Manager of PuckDrunkLove.com, AwfulAdvertisements.com and Frozennotes.com
@miendiem Personally, I'm on the fence. I go back and forth as I think there's plenty of pros and cons to moving on from Hitchcock. He has proven he can win here, though not in the playoffs. The same is said of the players. I do think a new core could win a Cup under Hitch, but then there's also the feeling that Hitch may have lost the dressing room after several seasons of the same result.
A few other factors...
- The market for new coaches is pretty solid. Lots of attractive options out there which may increase the likelihood of a change.- Hitch made some truly nonsensical decisions in the playoffs. I'm not sure I can forgive him for giving Ott so much playing time when the Blues are trailing. Lots of strange line combinations which alone may deserve a change.- Changing the coach is always the easy route. It's much easier to replace a coach than it is to replace a team's core. That being said, it may make sense to dump Hitch and dump a player or two, leaving some of the core in place with the hope a couple new prominent figures (one being a coach) is the answer.
5 hours, 20 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/
@miendiem He had almost 20 minutes in the final game of the year, but I'm guessing he felt something after the game was over which has led him to not be an option for any of the four playoff games to date.
5 days, 5 hours ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/is-robert-bortuzzo-injured.html
@White17 That's a perfect way of describing it. No intensity and no one wanting to step up and get things rolling.
6 days, 8 hours ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/its-time-to-rant-about-the-blues-game-3-loss.html
@miendiem Unfortunately, I have that same expectation. I'm cautiously optimistic ... but the realistic side is much more negative. I'm completely ready to crank out another "woe is the Blues" post Wednesday night.
@miendiem I was out of town for Game 1 and Game 2, so I didn't watch either of them. After returning and watching Game 3, I wondered why I ever came back.
6 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/its-time-to-rant-about-the-blues-game-3-loss.html
@miendiem I sincerely hope we don't see them. If we do, that means someone is hurt...and that's obviously always a concern.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/blues-may-add-robby-fabbri-and-ivan-barbashev-to-playoff-roster.html
@miendiem One of my biggest gripes is when the Blues are clearly standing around. This isn't due to a long shift or a tired group, it's from a fresh change and suddenly the hustle vanishes. I noticed it several times against the Jets. There were several 50-50 pucks and the Blues lost the battle because they glided into the encounter while the Jets skater kept moving his feet.
Almost as infuriating as the officiating. Almost.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/video-kevin-shattenkirk-sarcastically-applauds-the-officials.html
@miendiem The sense of urgency, like always, showed up too late.
@miendiem What an awful run of injuries. That's even worse than I remember.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/michalek-it-seems-like-everybodys-doing-different-things-and-isnt-on-the-same-page.html
@miendiem That's pretty interesting. It's as if the Blues lose that competitive edge when given too much time to think about it. That may be a point to follow should the Blues hypothetically wrap up a playoff round early (seems doubtful, honestly) and then have time before entering the following round.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/its-been-9-games-since-the-blues-scored-in-the-first-period.html
@miendiem Definitely. I'm content to argue the third and fourth line as in the scheme of things, that's pretty trivial.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/
@miendiem It's just amazing the knee-jerk reactions seen from the fans when say a player is scratched or Allen gets an extra start.
@miendiem Sounds like Jaskin needs a break according to Hitch. Said he hit a wall. That could be both mental and physical. A full year in the NHL might be taking its toll.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/kevin-shattenkirk-nearing-a-return.html
@miendiem Poor officiating aside, the Blues need to be more disciplined. They committed some really bad penalties (ones which deserved to be called) and I think they got away with a few others which also were careless or in the offensive zone.
Can't make those silly mistakes in the playoffs.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/ken-hitchcock-comments-on-detroits-controversial-ot-goal.html
@miendiem One interesting idea I saw on Twitter involved high school hockey. I forgot where exactly and I'm not sure if they still do it, but the idea is that if you're going to go gimmick, go full on gimmick.
The format starts out with 4-on-4 OT hockey for a set amount of time. I think 3 minutes. Then it went to 3-on-3 for 3 minutes. Should the game still be undecided, 2-on-2 for 3 minutes and then finally 1-on-1 for 3 minutes. If no one scores it's a tie. Apparently games almost never made it to 1-on-1, but when they did the crowd went nuts and understandably so. Wouldn't work in the NHL, but it's a fun thought.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/2015-articles/roundtable-discussing-the-nhl-moving-to-3-on-3-ot-hockey.html
@miendiem Ignoring what happens in the playoffs (easier said than done), what's the split between Elliott and Allen next year if both men are here? Has Allen done enough to win more time?
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/brian-elliott-has-the-most-shutouts-in-st-louis-blues-history.html
@miendiem There's also another aspect which might come into play. If it looks like the Blues are destined for another matchup with the Blackhawks or Kings, why not rest some guys for a couple games and let the cards fall where they may? Not only would you have your key guys a bit more rested, but you might avoid another disastrous matchup.
Just an idea. Not intentionally tanking...but resting a couple of guys in key games and what happens happens.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/blues-have-the-depth-to-rest-key-players-down-the-stretch.html
@miendiem I think they will once the standings are a bit more solidified. If they don't reach that point, that'd be a more difficult decision. Maybe it's a case by case basis where it's the players who are the most beat up and bruised (according to the training staff) are the ones receiving a night off.
@White17 Great question!
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/video-darren-pang-snags-a-puck-during-the-game.html
@miendiem This point has frustrated me as well as the cast of characters defensively appear to be improved over that season. I think it comes down to the fact the team's forwards are better offensively now, but much weaker defensively.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/brian-elliott-ties-jaroslav-halak-for-blues-shutout-record.html
@miendiem Those last few stats are pretty fascinating. I think it really speaks to the team's defense.
Also, Elliott's 9 shutouts in 38 games when he first arrived is insane. Though the record of 20 hadn't been set at that time, his 2011-12 would have gotten him halfway there. That's really hard for me to wrap my head around.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/brian-elliott-ties-jaroslav-halak-for-blues-shutout-record.html
@miendiem That hit really came at the perfect moment. The crowd seemed to be a bit quiet and then boom - instantly brought the energy back to the building. The advanced stats can't measure that.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/
@miendiem I see Oshie's face way more than Tarasenko's face. Pang because of the height, right?
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/tarasenko-doesnt-think-his-bobblehead-looks-like-him.html
@miendiem The Sharks are a team I just can't figure out. While the "C" and the "A" are overrated in the scheme of things, the decision to strip Thornton of the role was ... odd. Throughout the year it seems as if there's a grudge between the front office and the veterans, as if the team is fed up with the playoff collapses and now they're out to take it out on someone.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/2015-articles/report-sharks-convinced-gm-doug-wilson-keep-antti-niemi.html
@miendiem I'm an Elliott believer as well, so you have company. The jury is still out on Allen and that's fair considering this is really his first year of full NHL experience.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/jake-allen-developing-slower-than-expected.html
@miendiem Supposedly Jokinen spoke with the Blues and agreed to take on whatever role they wanted (including being an injury backup) should the team acquire him. Maybe he had second thoughts about his comments with the Preds upon arriving in Toronto?
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/blues-add-defense-and-depth-at-the-trade-deadline.html
@degboiler @miendiem Really tough to say if Stastny is earning that huge paycheck. Overall I'd say no, but that's partially because guys earning way less are producing at a much higher clip.I can't fully blame Stastny as I'm not sure the Blues have figured out how to use him quite yet. His line has been juggled a ton and his production is suffering.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/hitchcock-says-blues-arent-following-directions.html
@miendiem Interesting final question. I think it's an all of the above situation. The system works exceptionally well when everyone is giving it their all, but not so much when that effort slips. The same could be said for any strategy for that matter, but I think this year has proven that it's especially true for Hitchcock's strategy.
Fatigue is obviously an issue here, but I think personnel is a problem too. Hitchcock's strategy places a ton of pressure on the defensemen and encourages them to play ultra aggressive. Pinching in for example. When the quality of defensemen drops (say with an injury or cycling in various guys in the 6th slot), that strategy doesn't work so well. The team almost needed to come up with something new to fit the skill on the ice.
This may be a chicken or the egg discussion, but I'll admit that I'm pretty worried for the playoffs.
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/hitchcock-says-blues-arent-following-directions.html
@miendiem Here's a question I've been debating ... if the Blues stumble out of the playoffs in the first or second round, what happens to Hitch? First round seems like a dismissal...but I'm not sure where the line is as far as when his job is safe and when it's not.
@miendiem Stamkos usually skates with a fairly large chip on his shoulder - a great quality, in my opinion - but that encounter with Backes wouldn't have gone too well. Stamkos is one of those guys I can't help but cheer for when the Blues aren't playing him. His talent is nuts.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/infographic-t-j-oshie-before-and-after-oshie-os.html
@LeviPhx Soccer actually does something similar, though minus the graphics. BeIn broadcasts have announcers in the United States even though the game is in Spain. Pretty interesting, really.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/2015-articles/future-play-play-broadcasting-nhl.html
@miendiem You mean he won't keep scoring on every 1 of 5 shots? Sad. :(
@miendiem I personally lean towards keeping the home jerseys dark simply because I like the Blues and their current home colors and alternate quite a bit, but I can see the argument in switching it back too. Exposing fans to a bunch of different looks and colors when an opposing team visits is a worthy argument in favor.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/2015-articles/gary-bettman-discusses-teams-wearing-white-home-dark-colors-road.html
@miendiem It's all about his eyes. After the puck leaves his stick, you can tell he knew exactly what he was trying to do.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2015/gif-crazy-pass-from-jaden-schwartz.html
@miendiem The list of teams wanting a forward who barely brings anything aside from speed to the table has to be pretty short. Especially with a contract north of a million this season. I feel bad for the guy ... but he really didn't leave a lasting impression in any of his game. That's including the longer look the Blues gave him last season.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/
@miendiem That's some great research.
4 months ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/airing-of-grievances-st-louis-blues-edition.html
@White17 Completely agree. He's one of the best when it comes to pressuring and containing the opposition within their own zone.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/discussing-the-blues-bruins-trade-rumors.html
@miendiem It's amazing that (in my opinion) Elliott is still an underrated goaltender despite a ton of stats to prove that he's above average.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/a-brian-elliott-trade-would-be-foolish.html
@miendiem Don't get me wrong, your research is awesome. It's actually yielded some results I wasn't expecting. It'll be interesting to see how that progresses the rest of the way. Will they continue on that pace? We haven't really seen a significant losing streak this year and just about every team eventually goes through one, so I suppose we may have to check back on this.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/blues-are-still-struggling-to-close-games-out.html
@miendiem Great stats and research. My only counter would be the area of the ice those missed shots are originating from. For instance, Pietrangelo missed twice within 15ish feet twice against the Avs. Of course they also have the missed shots from the point, but I wish we could calculate (without spending days and days on this) and determine if the Blues are missing more often when they are closer to the net.
@miendiem Interesting. Seems pretty comparable.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/brodeur-loses-in-debut-teams-problems-more-evident-than-ever.html
@miendiem The man advantage play has me particularly irritated as well. The strategy, as you mentioned, looks identical to what we saw last year. Puck is moved to the point and a shot is taken even if the shooting lane is blocked. There isn't any creativity, which is a waste seeing the talent the Blues have up front. It's as if the tactics are holding them back.
@miendiem As I mentioned on Twitter, I'd much rather see Bryz than Brodeur. I just can't imagine that Brodeur has much to offer considering his age and adding in the fact he hasn't been playing. Of course, Bryz hasn't been seeing any time either, but I think he's the better option. Probably a cheaper option too.
Personally, I don't want to see Binnington. I just don't think it'd go well. I could be wrong, but I want someone with some NHL experience in case (knock on wood) something else happens.
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/blues-invite-martin-brodeur-to-practice-following-brian-elliott-injury.html
@miendiem Without knowing what other pieces might be involved in a trade, I'm not sure I can support this deal. I would love to see Berglund bail, but I'm also mindful of the cap and what realistically we can expect from the Blues.
What happens if we deal for Eberle, push our spending to the max and then there's a serious need on defense due to injury? We could find a cheap replacement or call up a youngster, but my bottom line is that a big deal this early may limit what the Blues can do later in the year.
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/report-blues-may-be-talking-to-the-oilers-about-jordan-eberle-and-patrik-berglund.html
@CollegeWolf Thanks! They're a lot of fun to put together. One of the highlights of the week!
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/
@miendiem I'm pleased with it. You usually don't expect a trade to be made when the team is clicking, but it makes a lot of sense. It'll also be really interesting to see what Butler can bring to the table on the nights he plays.
5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/jordan-leopold-traded-to-columbus.html
@miendiem Good point with Miller and Stewart. I understand Berglund has his strengths defensively, but that point aside (and that is a strong point), I feel they are missing the boat offensively.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/
@miendiem This would be one of just a handful of questionable contracts handed out by this front office. With that in mind, you almost have to wonder where pride comes in. It's as if no one wants to admit the deal was costly and perhaps a big mistake.
@miendiem I'm planning on writing more about Allen soon. I think he's playing above almost all expectations. It's a small sample, but it's encouraging.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://frozennotes.com/2014/tarasenkos-heroics-masking-blues-troubles-on-offense.html
@leftwingbarbara Nope. Why would I? They were funny.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/