Jaybo/Schenn out, Johnson starts as "Rod the Bod" comes back to town
Edited to add- This is Robert Thomas 9th game. Decision time on whether or not to send him back to juniors will be very soon.
I’m guessing most Blues fans feel like today has taken a potentially upbeat and intriguing turn with the Blackhawks firing of former Blues coach Joel Quenneville. I wouldn’t expect the Blues to be able to go out and get coach Q as he is still likely under contract with the Hawks until after next season. Would the Hawks let him out of the contract to coach the Blues? What compensation would they require? Saving the money paying him isn’t that valuable to the Hawks as they will assume he will land somewhere else (Seattle? Los Angeles? Anaheim? Philadelphia?)
Many may likely feel the day got even better when it was announced that Jordan Schmaltz would be inserted into the lineup over Jay Bouwmeester who we learned appears to still be having some hip issues, another potentially upbeat announcement as fans can hope that the injury is at least partially responsible for the continued drop in his play so far this season.
On Bouwmeester, Yeo said “it’s difficult for me as a coach, to see sort of everything. I don’t want to say everything but a large part of our struggles get pinned on him. That’s a shame because I see just what he’s gone through in the last couple years. I see that physically, he’s not there yet. So right now it’s a good opportunity for him to get some extra therapy on his hip, to get some extra work in practice. Physically he’s not there yet and we can’t ask him, and it’s impossible, but when I watch the games, first off, scoring chance wise, yes, some of them end up in the back of the net, some of them are glaring. There’s a lot of focus on them right now and the ones that he’s making seem to end up in the back of the net, but I can tell you it’s not as bad as what it’s being made out to be and he’s getting closer to getting back to being the player we think he can be.”
To me, this is another sign that coach Yeo needs to go. He continued to play a guy that he knows wasn’t fully healthy who was making mistakes that were leading to goals. I would want my coach to set aside his feelings, set aside his appreciation for what he has gone through, and focus on the best plan for the player and team. I’d want him to shut Bouwmeester down to get more healthy and easy back into the lineup as hopefully a much more effective player. Jordan Schmaltz was playing ok so there wasn’t a need to force Bouwmeester into the lineup in my opinion. Further, if you are going to play the injured Bouwmeester at least limit his minutes more. On 10/27 he played over 20 minutes and almost hit 20 on 11/1. Those numbers aren’t protecting an injured player, nor are they setting him up to succeed.
In news related to tonight’s game against former Blue Rod Brind’Amour’s Carolina Hurricanes, Brayden Schenn won’t be able to go and is listed as day to day so you might say he is hopeful for Friday.
The Hurricanes started out as darlings of the NHL but their beauty is quickly fading. After starting 3-0-1, the Canes are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Carolina leads the league in shots per game and has given the up the fewest shots per game but I wonder if some of those shots are shots to generate shots without any concern to quality. Shooting for Corsi we’ll call it.
They have the 6th worst goals per game in the league and are only middle of the pack in goals against per game. I’d much rather lead the goals per game rather than the shots per game category. Heck, I’d rather be last in shots and middle of the road in goals than be 1st in shots and almost last in goals.
Special teams are also killing the Canes who have the 3rd worst power play and the 4th worst penalty kill.
Sebastian Aho has been the Canes best player by a large margin with 17 points in 14 games. The Blues will be facing Curtis McElhinney in net tonight.
For the Blues, the lines are in a blender but will start out like this:
Schwartz - O'Reilly - Tarasenko
Fabbri - Thomas - Perron
Sanford - Bozak - Steen
Maroon - Barbashev – Sundqvist
Gunnarsson - Pietrangelo
Dunn - Parayko
Edmundson - Schmaltz
NHL Champions for Charity
We’ve gotten some traction on the charity wager among the Central Division bloggers. More on that to come.
It’s a great day for hockey.