Pre-season games don't count, but that doesn't mean that they're not indicators of issues with the team. The Blues outshot the Wild 34-23, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. This problem has been an issue with the Blues since the playoffs - actually, probably since before hand. The team doesn't have a finisher, and the rest of the team for whatever reason seems to grip the stick too tight. The playoffs, well, I assumed that was a case of the yips. Pre-season? No clue.
The Blues' roster is down to 25 guys, with Jake Allen and six others being sent to fight for playing time on the Chicago Wolves. Magnus Pajaarvi, however, is here to fight for playing time on the Blues. This was not what was expected when he arrived this summer, but it appears he's not tenacious enough yet on the puck and can't play D. Explains Patrik Berglund, Former Linemate:
"He’s got such good speed, but like ‘Hitch’ is saying, he needs to adjust and start playing that game that we play here," Berglund said. "It’s not always very pretty, but we’re doing a good job at it and that’s obviously something that he needs to buy in on."
I say former linemate because MP is playing God knows where, Jaden Schwartz has been moved to the third line (which is really the blues third second line, if you think about it), and Brenden Morrow might be seeing second line minutes with Derek Roy and Chris Stewart.
That's absolutely not what any of us expected when he was signed, although I will admit my mind isn't blown by this. He's literally a Hitchcock-style guy whose formative years were spent under him (not literally) in Dallas. Either Morrow is now the Bionic Man and all of his injuries that slow him down are fixed, or... I don't even know what the or is. I said I liked the signing, and I do, but this kind of thing is what made me concerned about it. I assumed Morrow would be fourth or third line, but second? We're not the Pittsburgh Penguins. If Morrow goes all point per game here I will eat my hat*.
Make sure that you tune in if you can't make it to the game tonight on KFAN Sports Radio 100.3 FM - which is the Wild's flagship station. The Cards're on KMOX for their game against the Cubs. Meaningless hockey gets bumped for (mildly) meaningful baseball with the division on the line. Them's the breaks.
*not sure which one. Probably my sorority hat that I have never worn, or perhaps this crappy free Corona hat I got at a bar 8 years ago.