Category Archives: Stl Blues

Predicting Protected Lists: St. Louis Blues 

The St. Louis Blues are a pretty simple team when it comes to the expansion draft. They will have no problems reaching the exposure requirements, and the players they will protect are, for the most part, easy to predict. 

Up front, Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen, and Jaden Schwartz will absolutely be protected. These three drive the offense for St. Louis and Doug Armstrong would be out of his mind to let any of them go. 

After them, Paul Stastny, Patrick Berglund, and Vlad Sobotka are next in line. 

Sobotka came back to the NHL for the playoffs and signed a three-year “extension” with St. Louis. He made an immediate impact on the team and will take up a top-nine role next season. 

Stastny and Berglund are two guys that struggled in 2015-2016 but bounced back this season. Stastny has had injury issues, but St. Louis should protect him regardless. 

The last protection spot at forward can go to David Perron. It could be argued that Jori Lehtera or Nail Yakupov could get it, but Perron is simply better and more valuable. 

On defense, it is basically a lock that Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, and Joel Edmundson will be protected. 

In net, the Blues committed long term to Jake Allen and he will be protected. 

The St. Louis Blues probable protection list: 

Forwards: Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund, Vlad Sobotka, David Perrson

Defense: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Joel Edmundson

Goalie: Jake Allen

Vegas could take Yakupov, Jaskin, or another depth forward from the Blues. 

Next team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

April showers bring May flowers: who has the best chance of coming back in Round 2?

As the hockey season moves from April to May, the playing field shrinks. Currently eight teams remain, but soon enough the group will whittle down to four.

As of now, Pittsburgh, Washington, Ottawa, New York (Rangers), St. Louis, Nashville, Edmonton, and Anaheim remain. For these series, Pittsburgh leads Washington 2-0, Ottawa leads New York 2-0, Nashville leads St. Louis 2-1, and Edmonton leads Anaheim 2-1. Each of these are far from over, however the odds have begun to shift to the favor of one team per series. But the questions that begs is who, of the teams currently down in a series, has the best chance of making a comeback and advancing to the Conference Finals?

For me, it’s the New York Rangers. Although their defense, with the likes of Holden, Staal, and Girardi, is shaky, their lightning quick offense and superstar goalie could be enough to propel them on a run past Ottawa.

The Rangers and Senators have been locked in a back-and-forth series through the first two games. In Game 1, Erik Karlsson scored the game winner from the goal line with 4:11 left in regulation. Game 2 was a barn burner that resulted in a 6-5 Senators win in double overtime. The games cannot be defined as anomalies by any means, but regardless the series is not over by any stretch of the imagination.

To win the series, the Rangers need Henrik Lundqvist to go into Conn Smythe form. His save percentage in the series so far is .888, but not all of that can be attributed to him. The defensive core in front of him is less than ideal, but that is the Rangers mantra. They need Lundqvist to bail them out, which is something he did not do in Game 2.

In terms of the other teams, this is not to say that they do not have a chance to come back in the series. Each team is in the second round for a reason.

Anaheim is a rigid, experienced team that needs to take advantage of that fact against Edmonton. But, Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot are unbelievable players capable of turning a series in an instant (which they have done already). 

St. Louis is in the same category as Anaheim to a sense, but Nashville is playing great right now. The series against the Blues has not come as easy as the series against Chicago did, but it is hard to bet against the Predators currently. They are using their fast paced tactics to their advantage perfectly. 

Lastly, Washington has fallen into a deep hole with Pittsburgh once again. It’s hard to go against the Penguins right now given Washington’s history in the second round and against Pittsburgh in general. If they can overcome this challenge, it’s hard to argue against the fact that they will win the Cup. But it’s one hurdle at a time for Alex Ovechkin at company. 

Of the teams down currently, who do you think has the best chance of moving on to the second round?

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles 

Drouin, Backes proving worth  

There was a certain level of uncertainty in regards to Jonathan Drouin and David Backes this summer, but it seems to be dispelling more and more as the days go by. Both players are on teams in the conference finals and both are playing fantastic. Drouin is second on Tampa Bay in assists and Backes is second on St. Louis in goals.  Read the rest of this entry

Montreal, Anaheim, and St. Louis emerge as frontrunners for Jonathan Drouin

The Jonathan Drouin saga has been going on for a couple of weeks now and frontrunner have emerged. From the west, the Ducks and Blues have the most interest. In the east, Montreal will be making a big push for him. That does not rule out another team like Buffalo or Nashville, but these three teams have expressed serious interest thus far. 

Anaheim Ducks 

The Ducks seem to be in the best position regarding Drouin at this point. They have a lot of depth on defense and they desperately need goal scoring. Sami Vatanen has been a name that has gotten thrown out there. Nick Ritchie as well. The Ducks are extremely reluctant to move Shea Theodore but it all depends on how desperate they are for Drouin and potential goal scoring. 

St. Louis Blues 

Robby Fabbri’s name has been thrown into discussions, which would be a nice piece for Tampa Bay to add if they are giving up Drouin. A one-for-one with Kevin Shattenkirk is highly unlikely, although he still could be involved. A trade between the Blues and Lightning would include a lot of moving pieces giving the availability of Blues players and their position in the standings right now. We all saw how long the trade with Bartley, Elliott, and Tinordi took to orchestrate, so don’t hold your breathe. 

Montreal Canadiens 

The Canadiens don’t have the depth on the blueline that Anaheim, per say, has, but they still have the pieces to make it work. Nathan Beaulieu is a name that can be thrown in. Due to the lack of high-quality defensemen they can move, a mid-to-high quality forward plus a pick and/or prospect(s) would be included. Montreal would have to overpay if they want Drouin due to being in the same division as Tampa Bay. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Montreal, Anaheim, and St. Louis emerge as frontrunners for Jonathan Drouin

The Jonathan Drouin saga has been going on for a couple of weeks now and frontrunner have emerged. From the west, the Ducks and Blues have the most interest. In the east, Montreal will be making a big push for him. That does not rule out another team like Buffalo or Nashville, but these three teams have expressed serious interest thus far. 

Anaheim Ducks 

The Ducks seem to be in the best position regarding Drouin at this point. They have a lot of depth on defense and they desperately need goal scoring. Sami Vatanen has been a name that has gotten thrown out there. Nick Ritchie as well. The Ducks are extremely reluctant to move Shea Theodore but it all depends on how desperate they are for Drouin and potential goal scoring. 

St. Louis Blues 

Robby Fabbri’s name has been thrown into discussions, which would be a nice piece for Tampa Bay to add if they are giving up Drouin. A one-for-one with Kevin Shattenkirk is highly unlikely, although he still could be involved. A trade between the Blues and Lightning would include a lot of moving pieces giving the availability of Blues players and their position in the standings right now. We all saw how long the trade with Bartley, Elliott, and Tinordi took to orchestrate, so don’t hold your breathe. 

Montreal Canadiens 

The Canadiens don’t have the depth on the blueline that Anaheim, per say, has, but they still have the pieces to make it work. Nathan Beaulieu is a name that can be thrown in. Due to the lack of high-quality defensemen they can move, a mid-to-high quality forward plus a pick and/or prospect(s) would be included. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Five Bold Predictions for the 2015-2016 NHL Season

The NHL season starts tonight, and each year something happens that makes all of us scratch our heads. Whether it’s a trade, firing, or odd standings movement, the league will look different than it did last year, just as last year looked different than two years ago. Some of the items on this list are much bolder than others – but here are five predictions for the upcoming hockey season.  Read the rest of this entry

9 Teams Face RFA Issues Going into Camp

September has finally come upon us, meaning we are that much closer to hockey season, and more importantly for the teams, training camp. Many choices are made during this period, mostly on who’s staying and who’s going back down to the minors for the upcoming season, or at least the beginning of it. But for 9 NHL teams in particular, things could get a little tense and anxiety may start to rise, as they have to deal with their restricted free agents before camp begins. New York (John Moore), Minnesota (Nino Niederreiter, Darcy Kuemper), Boston (Torey Krug, Reilly Smith), Dallas (Brendan Dillon, Cody Eakin), St. Louis (Jaden Schwartz), Columbus (Ryan Johansen) Nashville (Ryan Ellis), New Jersey (Eric Gelinas), and Anaheim (Devante Smith-Pelly) all have to deal with this issue.

Read the rest of this entry