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.


Blues trade EJ andMcClement

February 19, 2011

IMG_5166.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)


Well, in the wee small hours of the morning, the Blues announced they have traded Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to Colorado in exchange for Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk. The Blues also give up a conditional 1st round draft pick in 2011 or 2012 whilst the Avalanche give up a conditional 2nd round draft pick in 2011 and 2012.

I have to say this is a shocking trade. I don’t think anyone really expected the Blues to trade Erik Johnson – however, it is what it is. I like Chris Stewart – he’s a power forward like Backes and Shattenkirk has great potential.

You can hear Blues GM, Doug Armstrong, talking about the trade on the Blues website: Blues Podcast.

Good luck to EJ and Jay McClement – and welcome aboard Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.

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:

Blues 2 – Red Wings 4

March 25, 2010

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It’s getting a bit tired now – and this game was probably one of the final nails in the coffin of the Blues playoff hopes. A couple of bad goals, an inability to capitalise on the powerplay (especially a 4 minute PP) and a quite surprising lack of passion and/or energy in the final few minutes. They were only 1 goal down at that point – but it didn’t look as though they were even trying.

It started well – with a superlative goal from Paul Kariya. He just surged past the Wings defence as though they were standing still and fired the puck past Jimmy Howard. The jury is out as to whether he’s playing for a contract or whether he’s finally fit. I’ll go for the latter option. His hips are good – he’s shaken the rust off and he’s got great chemistry with his linemates. Bring him back? You bet. But not for $6m a year. If he’d accept $2.5m to £3m then I’d snatch his hand off.

So – the Blues go in at the end of P1, 1-0 up. They must have known what would happen. The entire world knew that the Wings would come out hard in the second – except for the Blues it seems. The Wings tied the game within 30 seconds of the restart. The Blues went behind a few minutes later following a Bertuzzi goal that was under review briefly but finally called as a good goal which, to be fair, it was. Then came a high sticking call – and a four minute powerplay for the Blues…which they wasted. A couple of good attacks but the puck was constantly flipped out of the zone by the Wings.

The third period started well when Jay McClement tied the game after just over 2 minutes. The team were playing well, Conklin made some good saves and the energy level seemed high. Then, with just under seven minutes left in the game, a shot from the blue line hit Conklin and bounced right into the path of Filppula who flipped the puck into the net. That goal seemed to take the wind out of the Blues. Even after pulling Conklin in the final couple of minutes for the extra attacker, they seemed lacklustre – and the empty net goal for the Wings was an obvious conclusion.

So basically the Blues have 9 games left and are 10 points behind the Red Wings who are in the final playoff spot. It’ll take the Blues winning all their remaining games and hoping for a mini Wing collapse in order for them to make the playoffs. But maybe it’d be for the best if they don’t make it. Maybe it’ll shock them into life a bit – because those final few minutes were atrocious.

Anyway – your game reports:

I can’t wrap this up without putting up the video of Kariya’s wonderful goal last night.  Enjoy – we don’t know how much longer he’ll be wearing the jersey for:

Maple Leafs 0 – Blues 4

February 13, 2010

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With the Blues standing pat at the Olympic trade freeze deadline, pressure was on to get the two points needed to drag themselves back into the playoff race.  The Blues did it – and they did it in style.   With the Blue Jackets, Predators and Wild all losing, the Blues made up some ground in the standings.

It was never going to be easy – the Maple Leafs have been rejuvenated with the addition of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Dion Phaneuf.   An entertaining first period saw ex-Blue Lee Stempniak hit the post, Cam Janssen and Colton Orr getting into a scrap (one that was stopped rather quickly by the officials) and Andy McDonald picking up his 19th goal of the season to put the Blues 1-0 up.    It was a great goal – Brewer lifted the puck out of the Blues zone for McDonald to chase.  McDonald’s pass across ice was deflected and shot on goal by Erik Johnson.  The rebound came out to Patrik Berglund who played a neat little pass to McDonald to slot into the net.  Really excellent work by Berglund who is slowly rediscovering his form of last season.

In the second period, the Blues found themselves on the penalty kill three times and it’s worth mentioning just how good the Blues penalty killing is because, despite having three powerplays, the Maple Leafs were limited to four shots for the entire period.  The penalty kill is working hard – and it’s also starting to pay dividends in the offensive zone.   The Blues scored two shorthanded goals in this period.  The first followed good work by David Backes who pressured Tomas Kaberle into a dangerous turnover.  Backes took the puck behind the net and attempted a wraparound goal.  The puck squirted out to TJ Oshie who, with Giguere sprawled on the ice, made no mistake with a practically open net for his 12th goal of the season.

The Blues second shorthanded goal was a absolute delight.  A solo, unassisted goal by Alex Steen who broke out of the defensive zone and carried the puck behind the Maple Leafs goal.  He battled for the puck against, at first, two Maple Leafs, and then four.  Steen never gave up and, surprisingly, came away with the puck and scored a briliant wraparound goal on a very surprised Giguere.

The Maple Leafs came out for the third period 3-0 down – and they really piled the pressure onto the Blues.   Chris Mason was superb – making 15 saves in the final period alone – and the Blues wrapped up the game with just over 6 minutes left.  Crombeen took the puck behind the Maple Leafs goal and centered for Jay McClement.  McClement dragged the puck to the right and passed across goal to Crombeen who had a simple tap in.

For the Blues, it was a job well done and it must have been very sweet for Alex Steen to score and Carlo Colaiacovo pick up an assist against their old team.  Two sorely needed points now take the Blues to only four points behind the seemingly freefalling Calgary Flames who currently hold 8th place.  Anyway – your game report:

So, in their final game before the Olympic break, the Blues face the Washington Capitals at Scottrade.  Alex Ovechkin is in town – and the Blues have one hell of a game on their hands.  Puck drops at 7pm – and this one is going to be a doozy.

Blues 3 – Blackhawks 2

February 4, 2010

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It’s not easy – to go into the home of one of the hottest teams in hockey and come out with a good result – but the Blues did it.  And they did it by having a great second period.

The first period wasn’t so great.  A shot by Roman Polak was blocked and it led to a breakaway for Patrick Kane who made no mistake and backhanded the puck past Mason to put the Blackhawks ahead.  There was a bit of a “here we go again” feel but the Blues put that behind them in the second period.

David Backes tied the game with just over 8 minutes of the second period left, following good work by Paul Kariya.  Kariya hustled Duncan Keith into making a mistake and Kariya picked up the puck behind the Blackhawks net.  He then slid a neat pass in front to David Backes who put the puck past Huet whilst on one knee.

It was Backes with his second goal of the game who put the Blues in front late in the second period.  A powerplay goal of all things.  Oshie passed to Backes on the wing and Backes made no mistake with a great one timer.  The Blues added a third goal with about 20 seconds left in the period.  Roman Polak intercepted a stretch pass near the Blackhawks blue line and ripped off a shot which was tipped in by Jay McClement.

In the third period, the Blackhawks pulled one back with a shorthanded goal from Hossa but Mason stood tall and strong in goal, turning away 13 shots in the final period.  The Blues were outshot 34-19 in this game but they took their chances when they came and benefitted from a seemingly revitalised Chris Mason.

Of course, we had the usual trouble with the officials.  A blatent high stick by Patrick Kane on Brad Boyes was called by one official.  The officials then went into a huddle and talked it over.  The penalty was subsequently overturned.  Why?  Nobody seems to have any good reason.  Ah well – not only do we have to beat the other teams but half the time we have to beat the officials as well.

Anyway – your game reports:

So, kudos to the Blues for pulling out a win – let’s hope they do the same tonight in their game against the Sharks.

Blues 3 – Sharks 2 (S/O)

December 4, 2009

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What a game – are the Blues back? It certainly looked like it. The Blues drew level twice before winning the game in the shootout. Dany Heatley put the Sharks ahead early in the first period – and you’d be forgiven for thinking “here we go again”. The Blues came back and tied the game through a terrific shot from Jay McClement. The Sharks took the lead again in the second period and this score stood until 7 seconds of the game were left. With Conklin pulled, Keith Tkachuk’s shot was blocked and Carlo Colaiacovo picked up the rebound, spun and sent his shot past Nabokov to tie to the game.

With no goals in Overtime, the Blues, once again, headed for the shootout. Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks but McDonald and TJ Oshie won the game for the Blues. All the Blues players played well – but the standout performances were from Barrat Jackman who defended with heart and tenacity; Ty Conklin who made some superb saves to keep the Blues in the game and TJ Oshie whose excellent (and new) shootout move won the game. This is more like it. This is the team we want to see every game. So, your game reports:

It was such a good game…that you really should check out the highlights for yourself: