I will never make a mid-game post about how the Blues are making a comeback again. I swear.
Boy, sometimes when I write the front page to the paper and I'm trying to figure out the match up, I look at good players who are struggling. For tonight's game, I figured the injury to Kvasha would put Mike York into a good spot to redeem himself. Mark Parrish and Trent Hunter have the ability to score and Parrish has played well lately. So, York goes out and puts up five points out of the six goals they scored tonight. Damn. I thought he might have a good game and put up some points, but I didn't know he'd take advantage of a weak Blues team to go for personal records.
Was I the only person who found the Matt Walker v Arron Asham 'fight' hilarious? Asham checked Walker from behind in a fairly dangerous move. Then, when Walker dropped the gloves and went after him, Asham could clearly be seen yelling something to Walker. What he was yelping about is that he couldn't legally thow a punch because he had tape on his hands from some injury. If he threw even one punch, it's an automatic "Puttin' on the foil, coach" penalty and suspension.
Walker didn't seem to care, as he kept bombing away at the ducking and screaming Asham. Y'know what? When you check me from behind, you're gonna get blasted. If you have tape on your hand? Even better. Because now I can fire away with abandon. I wish the rest of the team was as fiery as Walker. Yes, he makes mistakes due to the way he leads with his emotions. But what more could we ask from a team that is going to get killed a lot this year? If the team finishes last, and it's starting to look like a very good possibilty, we might as well ice a team that skates hard and hits harder. The new kid, Dallman, got into a fight tonight, which is not his role. I think that's a smart move for him. He's already been effectively cut from another team this year by hitting the waiver wire. He'd better do everything in his power to make his name known, or it could happen again.
Would a team full of youngster forwards who skate like crazy and a blueline of youngster defensemen who hit everything that moves put more butts in seats? I bet the answer is yes.
I know that Eric Weinrich is becoming my postermanchild for the things that are wrong with this team, but here we go again. In order to not offend everyone who still loves Kurt Warner around this town, and therefore must somehow love Weinrich, the guy is ready for the scrap heap.
Like Warner, Weinrich still has skills. He's just not right for this team anymore. He's old and he's taking minutes away from a youngster who could be filling that spot. Trade him to a team that appreciates the shooting-range yellow visor and get some underachieving youngster or a draft pick for him. Bring up some kid from Peoria who could make this team some day. Hell, even if he's just a placeholder but he hits hard, bring him up.
Honestly, if we dumped Weinrich and brought Doug Lynch and/or Jeff Woywitka back up, would we lose games 6-3 or like 8-3? Would it matter?
As long as I'm callin' fellas out, and I am, it wouldn't break my blue-pumping heart to wake up tomorrow to hear that Scott Young, Dean McAmmond, Peter Cajanek, Eric Boguniecki or Mike Sillinger had been traded. Honestly, they are all good hockey guys and if our team was competitive, they'd be key extra players that would make our team bridge the gap from great to dangerous. But this team is not dangerous. This team is barely even worrisome. So, while Sillinger has been a good soldier and done everything asked of him (plus some), and McAmmond seems to be the only guy who really wants to score some nights, and I can't help but like Young because of my memories from when he was here the first time playing with Turgeon, the time has come.
Show me more Petr Sejna. Make him be good. Force him. Show me more Jay McClement. He has to be able to do something. Is Jon DiSalvatore just an AHL scorer, or could he pot some with a guy like Weight on his line? Give me more of Dutchie. Stempniak can make some things happen out there. Give him some ice.
By the way, I cannot begin to explain how strange it was to hear a complete stranger call the kid 'Dutchie' for the first time. We are an army. Small, but ferocious.
But my point remains. If this team has to suck, suck with purpose. Be the swashbuckling pirates of the waiver wire seas. Any kid who has ever shown promise or hands, grab him. Dump a vet in his place. Every kid who throws the body with abandon, bring him up.
And Patrick Lalime? We all know that he's not about to turn the corner. We know that he's not about to reach that magical age when goalies go from good to dominant. We know that once a game the officials have to grab a beachball out of the net that has been thrown from the stands and somehow eluded him. Let's dump that guy like the five year old mayonaise you find in the community fridge at work. His best days are behind him. Maybe he can end up backing up Olie Kolzig in Washington. Wait, Brent Johnson already has that job.
Look, I don't care how it gets done, just make room. We have Curtis Sanford who has shown the ability to be good against bad teams. Jason Bacashihua is in Peoria and could be the real deal someday. Why can't he get a taste today?
If I'm paying $55 a seat, and I'm not (but I'm paying $10 to scalpers and sneaking down to the $55 range), I'd rather see a team lose with effort than a team lose and look like the game has left them behind. When your team is FULL of reclamation projects, IT is a reclamation project. When your team is full of young, hungry kids, your team is young and hungry. Which one would you rather market?
So, that's my point again.
Notice that I didn't mention Tkachuk or Weight or Drake. There's a reason for each.
Tkachuk is truly dominant and is falling into the leadership role. He can still put up points against even good teams. I still believe in Tkachuk. Even if some people are hell-bent on talking about how bad the trade was for the Blues (I'd do more here, but you can find it in a previous post below). Hell-bent on blaming his acquisition on Nancy Laurie and not Larry Pleau. Hell-bent on how bad he's been in the playoffs. Tkachuk is expensive, yes. Next year he's a relative bargain. And he wants to be here. He scores goals. Goals win game. He scores goals. Keep him.
Weight would be a great playmaker to help other youngsters tally points. I think he's gone at some point, but now isn't the time. I really believe that he gets traded at the deadline to a contender. Maybe that's when the Blues get something good for him, but not now they don't. I'd go into more here, but I have a whole column on this at stlouisgametime.com under the editor articles, you can see it there.
And Drake, well, Drake could get traded at the deadline, too. I hope he doesn't, but he probably will. The guy is a warrior and that's why he should stay. The youngsters need a guide. They need a guy who will not accept excuses. They need a guy who shows you that sometime you have to get your nose broken for the team. Again. Dallas is that guy. I'd launch into a Drake for President diatribe here to highlight how his type of grittiness and unquestioned heart would be good for this country, but he's a Canadian and never went to freakin' Yale to join the Skull and Bones, so he's out anyway.
If Drake gets traded, that team becomes my playoff team. Unless, of course he goes to the Wings. In which case my head would spontaneously explode.