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Category: St-Louis-Blues

The Bolts Beat, 10/5/10: Predictions Special

In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, the boys offer their conference forecasts, predicting teams 15 all the way to 1 for both the West and the East. Cramming details for all 30 teams into an hour show proved to be a formidable task, with those projected as non-playoff clubs getting far lengthier explanations than those the hosts see qualifying for postseason play. Spoiler alert: Obligatory Alex Tanguay cracks included, the Lightning make the playoffs and Jon’s orange-and-blue hallucinations return (sort of).

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nhl+season+preview, predictions

Don’t Judge Price Just Yet

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Jaroslav Halak left Montreal as one of the most beloved athletes to play for the Canadiens. Even after the goalie was traded to the Blues this summer, fans in Montreal have continued to support him.

Part of the public frustration in Montreal already being shown to Canadiens goalie Carey Price is the inevitable comparison to Halak. Price was booed in his first action of the exhibition season when he allowed four goals on nine shots on Wednesday.

Halak thinks it’s way too early for any judgment of Carey Price in Montreal.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, jaroslav+halak

Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

Pietrangelo Appears To Be NHL Ready

from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has high hopes for the development of his young team and wants to send every signal to prospects in the organization that a job is theirs to be had.

“We’re not looking at (veteran tryouts). We really want to give the opportunity to the players in our organization. I don’t want to muddy the waters,” Armstrong told Sporting News. “Right now, we’ve given them the opportunity to know they’re coming into training camp with spots to earn and I don’t want to take that away from them.”

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is ready to seize that opportunity.

Last week, Pietrangelo wrapped up his third prospects tournament in Traverse City. He did it in an impressive way, scoring a goal on a big shot from the point in what should be the 20-year-old’s final game as a prospect in northern Michigan.

Talk to enough people and consensus becomes clear that the 6-3 Pietrangelo is the most NHL-ready of any player in the tournament. And really, he should be.

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

Bounce Back Year For Boyes

from Darren Pang of Blues.com,

Here’s what I have learned over the years when it comes to streaky goal scorers (and I had a few guys on my teams that would go dry for weeks and then light it up for 2 months): Confidence. Reassurance. Tell them to have fun with the puck and let ‘er rip. You also reinforce the other details like backcheck hard, block a shot and take a hit to make a play.

For Brad Boyes, last season will prove to be his worst as a pro. It will never be like this again, I will guarantee you that. His hands, vision and care for the game are too strong for the disappointment he endured last season.

He lives in Toronto, a mecca of hockey passion, in the offseason. You think he wants to answer the same questions from family and friends next summer about the season? Not a chance.

Nothing like a little pressure to test your character.

more topics on the Blues…

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

Out With The Old, In With The New

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

When the Blues arrive for training camp Friday, general manager Doug Armstrong says something will be missing. The team may not recognize it immediately, because this ‘something” has been invisible the past few seasons, but eventually the players will understand.

“We’ve taken away whatever perceived ‘glass ceiling’ might have been there,” Armstrong said.

The definition of a glass ceiling is “an invisible but real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached.”

In the business world, age, race and gender can prevent an employee from moving ahead. In Armstrong’s analogy, it was young players’ preference to defer to veterans that may have limited their progression. But on a roster that will average 25.9 years of age when it assembles this week, there will be “no excuses” not to stand taller than the ceiling that once existed.

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

Halak Arrives In St. Louis

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues players said Thursday that while it was difficult to see Mason move on, having Halak helped ease the disappointment.

“At first, you don’t think about the guy coming … you think about the guy you’re losing and you feel bad for that,” Blues forward David Perron said. “We’ve got memories with what happened with (Mason). He was such a good guy and such a good goalie. (But) after that, you turn the page and you realize how good of a goalie we’ve got as well.”

Halak, who was drafted by Montreal in the ninth round (No. 271 overall) in 2003, has a record of 56-34-7 in 101 NHL games, along with a career goals-against average of 2.62 and a save-percentage of .919.

Before last year, though, Halak had only played in 56 games in three seasons. Then in December, he took the starting job away from Price and was brilliant in the postseason, posting the league’s fourth-best save-percentage (.924).

“I watched every single (Montreal) game in the playoffs,” Perron said. “He was just unbelievable. He would carry the team and it was unreal … non-stop saves.”

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

Ever Hear Of Glenn Hall?

from Larry Canale of The Fifth Down at the New York Times,

Finally, we come to Favre’s most amazing record — perhaps the most amazing record in sports history. Heading into his 20th season, his consecutive-games streak had reached 286, or 310 if you count playoffs….

With all due respect to the estimable iron-man records of A.C. Green (1,192 straight N.B.A. games between 1986 and 2001), Doug Jarvis (964 straight N.H.L. games between 1975 and 1987), and even Cal Ripken (2,632 straight baseball games between 1982 and 1998), Favre’s mark is one that we’ll probably never see in sports again. Football is simply too violent a game for one man to last 20 years without missing a start.

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Not so fast Larry Canale, how about 502 consecutive starts for a goalie, held by HHOF Glenn Hall?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brett+favre, glenn+hall

Blues Still Looking For An Investor

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

It has been more than three months since TowerBrook Capital Partners announced it would divest its investment in the Blues, a major move considering the private-equity firm holds as much as a 75 percent stake in the club.

TowerBrook has indicated it will postpone divesting until Blues owner Dave Checketts can find a replacement, allowing the club some immediate security. But as the team prepares for next month’s training camp, its long-term financial future seems uncertain until a new investor can be found….

“It’s not healthy in the NHL right now,” said Jim Lites, former president of the Dallas Stars and now president of the Hicks Sports Marketing Group, which is owned by Stars and Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks. “I just think it’s a tough economic model. We’re spending 55-56 percent of our revenue on player payroll, and that makes it a tough go, particularly in the small- and medium-size U.S. markets.

“We’re depending so much on the ticket and arena revenue to drive the business. Do the math ... it’s really difficult. The business is different in Calgary and Montreal, let alone Toronto, than in St. Louis and Dallas, where we have to chase paid bodies into the building. The economics have to change, and for Dave (Checketts), that’s something you have to rely upon.”

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

Hull In Stone

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues Hall of Famers Bernie Federko and Al MacInnis will have some company in front of Scottrade Center in October.

The club announced today that a third statue, honoring legendary Blues goal-scorer Brett Hull, will be unveiled prior to the team’s season opener Oct. 9.

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

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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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