, because it can be misleading, but he's a minus-60 the last three seasons. That hardly screams defensive responsibility, which is generally a primary attribute of somebody on the "top grind line in the league". He will be 33 early in the season, so he is potentially starting the decline phase of his career.

I could give you some credit if these three guys were in their mid-20s, but they're all past 30 years old, and will definitely not get any better. Once they lose a step, which tends to happen to players in their 30's, they're done in the NHL, plain and simple. To say they are some of the best role players in the league is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

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09-12-2007, 05:35 PM
  #39
c-carp
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Originally Posted by WildCoyotes34 View Post
King should turn some heads around if he starts. Anaheim dressing Moen, Parros, May, and Thornton should say something about their success.
I think he did one heck of a job last year and think he will play in 30-40 games if the league stays the way it has been post lockout. If it changes back to a tougher league like I hope it does, his games will increase according to how much it changes.

When I talk about the league becoming a tougher league, I dont only mean more fights, I hope they let the players battle more in front of the net and in the corners as well.

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Old
09-12-2007, 10:02 PM
  #40
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
That is your opinion.
I do not share it.
And everybody's entitled to their own opinion, but I suspect that you are in an extremely slim minority on that one. Pahlsson is a good checker, and good penalty killer, and was a key contrubitor on a Stanley Cup champion. He is far ahead of Hinote and Johnson in terms of skill and value. Niedermayer is similar, and has shown the ability to score 30-40 points as well. I'm not going to pull a Pierre McGuire here and tell you how they are Selke-esque in nature, but they make a decent third line. The Blues players in question make a respectable fourth line, but they're not at the same level.

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Producing in the PO's is NOT the same as producing in the regular season. Getz and Perry have proven that they are capable Post Season scorer(a rare commodity), but they have yet to show that they can carry a team offensively over the long haul. You also have the BIG question of "how much of Andy McDonald's offensive production came from Selanne?". I know you don't agree, but IMO Anahiem's offensive group is in shambles right now. They don't have any proven RS scoring; and you have to win in the RS to get to the PO's. Until Anaheim's youngsters prove to me that they can carry this team in the Regular Season I am not even remotely inclined to say that their "far and away better than the Blues".
It's not like they've accomplished nothing in the regular season. Getzlaf, Kunitz, and Perry averaged around 55 points between them last year. All three enjoyed significant point gains from the previous year, and are probably still a fair margin away from their full potential. And now they have a Cup under their belt. I don't think 70-80 points is an unreasonable target for those three, though I doubt all three will hit that mark, as one is likely to slump or get injured. Goal-scoring won't be Anaheim's strength, but I don't think it's going to be a disaster. And oh yeah, they have Chris Pronger and JS Giguere, so team defense certainly shouldn't be a problem. Keep in mind as well that Bryzgalov is likely to be traded, and can probably fetch a top-6 forward.

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I agree; but please explain to me how this translates to being better "on paper". Adherance to a system and staying healthy VERY MUCH fall under the "uncertainties" category.
Well, Dallas has acheived 112 and 107 points the last two seasons. They return this season with largely the same roster on paper. Therefore, it can be reasoned that they will acheive a somewhat similar standing.

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Sorry, but "on paper" Dallas is in no way, shape or form "better" than the Blues. The Blues have a MUCH better team on paper and it's laughable to even suggest otherwise.
In goal, arguably the most important position, Dallas has a clear advantage. Legace is a respectable starter, Turco is an all-star.

On defense, Sergei Zubov and Phillippe Boucher provide an excellent one-two punch. In terms of depth, the Blues probably have the edge, but they lack the "star power" that Zubov gives Dallas, at least until Erik Johnson comes of age.

At forward, the Blues are better offensively, I won't argue that. But guys like Modano, Lehtinen, and Morrow are excellent two-way players. Dallas is a team that can win plenty of games 2-1; they don't need buckets of goals. Adherance to a defensive system and playing responsible in your own zone are not uncertainties. Goal-scoring is. A player can always make sure he's back to cover his own zone, finish his check, etc. But there's never any guarantee he'll put the puck in the net.

No my friend, St. Louis is not better than Dallas on paper. You can't just look at names on a roster, you have to take into account what all those players have done together. The way I see it, if a team full of bums that should finish with 40 points finishes with 100+ points, and they all return the next year, they are "on paper" a 100-point team.

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I disagree completely.
Calgary is in a very deep division and will have to play High level Hockey all year to make the PO's. Simply put; with Keenan as coach I cannot see that happening. IMO Colorado, Vancouver, and Minnesota are easy picks to trump Calgary and Edmonton could give them a run for their money.
That very well could happen. It wouldn't surprise me to see Calgary bomb and finish well below St. Louis. But it wouldn't surprise me to see them win their division, either.

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Tell me which of these stat lines is "unreasonable" for a full season of work and good chemistry with their linemates.

Kariya 31-52-83
Boyes 33-34-67
Tkachuk 36-27-63
Stempniak 35-30-65
Weight 17-42-59
McClement 15-38-53
Cajanek 15-31-46
Backes 22-21-43
Rucinsky 13-28-41(in 60 games)
Mayers 9-10-19
Hinote 7-7-14
RJ 7-5-12
Birner 6-6-12
Whitfield 2-5-7
King 3-2-5
Backman 9-29-38
Brewer 9-28-37
Jackman 6-28-34
EJ 5-23-28
Woywitka 2-12-14
McKee 3-10-13
Salvador 2-4-6
Polak 2-3-5
Walker 0-3-3

That would put our team total at 289 goals.

Again; which of those "projections" is "out of the question" unreasonable?
None of those individual projections, on their own, is unreasonable. But it IS unreasonable to expect all of them to happen (I'm not saying you do, as you stated they were not your personal projections). Injuries, slumps, players simply not meeting expectations are things that are bound to happen to every team. The point totals you've listed leave a lot more room for underachievement than they do for overachievement. Most of them are, or are close to, best case scenarios.

Quote:
NOW: Between when AM took over and the trade deadline the Blues went on a 20-10-5 tear(.571 Winning %). That would project to a Seasonal record of 47-23-12 record for 106 points. If you work on the assumption that Kariya "essentially" replaces Guerin(which is perfectly reasonable to make); we have replaced all of the "lost skill" and have added a straight 20+ goal scorer to that team in Brad Boyes. Is it "unreasonable" to expect that Boyes could add 2-5 more wins to what that team was on pace for? That would give us a 50+ win team and at least a "near" 110 point team(if not more).

I fully admit that this is a "best case scenario" is fairly unrealistic; but at least from my perspective you seem to have no clue that we even HAD this kind of upside. You seem to be extrapolating from AM's "seasonal total" and calling that our "upside". That is foolishness on your part and very irresponsible for somebody who wants to write a preview for our team.
If you freely admit that, why am I being chastised for predicting the Blues to be a borderline playoff team? I don't make my predictions based on best-case scenarios, nor do I on worst-case scenarios, it's somewhere in the middle.

Best-case: Detroit falls appart, and St. Louis edges out a demoralized Nashville for the division crown, finishing in 2nd place behind San Jose, because the Northwest division boasts five teams over 90 points, but none over 100 due to extreme parity.

Worst-case: Manny Legace's play is spotty. Barret Jackman and Eric Brewer are again bitten by the injury bug and miss significant time. Keith Tkachuk is out of shape and demands a trade after Andy Murray Benches him. Doug Weight is clearly at the end of his career and finishes with under 40 points. David Backes has a sophomore slump and scores only 12 goals, dragging down the production of Lee Stempniak in the process. The Blues draft 7th overall in June.

Middle ground: The Blues hit the trade deadline in a tight race with Minnesota, Nashville, and Edmonton for the final two playoff berths in the Western Conference.

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Most fans are projecting us conservatively because they don't want to get their hopes up due to Kitchen and the Lauries ineptitudes over the last 3 years. Moreover, they readily admit that they are projecting everything conservatively. That does not say anything about what they believe our "upside" to be. You seem to be discounting our Upside completely and that is where my issues come into play. This team has an INCREDIBLE amount of upside if things go right. There is no "lack of skill" on this team at any position and we finally have a coach who knows what he's doing. If things go right for this team there is nobody in the League that I'm really "scared of" in terms of matchups. Again; it will be the "uncertainties" that determine how this season plays out. We are very much in the thick of things out West and the degree of Seperation in this Conference makes everything very difficult to project. It's not realistic to expect this team to hit their Full upside; but to disregard it completely is ignorance on your part.
So do a lot of teams. If you want to look at things from that perspective, you could turn pretty much any team in the league into a top-six finisher, and half the league into a Stanley Cup contender. But there's really no point to that. Picking the Blues to finish top-four, while not impossible, is likely just creating false hope. Somebody mentioned this above: the Blues are rebuilding (though nearing the end of the process), not rebuilt. I don't know what your intention was or, or even what your actual prediction for the season is, but you basically seem offended that I don't think the Blues are going to finish in the top-six in the West.

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Old
09-12-2007, 10:36 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Best-case: Detroit falls appart, and St. Louis edges out a demoralized Nashville for the division crown, finishing in 2nd place behind San Jose, because the Northwest division boasts five teams over 90 points, but none over 100 due to extreme parity.

Worst-case: Manny Legace's play is spotty. Barret Jackman and Eric Brewer are again bitten by the injury bug and miss significant time. Keith Tkachuk is out of shape and demands a trade after Andy Murray Benches him. Doug Weight is clearly at the end of his career and finishes with under 40 points. David Backes has a sophomore slump and scores only 12 goals, dragging down the production of Lee Stempniak in the process. The Blues draft 7th overall in June.

Middle ground: The Blues hit the trade deadline in a tight race with Minnesota, Nashville, and Edmonton for the final two playoff berths in the Western Conference.
You know, if this is the worst-case...while disappointing, I could certainly live with it. This scenario would lead to a lot of the young 'uns getting some time in the big leagues...Schwarz or Toivonen for Legace, Woywitka/Polak/Wagner for Jackman/Brewer, Birner/Berglund/???(somebody) for Tkachuk. Another year of our young NHL'ers (Stempy/Backes/Clem/Boyes/et al) learning together, another high draft pick in a deep draft...

Though it would be disappointing, it would be far from a lost season...and may even help the re-build in the long run.

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09-12-2007, 10:59 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
It's not like they've accomplished nothing in the regular season. Getzlaf, Kunitz, and Perry averaged around 55 points between them last year. All three enjoyed significant point gains from the previous year, and are probably still a fair margin away from their full potential. And now they have a Cup under their belt. I don't think 70-80 points is an unreasonable target for those three, though I doubt all three will hit that mark, as one is likely to slump or get injured. Goal-scoring won't be Anaheim's strength, but I don't think it's going to be a disaster. And oh yeah, they have Chris Pronger and JS Giguere, so team defense certainly shouldn't be a problem. Keep in mind as well that Bryzgalov is likely to be traded, and can probably fetch a top-6 forward.
1) The Ducks have lost very nearly 100 goals this summer. Are you seriously trying to tell me that improvements from Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz are going to make up OVER HALF of that number? Because that is what it's going to take for them to get back to last years level.

I think you need to go back and revist that "benefit of the doubt" statement I made a few posts up.

2) There is NO CHANCE that Bryzgalov brings back a bonafide top 6 forward. NONE.
Goalies do not have that kind of market value in todays NHL and it's downright ludicrous to suggest they do. At most Bryz will bring back a top-end draft pick, and that won't help their team for at least 1 more season.





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No my friend, St. Louis is not better than Dallas on paper. You can't just look at names on a roster, you have to take into account what all those players have done together. The way I see it, if a team full of bums that should finish with 40 points finishes with 100+ points, and they all return the next year, they are "on paper" a 100-point team.

You are wrong here.
Judging teams "on paper" is ENTIRELY a mattter of looking at the names on the roster. That's why they call it "on paper"; because it completely disregards System play, luck with injuries, ect... Those are ENTIRELY a matter of "uncertainty"; and that is what you are basing you projection of Dallas, and a number of other teams, on. It has NOTHING to do with how their team looks "on paper" which is the issue at hand. There is a BIG difference between what you're doing and "judging teams on paper" and that is the issue I'm upset with. You are making projections with the inclusion of the uncertainties factor and are claiming otherwise. If you want to include those factors in your projection, fine; but at least admit to doing that.



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That very well could happen. It wouldn't surprise me to see Calgary bomb and finish well below St. Louis. But it wouldn't surprise me to see them win their division, either.
And again; this is completely a matter of "uncertainties". Calgary has a moderately talented team that can swing wildly in either direction. That is the EXACT same description you have to give the Blues at this point so I cannot see how they are "far and away better on paper".



Quote:
None of those individual projections, on their own, is unreasonable. But it IS unreasonable to expect all of them to happen (I'm not saying you do, as you stated they were not your personal projections). Injuries, slumps, players simply not meeting expectations are things that are bound to happen to every team. The point totals you've listed leave a lot more room for underachievement than they do for overachievement. Most of them are, or are close to, best case scenarios.
Look at what I wrote initially and apply it to what you just said.
As I said then, you can spin "reason" any way you want to get any conclusion you want; but that isn't realistic. The "reality" factor falls under the definition of "uncertainties" which is the Issue I'm having with you. You discounted this scenario ENTIRELY right from the start. You're giving other teams a TON of credit in this area(Detroit, Anahiem, Dallas and Calgary especially) but didn't give the Blues even close to the same kind of credit. It's selective projection on your part which makes your entire analysis flawed from the get go.

As I've said before; The Blues stack up even or better against almost any team in the League, and certainly any team out West. It will be the "uncertainty" factors that determine the standings. It is a vagrant misrepresentation of this team to not give them ANY of the same credit in that category that you are giving to other teams. THAT is the issue I'm debating.



Quote:
If you freely admit that, why am I being chastised for predicting the Blues to be a borderline playoff team? I don't make my predictions based on best-case scenarios, nor do I on worst-case scenarios, it's somewhere in the middle.
In this case; no it wasn't. The issue at hand is that you wanted to scratch our 4th line in favor of youngsters on the basis that this was a borderline PO team at best. Myself, IB and a few others objected to this notion and have simply been illustrating that this team has the capability to be more(MUCH more) than a "borderline PO team". AM, JD, Pleau, and AL do NOT share the same veiw of this team that you have. They are looking at that "best case scenario" I just gave you and are trying to figure out how to realise that potential this year. We are NOT going to do that by scratching our shutdown unit in favor of immature youngsters who aren't suited to playing a checking role.

Quote:
Best-case: Detroit falls appart, and St. Louis edges out a demoralized Nashville for the division crown, finishing in 2nd place behind San Jose, because the Northwest division boasts five teams over 90 points, but none over 100 due to extreme parity.

Worst-case: Manny Legace's play is spotty. Barret Jackman and Eric Brewer are again bitten by the injury bug and miss significant time. Keith Tkachuk is out of shape and demands a trade after Andy Murray Benches him. Doug Weight is clearly at the end of his career and finishes with under 40 points. David Backes has a sophomore slump and scores only 12 goals, dragging down the production of Lee Stempniak in the process. The Blues draft 7th overall in June.

Middle ground: The Blues hit the trade deadline in a tight race with Minnesota, Nashville, and Edmonton for the final two playoff berths in the Western Conference.
I agree completely.
The issue at hand, however, is that it will be the "uncertainty factors" that decide the difference between those scenario's. You claimed not to be looking at those factors when you made your initial statements which is where this debate is stemming from. You made it appear as those this team absolute Max upside was an 8 seed, which myself and others pointed out was pure rubbish.



Quote:
So do a lot of teams. If you want to look at things from that perspective, you could turn pretty much any team in the league into a top-six finisher, and half the league into a Stanley Cup contender.
And "on paper" the parity in the NHL right now is that close.
How many teams in the entire league can you write off from the Beginning on the basis of skill? 2? Maybe 3?

Again; it is the "uncertainty factors" that will determine the outcome of the season. Almost any team in the League could make the PO's and make a decent run so it is downright ludicrous to suggest that the Blues should handicap themselves by putting immature, offensive minded rookies into 4th line, Defensive roles. THIS is the issue at hand right now; not where you project this team to finish.

As myslef and others have said above; this team is in no position to dump our 4th line in favor of youngsters. JD et al expect this team to be inj the mix for the PO's; and in order to do that we will need the PK'ing ability, grit and engry that Jammer, Hinote and RJ provide. We are in no position to scratch those players at this time.

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09-13-2007, 12:20 AM
  #43
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
1) The Ducks have lost very nearly 100 goals this summer. Are you seriously trying to tell me that improvements from Getzlaf, Perry and Kunitz are going to make up OVER HALF of that number? Because that is what it's going to take for them to get back to last years level.
No, I'm not. I stated before that the Ducks will not be at the same level as last year. You act as though they were marginally better than St. Louis last year, and so therefore losing Selanne, et al will allow the Blues to overtake them. The Ducks were the best team in the world last year, miles ahead of the Blues. Depite all they've lost, I expect Anaheim will remain a better team than St. Louis, though it isn't completely out of the question that the Blues could finish ahead of them. It just isn't very likely, IMO.

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There is NO CHANCE that Bryzgalov brings back a bonafide top 6 forward. NONE. Goalies do not have that kind of market value in todays NHL and it's downright ludicrous to suggest they do. At most Bryz will bring back a top-end draft pick, and that won't help their team for at least 1 more season.
I guess we'll wait and see. If Burke plays his hand right and waits for somebody's (probably a team that is expected to finish fairly high up) goaltender to get hurt and they start to drop games, there's no reason he couldn't get a 20-goal scorer for a 27-year-old goaltender who has posted very good numbers, and by all accounts is ready to be a starting goalie in the NHL. Perhaps the term "top-6 forward" was misleading; second-line player would have been more appropriate.

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You are wrong here. Judging teams "on paper" is ENTIRELY a mattter of looking at the names on the roster. That's why they call it "on paper"; because it completely disregards System play, luck with injuries, ect... Those are ENTIRELY a matter of "uncertainty"; and that is what you are basing you projection of Dallas, and a number of other teams, on. It has NOTHING to do with how their team looks "on paper" which is the issue at hand. There is a BIG difference between what you're doing and "judging teams on paper" and that is the issue I'm upset with. You are making projections with the inclusion of the uncertainties factor and are claiming otherwise. If you want to include those factors in your projection, fine; but at least admit to doing that.
Then we simply have different interpretations of what "on paper" means. Since Dallas' players have put together a pair of very strong seasons, I look at those names all written down together and say "geez, this should be a pretty solid team." Maybe my definition has been wrong all along, if so, I appologize for the confusion.

Quote:
And again; this is completely a matter of "uncertainties". Calgary has a moderately talented team that can swing wildly in either direction. That is the EXACT same description you have to give the Blues at this point so I cannot see how they are "far and away better on paper".
Ok, we'll use your interpretation of "on paper". Iginla is better than anybody on St. Louis' roster. Kipprusoff is better than anybody on St. Louis' roster. Phaneuf is arguably better than anybody on St. Louis' roster (debatable against Kariya). Tanguay is arguably better than anybody on St. Louis' roster (again, Kariya). Need I continue?

Quote:
You're giving other teams a TON of credit in this area(Detroit, Anahiem, Dallas and Calgary especially) but didn't give the Blues even close to the same kind of credit. It's selective projection on your part which makes your entire analysis flawed from the get go.
Maybe this has something to do with the fact that, oh I dunno, those four teams have all made the playoffs in consecutive years and all won their division at least once, while St. Louis has been well out of the playoff picture! Past results have to be taken into account. Disregarding them entirely, as you appear to be doing, is flawed analysis. For example, say you predict two teams to be even going into a new season. One team wins the Cup, while the other finishes last. They both return the next year with approximately the same roster. By your logic, it would be entirely reasonable to pick the last place team to finish ahead of the defending champ, when in fact, it is ridiculous.

Quote:
As I've said before; The Blues stack up even or better against almost any team in the League, and certainly any team out West. It will be the "uncertainty" factors that determine the standings. It is a vagrant misrepresentation of this team to not give them ANY of the same credit in that category that you are giving to other teams. THAT is the issue I'm debating.
You seem to have this idea that I'm going: "Well, everything will be rosy in Anaheim, Dallas, Colorado, Calgary, etc...but the Blues surely won't get any breaks, good luck with injuries, etc." I am taking all factors into account. I don't think any of those teams I've discussed at length in this discussion has to overachieve or get lucky to make the playoffs. They simply have to "achieve", and they will probably get in. If St. Louis "achieves", I think they will be right near the playoff cut line, as I've stated repeatedly. If they overachieve, then maybe they will be 6th or higher, but I'm not giving any of the 29 other teams that advantage, so why should I for St. Louis?

Quote:
In this case; no it wasn't. The issue at hand is that you wanted to scratch our 4th line in favor of youngsters on the basis that this was a borderline PO team at best.
Nope, I suggested scratching them on the basis that they outplayed the veterans in training camp. If the Blues feel they need the veterans to make the playoffs, by all means keep them. I vaguely alluded to the idea that, since St. Louis probably isn't going to be contending for the Cup this year, it might not hurt to get those rookies broken in now, from a futuristic standpoint. And if you respond to me saying that the Blues can indeed contend for the Cup this year, I am done with this discussion.

Quote:
Again; it is the "uncertainty factors" that will determine the outcome of the season. Almost any team in the League could make the PO's and make a decent run so it is downright ludicrous to suggest that the Blues should handicap themselves by putting immature, offensive minded rookies into 4th line, Defensive roles. THIS is the issue at hand right now; not where you project this team to finish.
Why does the fourth line have to be defensive? There's nothing preventing it from being Lemtyugov-Berglund-Perron put in an offensive role, even if only playing 10 minutes a night. A little unorthodox, perhaps, but that's basically what the Buffalo Sabres were last year, and they had a pretty campaign. I'm not suggesting they handicap themselves. If the veterans are clearly better than the rookies, obviously send them to Peoria. But if not, I don't buy into the old "well, lets just stick with the experience" addage, unless said team is making a serious run at the Cup and feels they will definitely need a veteran presence in May and June.

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09-13-2007, 12:55 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by Kyle McMahon View Post
Nope, I suggested scratching them on the basis that they outplayed the veterans in training camp. If the Blues feel they need the veterans to make the playoffs, by all means keep them. I vaguely alluded to the idea that, since St. Louis probably isn't going to be contending for the Cup this year, it might not hurt to get those rookies broken in now, from a futuristic standpoint.
1) Not once did you say anything about the youngsters "outplaying the veterans". Point in fact; you stated the exact opposite, that we were going to scratch RJ and Hinote so that AM could 'teach the youngsters the finer points of the game". That does more than just imply that those youngsters are not fully ready for an NHL spot

2) AND as myself and other have stated; this team is NOT taking a futuristic approach to this year. AM will coach this team with the mindset of "win as many games as possible this year". "Teaching youngsters the finer points of the game" is a direct counter to that objective.

Quote:
And if you respond to me saying that the Blues can indeed contend for the Cup this year, I am done with this discussion.
This conversation is over due to the fact that you can't distiguish between a team's "true" upside and their realistic projection. I'm through raising issues that you only partially address and put a lot of effort into changing the issue at hand.
I'm done arguing with you.


Quote:
Why does the fourth line have to be defensive? There's nothing preventing it from being Lemtyugov-Berglund-Perron put in an offensive role, even if only playing 10 minutes a night. A little unorthodox, perhaps, but that's basically what the Buffalo Sabres were last year, and they had a pretty campaign. I'm not suggesting they handicap themselves. If the veterans are clearly better than the rookies, obviously send them to Peoria. But if not, I don't buy into the old "well, lets just stick with the experience" addage, unless said team is making a serious run at the Cup and feels they will definitely need a veteran presence in May and June.
1) And who's going to kill penalties for us?
McClement, fine.
Tkachuk? He should only be playing so many minutes a night. With all the time he'll get at even strength and on the PP I'm definately not comfortable with him playing the PK also.
The same goes for Kariya.
Stempy and Backes are not PK caliber defensively.
Weight, Cajanek and Rucinsky are good in transition, but they aren't what I would consider "stallwart" defenders.
Rookies that you admit "need to learn the finer points of the game? Not a chance.

NO, this team has very few real option to put on the PK up front. RJ and Jammer are far and away our top PK'ers and Hinote would have been if he had stayed healthy. We need those players for the effect they have on our special teams.

2) Buffalo had the defensive forwards up front to not need a grind line(Hecht, Drury, Roy, Gaustad, Mair). The Blues do not. As I've said a number of times, if you can't see that I don't know what to tell you.

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Old
09-13-2007, 06:45 AM
  #45
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Kimzey, I think the Blues would be foolish not to use Kariya on the PK. I would also like to see Stempy get a good look with his sniping skills. Usually, the other team isn't that prepared for a good counter attack. I'm going to differ from you and Kyle both and say I would like to see Mayers play with a couple youngsters.
1.) It would give the youngsters some coverage defensively when they miss their assignments.
2.) He can at least stand up for one of them, if they try to intimidate them.

I would not even consider doing this unless a couple kids just are head and shoulders over the competition.

One factor you are leaving out in your assessment of the Blues on paper is the Jekyll and Hyde Tkachuk that might show up. Will the 2 to 3 stupid penalties a night Tkachuk show up or the chosen one we've been told about for years? I'm not putting a whole lot of faith in Keith after he quit on the Blues last year. He probably will score 25 to 35 goals, but will probably contribute that many to the other team with his selfish play. It may sound like I'm bashing Tkachuk, but is this not the truth? If Keith can become a non-factor and some of the younger guys lessen his role as "THE GUY", then I think the Blues will do extremely well. Keep in mind, Hull was "THE GUY" in St. Louis. He wasn't in Detroit or Dallas. He played a whole lot better away from St. Louis as a 2-way team player. Just food for thought.

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09-13-2007, 07:48 PM
  #46
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Blues Training Camp Thread - 2007 version

JR is going to have a blog over at the P-D, thus joining the 11,000,000,004 other people in the world.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogs/sports...urray-opens-2/

Notable notes:

-- David Tanabe was invited to camp at the last minute and played in today's scrimmage.
-- Alexander Hellstrom has a concussion suffered at Traverse City; Ryan Reaves is out with a broken ankle, Nicholas Drazenovic is out with mono.
-- No cuts expected until after the 2nd preseason game.

And finally ... [points bolded for emphasis]
Quote:
The team did not take individual strength tests on Wednesday when they reported. Blues strength coach Nelson Ayotte told me today there was no need for it because the players were tested all summer. There were 18 NHL roster players who trained in St. Louis the entire month of August. Ten of those 18 trained here all summer.

Ayotte did test one of the three groups today for body fat and muscle growth. He said the two biggest muscle gainers in Thursday’s group were Jay McClement, who added 10 pounds of muscle over the summer, and Lee Stempniak, who added eight pounds of muscle. Ayotte said Doug Weight’s strength is the best it’s been in the last four seasons.

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09-13-2007, 08:02 PM
  #47
Kyle McMahon
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Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
1) Not once did you say anything about the youngsters "outplaying the veterans". Point in fact; you stated the exact opposite, that we were going to scratch RJ and Hinote so that AM could 'teach the youngsters the finer points of the game". That does more than just imply that those youngsters are not fully ready for an NHL spot
Apparently you didn't read the article:

"Up front, the Blues are anticipating the arrivals of Nikolai Lemtyugov and Tomas Kana, a second-round selection from 2006. Both rookies will be in tough to crack the opening day roster, but spots will be found for them if their performance in camp warrants it. Kana, solid at both ends of the rink, would probably slide comfortably onto the third or fourth line if he can beat out fourth-line veterans like Dan Hinote or Ryan Johnson."

Quote:
2) AND as myself and other have stated; this team is NOT taking a futuristic approach to this year. AM will coach this team with the mindset of "win as many games as possible this year". "Teaching youngsters the finer points of the game" is a direct counter to that objective.
Not if said youngsters show in camp that they can hold their own at the NHL level. Like I said, if they're clearly not ready for the NHL, then obviously you would be best off to stick with the drind line.

Quote:
This conversation is over due to the fact that you can't distiguish between a team's "true" upside and their realistic projection. I'm through raising issues that you only partially address and put a lot of effort into changing the issue at hand.
I'm done arguing with you.
You obviously don't read my posts, either. I went over their best-case, worst case, and probable scenarios above. I can't make it any clearer than that.

Quote:
1) And who's going to kill penalties for us?
McClement, fine.
Tkachuk? He should only be playing so many minutes a night. With all the time he'll get at even strength and on the PP I'm definately not comfortable with him playing the PK also.
The same goes for Kariya.
Stempy and Backes are not PK caliber defensively.
Weight, Cajanek and Rucinsky are good in transition, but they aren't what I would consider "stallwart" defenders.
Rookies that you admit "need to learn the finer points of the game? Not a chance.

NO, this team has very few real option to put on the PK up front. RJ and Jammer are far and away our top PK'ers and Hinote would have been if he had stayed healthy. We need those players for the effect they have on our special teams.
Fine, perhaps that is exactly the thought in Andy Murray's head right now. It will be his job as a coach to weigh the benefit of better penalty killers versus better even strength players (IF the rookies show in camp that they would be more valuable even strength players than the veterans in question). Keep in mind also, a good coach can teach players how to kill penalties.

Quote:
Buffalo had the defensive forwards up front to not need a grind line(Hecht, Drury, Roy, Gaustad, Mair). The Blues do not. As I've said a number of times, if you can't see that I don't know what to tell you.
Alright, we'll agree to disagree. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. But again, that would be based on the rookies showing in camp that they could provide enough offense to make up for the defensive shortfall, and I only speculated that they might, I didn't say they would.

But in all seriousness, I'm always up for a good hockey debate; though frustrating at times, I rather enjoyed our little tete-a-tete.

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09-13-2007, 08:03 PM
  #48
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Tanabe, eh? Hmmm... a natural right defenseman with decent size (6-01, 212) who's only 27 years old.



More NHL-caliber depth on defense is never a bad thing.

Any word on how bad Hellstrom's concussion is, or how long Reaves and Drazenovic are expected to be out? I was counting on all three of those guys to make contributions in Peoria this year.

P_B


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Old
09-13-2007, 08:34 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
-- David Tanabe was invited to camp at the last minute and played in today's scrimmage.
Daddy like......

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09-13-2007, 08:53 PM
  #50
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In my opinion he could make the team. I see him as a 7-8 defenceman. He's better than Walker, And if he out work's Woywitka, why not sign him. He's been in the NHL since age 19, in his mid/late 20's and is 6'1 212. If Polak needs another year in Peoria, then isn't Tanabe an upgrade?


Last edited by Godfather: 09-13-2007 at 09:12 PM.
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