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Blues Review

Posted 5:11 PM ET | Comments 11
Just some quick impressions from me on the Blues Roster.


Manny Legace

His improved play was just as important to the team improving as Andy Murrays hiring. The team didnt win quite as much as soon as he was injured at the end of the year. It was the right move to re-sign him and it is key that he starts strong next year.

Curtis Sanford

He was strong at times but far too inconsistent. It is time to cut ties with him and use one of the many young goalies in the Blues system as the backup. The main weakness in his game is his inability to stop players on breakways or in the shootout.

Jason Bacashihua

Performed better than expected at the end of the year considering he played pretty poorly in the AHL. He should compete for the backup job next year.


Christian Backman

Played pretty well at the end of the year. Would like to see him bulk up a bit and be more aggresive. He is a non-factor too many night, not making mistakes, but not making much of an impact either. If some other team wants him, Backman would be the ideal defenseman to trade to make room for Polak or Woywitka.

Eric Brewer

The whipping boy for far too many Blues fans, I am very glad we have him. He really stepped up this year being more physcial on the defensive end and taking more chances in the offensive end. People complain that he gets caught up ice too often, but I think it is a matter of Blues forwards being better at rotating back sometimes when Brewer gets in deep. He was fairly succesful when positioned in front of the net on the powerplay for a short while in the middle of the year. I look for big things from him next year, he is another player who absolutely needs to start out strong next year.

Barret Jackman

The teams most dependable defenseman, he should be wearing the C next year. He even started scoring a bit at the end of the year with some time on the power plays second unit. He hopefully will be with the Blues a longtime.

Jay McKee

Didnt see enough of him this year, but he seems to have taught the Blues how to block shots. For a while when he was playing the whole team was blocking shots left and right. Would be huge if he was healthy all next year.

Matt Walker

Probably shouldnt be on the team next year. He had an impressive plus minus over the last few games, but is slow and doesnt add much to the team.

Jeff Woywitka

Didnt make too many mistakes, and showed some promise as a puck moving defensemasn, but it rarely lead to anything. I dont see him cracking the top 6 if EJ joins the team next year. Maybe he will make it if one of the other Dmen get traded in the offseason.

Bryce Salvador

Great partner for the roaming Brewer as he rarely gets caught out of position, adds nothing on the offensive end but is dependable in his own end.


David Backes

His development is key to success next year. If he can develop at the pace that Stempniak has it would be great for the powerplay. He showed a lot of promise around the net and showed increased toughness as the year went on. When he plays aggressively he makes things happen all over the ice. At times he had some letdowns in his own end and would disappear. If he learns to show up every game he could easily be a 25 goal 50 point player next year.

Brad Boyes

One of the few players the Blues have that can create their own offense, was an important pickup. He started off very strong after arriving from the Bruins, but trailed off as the year went on. Not sure who I would play him with, I dont think he and Weight are a good match.

Petr Cajanek

Came on strong after being put on waivers. He is a frustrating player who shows flashes of brilliance and then long stretches of nothing. He can finally earn the money he is getting if he can start the year next year the way he finished this year (a common theme I know).

Dallas Drake

He had some good years for the team but he really doesnt add much anymore. Just one of those players I hate to see on the ice now. Maybe he will retire.

Radek Dvorak

Is an unrestricted free agent who I would like to see back at the right price. He didnt put up huge numbers but has more offensive skills than most players on the team. We need to have a few more players like this rather than the slew of checking forwards who never get the puck near the net.

Ryan Johnson

My favorite of the checking forwards because of his speed. When he has his chance he can fly by people to the net and he is probably the teams best penalty killer. I believe he might be a free agent, so may not be back with the team, especially with Hinote expected back from injuries next year.

Jamal Mayers

Frustrating player who doesnt play as tough as he used to and is useless in the offensive end, but a decent penalty killer. Not really sure why he was re-signed for 3 years.

Jay McClement

Really improved this year and looked pretty good playing center with Weight on the wing. Also showed flashes of brilliance centering Stempniak and Backes. Could be the 2nd line center next year if the team doesnt sign any centers this offseason. Should be on the penalty kill as often as possible in my opinion.

Glen Metropolit

Not a bad 4th line center, if the team needs somebody and he doesnt ask for too much I would like to see him back, his lines had some success at pinning teams in their own end.

Ville Niemenen

Didnt show much, dont think he will be back.

Peter Sejna

Has received far too many chances and has done little. Doubt he will be back.

Lee Stempniak

Showed that when he plays with confidence he can be a star. Has a really great wrist shot and created more of his own chances this year. He was streaky at times, if he can be more consistent next year he should get past the 30 goal mark and potentially threaten to get 40 goals. Most exciting young offensive home grown Blues product in a while.

Doug Weight

Really changed my opinion of him with his play after Guerin and Tkachuk were gone. He says he hadnt really recovered from his shoulder injury until January, may explain the poor start. Hopefully he is a leader from Day 1 next year, given his experience he really should be the leader of this team but didnt show any leadership until after the trade deadline.

DJ King

Earned a shot at being with team full time next year as the enforcer. Impressive fighter and doesnt embarass himself on the ice.

Martin Rucinsky

I think the team missed him more than people realize. While he didnt score a ton, he is one of the teams better offensive players. But I actually think his absence helped the development of Stempniak as Stempniak had to be relied on to score.

Incomplete Impressions

Dan Hinote
Tomas Mozjis
Roman Polak
Filed Under:   Blues  
April 11, 2007 5:18 PM ET | Delete
Great rundown. I agree about Sanford -- throw in that his groin seems to be made of glass, and he's the odd man out. I think the re-signing of Legace is a sign that Sanford is history...
April 11, 2007 5:22 PM ET | Delete
I'd have to agree about Sanford... even though it pains me to do so. I still think that he could be a very good starter in this league if he could stay healthy.
April 11, 2007 5:23 PM ET | Delete
BTW... Ryan Johnson is under contract next year. Personally, I would prefer to get rid of him and keep Metroplit to man that 4th line, but I don't see it happening.
April 11, 2007 5:33 PM ET | Delete
I was going to also post about how they should shape the roster for next year but its too hard to get my head around. They definitely need to spend some of their cap room but only if the right people are willing to come. They should also probably lock Jackman up, but thats an awful lot of money going to the defense. I really hope there is a team out there that somehow covets Backman.
April 11, 2007 5:46 PM ET | Delete
Backman isn't a terrible player, you should be able to get something decent for him. Is there any chance Marek Schwarz makes the roster next year? Will TJ Oshie be there? At least you don't have Wideman anymore.
April 11, 2007 5:50 PM ET | Delete
TJ Oshie is undecided, the Blues would love to have him but he hasnt committed either way yet. No, Backman isnt terrible but he makes a lot for somebody who isnt great. Schwarz will probably spend another full year in the AHL. Another Wideman for Boyes type deal is just what the Blues need to do with Backman.
April 11, 2007 6:36 PM ET | Delete
I'm looking forward to paying St. Louis a visit the next time the NHL schedule sends the Hurricanes there. Probably what, 2015 or so? Actually I think it's next year, but then not again until the 2010-2011 season if the current scheduling practices stick around. Argh... can this summer get over fast enough? I doubt it.
April 11, 2007 7:06 PM ET | Delete
For the most part, I agree with your comments.The thing that bothers me the most about Bacashihua is his flopping around in the net which leads him to be out of position at times. Sometimes the "great" save is simply because he was caught out of position. I'm not sure I would be comfortable with him as a backup.
April 12, 2007 10:01 PM ET | Delete
T.J. Oshie committed to staying at UND yesterday
April 15, 2007 10:24 PM ET | Delete
Arg. I wish TJ would come next year. He's definitely ready for the NHL. Hopefully Erik Johnson will do the opposite of him!
July 13, 2007 5:52 AM ET | Delete
i think you totally missed the boat on ryan johnson. when we first picked him up i liked his upside and thought he was just unluckily hitting the post too often. but at eleven points you got to throw someone else in that spot. really his speed is nice but his penalty kill is atrocious. i don't see him as the best offer at the penalty kill. really he's like drake and mayers. worthless suppossed checking line that never shuts down the opposition. hinote is a good defensive forward with decent speed and can work better with talent than the those other three bums. all walker has to do is improve his skating. he was one of the best blue's dmen at moving traffic from in front of the net. he has a solid d game. salvador i think is frustrating. he got caught out of postion a lot last year. but people just repeat what the supposed experts say and never really watch the games anyway. so they say ryan johnson is a good penalty killer. killing penalities is first about postion, second hockey sense and awareness and third about applying the approriate amount of pressure. you need speed and a scoring threat here. someone like kariya can be a greta penalty killer. if he catches an errant pass he's gonna have a break away. cajanek needs to have a strong begining of the year so we can trade him and get some value and bring in some youth. you said that backman rarely makes mistakes. i find that funny because he started taking the same hooking penalty the last two months plus of the season. if that's not a mistake i don't know what is. what could he be thinking? this time surely the ref won;t call it.
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