Brad Boyes traded to Buffalo

February 28, 2011

IMG_5302.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)

 

The Blues have announced that Brad Boyes has been traded to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft.

In an interview with Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch, Blues GM, Doug Armstrong, said “When we got a call on Brad, I looked at our roster today and also looked at it moving forward. With the addition of Stewart and knowing (David) Perron is coming back at some point (from a concussion), it was necessary to make the move now while it was available.

“You just have to manage your assets. With Stewart, Perron and T.J. Oshie (on the right side), we had to create space. We had too many right wingers.”

The Blues may well use their extra second and third round picks to get another player but, if they don’t, then with Boyes earning $4million next year, this frees up more cap space. With Oshie, Berglund etc being RFA’s this gives the Blues plenty of room to sign the RFA’s and still add pieces in the summer. Just hope that the ownership situation is sorted out before then…

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Trade Reactions

February 19, 2011

IMG_5594.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the dust has settled a bit on this blockbuster trade, it’s worth checking out the really good analysis posted by “averagejoe” over at St Louis Game Time – Roster Shakeup.

The Blues have also posted a couple of videos:

Doug Armstrong discusses the trade with Colorado

David Backes and Brad Boyes react to the recent shenanigans

I think discussion on this will continue for some considerable time.


Brad Boyes – A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

December 19, 2010

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 11: Brad Boyes #22 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on March 11, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Yes, I know the above quote from Winston Churchill referred to the Russians, but it also seems to fit Brad Boyes. There are not many players who are as much of a riddle, mystery and enigma than Brad Boyes. With a poor season last year and the Blues in the midst of an offensive injury “crisis”, the time is perfect for Brad Boyes to step up and show what he’s made of. Worryingly, Boyes has all but disappeared on the ice. The Blues are Boyes’ 4th NHL team and he’s 28 years old – so, is there a pattern here?

Boyes was drafted in the first round, 24th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2000 Entry Draft. Boyes spent time with the Erie Otters in the OHL and St John’s Maple Leafs in the AHL – registering 23 goals and 28 assists in his first AHL season before being traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the San Jose Sharks in 2003, along with Alyn McCauley and a first round draft pick in 2003 for Owen Nolan. Boyes played one NHL game for the Sharks, spending the rest of his time in the AHL with the Cleveland Barons.
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Blues 1 – Blue Jackets 8

November 11, 2010

 COLUMBUS,OH - NOVEMBER 10: Alex Pietrangelo  of the St. Louis Blues helps teammate T.J. Oshie  of the St. Louis Blues leave the ice after he was injured during the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 10, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated St. Louis 8-1. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Ouch.  The Blues came back down to earth not with a bump but with the force of an impacting asteriod. They had no energy, no passion, they were slow, sluggish and listless – with endless turnovers and seemingly no cohesion.

The rot started right away – with the Blue Jackets scoring three goals in the first period. So, 3-0 at the end of period 1; 6-1 at the end of period 2 and 8-1 by the time the game ended. The Blue Jackets had breakaways and there was a fluky goal that hit Halak’s skate and popped into the net. Halak was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 15 shots but Conklin didn’t fare much better, giving up 4 goals on 20 shots. The Blues defense was almost non-existent – as mentioned before, an appalling number of turnovers, sloppy play and hardly any forechecking or backchecking contributed to this dire loss.

In the third period, the Blues had both Janssen and Boyes ejected from the game as they tried desperately to haul back a little bit of respect. Of course, it just had to get EVEN worse. With just over 10 minutes left to play in the game, TJ Oshie was helped off the ice after becoming involved in one of the many scrums that littered the game. Pahlsson fell on top of Oshie who landed awkwardly – it was later revealed that TJ Oshie has broken his ankle and may have to undergo surgery. This is a very bitter blow for a Blues team already decimated by injuries.

Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson were both -3 on the night – as was Andy McDonald who managed 6 shots. McDonald, Boyes and Backes really need to pick up their pace. McDonald has 2 goals and 3 assists on the season, Backes has 1 goal and 4 assists and Brad Boyes, whilst money in the shootout, has 1 goal and 4 assists. These three HAVE to lead by example now – there is no excuse.

Nick Drazenovic has been called up from Peoria and expect another call up during the day. Winchester could be close to returning but Perron is still suffering from headaches relating to the Joe Thornton hit.

The Blues play Nashville at Scottrade tonight – let’s see if this game was a temporary blip…or the shape of things to come.

UPDATE: Blues have recalled Chris Porter along with Nick Drazenovic from Peoria.


Thrashers 3 – Blues 4 (S/O)

October 31, 2010

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Well, that was an interesting game – and the main talking point has to be Jay McClement’s first hattrick after 400 NHL games. The game was not a free flowing affair – the refs saw to that by penalising the Blues for the most innocent things. “Interference” seemed to be the official’s buzzword of the night with 4 interference calls on the Blues, 2 kneeing calls and 1 hooking call.

The Blues had an appalling first period. They looked slow, sluggish and with 3 penalties to kill in the first period alone, their much vaunted PK was disorganised and disjointed. The Trashers scored first – a powerplay goal from Peverley who snuck in to bury a rebound past Halak. However, the Blues tied the game minutes later when a shot from D’Agostini hit Jay McClement, who was laying on the ice, and popped past Pavelec. Ondrej Pavelec was making his first start since collapsing on the ice in his first game of the season on 8 October.

The goal was the only piece of good news in the first period for the Blues. Another powerplay goal for the Thrashers put them ahead once again. Antropov was left alone in front of net and scored following a rebound. The Thrashers third goal would have been pure comedy had it not hurt so much. The puck bounced into the Blues zone, Eric Brewer swiped at it and missed and Bergfors sent an unstoppable shot past Halak with 2 seconds left in the period.

The second period was slightly better for the Blues – they still couldn’t find their game but the defense was tighter. They started to create a couple of opportunities but there were still too many turnovers and Jaroslav Halak made some terrific saves to keep the Blues in the game. Only two penalties called in the second period, although the interference call on David Backes defied belief. It was merely a good and legal hit at center ice – but Backes was duly penalised for doing nothing more than playing good hockey.

In the third period, with the score still at 3-1, the Blues found themselves on the wrong side of the officials once again. The Blues were called for 3 penalties in the first 3 minutes of the game – complete insanity. However, it seemed like the team as a whole – not to mention the crowd – were just getting a bit annoyed at this. They started to click – they started to play the kind of hockey we’ve come to expect. Killing all 3 penalties including a huge 5 on 3, the Blues went on the offensive. They had 2 powerplays but they just couldn’t seem to get the PP working at all. Pavelec absolutely stoned Brad Boyes on one powerplay with an amazing glove save.

With just over 6 minutes left, Jay McClement tipped D’Agostini’s shot into the net and the Blues were well and truly back in the game. The crowd was loud and noisy and the Blues seemed to feed off their energy. Less than two minutes later, it was a tie game. Jay McClement completed his first NHL hattrick by tipping Pietrangelo’s shot past Pavelec. It was a great moment for one of the Blues most underrated players and, in the next stoppage in play, the Scottrade ice was literally littered with hats thrown from the crowd.

To chants of “Let’s Go Blues”, the final few minutes of regulation saw the Blues absolutely buzzing. The Thrashers though weren’t dead and buried and, once again, Halak came to the Blues rescue – and was barrelled into by Ben Eager for his trouble. The game went to overtime – a pretty even affair with 4 shots apiece – and when the shootout came, the crowd noise level went even higher.

TJ Oshie was first up for the Blues in the shootout – and he scored with a fantastic move. Pavelec got a pad to it but it wasn’t enough. Peveley fanned on his shot, the puck just sliding off his stick and next up for the Blues was Brad Boyes. Boyes might not be able to buy a goal in open play but he’s a sniper in the shootout. He proved it once again by ripping a shot over Pavelec’s glove. Halak then saved an attempt by Thrasher’s rookie, Burmistrov, to win the game for the Blues. Halak was mobbed by his teammates and the incredible noise from the crowd just kept going and going.

This was a character game for the Blues – this showed that, unlike last year, when this team gets into a hole they are quite capable of grinding themselves out of it. A few notes from the game:

  • Jaroslav Halak’s shutout streak ended at just over 160 minutes – not too shabby at all.
  • Matt D’Agostini and Alex Steen both picked up 2 assists each.
  • Alex Pietrangelo once again led the Blues in ice time with just over 27 minutes.
  • Nathan Oystrick registered an assist, was a +2 and had just over 11 minutes of ice time in his first game for the Blues.
  • It was the Blues fifth straight win on home ice this season.

Next up, the Blues face the San Jose Sharks at Scottrade, looking for their franchise equalling record of six straight wins to start the season at home. To keep you entertained in the meantime, check out the shootout from last night’s game:


Flyers 1 – Blues 2 (OT)

October 10, 2010

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What a season opener! Not only was there a sellout crowd and the unveilling of the new Brett Hull statue outside Scottrade, but the Blues managed a very well deserved win.

The Blues came out hard and created chance after chance – only to be denied by the impressive Brian Boucher in the Flyers goal. There were 6 penalties in the first period with both teams getting 5 on 3 chances. The Blues took advantage and opened the scoring with 4 minutes left in the first period. An Erik Johnson laser of a shot was deflected by Boyes past Brian Boucher. Good to see Brad Boyes on the scoresheet so early in the season. The Flyers briefly came back at the end of the period but Halak stood strong and the Blues went in at intermission 1-0 up, having been outshot 9-6.

The second period saw the penalty count increase – 11 in all – but neither team could take advantage. Near the end of the period however, an almost game changing moment occured. Cam Janssen went for an innocent looking hit on Oskars Bartulis along the boards when he was absolutely levelled by teammate, Brad Winchester. Janssen was struck by Winchester’s elbow, forearm and stick, his head hitting the ice as he fell. Janssen was helped from the ice and didn’t return – mystifyingly being given a 2 minute charging penalty that was served by Matt D’Agostini. What was Winchester thinking, going for that hit? And why on earth can’t he hit opposition players like that?

It was a game changing moment – because when Janssen left the ice, the Blues lost a bit of momentum, they lost energy. The Blues were still playing well but suffered from a lack of confidence in front of goal – seemingly preferring to pass rather than shoot.

The third period saw the Blues outshot 14-6. They simply didn’t have the movement and creativity that they had in the first two periods. Jaroslav Halak made some excellent saves (but he really has to watch those rebounds) and the defence were throwing themselves in front of shots. Inevitably, something had to give and the Flyers tied the game through Daniel Briere who gave Halak no chance. It was Briere’s second goal in two games. The game went into overtime but not before David Perron almost sealed it for the Blues in the final few seconds – only being denied by another excellent save from Boucher.

For those of us used to the Blues attitude in overtime last season, this game was an eye opener. No longer were the Blues content to sit back and “play” for a shootout. They were aggressive, taking the game to the Flyers. Following Daniel Briere’s shot hitting the post, Barret Jackman sent the puck up the ice to Alex Steen, who had a couple of shots at Boucher before Carlo Colaiacovo smashed a rebound into the net. The Scottrade Center exploded with delight – and there’s a nice new touch with smoke coming out of the scoreboard when the Blues score.

A few points about the game:

  • Blues powerplay – too many tic-tac-toe passes and not enough shots. They went 1 for 10 which is simply not good enough.
  • The Blues penalty kill worked very well, blocking shots and not being drawn out of position.
  • Alex Pietrangelo – didn’t look out of place.  Some very nice touches – he deserves to be here.
  • Cam Janssen – was a ball of energy out on the ice, dispensing hits and even at one point found himself in front of net with the puck on his stick.  His shot was saved by Boucher.
  • Matt D’Agostini – played well on a really good and energetic fourth line.
  • The Blues defense deserve a pat on the back for their work and great shot blocking during the game.

A great start for the Blues – with Jaroslav Halak named player of the game.   Cam Janssen was kept in hospital overnight and I’ll update his condition as it develops.

Next up, Anaheim at 1pm St Louis time, 6pm UK time on Monday.  I’ll leave you with last night’s OT and Colaiacovo’s wonderful goal celebration:


Stars 3 – Blues 4 (OT)

October 3, 2010

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Once again, it was a woeful first period from the Blues. They were outshot 11-7 and gave up three powerplays to the Stars – including a 5 on 3. The Stars took advantage, scoring twice to go in at the interval 2-0 up.

The second period was much better but despite outshooting the Stars 12-1 they still couldn’t solve Kari Lehtonen in the Stars goal. It was coming – you could feel it – it was just a question of when. The period was further livened up with a fight between former Blue, Jeff Woywitka and Roman Polak. Woywitka is no walkover and yet Polak simply destroyed him.

Raycroft took over for Lehtonen in the Stars goal for the third period and it happened to coincide with the Blues finally exploding into life. David Perron scored a powerplay goal to bring the Blues right back into the game before, rather wonderfully, Brad Boyes levelled the game minutes later with a strangely looping yet powerful shot close to 5 minutes into the period. Of course, another powerplay to the Stars – a very ragged penalty kill from the Blues and the Stars pulled ahead once again with Niskanen scoring after 9 minutes.

The Blues weren’t finished – and TJ Oshie levelled the game once more with a trademark goal from a seemingly impossible angle. The game went to overtime and former Star, BJ Crombeen netted the winner for the Blues.