Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay

February 18, 2011

IMG_5220.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Eric Brewer has agreed to waive his NTC and go to Tampa Bay.   According to sources on twitter, the Blues will get a 3nd round pick in return.

Personally, as he’s a UFA at season’s end, I hope the Blues take a very good, long look at re-signing him.

This seems to mark the card that the Blues are now sellers this season – and who would bet against David Backes being named Captain?

Good luck, Captain Brewer. We wish you well.

EDIT:  It appears that the Blues will get a prospect as well as a draft pick.  The prospect is Brock Beukeboom and further details on him can be found at Hockey’s Future

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Jaro on IR – Bishop recalled

February 17, 2011

IMG_5079.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Jaroslav Halak has been placed on 7 day Injured Reserve retroactive to Monday. Halak injured his hand in practice on Wednesday. According to Darren Pang on twitter, it’s Halak’s right, blocker hand that is the problem. Pang also says that Halak has been battling this injury for a while and that explains why he has been “dropping his stick with a lot of traffic in front”. It’s been difficult for Jaro to control his stick.

Ben Bishop has been recalled from Peoria and, whilst this isn’t great timing – with the Blues about to go on a 7 games in 10 days stretch, at least the Blues will be able to see if Bishop is NHL ready. With Ty Conklin a free agent after this season, Bishop is the likely candidate to be Jaro’s backup next season.


Throw Jaro under the bus? No way.

February 12, 2011

IMG_5367.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)

 

Wow. So – Jaro gets some hate tonight after making a couple of mistakes. Yet – other players made mistakes, costly turnovers, stupid penalties…brain farts…and get a free pass.

So – just a couple of things. Jaro’s been inconsistent this year? Yes, he has. I didn’t expect anything different. He played a lot of games late last season, took his team deep into the playoffs. Then he’s traded to St Louis. He has to get used to a new team, new communication, new defense. He’s also the #1 starter for the first time. He’s in a new Conference – the much tougher Western Conference.

The first 10-12 games of the season, he was fresh – now, he’s not. He’s played more games than he’s used to…the defense in front of him has at times been decimated by injuries and other players have not played up to their potential. He’s been battered in net because it seems nobody except Barret Jackman is interested in trying to stop the opposition crashing our net.

There’s also another thing. The Blues are not an easy team to anchor. We allow too many breakaways and turnovers and our much vaunted defense is simply not good enough. Yet.

That’s the thing – YET. What did JD say when introducing Jaro? He wanted a goalie who could GROW with the team – Jaro was not bought in as a saviour… yet most seem to expect him to be. The expectations are that, no matter what happens in front of him, no matter how shitty the team plays, Jaro will pull their asses out of the fire. And he has done – many times. He just can’t do it all the time.

Halak is 25 and in his first year as a starter.  How many other goalies went from backup to starter and impressed in their first season as #1?  Not many.  So, take a breath, step back from the ledge and realise that, of all the problems this team has…Jaroslav Halak is NOT one of them.


Goalie news…

February 7, 2011

Ty Conklin made 36 saves in the Blues overtime loss at Tampa Bay – and when the Lightning scored with 6 seconds of overtime left…well, as the above video shows, Conks was not a happy bunny. Good for him – nice to see a bit of passion from time to time.

Jaroslav Halak has recovered from his upper body injury and is now good to go – as such, Ben Bishop has been reassigned to Peoria.

Andy Strickland has stated at True Hockey.com that the Red Wings may have interest in Conklin. It will be intriguing to see if this develops. If the Blues DO trade Conklin and then make the playoffs, we’ll see Ben Bishop being Halak’s backup.


BREAKING NEWS

February 4, 2011

Jaroslav Halak will not play tonight against Edmonton.

Halak is now listed as “day to day” with the ubiquitous “upper body injury” – which is rumoured to be a hand injury.

Ty Conklin will get the start tonight and Ben Bishop has been called up from Peoria.

More news as it’s announced.


A. Mac is back

February 2, 2011

He’s back. And let’s hope for more of the above. Andy McDonald has been activated from IR and is expected to play on Friday.

As a consequence, Phil McRae has been reassigned to Peoria. McRae has impressed in his brief spell with the Blues and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.


Here we go…

January 31, 2011

If you missed the All Star Game then check out the Guardian Project that was unveiled during intermission – have to say I rather like “The Blue”.

Well, the second half of the season starts tomorrow and the Blues really need to come out strong. Some good news to start with – it looks like Barret Jackman will be back tomorrow. Bad news – the status of Erik Johnson is unknown after he took a deflected puck to the face in practice today. As the saying goes, if the Blues didn’t have bad luck they wouldn’t have any luck at all. As far as Andy McDonald goes, Chris Kerber has just tweeted that McDonald is NOT expected back tomorrow but that the weekend looks more likely.

In other news, the Blues have recalled Philip McRae and Nikita Nikitin from Peoria – and have sent down Stefan Della Rovere.

Now, if the Blues are to make the playoffs there are a number of players who need to raise their games – and one of the most important is Jaroslav Halak. Halak has not had a good January – and yes, I know the defense has been hit, the forwards haven’t been backchecking enough and that our special teams and turnovers have almost crippled the team. But – this is the very time that Halak needs to come up strong. And I have no doubt that he will. Word is that he’s been working with Blues goalie coach, Corey Hirsch, on his positioning. They’ve been watching video and using Scott Mellanby as a screen whilst pucks are fired at Halak. Halak is working on staying farther out in his crease – a lot of his problems recently have been from drifting back into his crease and getting caught there. Staying at the top of the crease and being aggressive is what he needs to do. Of course, it might help if there was a defenseman, apart from Barret Jackman, who will get physical with opposition players who set up camp in Halak’s crease.

I have faith that Jaroslav Halak will rediscover his game – it’s not been easy for him. Having to adjust not just to a different team (with not as strong a defense as Montreal) but also adjusting to a different Conference. The West is much tougher than the East. It has to be remembered that Halak is also adjusting to something else: being a number 1 goalie. This is his first season as number 1 – it’ll take time. Personally, I think the All Star break is just what Halak needs. He can regroup – take a step back and start again.

Brace yourselves – because I think Halak will come up very strong in the second half of the season. He’s our franchise goaltender and whilst this season may be looked upon as a transition period, I’m very excited about how this guy is going to develop in the next few years.