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Old 10-11-2018, 11:22 AM   #41
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Is Peters really going to continually go with Peluso over Janko? I am not liking that at all.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:29 AM   #42
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St. Louis Blues players vs Calgary Flames last 3 seasons

1. Alexander Steen (8GP, 3G, 11PTS)
2. Vladimir Tarasenko (9GP, 3G, 10PTS)
3. Paul Stastny (8GP, 4G, 9PTS)
4. Colton Parayko (9GP, 3G, 9PTS)
5. Jaden Schwartz (7GP, 3G, 6PTS)
6. Brayden Schenn (3GP, 1G, 5PTS)
7. David Perron (3GP, 3G, 4PTS)
8. Troy Brouwer (3GP, 1G, 4PTS)
9. Alex Pietrangelo (9GP, 1G, 4PTS)
10. Kevin Shattenkirk (5GP, 2G, 3PTS)
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:30 AM   #43
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The 3M line playing well but not scoring last year was the biggest single reason the season went belly up in my mind.

This year?

Tkachuk off to a good start on the PP, but Backlund has zero points. Has to change. They're dominating but not scoring.
Tkachuk has set up Backlund several times over the past few games with prime scoring chances and he hasn't buried it. I'm starting to get the feeling Tkachuk's offensive talents are being a little wasted on a line centered by Backlund. Fortunately Peters seems like a guy that's going to change things up if he feels certain players aren't producing.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:31 AM   #44
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I'm worried we're heading down the same path as last year. Smith plays well early so we keep riding him while he's hot (which some posters already pointed out his brutal post-SO stats)...and before you know it, he's on pace to play 70 games at the end of November.
This is not exactly what happened last year. What happened was that Smith had a great start, and then after nine starts in 20 days with a four-day break in between Eddie Lack looked alarmingly inadequate to play. Had he played well I am of the belief that Smith would not have played so many games in October and November last year.

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Smith is one of the oldest starting goalies in the league and he's very injury prone and IMO, we should be planning to start him 55-60 games max. It's important to get Rittich/Gillies in every 3rd or 4th game early in the season, while the games have less pressure. As the season progresses, the temptation to stick with Smith will only increase as the playoff battles pick up.
I agree about Smith's workload, but starting the backup goalie in every third or fourth game in October is just not realistic. I think Rittich gets three games this month, and that's a good start.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:34 AM   #45
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Approaching game four I think it's a little early to start talking about Smith's workload is it not? Winning games early in the season is pretty important because if the team starts in a hole then there's more pressure to play Smith in December/January where he may need some breaks. I would be trying to bank as many points early as possible.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:35 AM   #46
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I would have gone with any of the following:
  • Power play operating at 16%, with only STL and EDM worse
  • Power play also giving up 7 short handed goals, tied for 11th worst
  • Team not prepared to play when the opening puck dropped
  • Undisciplined team having 11.12 penalty minutes per game, 2nd worst in the league
  • Below 50% face off win percentage
Any of those were far bigger reasons why they missed the playoffs last year, with the power play being easily the biggest. In 2016-17 3M had 52 goals in 239 games. Last year they had 48 goals in 220 games. Their goals per game was actually higher last year compared to 2016-17.

Troy Brouwer was on the ice for almost 94 minutes of power play time. That's over 1.5 full games worth. He scored zero goals. He was the 8th most used forward on the power play, which included Versteeg who is mostly used as a defenceman on the PP. That is a far bigger reason why the Flames missed the playoffs than the team's number one checking line scoring 4 less goals than they did in the previous year.
All factors for sure.

But most of your list is such a small differential (5% on powerplay when you only get an average of 2.5 a night for example), compared to your whole second line having an off season.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:38 AM   #47
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Jake Allen - 4.92 GAA - .818 SV%


Guess that means he's getting a shutout?
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:38 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Erick Estrada View Post
Tkachuk has set up Backlund several times over the past few games with prime scoring chances and he hasn't buried it. I'm starting to get the feeling Tkachuk's offensive talents are being a little wasted on a line centered by Backlund. Fortunately Peters seems like a guy that's going to change things up if he feels certain players aren't producing.
I wonder if at some point we don't see:

Gaudreau - Monahan - Lindholm
Tkachuk - Bennett - Neal
Frolik - Backlund - Czarnik
Dube - Jankowski - Ryan

With that Backlund line drawing the heavy work as usual.

Bennett is a solid face-off guy, and hasn't had the chance to play with wingers the quality of Tkachuk/Neal as a centre...ever.

If that Backlund/Tkachuk/Czarnik line continues to struggle to score during 5v5 play, something definitely needs to change - and the proposed lines above keep the balance spread through the line-up allowing for (hopefully) a balanced attack.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:39 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Erick Estrada View Post
Tkachuk has set up Backlund several times over the past few games with prime scoring chances and he hasn't buried it. I'm starting to get the feeling Tkachuk's offensive talents are being a little wasted on a line centered by Backlund. Fortunately Peters seems like a guy that's going to change things up if he feels certain players aren't producing.
I see nothing but good from Backlund game to game though. He's doing his part to create offence.

I do think Tkachuk needs to shoot more.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:44 AM   #50
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Is Peters really going to continually go with Peluso over Janko? I am not liking that at all.
I don't think anyone is a fan of it, but hard to blame the coach for going back with the same lineup as last game. I actually thought Peluso played pretty well in his limited ice time too, was surprised as I thought he would be more of a plug.

Backlund line has been very exciting to watch the last few games, buzzing all around the net and creating havoc for the opposition. You have to believe the scoring will come. I agree that Backlund has missed on some golden opportunities but he'll come around, I just don't think you tamper with a line that has looked great, even if they haven't scored.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:46 AM   #51
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Approaching game four I think it's a little early to start talking about Smith's workload is it not? Winning games early in the season is pretty important because if the team starts in a hole then there's more pressure to play Smith in December/January where he may need some breaks. I would be trying to bank as many points early as possible.
The only reason we talk about this is Francis, and I think he had to get it from somewhere. My guess is this was the plan all along, but a shutout has influenced them to make the exception.

And it makes sense, as I think 55-60 games will be the sweet spot, which means over 1/4 of the games need to be taken by Rittich/Gillies/Parsons. If you're scheduling it, you're probably only going to be scheduling your backup for 1-2 games at a time which works out to Smith only playing 3-4 game stretches. I'll bet starting 2 openers against the Canucks has the schedule a bit weird, and we'd likely have been starting a backup in one or both of those games.

The only issue I have with it is altering plans to start the 'hot goalie' when it seems like that is the night Smith should be taking off if anything. But if this was the plan all along, they have to plan on winning with their backup in net quite often.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:47 AM   #52
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I see nothing but good from Backlund game to game though. He's doing his part to create offence.

I do think Tkachuk needs to shoot more.

Really?

I see him as someone who looks overmatched offensively but he has been his steady usual self in the 2 way game.

Then again I have never been sold that he is anything more than a good defensive C with limited offense who had a couple decent seasons that created higher expectations.

If he gets to the 45-50 pt level again, I think we should be thrilled. Thats a pretty decent combo when considering all his defensive acumen.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:50 AM   #53
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Is Peters really going to continually go with Peluso over Janko? I am not liking that at all.
At face value I am not a fan either. What Janko needs to do next time he plays is make an argument for why he shouldn't sit the rest of the year. This is a competitive roster. Players are going to have to compete to get a chance to play every night.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:50 AM   #54
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Is Peters really going to continually go with Peluso over Janko? I am not liking that at all.
It's the impact from the Hamonic injury.

He got his face broken in a fight, so now when the other team has a bigger guy in the lineup we are going to see Peluso in ours.

And with Maroon, Thorburn, and Bortuzzo potentially in the Blues lineup as guys who like to fight they don't want another top half of the lineup guy getting hurt.

I don't fully agree with the move, but I get whey the brought Peluso on the roadtrip for the Nashville and St.Louis games.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:53 AM   #55
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I see nothing but good from Backlund game to game though. He's doing his part to create offence.

I do think Tkachuk needs to shoot more.
I agree - Tkachuk is with two guys who are more pass-first players in Backlund and Czarnik, who regularly put up significantly more assists than goals.
Either Tkachuk needs to become that scorer on the line, or someone needs to be placed there to do that (Neal, Bennett, Jankowski) who naturally finishes vs setup.

The 3M line had the same makeup, which may have been what led to it stalling last year - when shots weren't going in it was volume of possession/shots, but no pure finisher to convert the possession dominance

The top line has 2 creators and a finisher, as Monahan is more of a scorer. Lindholm and Gaudreau will still get goals, but you expect the pair of them to skew in favour of assists based on historical output.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:56 AM   #56
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I agree about Smith's workload, but starting the backup goalie in every third or fourth game in October is just not realistic. I think Rittich gets three games this month, and that's a good start.
I hear what you're saying but I'm curious at season's end, what type of split you'd like to see for the goalies? If you're wanting Smith to play 55-60 games, you have to play your back-up at least every 4th game (on average).

You say it's unrealistic to start your backup every 4th game in October...but isn't it more unrealistic to suddenly start playing your back-up more in the middle of a playoff race?

I mean, the difference between Smith starting tonight vs. Saturday isn't huge. I'm just worried that a Smith injury will derail our entire season and think we should try to mitigate that risk as much as possible. I personally would have started Smith in Game 3 to get Rittich in the mix early and often...but what do I know as Smith played lights out!
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:00 PM   #57
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Bold prediction:

Stastny doesn't get a goal.
Stastny is injured for the next month or so.

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Old 10-11-2018, 12:05 PM   #58
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Stastny is injured for the next month or so.

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Old 10-11-2018, 12:05 PM   #59
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I hear what you're saying but I'm curious at season's end, what type of split you'd like to see for the goalies? If you're wanting Smith to play 55-60 games, you have to play your back-up at least every 4th game (on average).

You say it's unrealistic to start your backup every 4th game in October...but isn't it more unrealistic to suddenly start playing your back-up more in the middle of a playoff race?

I mean, the difference between Smith starting tonight vs. Saturday isn't huge. I'm just worried that a Smith injury will derail our entire season and think we should try to mitigate that risk as much as possible. I personally would have started Smith in Game 3 to get Rittich in the mix early and often...but what do I know as Smith played lights out!
I think the shutout trumps standard thinking. Smith was feeling it last game, in fact he has been feeling it since he stole that goal from Goldobin in the Vancouver game. The one thing that I have noticed from goalies is that they can get hot or go cold without warning...so ride the wave while you can...within reason.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:06 PM   #60
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Stastny is injured for the next month or so.

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