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.


David Backes signs 5 year extension

November 12, 2010

St. Louis Blues David Backes (42) falls backwards over Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne of Finland in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 21, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

It’s perfect timing for the Blues. The day after David Backes scored his first goal in 11 games, the Blues announce that they have re-signed him to a 5 year contract extension. The contract is worth $22.5million – $4.5million average.

This is the announcement from the Blues Official Site:

St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Friday the club has signed forward David Backes to a five-year contract extension.

“David could have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and we are excited that he has made the long term commitment to the Blues organization,” said Armstrong. “The way he handles himself on and off the ice represents what the Blues are all about.”

“I am ecstatic to have this deal signed and to be a Blue for many years to come,” said Backes. “My wife and I love this city and these fans have been nothing but great to us. This is a great organization to play for, from top to bottom, and we expect to be a top team in this league.”

Backes, 26, is currently in his fifth NHL season, all with the Blues, and has recorded six points (two goals and four assists) to go along with 32 penalty minutes in 14 games. In 2009-10, the 6’3, 225-pound forward etched career highs in both hits (266) and assists (31) while tying for second on the team in both points (48) and assists in 79 games played.

Also last season, Backes was selected to represent the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics, notching a goal and two assists in six games, helping Team USA capture the Silver Medal. In 2008-09, he had a career high 31 goals, 54 points and 165 penalty minutes including a goal and two assists in four playoff games. That year, Backes became the sixth player in Blues’ history to score four goals in a game on April 2, 2009 at Detroit (5-4 W).

In addition, along with Alex Ovechkin, he was one of two NHL players to register over 30 goals and 200 hits and the only player in 2008-09 to score over 30 goals and serve more than 150 penalty minutes. During his five-year career, Backes has appeared in a total of 296 games, amassing 162 points on 73 goals and 89 assists to go along with 439 penalty minutes.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota native was originally drafted by the Blues in the second round, 62nd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Predators 3 – Blues 2 (S/O)

November 12, 2010

BOSTON - NOVEMBER 06: Matt D'Agostini  of the St. Louis Blues passes the puck in the first period against the Boston Bruins on November 6, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Well, this was better from the Blues. A much better game from them following the 8-1 defeat by the Blue Jackets. They were faster – much more organised.

The Blues had the better first period – outshooting the Predators by 9-4 and David Backes gave the Blues the lead with his first goal in 11 games following very good work from Andy McDonald. The second period however, saw the Predators come back and outshoot the Blues 10-3. It really was only a matter of time before they tied the game. A shot from Sullivan was parried by Halak and then O’Reilly popped it into the net.

In the third, a great pass from Berglund put D’Agostini in the clear and he shot past Rinne to give the Blues the lead again. What a find D’Agostini has been – leading the Blues in goals with 6 on the season. Then, a silly goal and the game was tied again. The puck came off the back boards and Dumont tapped it past a surprised Halak.

The game going to overtime and then a shootout – Blues fans must have been feeling pretty confident. D’Agostini and O’Reilly both scored – and then the surprise: Brad Boyes didn’t score. Neither did Andy McDonald or Patrik Berglund. Finally, Marcel Goc tied it up for the Predators with a neat move past Halak.

Could have been better – but could have been worse. Both Drazenovic and Porter had solid games so things are not all bad!

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.

Blues 2 – Bruins 1 (S/O)

November 7, 2010

TJ Oshiephoto © 2010 Dinur Blum | more info(via: Wylio)



This was a very even game between two very good teams. Both near the top of their respective conferences and both teams being very stingy in goals allowed, you knew it was going to be a close fought affair. However, with the injuries the Blues have at the moment (Polak, Colaiacovo, Jackman, Perron and Winchester), it was a huge win for them. The Blues dressed 6 defensemen, with Ian Cole and Nikita Nikitin getting their first games. Cole looked a bit shaky but will settle down. Nikitin, on the other hand, looked settled and strong on the puck.

Throughout the game, the Bruins had two “goals” reviewed – both times the puck didn’t cross the line and the Bruins also hit the post and crossbar FOUR times. The shot count was 35-34 just edged in the Blues favour and kudos must go to the two goalies – Rask and Halak – who were both superb in net. Tim Thomas has been getting all the credit in Boston but overlook Rask at your peril.

If the Blues have a weakness, then it’s their powerplay. Again, nothing happened on the powerplay – they pass the puck and don’t shoot, their crisp 5 on 5 passes seem to disappear when they have the man advantage and, rather worryingly, the opposing team seem to have more chances on the Blues powerplay than the Blues themselves do.

The Blues got the first goal – in a very good first period that saw them outshoot the Bruins by 13-6. With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Steen stole the puck from Seidenberg and passed it to Sobotka who lined up his shot and fired it into the net. A great moment for the ex-Bruin who was buzzing around all game. He registered some good hits and was a constant source of irritation for the Bruins. Another play who was irritating the Bruins was TJ Oshie – laying on a couple of fantastic hits and his forechecking and backchecking was second to none. His hit on Chara was a joy to behold with the big guy being unceremoniously dumped to the ice.

The Bruins came back into it in the 2nd and 3rd periods and Halak and the Blues defense really had to work hard. Halak saved the Blues from great chances from David Krejci and Matt Hunwick. The Blues still had some good chances with Rask rescuing the Bruins from McDonald and Backes. Backes had a good game – a few hits, a fight and a couple of good scoring chances. The goals will come for Backes. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Bruins got back into it and they scored with 7 minutes left in the game, when a 3 on 2 break resulted in Gregory Campbell scoring past a screened Halak. Halak’s shutout streak ended at 150.3 minutes.

The game went to overtime where, again, it was pretty even at 2 shots apiece. The main talking point of overtime however, was TJ Oshie’s hit on David Krejci. It was a good, clean hit with both guys going for the puck. Oshie seems to explode into a hit – he has a low center of gravity and just seems to expand into a hit. Krejci’s head seemed to hit the boards and the ice and he was helped off the ice. No word on his status at the moment.

The shootout saw Boston shoot first with Bergeron. His shot hit the post (I’m not sure if Halak got a piece of it or not) and then it was TJ Oshie’s turn. I don’t think it was what Oshie planned but he managed to get the backhand under Rask to put the Blues 1 up. Next shooter for Boston was rookie, Tyler Seguin, who made no mistake with his first shootout attempt, scoring a great goal past Halak. Brad Boyes – who can’t score in open play but is money in the bank in the shootout – scored with a neat move past Rask to put the Blues 2-1 up. Next up was Michael Ryder and, for the fourth time in the game, the post came to the rescue and the Blues gained the extra point.

A great win for an injury depleted team and the Blues play again tonight against the New York Rangers. Conklin could well be in net for the Blues and Nick Drazenovic, called up for Peoria, could get his first game of the season in the Bluenote. Here, from Inside Hockey are the post game interviews with Jaroslav Halak, TJ Oshie and Bruins coach, Claude Julien:

Ducks 1 – Blues 5

October 11, 2010

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Well, this was one of THE most one-sided games you’ll ever see. How the Blues didn’t win by double the number of goals is probably due to their utterly anaemic powerplay. At one point, they had a 7 minute powerplay which came to absolutely nothing. However – due to the sheer number of “events” in this game, let’s take it point by point:

  • The Blues outshot the Ducks 53-14
  • The Blues broke a 42 year old franchise record by scoring 6 seconds apart in the first period.
  • The Blues goals were scored by David Backes; Andy MacDonald; BJ Crombeen (SH) and 2 by Matt D’Agostini including one FINALLY on the powerplay.
  • There were 37 penalties totalling an incredible 143 penalty minutes.
  • Ryan Reaves had a good game – and a good fight until he was ejected from the game early in the second period for not tying his jersey down.
  • Jonas Hiller was replaced by backup Curtis McElhinney after giving up 4 goals on 34 shots.

The Blues worked hard and were rewarded – of course, the Ducks started getting chippy when things weren’t going their way and,  apart from the Reaves fight, there were also scraps between Perron and Ryan and Eric Brewer and Aaron Voros.  It was definitely lively – and kudos to Barret Jackman for refusing to get drawn into a fight with George Parros when the Blues were well ahead.

Alex Pietrangelo looked comfortable on the puck – getting his first assist on Matt D’Agostini’s first goal.  D’Agostini is a bit of a find – not afraid to hit and check, put on the “grinder” line and yet has definite offensive skill.  D’Agostini was the game’s first star – with Alex Steen 2nd and BJ Crombeen 3rd.

The Blues looked good – the Ducks looked terrible.  But a great victory for the Blues.  They’re now 2 from 2 and face Nashville on Thursday.

Weekly update

October 1, 2010

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The Blues have trimmed their roster down to 28 – with TJ Hensick and Ben Bishop being assigned to Peoria. Bishop has impressed during his time with squad so in the case of injuries, expect him to see some time up with the Blues this season – and you get the feeling that Bishop will not disappoint between the pipes. Nicholas Drazenovic is still with the Blues squad and with Sobotka likely not to recover from shoulder surgery in time for the start of the season, I would hope that Drazenovic sticks and starts the season in St Louis. I have hopes for him.

The Blues have announced the Eric Brewer will remain as captain for the upcoming season with the assistants being David Backes, Barret Jackman, Alex Steen and Erik Johnson.

Mandi Schwartz has received the stem cell transplant she needs – and all best wishes to her for the future.

Preseason games have seen the Blues lose to Colorado and Dallas but register two wins against Minnesota and win against Colorado.