Mid-Season-ish Grades

With the All-Star Break among us it marks the mid season point even though we are a little past that point already.. and i got this idea from the print edition of Game Time from the 1/20 game in the From the Editor column

I thought that this hasnt been discussed online to much so I thought I would bring a little discussion to the online family at SLGT... this is all opinion based just as i have seen it this season.. and i would like to think i have a pretty good idea of these grades since i have been to every home game but never the less these are all open to discussion.

So here we go....

#4 Eric Brewer--- 49 GP, 8-6-14, +5, 53 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: B+

I really wanted to give Brewer an A here just for how well he has played this season compared to past years. I was always one of the people that blamed everything on Brewer over the last few seasons and now that he is healthy (yes i do think that was his problem) he is playing so much better.  Ever since he was named captain I wasnt sure that was the right thing for this team but so far this season I think he has finally shown his leadership more on the ice and he is in my good graces this season.

#5 Barrett Jackman--- 37 GP, 0-8-8, +8, 27 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: C+

Jackman is one of the average players in my eyes so far this year.  To me it seems like with him aging more and more every game in front of our eyes he is losing more and more of his mean streak.  In the new NHL I know it is harder to play a physical game and get away with it but there are only some moments where Jackman shows off his tough guy side, and those are the moments he plays the best.  It may also surprise some people (myself included for sure) that Jackman is ranked 2nd on the team (#1 D-man) in +/-.. while it may not be the most telling stat I was pretty surprised to see this but am pleased with most of his play this season

#6 Erik Johnson--- 48 GP, 5-12-17, -6, 37 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: D

Ummm..... yeah... thats what Ive been thinking about EJ this year and dont get me wrong this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the own goal from the other night.  For a first overall pick I expect more from him than some others on this team.  An offensive minded defensemen that causes more trouble with his decision making than any rewards.  For a guy who was brought in to be a QB on the PP he should have a lot more points than he does and only one of his 5 goals come on the PP.  The trade rumors around him dont bother me at all. I think he has good potential and could bring some decent scoring punch from another team

#10 Andy McDonald--- 25 GP, 8-9-17, +3, 12 PIM--- SLGT Grade: I  My Grade: B

GT gave McDonald an incomplete grade since he busted his face on the boot of an Edmonton player in OT a ways back and they didnt see enough of him.  I dont wanna give out any I's so from what i remember (not the best memory and its been a while) he was one of the players on the ice that stood out every game and always skated his ass off giving a 100% on every shift. I would give him an A because his numbers by now could be an A but between being injured and playing when everyone was clicking on all cylinders his numbers may look a little better than they could be had he been injured the first chunk and playing of late

#15 Brad Fucking Winchester--- 44 GP, 8-4-12, -9, 79 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade B-

BFW has been playing above par for a 4th line player with his skill set.  In a season where scoring by committee has been the case again he has been a nice surprise when he does chip in.  On the PP he has taken the place of Big Walt in front of the net and while he hasnt scored with his face...yet.. he has netted 3 of his 8 on the man advantage good for 3rd on the team.  When his big ass is on front of the net on the PP he is doing exactly what he is on this team for and does it pretty well. His physical play is part of why this team is #1 in the NHL in fights and he already has more points than last season so a good grade for Winny

#17 Vladimir Sobotka--- 45 GP, 5-16-21, -1, 44 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: B

Who the fuck is this guy and where has he been all my life. While 21 points isnt the mother load on this Blues team it is good for 7th best on this team.  He has stepped up and filled a huge roll for all the players we had missing due to injury throughout the first half. Alot of first line time with Backes and D'Agostini before Oshie came back and filled it nicely.  When we picked him up from Boston i thought nothing of it and figured it was an AHL swap for the most part.  He has almost matched his point total from his first 134 NHL games with Boston notching 22 points in those contests.

#18 Jay McClement--- 49 GP, 6-8-14, -12. 14 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: C

At the beginning of the season I was all on board for the Silent Jay for Selke campaign and since then that hope has been thrown out the window it seems.  His minus 12 is not so hot and while it is normal for him to be around that mark (-10,-17,+3,-23 in his last 4 seasons) this is to be expected since he plays against all top line players night after night.  I saw something from the Silent One last night that ive never seen before. On the 3rd Calgary goal i think it was McClement was back checking on an odd man rush through the neutral zone and McClement turned his back to man he was supposed to be covering which was Pardy i believe he ended up with the puck and put one right through Jaro and that goal hurt. Jay has to be better in the second half. On the PK, offensively, defensively, everywhere, we need him if we are gonna get back to winning games.

#19 Stefan Della Rovere--- 7 GP, 0-0-0, E, 11 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: C-

SDR has not been on the team enough to make a good enough decision on his grade and for somebody in his pay grade i dont expect to much from him.  He made his NHL debut with the Blues earlier this year and threw down the gloves to prove he wasnt a guy to mess with. Still looking for his first NHL point he will be up and down the rest of the year pending injuries but is a good 4th line player right now that has some potential

#20 Alex Steen--- 49 GP, 15-21-36, +4, 16 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: A-

Alex is on pace for a career year if he keeps up the pace hes on.  He is one of the two people that have carried the team all season long.  When he is not on, the team loses. The rest of the team could take a lesson from him and his work ethic and just go out and lay it all on the line like Steen does on a nightly basis.  Keep on the great work Steeners

#21 Patrik Berglund--- 49 GP, 11-17-28, -5, 16 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: B-

Berglund is still trying to find his style it seems like.  Some nights he goes out and performs like hes been doing this for his entire life and other nights he plays like a lost little child that forgets that hes 6 foot 4... Lately we have been seeing more of the good Berglund and at the same time seen a lot of other Blues go missing. Berglund had a 6 game point streak snapped in Calgary last game but continued to skate a pretty good game

#22 Brad Boyes--- 49 GP, 10-21-31, +6, 28 PIM--- SLGT Grade: D  My Grade:  B-

Im even surprised at myself at how high of a grade that Im giving Boyes and let me tell you why.  The season Brad scored 43 I knew that wasnt going to happen again.  At least 43 times this season Ive asked myself how they hell this guy managed to hit the net 43 times in a season let alone score 43.  The B- is not for the goal scoring which he has tried to get back on track.  The decent grade is for the real Brad Boyes.. not the goal scorer but the playmaker.  He is tied for the team lead with 21 assists and has set season totals of 43,29,22,39,28 in the assists column.  Everyone around STL seems to remember the goal scoring from him but i think the assists from him are what we really need to count on.  His increased physical play has been a nice little side note as well

#23 Ian Cole--- 13 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 23 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: C

I wasnt expecting to see Ian in the NHL at all this season and I think the front office kinda had that plan as well.  I dont think young players should be rushed up in the NHL unless you are hit with injuries to half of your team all at one time.  That was the case with Ian and so far he has held his own in most cases.  Sure he still has a long way to go and with the little NHL experience he has gotten so far I think it will benefit him alot.  Still looking for his first NHL point but impressed me and a lot of others with his first NHL bout.. an exciting win in a fight against Benn Ferriero of the SJ Sharks who missed his next few games with facial lacerations

#25 Philip McRae--- 7 GP, 1-1-2, -3, 2 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade C+

Phil is another player we havent seen enough of to get a good grade for but he has tallied 2 points in his first 7 NHL games including his first goal last game in the embarrassing loss to Calgary.  Good chippy style of play so far.  Not afraid to go into the corners and fight for the puck.  I dont know how much of that is his actual style of play and how much is still adrenalin from being in the NHL but I know Basil has to be proud either way.

#26 BJ Crombeen--- 49 GP, 5-5-10, -14, 87 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: D+


BJ has been invisible most of the season it seems like even though he is on pace to set a career high in points for him.  One of the better defensive forwards on the team who is really struggling to keep up with the play most of the time it seems like and is a minus 14.  Another problem for Crombeen this year has been on the PK which is another reason the teams special teams is struggling. Beej needs a better second half especially on the kill to get this team back on track.

#27 Alex Pietrangelo--- 46 GP, 5-18-23, +7, 15 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: A-

Petro has been a solid d man for most of the year which has impressed me since this is virtually his rookie season even though the NHL doesnt seem to think so. You would think a first year defenseman would show some hesitation in him game as he continues to grow and you rarely see that from him.  Lately he has shown some flaws in his game (so has everyone else) and looks like hes been taking lessons from EJ as he continues to flop all over the ice on plays he doesnt even have to dive on.  Especially short-handed... you dont leave your feet.

#28 Carlo Colaiacovo--- 36 GP, 4-12-16, -12, 11 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: B-

Oh Carlo.... I have never squirmed more in my seat than I did when Carlo took that puck to the face.... for the second time... in 2 games.   Struggling on defense simply because hes stuck on the 3rd pairing most games and his partner is different every game so its hard to get chemistry going when you dont know who you are playing with night in night out.  His game hasnt been perfect but I do think it could have been better with some stability. Offensively, his number are on pace for about his average.  Still remember opening night =)

#29 Ty Conklin--- 12 GP, 668 MIN, 5-4-2, 3.32 GAA, .873 S%--- SLGT Grade: D  My Grade: D-

The ONLY reason I didnt fail ConkBlock was because he has somehow managed to keep an above .500 record. I know his workload his been inconsistent and that has made it harder for him to prepare for some games but that is still no excuse.. You have to be ready to go whenever duty calls and he has not answered the call most of the year.  the 87% save percentage and 3.32 GAA is unacceptable for anybody.. backup, rookie, anybody at this level. 

#32 Chris Porter--- 25 GP, 0-2-2, -3, 14 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D+

Porter shows a few signs of brilliance but he still remains just one of those people that fills in a roster spot til McDonald and Perron come back.  Only 2 assists in the 25 games in limited ice time but there are shifts where the 4th liners get a good cycle going to maintain possession and occasionally get a good chance but once Porter can get back to Peoria and continue to get his feet wet a little he could evolve into a little better of a player.  Not much more than a 3rd or 4th liner though.

#33 Tyson Strachan--- 23 GP, 0-1-1, -7, 29 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D

In my eyes he still has a ways to go before he develops into a good NHL d-man.  He's just awkward looking on the ice sometimes.  He seems lost in the offensive zone and i know he is not supposed to be a big offensive threat but hes not so good defensively either.  You can contribute his -7 to lack of consistency in the lineup again and somewhat to his lack of talent.  Not so thrilled about Strachan.

#36 Matt D'Agostini--- 49 GP, 10-14-24, +7, 24 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: B

D'Ags has been off and on all season long.  Already set a career high in points.  He started off hot in the first 11 games then rumors are we went to Columbus and something bad happened and he went cold then he was promoted up to the first line for a little bit and with the increased minutes he tallied a few more points on that 17-42-36 line. Now he has cooled again in this recent little slump we've gone through but that only means hes ready to tear it up the last little bit of the season.... Right?

#37 Nathan Oystrick--- 7 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 9 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: C+

More offensively talented than Strachan and a little better defensively as well from what I've seen. So it makes sense that he would be the one in Peoria.... the AHL all star has dominated the blue line in Peoria this season with good numbers (36 GP, 10-18-28, 6 PPG) and is 3rd on the team in points.  Im excited to see him make the big league team for good. Hopefully can bring a little more talent to the PP since we all know by the time he makes it here it will still be struggling. 

#38 Dave Scatchard--- 8 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 6 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D+

Dont be surprised, especially with this last injury if Dave retires a Blue.  We havent seen much from him this year but then again what did we really expect from him.  Assuming he does retire after this season he will finish his career with 6 teams played for and for the style of game he played in his career will finish with a respectable 269 points in 659 games.  His best season coming in 02-03 with the Islanders with 45 points (27-18-45).  A good career for a nice guy

#41 Jaroslav Halak--- 39 GP, 2293 MIN, 17-16-5, 2.62 GAA, .907 S%---- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: C+

Early season Halak was amazing.  And now he is still struggling to find himself as a starting goaltender.  Lately, Ive found myself asking if Montreal knew what they were doing after all.  With Price at least.... Not D'Agostini =)  He has posted 4 shutouts and has maybe some big saves but there are some nights where he is just not confident anymore and nobody seems to know why.  A little more work with new goaltending coach Cory Hirsch should help him out alot, and hopefully by next season he will truly be an elite goalie... with a better backup hopefully

#42 David Backes---- 49 GP, 16-21-37, +13, 60 PIM--- SLGT Grade: B  My Grade: A

Olympian, all star, future captain, total bad ass, leader of this team that gives it all every night, all night, blocked an empty netter then scored a few games ago, and scored the single most greatest empty net goal ive ever seen vs the preds earlier this year which was all effort.... need i say more..... no... ok moving on

#46 Roman Polak--- 25 GP, 1-3-4, E, 25 PIM--- SLGT Grade: C  My Grade: C

We definitely have not seen the best out of Polak this season and I think the injury has a lot to do with that.  The dude had surgery and was back within about a month.  Thats pretty bad ass... so kinda like it was said in SLGT I think next season when Roman gets back to full strength we will see more of the mean streak from Polak that we all love.

#47 Nicholas Drazenovic--- 3 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 0 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D

Hes not ready for the NHL yet which is why he has only played 3 games in the bigs this year.  End of story... give him some time and he might get better

#55 Cam Janssen--- 26 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 66 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: C

Cam better watch your back with Reaves getting better and closer to NHL action next season the question is do we need both of them or do we get rid of Cam.  Reaves scored 2 goals over the span of 3 games after none in his first call up.  This worries me. Everyone loves Cam and dont get be wrong everybody will love Reaves to but it wont be the same.  Cam has played very well this season believe it or not.  His 4th line has done a great job forechecking most games when he is in there and Ive been very impressed.  He has even notched a scoring chance or two but after this season is that the end of Janssen in St Louis??

#57 David Perron--- 10 GP, 5-2-7, +7, 12 PIM--- SLGT Grade: I  My Grade: B

I cant get Perron an A because he has faked it for to long..... fuckin morons... he was tearing it up while he was healthy but that was back when the whole team was solid.  plus 7 in 10 games to go along with 7 points is fucking good and we miss him that is for sure

#64 Nikita Nikitin--- 15 GP, 0-0-0, -7, 4 PIM---- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D-

I didnt wanna fail him because I know he is not NHL ready yet but he has just been bad at the NHL level.  I know AHL speed he can play a better game but on the Blues I just havent seen the talent that we need him to have.  God bless him and hes trying to learn the language which is another challenge all in itself but I have seen Brewer trying to mentor him in game even when he does make a mistake and he will improve... I know ive said that alot and for a lot of the players that is true

#74 TJ Oshie--- 18 GP, 2-9-11, +1, 6 PIM--- SLGT Grade: I  My Grade: B-

Oshie hasnt given the team the spark I thought he would since he has returned and I know it will take a while for him to get back to 100% game speed but he hasnt performed to well either, only notching 1 point in his 5 games back.  Im getting tired of typing this at this point and everyone knows he will get better and he will help get us back into the playoffs

#75 Ryan Reaves--- 8 GP, 2-0-2, E, 26 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: C

Welcome your new 4th line enforcer.  Even though I dont think his first goal actually went in it came in a game where he couldnt even celebrate it.  Thats gotta suck you score your first NHL goal and you cant even act happy about because your down by 3 or 4 goals.  Reaves is more of a heavyweight than Cam simply because of his size and has shown that he can score matching Cam's career total in just 8 games... Cam has played 232.  Nobody has more heart than Cam but its gonna be tough finding a reason to keep him over Reaves.

#77 TJ Hensick--- 5 GP, 0-1-1, -6, 2 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D+

Hensick had a stellar rookie year in Colorado and has since cooled off but as we speak am watching him in the AHL all star game so good luck kid.  One day he will be back in the league and he will pack some scoring punch

#79 Adam Cracknell--- 9 GP, 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM--- SLGT Grade: N/A  My Grade: D

Dont think to much of him and havent since we brought him in from NJ.  Scrappy guy that doesnt mind going into the corners sometimes but its another situation where its hard to judge because they arent NHL ready yet


Agree/Disagree?... discuss amongst yourselves in the comments

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