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"The Ten Minute Misconduct"
The last piece of the (rebuilding) puzzle, MO • 27 Years Old • Male
Eric Brewer holds the dubious distinction of being the man who was traded for Chris Pronger.

At first, fans rode Brewer hard, taking their anger from the trade out on him. Interestingly, Pronger himself was ridiculed for being “soft” and for terrible play after Mike Keenan traded Brendan Shanahan for him.

But while fans eventually came to love Pronger, not everyone has come around to Brewer. In fact, most fans still heckle him when he makes mistakes on the ice.

Why?

Personally, I refuse to believe that the Pronger trade is sufficiently fresh in the minds of Blues fans for them to continue to lash out at him. The main problem, I believe, is inconsistency.

Last night, Brewer played a solid game. A few shaky moments, but overall, he played well. The problem is…how long will he play to that level?

Last year, Brewer was a fish out of water on the power play. He has never been touted for his offensive prowess, and the coach and an insufficient puck-moving backline are to blame for a poor power play. Brewer did not deserve to be thrown out there by Coach Murray. He’s just not the type of defenseman, and it’s hard to fault the player when the coaching staff keeps throwing him out there.

He is however, a defensive defenseman, and this is where Blues fans are most frustrated with Brewer. You never know if you are going to get the Brewer that played for Team Canada, or if you are going to get (the far more common) Brewer who plays like an AHLer.

Too many times, Brewer takes a bad penalty at a bad time. He botches an outlet pass that results in a goal. He gets caught out of position in his own zone. He doesn’t use his big frame enough. He makes poor overall decisions in his own zone. Basically, the AHL Brewer shows up on far more nights than the Team Canada Brewer.

Part of the reason is because he tries to do too much. Last night, he had an open man, but would try (unsuccessfully) to carry the puck around a Predator in his own zone. Maybe the coaching staff – in addition to playing him in the right situations – needs to tell him to keep it simple, stupid.

Brewer is the captain of this team. I find it hard to question a choice of captain since I am not in the locker room. But the fact remains that he is the leader of this team not. Keep the game simple. Don’t take bad penalties. Play your position. BE CONSTISTENT!!! THAT is the kind of example a young team needs.

What kind of message is sent to a young team when their captain can not string together three good games in a row? Hopefully, Brewer will change this year, but after watching years past, I’m not too optimistic at this point.

So, we shall see which Brewer shows up tonight. Will it be the Brewer who goes out and does his job? Or will it be the Brewer who goes out and tries to do too much?
Filed Under:   brewer   blues   captain  
October 11, 2008 5:34 PM ET | Delete
Frankly, I'd much rather see Walt have the "C" on his sweater, but that's just me....
October 11, 2008 6:26 PM ET | Delete
I don't know...Without knowing the locker room dynamics, I can only rely on things like consistency of performance and what I see in interviews. I would think a guy like Andy McDonald, a well-spoken veteran with an impact every shift would be an even more ideal pick than Brewer or Walt (who I feel coasts too much).
October 11, 2008 11:35 PM ET | Delete
I completely agree. Brew had a great game on Friday, but that type of play wont last. I also don't buy the trade hate anymore. Prongs was my favorite player and I was devasted when he was traded. I knew he would be and heard all the rumours, but I just wouldn't let myself believe it so when it happen, I was, devasted!! However, I love all the Blues players so I automatically liked Brewer by default. I NEVER held the trade against him, and never will. I knew it would be hard on him and if anything, gave him quite a bit of slack because of it. I always made excused for him but that is getting hard to do. He shows flashes of greatness, followed by major gaffs that rookies do not make!! And I too cant agrue about him being captain, because I do not know the locker room dynamics. From what we have been told, the players had a say in the matter and chose Brewer. It is what it is. Same with the Powerplay...he has no business on there yet Murray was forced to put him out there because we had no other options. So I can't fault him for poor PP play because that is not his forte. However, consistency...I can and do fault him for that. As captain, he needs to play with not only consistency, but passion also, each and every shift. And until I see that from him, I won't cut him any slack. He needs to lead our young defenseman and with only three vets, he needs to step up in a big way and be the leader.
October 13, 2008 12:33 AM ET | Delete
Not too much to say on Brewer except... Why is he always out there on the PP? He's just not an offensive guy. He'll shoot right into the opponent in the high slot EVERY time. The PP often goes for the same play when he's out there. I look forward to a better PP this year. Remember, this season, its on Andy Murray (per Andy Murray). I agree LetsGoBlues725, he's going to be a guy the young ones look up to. I noticed during the opener, they showed a clip of him and Pietrangelo on the bench and Brewer looked to be explaining something to him. I do hope Pietrangelo's offensive potential surpasses Brewer's...
October 13, 2008 10:47 AM ET | Delete
There's really no mystery when it comes to Brewer. It doesn't matter how he's played in other settings and it doesn't matter for whom he was traded. His body of work as a defenseman for the St. Louis Blues has been poor. Enigma is a good description. He's wildly inconsistent which means he can't be counted on. Nothing he does surprises me any more.
October 14, 2008 2:12 AM ET | Delete
Apparently, we are the only people realizing this. Brewer is the most inconsistent player on the team. I am tired of people using the trade as the reason for my dislike of him as well as people continously making excuses for him. I think a player that makes over 4 million a year and wears a "C" on his shoulder should be one of the best players game in and game out. I know everyone has bad days and no matter how hard you try nothing will go your way, but when it happens 7 out of 10 games you have to wonder. The facts don't lie either, he has been -10 or more in 6 of the 9 seasons he has played and only ONE where he has been . All I want from the guy is steady, consistant defense every game, stop carrying the puck below the goal line in the offensive zone, and hit the outlet man in your own zone QUICKLY.
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