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 Post subject: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:29 pm 
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It's not easy being a fan of the away team, especially being miserable by myself at the end of every playoff season. Normally I'd be really pissed but I find myself strangely at peace with this season.

Edmundson blossomed into a great defender, Parayko didn't fall apart in his sophomore season, Pie stepped up when Shattenkirk was traded. I'm not worried at all about this teams defense, moving forward.

Allen did a great job once Brodeur got to work with him, and I think he took big strides that he'll build on next season. I'm not worried about this teams goaltending.

As has traditionally been the case with Murray/Hitchcock/Yeo teams, I'm deeply concerned about the offense, speed and discipline. We don't score damn near enough for the talented players that are on this roster. We roll equivalent of 3.5 lines on the regular, our 4th line isn't bad but it isn't good either. And we took way the hell too many penalties against Nashville. Every time I looked up we were on the kill. Even if you kill every penalty, that much time out there 5 on 4 or 5 on 3 takes its toll. This team has a lot to work on moving forward, which wasn't the case when Kirk Muller was still behind the bench. Someone has to be brought in to work on the offensive side of things, it's as simple as that.

Obviously I'd love to see Bouwmeester and Lehtera gone and Schmaltz, Walman and Dunn getting a very close look in camp. Barbashev should be in position for a roster spot from the get go, and I'm excited to see what Musil and Gawdin can do with a full season at Chicago. I'd like to see Blais compete for a spot, but I wouldn't mind also seeing him get another year to season his game in Chicago. He had a great first year as a pro.

Ultimately, I think I'm not overly upset because I'm not overly surprised. I've been a fan since 92-93 and it's been one year of disappointment after another. The problem with this team is that they're always "close" but there's always something missing that never seems to be properly addressed. That or something that doesn't need to be addressed gets addressed while ignoring the real needs (see: Ryan Miller)

Moving forward, I'll be cheering on Ottawa until they get booted on Tuesday and then after that we'll see. I find it impossible to root for Anaheim, Nashville, Pittsburgh or NY so I guess I'll just hope they cancel the SCF because of an outbreak of the bubonic plague or something.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 6:33 pm 
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Don't forget Tage Thompson. I have a feeling he will be on the Blues roster next season, not the Wolves.

Been saying it since they hired Yeo. Where is the offensive coach behind this bench? Yeo is supposedly a special teams specialist, both PK and PP, but it sure as heck didn't show in the playoffs. Horribly slow adjusting and even in the elimination games, kept rolling out the same #1 PP unit which couldn't even get shots on net. That's on the coach for not adjusting.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 6:40 pm 
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Not surprised at all. The image in the GDT of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown is really quite fitting.

Honestly, though, this team was overachieving for the last couple months anyway. We've all been saying it all season long- this isn't the year and these aren't the players. They did well under Yeo, and I'm excited to see what we can do with a full season, as well as who is on the 2017-2018 opening roster.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Blues team just isn't that good. Especially with Fabbri out.
The D isn't good at all.
Pie. Parayko. Edmundson. The rest can suck it.
Jaskin. Perron. Lehtera. Berglund. good god horrible
Steen has been bleh for a couple years now.

So yeah, i'm not mad at all.
Can only expect so much.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 4:57 am 
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This team is a top 6 and a bottom 6 mish-mash. If we had 4 serviceable lines who could skate like they weren't on a sheet of molasses and had a decent forecheck, the defense would, by association, be better because they'd have to be playing defense less of the time. Having Pie, Parayko, Edmundson and then 3 decent enough d-men should be good enough, but we have such a drop off after the top 6 forwards that it's laughable. I said we had 3.5 lines but it should really be 3. The 3rd and 4th line are only a half lines worth of quality each. At least the 3rd line provides minutes, the 4th line not so much.

Incorporating an injection of youth to re-structure the bottom 6 would be a great start, but Yeo's system will stifle them anyway and end up screwing up 6 new careers.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 9:40 am 
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I'm not sure how not to be disappointed right now. When playoffs started, I was hopeful that we'd win a series, but thought Blackhawks would stomp us. When Nashville beat them, and we had just beat Nashville out for 3rd in the division, I was expecting another WCF appearance.

That said, of the 16 playoff teams, Blues were not on the shortlist for top Cup contenders. So, I was probably hoping for just a delay of the inevitable. But, still sucks to be eliminated.

All in all, I'm happy with the season we had. It was a transition year, and we did about as well as anybody could have hoped. Need to trim some of the fat, but I like the way we are trending right now in terms of our current core and young guys ready to make an impact in the coming years.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:32 am 
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This year was only a failure if your expectations were unreasonable.

We lost a lot of leadership, offense, size and grit when Brouwer and Backes walked and we "replaced" them with Perron and a hope that the kids got better. We traded a top 4 dman in Shatty. I don't disagree with any of the moves (or allowing Brouwer and Backes to walk for more term/money than we rightfully refused to give them) but these are gut punches that take a minute to get over.

For me, this season was a transition year. Last season ('15-'16) was purely and solely about winning a god d**mn playoff series or blowing up the whole d**mn thing. This year was about plugging the offensive holes left by two top 9 forwards, as well as transitioning Allen to a #1 goalie and tweaking the defense on the eventual trade of Shatty. I think this year was about where my expectations were. Am I disappointed they lost in the playoffs? Well yea, always. But realistically they about met my expectations.

My big season take-aways

(1) We are fine without Shatty. We couldn't afford him, got a first rounder and some other assets for him, and the defense seamlessly picked up the slack with Edmunson and Parayko really taking over. I think with Washington Shatty's defensive deficiencies are more glaring and apparent now. I think we did good on managing that side of things.

(2) Defensively we are in great shape. Largely echoing my prior paragraph and what others have said in this thread. We have youth, we have veteran minute muncher in Pietrangelo in his prime of his career. We look great back there overall.

(3) Jake Allen is a #1 NHL goaltender. Army must feel a bit vindicated with Allen doing everything reasonably expected of him this season and especially into the playoffs. We have a #1. Feels good.

(4) Offense needs work. Tarasenko can't do it all by himself. That wasn't remedied last offseason once we lost some valuable secondary pieces and wasn't during the year so either trades or kids coming up or something... :notenough:

OFFSEASON GAMEPLAN

We're set in goal and mostly on defense. Offensive needs need to be explored. Given the "weak" draft this year, I'm pretty tempted to just say "pick the best player available and we'll see what happens" because nothing in the draft short of a trade on the floor will make this team immediately better for '17-18. Hopefully Washington loses here in short order and we get two decent mid first round picks for the first time in a long time.

Free Agents

I know Joe Thornton has said his desire to stay in San Jose is strong but can you imagine him lining up with Tarasenko, just feeding him? Short 1 or 2 year deal I'd do it. Under the massive assumption his MCL/ACL's haven't ended his career.

Oshie is a UFA. DO IT ARMYYYYY.

Thoughts? We got $7 million in cap space this offseason with Yakupov (RFA), Upshall (UFA), Paajarvi (RFA) and Parayko (RFA) as our major FA's.

Parayko is obvious. The other three... I mean Paajarvi I think earned himself another contract and I love me some Upshall and I don't think they'd be expensive so maybe.

IF we can clear some space we may be able to play some ball this offseason in the UFA market. Especially with Stastny and Perron set to come off the books in summer 2018 ($10.750 in cap space).

Next season my expectations are going to be much higher. WCF again or bust.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 11:49 am 
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I'd pass on Oshie, not because I wouldn't take him back, but because he will command more salary than I think he will be worth. He hit 30 goals this year, so his asking price is going to go up significantly. Hey- we could put Berglund, Perron and Oshie back together. Just like in the good ol' da... oh wait, scratch that. Can you imagine how much that line would cost now, and how little they would score? :lol:

Upshall needs to stay- he plays with real heart every shift, and chips in timely goals. Perfect 4th-liner.

Parayko. Duh.

Paaaaaajaaaaarvi- could go either way. Fine if they keep him, fine if they fill that spot with a Barbashev, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 12:58 pm 
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gaijin wrote:
I'd pass on Oshie, not because I wouldn't take him back, but because he will command more salary than I think he will be worth. He hit 30 goals this year, so his asking price is going to go up significantly. Hey- we could put Berglund, Perron and Oshie back together. Just like in the good ol' da... oh wait, scratch that. Can you imagine how much that line would cost now, and how little they would score? :lol:

Upshall needs to stay- he plays with real heart every shift, and chips in timely goals. Perfect 4th-liner.

Parayko. Duh.

Paaaaaajaaaaarvi- could go either way. Fine if they keep him, fine if they fill that spot with a Barbashev, etc.


Yea I don't think Oshie loved it here so much that he'd come back at anything approaching a "discounted" rate. And like you said he's set to get PAID, and more than likely OVERpaid, significantly. This is his "set for life contract" so unless he personally takes the leash away from his agent in a singular desire to win a cup, go to a specific market, etc, he'll probably get, what, AAV $6-7 per? I could see it.

Agreed on Upshall. He's found his niche in this league and performs it perfectly.

One year ago I'd say no way to Paajaarvi. Now I'm with you: either way I wouldn't really care.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 1:57 pm 
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No way in H-E-double hockey sticks Oshie comes back to St Louis to play for another defense first head coach. That's what got him shipped out in the first place.

The problem I see for next season is the Blues current players under contract for 17-18 and how unwilling Armstrong is to buy out contracts to clear space and let younger players play. The Blues could have considerably more than 7M in cap space, even after signing Parayko, if Armstrong would use the buy-out option and let kids play under entry level contracts. Won't happen though. Just like Yeo is a moron at managing PP personnel judging by these playoffs.

As long as Yeo is the Blues head coach and Armstrong stays "loyal" to existing contracts, this team isn't going past the 2nd round any time soon.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:32 pm 
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theohall wrote:
No way in H-E-double hockey sticks Oshie comes back to St Louis to play for another defense first head coach. That's what got him shipped out in the first place.

The problem I see for next season is the Blues current players under contract for 17-18 and how unwilling Armstrong is to buy out contracts to clear space and let younger players play. The Blues could have considerably more than 7M in cap space, even after signing Parayko, if Armstrong would use the buy-out option and let kids play under entry level contracts. Won't happen though. Just like Yeo is a moron at managing PP personnel judging by these playoffs.

As long as Yeo is the Blues head coach and Armstrong stays "loyal" to existing contracts, this team isn't going past the 2nd round any time soon.


For who though?

None of our kids, especially on the offensive side, are "breaking down the door" so to speak to get in the lineup. Lehtera, okay, I agree there. 2 years left, if we can't get a team to take his contract for a pick or something just buy him out.

Who else are you referring to? Berglund, Stastny, Perron...? All those guys hit 34 points or higher and I don't think it's an obvious assumption that a kid on the Wolves is going to walk in here and put up almost a half point per game over a full season.

We'll see. We're going to lose one player via the expansion so you know at least one spot has to be filled full time by someone else somewhere. I'm afraid we'll lose Sobotka.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:56 pm 
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I think that if you buy out or ship out Berglund, Perron and Lehtera and free that cap space up by letting two/three young players play on entry-level contracts, the Blues will have enough cap to fit a 30-35 goal scorer to help Tarasenko out.

Heck, I'd even throw Steen in that mix. Warrior that he is, he's 33 years old and is tied up at $5.75 mil for four more years. That's just crazy right there. Past contributions aside, that's a huge cap hit for a player who is unquestionably on a decline.

Bouwmeester is another one. Waste of huge cap space. It baffles me that he makes significantly more than Josi, Elkholm and Ellis, who basically just left him in the dust in speed, tenacity and skill.

Something has got to give here. Otherwise, I agree that the Blues are destined to mire in mediocrity anchored by the huge contracts given to underachieving or declining players.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 2:59 pm 
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Apparently, Tarasenko was playing injured and will have surgery:
https://www.hockeyfeed.com/nhl-news/breaking-nhl-superstar-miss-world-to-undergo-surgery-after-tough-playoffs-stretch/?ref=David


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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:43 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:16 pm 
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I think you take your lumps with a couple of AHL kids and let them grow into the role, but you also have to help them out by giving them an assistant coach who can promote a solid offensive system. I'm not delusional enough to suppose they'd get rid of Yeo anytime soon, so it's all about having the proper assistants on board.

And for the love of god keep Brodeur to work with Jake, do not let this guy go. Give him whatever salary he wants to stay with the organization for the rest of his life.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:31 pm 
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I wouldn't mind having Oshie back. There's a reason he was a fan favorite. But, I don't see it happening. Defensive coach is part of it I guess, but more than that, I don't think he's worth what he'll get paid. He's going to get paid as a 30G scorer even though the only time he has done it is a contract year on the same line as Ovechkin.

We don't need to buy out half the team either. I'd give serious consideration to buying out Lehtera, but that's about it. What I would do instead is come up with a package of picks/prospects for somebody like John Tavares. I'm not sure what that package is, but we have a surplus of picks. And, if we get somebody like Tavares in return, nobody on the AHL roster is untouchable. The team is close, but it needs another big offensive weapon. Now, we have the trade resources to get one.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:18 am 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
theohall wrote:
No way in H-E-double hockey sticks Oshie comes back to St Louis to play for another defense first head coach. That's what got him shipped out in the first place.

The problem I see for next season is the Blues current players under contract for 17-18 and how unwilling Armstrong is to buy out contracts to clear space and let younger players play. The Blues could have considerably more than 7M in cap space, even after signing Parayko, if Armstrong would use the buy-out option and let kids play under entry level contracts. Won't happen though. Just like Yeo is a moron at managing PP personnel judging by these playoffs.

As long as Yeo is the Blues head coach and Armstrong stays "loyal" to existing contracts, this team isn't going past the 2nd round any time soon.


For who though?

None of our kids, especially on the offensive side, are "breaking down the door" so to speak to get in the lineup. Lehtera, okay, I agree there. 2 years left, if we can't get a team to take his contract for a pick or something just buy him out.

Who else are you referring to? Berglund, Stastny, Perron...? All those guys hit 34 points or higher and I don't think it's an obvious assumption that a kid on the Wolves is going to walk in here and put up almost a half point per game over a full season.

We'll see. We're going to lose one player via the expansion so you know at least one spot has to be filled full time by someone else somewhere. I'm afraid we'll lose Sobotka.


Exactly. Depth isn't ready, yet, either. Thompson is a better option than Lehtera. He would add another PP shot to deal with that isn't named Tarasenko.

But another year of a bunch of 3rd line forwards who don't get it done in the playoffs = repeating this season with a 1st or 2nd round playoff exit. At some point, it's time to take risks with personnel, instead of relying on what's been comfortable.

Comrade T wrote:
the Blues will have enough cap to fit a 30-35 goal scorer to help Tarasenko out.


And where would this 30-35 goal scorer come from? The free agent list isn't promising among UFAs and Armstrong doesn't exactly have the best record at acquiring quality RFAs.

Here are the top goal scoring 2017 UFAs and RFAs
Image
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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:38 am 
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Tavares? Not in a billion years. The Islanders are a team on the upswing, they'd never trade him.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:52 am 
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I chalk up this year to the team being mismanged. Army can't make the deals we need to ascend to the next level and his incompetance costed us. Because of him we don't have a coach that can run a solid PP which, if we had, we would have won against Nashville. Army sold players like Shattenkirk far too late who, if he had taken Shatt at face value before the season that he wanted to explore other options, he would have traded Shatt then and there for max value. Army has also signed mainly 3rd line players like Berglund for instance who, while solid, doesn't help your team when you've got a lot of 3rd line players and really need a 1C or players that can play at that level. He signed Yeo to a multi-year contract, a similar coach to Hitchcock in a day and age where that coaching style does not work.

I can go on and on, but the fact is, with Allen playing like a Elite #1 Netminder, we could have gone to the WCF or possibly further, but this brings up the worst part: Army and Stillman went Sellers at the TDL. A team on the bubble shouldn't be selling, they should be buying rentals to help over the hump. Just another reason to look at Army and go "Why did we hire you again?"

Serious, fire Army, get a GM in that can take the team to the next level and run with it. Who the GM is, beyond a select few that are horrible, it shouldn't matter: Taking this team to the next level with the quality core we got shouldn't be rocket science. We can see it, Army can't.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016-17 Post-Mortem
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:55 am 
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theohall wrote:
WaukeeBlues wrote:
theohall wrote:
No way in H-E-double hockey sticks Oshie comes back to St Louis to play for another defense first head coach. That's what got him shipped out in the first place.

The problem I see for next season is the Blues current players under contract for 17-18 and how unwilling Armstrong is to buy out contracts to clear space and let younger players play. The Blues could have considerably more than 7M in cap space, even after signing Parayko, if Armstrong would use the buy-out option and let kids play under entry level contracts. Won't happen though. Just like Yeo is a moron at managing PP personnel judging by these playoffs.

As long as Yeo is the Blues head coach and Armstrong stays "loyal" to existing contracts, this team isn't going past the 2nd round any time soon.


For who though?

None of our kids, especially on the offensive side, are "breaking down the door" so to speak to get in the lineup. Lehtera, okay, I agree there. 2 years left, if we can't get a team to take his contract for a pick or something just buy him out.

Who else are you referring to? Berglund, Stastny, Perron...? All those guys hit 34 points or higher and I don't think it's an obvious assumption that a kid on the Wolves is going to walk in here and put up almost a half point per game over a full season.

We'll see. We're going to lose one player via the expansion so you know at least one spot has to be filled full time by someone else somewhere. I'm afraid we'll lose Sobotka.


Exactly. Depth isn't ready, yet, either. Thompson is a better option than Lehtera. He would add another PP shot to deal with that isn't named Tarasenko.

But another year of a bunch of 3rd line forwards who don't get it done in the playoffs = repeating this season with a 1st or 2nd round playoff exit. At some point, it's time to take risks with personnel, instead of relying on what's been comfortable.

Comrade T wrote:
the Blues will have enough cap to fit a 30-35 goal scorer to help Tarasenko out.


And where would this 30-35 goal scorer come from? The free agent list isn't promising among UFAs and Armstrong doesn't exactly have the best record at acquiring quality RFAs.

Here are the top goal scoring 2017 UFAs and RFAs
Image
Image


Out of curiosity, is there a playoff-only stats list like this? You got players like David Perron for instance who was really good in the regular season but is historically pathetic in the playoffs. Kind of curious if a playoff stats list would correlate differently to your list. Honestly, that's where we need help; we have no problem getting into the playoffs as it is. It's the later we need help with.

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2014-2015 LGB Sponsor of Patrik "No-Timer" Berglund
2013-2014 LGB Sponsor of Derek "In The Middle" Roy
2012-2013 LGB Sponsor of Chris "NO SLEEP TIL THE CUP!" Stewart - Shhhhh!!!


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