Andy McDonald came back with a vengeance last night at home against the Sharks. The Blues looked instantly charged up. They looked faster. They looked tougher. They definitely didn't look like a team who played the night before. The previously absent power play showed up. The Blues looked better. Andy McDonald.....you are the man.
Does that mean that Doug Armstrong will/should keep the team the way it is? No trades? I'm not so sure. The injuries to Arnott, D'Agostini and Steen are weird. No one seems to know when they're going to come back. If and when they do St. Louis will have an abundance of 2nd and 3rd liners to choose from. One of those guys might need to see his way out.
Once again I'm calling out Chris Stewart. Too many games have gone by this year for this kid to be playing as ineffectively as he continues to play. He should have figured out how to play for Hitch by now. Last night's game is a perfect example of his ineffectiveness. 1 shot, 1 hit, less than 15 minutes of ice time. That doesn't sound like the power forward goal scoring machine the Blues thought he would be. Sounds like a nothing. I continuously look for him to make an impact throughout the game and he never does. It's ok when you don't notice Colaiacovo or Jackman out there. That's a good thing. They're not getting noticed because they're not screwing up. Defense is different that way. When you're a forward, however, you need to SHOW UP.
The Blues best players are as follows: McDonald, Perron, Steen, Backes, Oshie, Arnott, Sobotka, Langenbrunner, Berglund, D'Agostini, Stewart.....whoa! It took that long to get to Stewart. If everyone's healthy, does that mean he's a 4th liner? No....he doesn't hit anyone anymore. He doesn't fight for pucks in the corners. He doesn't pinch in and hold the puck. He's a ghost. Is he worth keeping on the team? No, but the Blues are probably stuck with him the rest of the year.
St. Louis won't be able to trade him. Who would want him? Who would give anything up for him? You can't get rid of him for nothing. Salary dumping is not the way to go right now when the potential new owners are talking about pumping it up. There must be something worthwhile coming back if the Blues decide to move him, and that option is probably not out there.
There has to be some sort of fire in that belly of his waiting to just erupt. Berglund seems to be turning the corner the last few games. He's flying around, playing more physical, shooting more often, making the hustle plays, etc. He gets what's happening here in St. Louis. He knows that he needs to gut it out and make plays. Why can't Stewart start showing that life? What's holding him back? Time to dig deep, Stewie.