As you might've noticed, I'm a fan of the Thrashers as well (though obviously not as much as my Blues, as the jersey I'll be wearing to the game on the 21st will attest to). The two teams in general have always struck me as being kind of similar, especially as of late - young up and coming talent that will have the whole league talking. The Thrashers have Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane, and the Blues have Erik Johnson and TJ Oshie. Ondrej Pavelec? Meet Jaroslav Halak. Brad Winchester? Um... ok, meet Tim Stapleton. Hell, I don't really know on that one.
Alexander Burmistrov has been quoted as saying that Pavel Datsyuk, Slava Kozlov, and Max Afinogenov are some of his heroes - no focus on the flashy new style of Russian play for this kid. He's not seeking to emulate Alexander Ovechkin or Ilya Kovalchuk - he wants to be a smart playmaker instead. A good many people saw the fact that he is Russian and have incorrectly assumed that the franchise was trying to "replace" Kovalchuk. After the season started, people looked at his slim offensive output and the fact that the opposition liked to run at him, and thought that after eight games were up he needed to go back to the Barrie Colts.
Again proving that coaches are smarter than bloggers, Craig Ramsay has put Burmistrov in the line-up every night since the season started, trying to get him going. He's still getting targeted by other guys, but that's because he's doing his job so well. Burmistrov creates chances, and the other week he created this one for himself:
I liked what Darren Eliot called this move: "dangelicious." Burmistrov has outstanding puck handling skills to go with an awareness of the game... very similar to the gentleman who Blues fans have been calling Mr. Dangles for the past few seasons.
Are there similarities? Absolutely. Perron has been good for nearly fifty points for the past two seasons, and he had 13 goals with 14 assists his rookie year. Is that unreasonable to expect of Burmistrov for this season? Burmistrov, while with the Barrie Colts last season, scored 22 goals and 43 assists in 62 games played. His last season in Juniors, Perron scored 39 goals and 44 assists in 70 games. Perron might tend to have a higher offensive output, but both he and Burmistrov can pull players out of position, fake them out of their skates, and pot a pretty highlight reel goal. Hopefully he'll be back doing that very, very soon.
Other players come to mind when looking at guys that remind us of former and current Blues. I think averagejoe's compared Steven Stamkos to Brett Hull more than once, and I can see it. Brad Richards and David Backes? Definate similarities, except Pierre McGuire doesn't stalk one.
Are there any guys that play on other teams that stand out to you as being a Blues doppelganger?