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Your 2011-2012 St. Louis Blues part 2

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09-26-2011, 01:34 AM
  #1
WalterSobchak
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Your 2011-2012 St. Louis Blues part 2

give me something cool to put in this OP, continue!

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09-26-2011, 03:50 AM
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rumrokh
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To me, this thread is mostly about how we see the season shaping up before it has happened. Once the season begins, this thread dies and new threads are made for discussion after the fact and specific aspects of the team.

So we've beaten the discussion of lines to death...how about stories? What are the story-lines for the Blues this season? Are there new arcs beginning this year? Are those new arcs just for this season, part of this season, or for seasons to come? What about arcs that are incomplete and should end this season?

I'll start with an obvious one and a less-obvious one...

The Prodigal Perron. This one is deceptively interesting if you analyze it like a plot. Because it's unclear if Perron's return is the victory over an obstacle, and, thus, the end to that arc (picking up where he left off); or, if it's a new arc in which he goes on a journey to regain what was lost (struggling to return to form for most of the season or beyond).
Probably won't be clear which one we have until he's played about twenty games. However, I'm most interested in how this affects team morale. I can see the team getting a boost when he returns no matter how poorly he plays. If he's clearly not his same old self, I'll be curious to see if they have a mysterious down-spell after that initial boost. And if they do have such an up and down, who steps up and breaks the spell? Will Perron's emotional impact on the team open an opportunity for the team's new leadership to thrive in response?

The Swedish Gunslinger. The Blues brought in Nichol to improve faceoffs. Backes is below average and Arnott is pretty average. Berglund has improved his faceoffs significantly each year he's been in the league. And while I haven't scraped together stats to prove it, anecdotal evidence tells me that Berglund got better at faceoffs as last season wore on.
To me, this is the end of a greater arc. One that could show that as Patrik Berglund goes, so go the St. Louis Blues. Correlation, not causation, but that kinda seems to be the case since his arrival.
If Berglund can take the next leap in faceoff prowess, possibly breaking 50%, will the Blues become a positive faceoff team? What effect will that have? Gives more pucks back to the Blues' skilled defenders in offensive zone situations, possibly boosting their points a bit. Also could mean that Berglund's line gets the call over Backes when the game is on the line. Even if he doesn't eclipse Backes in points or time on ice, this could be the domino that makes Berglund the visible number one center.

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09-27-2011, 11:24 AM
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Max Power
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Is Perron in full contact practice and expected to play in a preseason game or is he just practicing with the team?

Also why do you guys have Oshie on the 3rd line. Seems like he is ready for top 6 min and IMO has more talent then some of the others you guys are penciling in above him

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09-27-2011, 11:37 AM
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i think perron will brought back slowly. personally i think oshie should be on the third line i think the fans over value his talent i think he is 20/20 guy and thats about it.

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09-27-2011, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
Is Perron in full contact practice and expected to play in a preseason game or is he just practicing with the team?

Also why do you guys have Oshie on the 3rd line. Seems like he is ready for top 6 min and IMO has more talent then some of the others you guys are penciling in above him
Perron is not cleared for contact. His return to the team means that he moved back to St. Louis and is in daily contact with the team. He has yet to pass his baseline test.

Oshie is on the third line due to chemistry, his defensive play, and a desire to spread the scoring around.

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09-27-2011, 11:48 AM
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i think perron will brought back slowly. personally i think oshie should be on the third line i think the fans over value his talent i think he is 20/20 guy and thats about it.
Oshie has averaged ~55 points per 82 games for his career.

Oshie is a solid point producer, with pugnacity and truculence who is solid defensively. He is a good two-way player.

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09-27-2011, 12:16 PM
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Oshie can be played on any line and in any situation. He kills penalties, is solid in shoot outs and an asset to a PP. If Oshie can score 20 goals this year with limited PP time then he is a very valuable part of the team. He also has skills/talents that can bring fans out of their seats. Let's hope for a healthy season for Oshie and the team for that matter. Oshie is not "just a third line" winger.

With the current depth up front and the comfort of knowing Perron is on the mend it makes the anticipation of the season all the more exciting. A healthy Perron would be sweet. As much as I like Dags I wouldn't mind seeing Perron join Backes and McDonald.

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09-27-2011, 12:17 PM
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so from credible rumor-sources (Dreger, McKenzie) the Leafs could imagine to trade Carl Gunnarsson

always liked him, nothing special but very steady, smooth, left-handed D...also a pretty good puckmover

I think he would fit good into our system and while I don`t think we`re in the mix for him...would you want him? what would you give?

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09-27-2011, 12:46 PM
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Max Power
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Thanks for the feedback guys
I'm picking Oshie as having a big breakout year so was surprised to see many slotting him on the 3rd. Saying that I've only seen him play a handful of times since I'm in the east

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09-27-2011, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys
I'm picking Oshie as having a big breakout year so was surprised to see many slotting him on the 3rd. Saying that I've only seen him play a handful of times since I'm in the east
He's quite capable of it if the few mentions of him taking his off season workouts and preparation way more serious this time around than in the past are true. He got his wake up call being suspended for skipping a practice at the end of last season and is on a one year "prove it" contact. It would actually be surprising if anything but an injury kept him from pushing himself to a new level.

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09-27-2011, 02:48 PM
  #11
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I wonder if we'll know when Perron passes his test?

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10-01-2011, 10:38 PM
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Final Cuts made after today's game. Anyone want to speculate on the starting line-up for 10/8?

Arnott
Backes
McDonald
Oshie
Berglund
D'Agostini
Grachev
Langenbrunner
Nichol
Porter
Reaves
Sobotka
Steen
Stewart

Petro
Jackman
Huskins
Polak
Nikitan
Cola
Shattenkirk

Halak
Elliot

Here is my guess:

McDonald Bakes Langenbruner
Oshie Berglund Stewart
Steen Arnott D'Agostini
Sobotka Nichol Reaves
Ex: Porter, Grachev

Cola Petro
Jackman Polak
Huskins Shattenkirk
Ex: Nikitan

Halak

Here is what I would like to see:

McDonald Bakes Oshie
Grachev Berglund Stewart
Steen Arnott D'Agostini
Sobotka Nichol Langenbruner
Ex: Porter, Reaves

Cola Petro
Jackman Polak
Huskins Shattenkirk
Ex: Nikitan

Halak

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10-01-2011, 10:56 PM
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If Grachev isn't getting regular minutes, then why keep him ? He needs to be in Peoria developing.

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Old
10-01-2011, 11:01 PM
  #14
Mike Liut
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2012 top 9

Oshie - Backes - Stewart (beast line)
Grachev - Berglund - Tarasenko
Perron - Mac - Steen

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10-01-2011, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Liut View Post
2012 top 9

Oshie - Backes - Stewart (beast line)
Grachev - Berglund - Tarasenko
Perron - Mac - Steen
Would the 4th line be:
Crombeen-Sobotka-D'Agostini or Della Rovere replaces Crombeen, and what about McRae? I assume that Schwartz will stay at Colorado College one more year.

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10-02-2011, 01:02 AM
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rumrokh
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First guys before a slash are the most likely for the spot or will get more even-strength minutes on that line when players are cycled.

How it seems like it will be to start the year:
Oshie/Grachev-Berglund-Stewart
McDonald-Backes-Langenbrunner/Oshie
Steen-Arnott-D'Agostini/Oshie
Sobotka-Nichol-Porter/Reaves/Langenbrunner/D'Agostini

What I'd like to see:
Grachev/Steen-Berglund-Stewart
McDonald-Backes-D'Agostini/Oshie
Steen/Grachev-Arnott-Oshie/D'Agostini
Sobotka-Nichol-Langenbrunner
Reaves, Porter

I really don't know on defensive pairings because it's been all over the place from the end of last year to this preseason. It seems like the most consistent pairing has been Colaiacovo-Polak. So I'll say...
Jackman-Pietrangelo
Colaiacovo-Polak
Nikitin/Huskins-Shattenkirk.

The issue is that I really like Nikitin and I'm not sure he gets paired long-term with Shattenkirk. Nikitin and Polak worked well together last year, I thought. So swapping the bottom two pairings works. But, hell, I could see Colaiacovo with Pietro and Jackman and Polak as the shutdown pair.
The team seems to have gone from very few options to almost too many. I hope they resist the urge to tinker when players just need to get comfortable.

My surprise/darkhorse call is that they keep the Steen-Sobotka-D'Agostini line intact and Nichol either plays wing or gets scratched in favor of Porter/Reaves.


Last edited by rumrokh: 10-02-2011 at 01:07 AM.
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10-03-2011, 06:15 PM
  #17
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What sort of performance are you guys expecting out of Steen?

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10-03-2011, 06:40 PM
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What sort of performance are you guys expecting out of Steen?
I expect him to anchor the 3rd line, play on both specialty units and continue to be a versatile and heady player.

I suspect you're asking about this for fantasy hockey purposes. If you want more of a fantasy slant I suggest posting in the stickied thread for that. I wouldn't venture a guess, but he seems like a 20 goal guy barring injury no matter what line he's on. The Blues 3rd line is likely to include Oshie and Arnott when everyone is healthy.

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10-03-2011, 07:12 PM
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I hope Oshie does well on the LW. Last year he looked lost there.

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10-03-2011, 08:47 PM
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rumrokh
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I hope Oshie does well on the LW. Last year he looked lost there.
I don't think he's lost at left wing so much as he simply wasn't playing well down the stretch before the last handful of games (when he was put back with McDonald and Backes). His left wing time was when he seemed a bit worn out after coming back from injury and was dealing with the fallout of missing practice. It looked kinda like his conditioning was failing him; his hair was completely wet with sweat fairly early in games.
Even when he was put at center on the third line, his game improved, but not by that much. I think the groove several other forwards worked themselves into, particularly Berglund, Stewart, and D'Agostini, made Oshie look a lot worse.

Even if it turns out that's not the correct place for him, I wouldn't be surprised to see him cycled to right wing right about the time Grachev makes his appearance in the lineup.

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10-03-2011, 09:07 PM
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Mike Liut
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I don't think Oshie was ever 100% after his broken ankle. I think this year he really breaks out. 25/25/50

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10-03-2011, 10:45 PM
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rumrokh
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I don't think Oshie was ever 100% after his broken ankle. I think this year he really breaks out. 25/25/50
After getting 48 points in 76 games in 09-10 and playing at better than a 50 point pace for his entire career, I would not consider that a breakout. Nice to see the boost in goals and a fully healthy season, but I think a real breakout would be more like 60+ points (or a Selke win).

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10-04-2011, 12:54 AM
  #23
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Sharks Fan here, i come in peace

you're gonna love Nichol and Huskins is steady and with Demers was the Sharks best pair for the first half of last season...

but i came by to ask, what's going on with Tarasenko? thought he was coming over this season

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10-04-2011, 01:13 AM
  #24
rumrokh
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Sharks Fan here, i come in peace

you're gonna love Nichol and Huskins is steady and with Demers was the Sharks best pair for the first half of last season...

but i came by to ask, what's going on with Tarasenko? thought he was coming over this season
He strongly considered it, but wanted to come to the NHL more developed and after he fulfilled his contract. I think he knew the Blues couldn't guarantee him a roster spot and he didn't want the chance of being demoted or playing restricted minutes. And being below Stewart, McDonald, Oshie, Steen, Perron, and probably D'Agostini on the winger depth chart does speak to that possibility.

He has spoken openly about coming over next year - hell, in a Jori Lehtera interview, Lehtera said Tarasenko has spoken with him about making the jump together after this season. If he's talking with teammates about it like that, especially since Tarasenko has demonstrably good character, I think it's basically certain he's in the NHL in a year.

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10-04-2011, 01:24 AM
  #25
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Originally Posted by rumrokh View Post
He strongly considered it, but wanted to come to the NHL more developed and after he fulfilled his contract. I think he knew the Blues couldn't guarantee him a roster spot and he didn't want the chance of being demoted or playing restricted minutes. And being below Stewart, McDonald, Oshie, Steen, Perron, and probably D'Agostini on the winger depth chart does speak to that possibility.

He has spoken openly about coming over next year - hell, in a Jori Lehtera interview, Lehtera said Tarasenko has spoken with him about making the jump together after this season. If he's talking with teammates about it like that, especially since Tarasenko has demonstrably good character, I think it's basically certain he's in the NHL in a year.
thanks. im looking forward to it

i really wanna see what kind of damage he and Kuznetsov can do in the show

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