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Something else that should figure into this is the Blues deplorable lack of organizational depth at center. Before we forget, it's entirely possible for solid players to have down stretches, or down years. See also last year's numbers from David Backes, for one recent example.
That said, what gets a deal done with Berglund? Three years at 4M/year? If he maintains his continued improvement on the defensive side of things, and rebounds to something resembling his career numbers, does that qualify as reasonable? And, just to put an opposite spin on things, if he doesn't rebound numbers-wise, can you justify those dollars for such production from a third-line center? (Especially in the salary cap era?)
If he's looking to get paid like Backes or Oshie, he's going to have to step up, and do so this year. If he's looking to exceed those deals... well, this year isn't helping his case, regardless of the reasons for it. Of course, at the same time, he's got a bit of a corner on the market, because unless something both interesting and financially possible shows up in free agency, the Blues would have to take a depressingly long look at their depth at C before saying him nay.
1 week, 3 days ago on Is Patrik Berglund worthy of a new contract?
I can't help but agree here. I don't see the Blues doing this during the season so long as Halak and Elliott are both healthy and playing well. There's no real reason to tempt fate (and prospect depth) as long as they do, and, to reiterate on what you already said, it's entirely possible that Miller could be had over the summer, if the eventual outcome of the season and post-season warrant a move in that direction.
Personally, I've been more than a bit suspect of folks who want one or the other of the Blues current goalies gone. Certainly, neither of them played up to the league's elite level last season, due to a combination of injury and the team neglecting their defensive responsibilities. While I'd say it particularly about Halak, I think it's pretty safe to say that, given the choice, most folks who had to choose would put either of the Blues goalies in with this team from the past three years and generally expect good results, no matter who the opponent was. Not saying that they're Lundqvist, or Quick or Rinne pre-injury, but they've clearly been more than good enough to carry the load. (See also: Second in the league two years ago and won the Jennings, first in the league in points percentage and third overall so far this year, while sporting a franchise-best start to the season.)
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Analyzing the Ryan Miller to St. Louis trade rumors
Ryan Reaves: Officially off the list of "Players Who Haven't Scored More Goals Than Mike Smith".
1 month ago on Video: Ryan Reaves fights, scores against Pittsburgh
@David Rogers Precisely my point.
1 month ago on David Backes donates $24,000 worth of hockey equipment to children
I definitely wish more players and teams would do this, and do it regularly. It's certainly great for the kids, and, if the league wants to take a long enough view of it, it's a great way to grow new fans, too. And who knows, maybe one of these kids grows up to be the next Orr, Gretzky, Hull, Crosby... take your pick. They all had to start somewhere.
"Why the NHL is choosing to try and have it both ways is beyond me." Because it's change, and the NHL is, in general, bad at it. (See also: CBA, Negotiations for the new) Personally, I liked the now-old way of just seeding the conference and letting teams beat each other as their abilities dictated.
1 month, 1 week ago on A look at the future shows what playoff chaos realignment could wreak
If the NHL truly wants to get rid of hits like this (and they should), they need to do the following two things:
1) Punish intent, determined by failure to avoid an avoidable hit, regardless of the injury outcome.
2) Make ten games the bare minimum. Maybe fifteen. Determine something serious enough as a base. And go up from there in multiples of two or three for repeat offenses.
1 month, 1 week ago on Buffalo's John Scott suspended for 7 games
@David Rogers That, and they've got more energy than Buck uses here. Personally, I'd like to see a revamp of "Legends" from last year, or maybe a short series in the same vein, with Blues past talking about Blues present. What can I say, I'm a St. Louisan by birth, if no longer by location - I'm a natural sucker for history, especially when it comes to my sports teams.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Blues unveil second commercial with Joe Buck
I have to say, I'm not sure why the Blues haven't just had Chris Kerber do these. Or, since they're TV spots, John Kelly. Tough to say more than that, since the content isn't really terribly memorable.
I'll be honest here: I'd rather just have the goal horn operator lean on the horn for another five seconds or so and leave it at that. Seeing as how I know I won't get that particular wish, however, I can certainly think of worse things than just sticking with tradition.
Meanwhile, if we're complaining about dumb things that ought to be ejected from hockey without a second thought, how about the strobe lights on the opposing crease after goals? I know not every team is doing it, but this is exactly the kind of thing that should've been nipped in the bud the first time it was ever tried.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on The Devils are accepting submissions for a new goal song after fan backlash
@David Rogers Agreed. It wasn't all that long ago (read as: even last year, in the lockout-shortened season) that the Rags were one of the most defensively responsible teams in the league. Sure, we can speculate that the goalie equipment changes are a bit harder for some goalies to adjust to than others, and than Lundqvist may well be one of them, but try this on for size:
NYR Shots Against per Game (2013-2014): 35.8
NYR Shots Against per Game (2012?-2013): 28.2
NYR PK% (2013-2014): 75%
NYR PK% (2012-2013): 81.1%
I'm sure there are advanced stats that tell the story better, but I'm not as conversant in them as I probably should be. And, as usual, this could just be screaming "small sample size!". But as a snapshot compared to last year, I think it shows reasonably well.
Now, in fairness, after four games last year, the Rangers were 1-3-0 and a -1 goal differential, and improved to 2-3-0 in their fifth game to become a + team in goals, so it's not as though this is entirely unheard of out of them (though the goal differential this year is quite staggering for a five game sample).
1 month, 4 weeks ago on The Metropolitan Division may be the NHL's worst
Nice opening post from Mr. Lepore.
Of these, I think the most surprising to me has to be the Rangers. I won't say everything's gone as I expected with the other teams on the list, but I definitely didn't see the Rags woes coming right out of the gate. They're probably due to progress to the mean at some point in the reasonably near future, assuming that they finish buying into Vigneault's system and the injury bug stays away (always an open question in the NHL).
Not unlike, say, Philadelphia, or New York (Rangers), I don't think that a new goaltender is really going to solve Edmonton's problems. At least, not until they solve other fundamental problems, like playing something that resembles solid defense. Of course, it's plenty of fun to watch them in the offensive zone - they've got a ton of firepower, after all, but they'll need a significant increase in defense and/or possession to make that really work for them.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Classified ad is trying to find a goalie for the Edmonton Oilers
Reason I Love Hockey, 2013-2014 Season Version, #352
2 months ago on NHL ref says "You can't do that" when announcing a penalty
Did they all forget to leave their skates on for the height measurement or something? heheh
I looked, for amusement, and the Lightning are, in fact, the tallest team. Pays to have over thirteen feet worth of goalies, I suppose.
2 months, 1 week ago on Blues are one of the heaviest, shortest and youngest teams in the NHL
Is this not exactly what we expected (some might even say 'wanted") from Patrick Roy as coach of the Avalanche?
2 months, 1 week ago on Video: Patrick Roy tries to push a pane of glass on top of Bruce Boudreau
That's actually really interesting. Particularly how much he winds up having to defend himself from collisions.
2 months, 1 week ago on Video: See what it's like to be a hockey official
Plain and simple: Aside from his (quite amusing) brief foray into Blues PBP last year, I simply don't associate Joe Buck with Blues Hockey. I think they could've made this work better if they'd gone for a past-and-present angle and worked in some old radio Blues PBP by Jack Buck, but even then I don't think it'd really set the world on fire for Blues fans.
Meanwhile, what's the over/under on the number of days to the past/present "Long Live the Note" Brett Hull commercial? They have to do one, don't they?
3 months ago on Blues commercial features the voice of Joe Buck
They're not even my boys, but I'm fired up just watching it. Opening night in the NHL can't come soon enough.
3 months ago on Phoenix Coyotes release outstanding first commercial under new ownership
Just David Backes days remaining until the start of the regular season. Soon to be Jaroslav Halak days remaining. That said, that is an awesome cake. Here's hoping he gets another one with a Stanley Cup added in for an anniversary somewhere down the road.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on An awesome St. Louis Blues groom's cake