How ironic that the day the biggest sports star in the city Albert Pujols signs with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that the St Louis Blues take on the Anaheim not so mighty Ducks tonight. The Ducks struggles are well known this season and coach Randy Carlisle was let go and Bruce Boudreau steps in. The Ducks came close to trading away star winger Bobby Ryan during this slump according to the rumors that swirled the twitterverse. The Blues plan on starting Jaro Halak in net tonight as the sore groin he was rumored to have has seemed to subside. The Blues are coming off a big win against the Red Wings and look to start another winning streak. Hitch still has not released the line up for tonight and the choice for the press box is down to Reaves or Porter since Grachev was sent down to Peoria, who have a 3 in 3 this weekend. I would expect Reaves to get the go as long as Parros is in the line up. The two bruisers could provide some fireworks assuming this game gets chippy, which could very well happen with the Blues agitation style of game. I am a bit biased however as I think Chris Porter brings more to the team then Reaves does. Porter is faster, more defensively responsible and has a better scoring touch then Reaves.
The only Blues still out of the line up are Andy McDonald, BJ Crombeen, and Kent Huskins. Huskins still being out from surgery from a fracture suffered in the first few weeks of the season. Andy Mac because of symptoms related to concussions, and Crombeen out because of the upper body injury sustatined in preseason. The question out of all of this is who the Blues put on the waiver wire back to Peoria. Reaves in my opinion could probably pass through waivers and not get claimed. He has not shown much in the show other then being one of the best heavy weights in the game for fighting. Porter however would get claimed by a team for either depth or by a team in lower standing for immediate impact. With Porter though i think he is a product of the system he has been in. He has to go to a defensive style system to succeed otherwise why claim him.
The dark horse in all of this is I think the Blues should shop some players they do not think will be in the bigger picture. I like Crombeen but I do not think he fits into this team anymore. As a friend has told me Crombeen is Porter+Reaves in one player. My issue with BJ is a lack of discipline that causes bad penalties. With Porter you have some that has more speed and better discipline. Although there will be another issue when Andy Mac gets healthy. At that point Porter might be the odd man out at that point. Lots of question are surrounding this roster as players continue to get healthy and not many players on the team with 2 way contracts. The only other 2 that would not have to hit the waiver wire or Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk and we know those 2 are not getting sent down to protect that depth. Crombeen does have some trade value, but not much, there is not a whole lot of need for a grinder coming off of an injury like his. On top of the Crombeen’s best season was 2 years ago with 7g and 8a with a -5 for the year. I think if you are Doug Armstrong you take the low draft pick and cut ties. Also on the rumor side of things is Colaiacovo. With an expiring contract Cola is an attractive player because he is a defensively reliable puck mover. The issue is, is health is well documented. Carlo could command a decent AHL prospect to the right team plus a 3rd rd pick. Either way the Blues have some questions that will be answered soon on roster issues.
keys to the game vs the Ducks tonight
- Halak needs to be solid tonight, while the Ducks have been struggling they still have some explosive players with Corey Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan, and Selanne
- The defense needs to shut down the crafty vet Selanne even as he is approaching the senior discount he is still pretty spry
- Berglund and Stewart need to continue their trend of scoring and take some of the pressure off of the Backes line
- The special teams needs to keep the foot on the peddle and figure out Hiller quick, and shut down the Ducks PP
Thats all I have for now enjoy the game, check out other writers on the site and retweet, and post on facebook. Get at me @evanhickskc on twitter