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Category: St-Louis-Blues

The St. Louis Blues Are Still In The Playoff Picture

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Here’s one more thing driving Blues fans crazy: The path to the playoff bracket has remained clear and open this winter.

Winnipeg, Nashville, Calgary, San Jose and Vegas are rolling toward postseason play, but the other three Western Conference slots are there for the taking. Every other team on this side of the NHL is sputtering.

Week after week after week the Blues failed to capitalize on that collective failure. It took them until mid-January to build their first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Blues are better than this. They proved that, beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals twice during a span of 11 days. But they also proved they can lose to anybody, particularly at home.

They have lingered on the edge of the playoff race, such as it is, despite this unsteadiness. That makes their struggle more agonizing for long-suffering fans and their situation more complicated for general manager Doug Armstrong.

If the Western Conference was as fiercely competitive as usual, the Blues would be dead and buried.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

What Contending Teams Should Look For As The Trade Deadline Approaches

from Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic,

In short, the goal is to get a serviceable rental at a reasonable acquisition cost. As I scour the available players, the two that make the most sense are both currently with the St. Louis Blues, Jay Bouwmeester and Carl Gunnarsson. Both are on expiring contracts, Bouwmeester earning $5.4 million, Gunnarsson $2.9 million, so by the deadline, they will be manageable deals. Bouwmeester is 35, the same age as the Flames’ Mark Giordano, and he played three-plus years for the Flames before being moved out in the 2013 player purge that also saw Jarome Iginla exit. He is averaging 19:33 per night, and playing mostly on the second pair with Colton Parayko. Gunnarsson is 32, and has had an injury-filled year which has limited him to 12 games. But when healthy, he often lines up with Alex Pietrangelo on the top pair.

much more (paid sub.) and other topics too...

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

An Off Year For Vladimir Tarasenko

from Benjamin Hockman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Some Blues fans might not even know how to spell Oskar Sundqvist.

He’s a marginal player, just a guy. Well, this season, he has six even-strength goals.

And the Blues’ most famous name, Vladimir Tarasenko, has five.

This is the warped world we live in with these Blues — Sundqvist has more even-strength goals than the face of the franchise.

“You look at our roster, we should be at the top of the league, not the bottom,” Brayden Schenn said Wednesday.

But the Blues’ star player is at the bottom of the team’s plus-minus, not the top.

Yep, Tarasenko is at minus-15, a notch worse than Patrick Maroon’s minus-14. (Last season, for comparison, Tarasenko finished at plus-15.)


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vladimir+tarasenko

Time For Trades For The St. Louis Blues

from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Rival NHL teams covet many cornerstone Blues players, most notably defensemen Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo as well as winger Vladimir Tarasenko.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong always is willing to listen, particularly with his disappointing team lagging far behind in the playoff race.

As the NHL’s holiday roster freeze ends, he will open again for business.

The Blues’ two victories on their recent three-city Canadian tour were nice, but this player combination has failed to sustain the collective will to win. There is no reason to keep the band together.

But they are built to win during the next few seasons. Long-haul rebuilding makes no sense. Now is not the time to trade for more high draft picks and more prospects.

If the Blues trade proven talent, they must get proven talent back.


FYI, the trade freeze will be lifted at 11:59pm on Thursday, December 27th.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

In Play For Jack Hughes

from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Born on May 14, 2001, Hughes is an American-born hockey phenom, earmarked as the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in June. And as for playing in the NHL next season, “That’s kind of my plan,” Hughes said by phone Saturday....

Since 1990, there have been only five Americans drafted No. 1 overall. Auston Matthews in 2016 was the most-recent — he went straight to the NHL, scored 69 points and won the Calder Trophy as a rookie … and then had another sturdy 63-point season. He’s really good. The hype surrounding Matthews was based on his season before the draft, in which he put up an all-time record of 117 points at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.

Well, last season, Hughes had 116 points. The difference is — Hughes did that in his age-16 season, while Matthews’ record was at age 17. So in other words, Matthews set the all-time bar, and Hughes basically reached the bar one year younger.

On social media and in Blues circles, Hughes’ name has been circulating. #LoseForHughes is a Twitter hashtag. In reality, though, whichever team is “lucky” enough to finish last will have an 18.5-percent chance at the top pick....

There are, alas, other abysmal teams. The Kings, Coyotes, Devils, Flyers and, yes, even the Blackhawks. But if the Blues continue to lose, it would strategically make sense to trade a couple veterans to build for the future. And these trades could mean more losses in the short-term.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- You Make The Call Oilers/Blues

from the CP at Sportsnet,

A goal credited to Pat Maroon early in the third period was the winner as the Blues came away with a 4-1 victory over the Oilers on Tuesday. Maroon’s goal came 2:19 into the final period, as officials declared after a video review that the puck had crossed the line during a goal-mouth scramble, despite the referees not originally calling a goal on the ice.

"The way it was explained to us was that he pushed on the puck, he didn’t push on the pad," said Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock. "The pad happened to go with the puck. That was the way it was explained to us. They said they had an overhead view that said the puck was in before the push started. The look that we had was different. So what are you going to do?"

Maroon said he is simply happy that the goal, just his second of the season, was declared valid.

"I think the longer it (review) goes, the better it is for us. I think if it goes longer, they’re making a decision if it crossed the line and it went long to see if it was goaltender interference too," he said. "It means a lot. I’ve been struggling a lot and I haven’t been going to the net as much and I haven’t been finding ways to get the puck in the net."

read on for more on the game

Below, watch the goal in question.

added 11:48pm, added a zoomed-in GIF below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: pat+maroon

Evening Line- Craig Berube

via Jeremy Rutherford tweets,

Berube: "We were terrible in the first period. Every player. Terrible … I don't know how you're not ready to play. We won two games, we're feeling good, ready to roll, and we've got a team (Calgary) that played yesterday afternoon in Minnesota.

Berube cont'd: "A real good opportunity to make it three in a row and start feeling good. And we just lay and egg. No good. Couldn't make a play, couldn't check, no composure, no team play."

The Blues lost 7-2 at home to the Flames today.

added 6:38pm, Watch Berube post-game below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+berube

A Three-Year Contract Extension For Robert Bortuzzo And The St. Louis Blues

(Dec. 15, 2018) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a three-year contract extension worth $1.375 million per season.

Bortuzzo, 29, is currently in his fifth season with the Blues.  He was originally acquired by the club via trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Mar. 2, 2015.  This season, the 6’4, 216-pound defenseman has dressed in 12 games, collecting three points (one goal, two assists) and six penalty minutes.

A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Bortuzzo was originally drafted by the Penguins in the third round, 78th overall, of the 2007 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft.  Overall, he has recorded 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists) and 310 penalty minutes in 288 career NHL regular-season games.  Bortuzzo has also appeared in 23 career postseason games, tallying two assists and 10 penalty minutes.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: robert+bortuzzo

Video- What’s Going On With The St. Louis Blues?

via Sportsnet's YouTube page,

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discuss the recent rumours surround Alex Pietrangelo and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Then, the guys try and figure out what's going on in St. Louis, why aren't they winning? Is Vladimir Tarasenko on the way out?


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video-Darren Dreger With Some Trade Talk

via NBC Sports,

How active will 'Hawks, Blues be in trade market?

The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are off to disappointing starts, and could be sellers in the trade market.

Leafs and Flyers mentioned too.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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