In honor of friendly debate and maybe someone who has as much passion for the Blues as I have I was wondering, if when you have time, we can shoot the S*^t about the Blues. I agree to disagree in the sport of learning something new and seeing things from another perspective.
So far this season Salvador has been playing a solid game. What I saw in the preseason game I got to see(against Chicago), was the same style of play that led me to be a bit impatient with him. People like that drive me nuts because they have the talent and the heart but they don't seem to be capable of putting it together. But instead of taking stupid penalties or get caught in the corner and leaving the front of the net clear for the opposing forward he has played his position well.
I still see Ryan Johnson and DJ King as wasted roster spots. In my mind what DJ King does can be done by Mayers, Hinote or Walker. And Walker's quickly becoming the odd man out with the depth the Blues have on defense, though as an extra defensemen you want the kids to get more ice time in AHL then sitting around watching games eh?
But I still think Ryan's spot would be better disposed of by Cajanek, Martin Kariya or Glumac to say the least. What i have noticed around the league, the past few years(a lot of it hearsay as I was in Iraq during most of this time and rarely was I in the chow hall and a game was on), is that the depth of lines with speed and an ability to score all the way down to the fourth line can readily be the difference in winning a game. Sooner or later the Blues will be forced to make some serious descions concerning the talent coming up and a balanced attack and roster spots. I think the sooner has come. Mayers had a rare two goal game, a fluke goal and an empty netter though his play has been stronger in the early going. But notice, earlier in the game when he comes in on a break shorthanded and fails to get the shot on goal and Kings come back up with an odd man rush. It's an irresponsible play at best. And the empty netter should have been made, has to be made by Ryan Johnson there at the end of the game. The limited amount of games I saw last year towards the end of the year had a theme when a team shanked a chance to bury the game--and that was a come back. My point is, can someone who is repeatedly unable to keep the other team from scoring really be an asset as a defensive forward, when at the same time they don't produce? Esa T. scored twenty plus goals throughout most of his career and was a defensive forward and there's also a guy by the name of Rolston.
Another note about the game is that Steve Wagner has been our best defensemen so far this year. I was happy about his signing last year and during lunch buzzed my friend in Michigan to relay the news I had just come across and told him about this kid I had heard good things about.(I was stationed in Fairbanks, AK and there's a bit of a hockey following there and I have some friends who played against him in college) Backes was the Blues best forward against LA. I say this because he consistently drove to the net, picked up the forecheck, laid the hits, took shots and pressed the other team.
Other than that I hope the Blues decide to name a captain afterall. So far this team hasn't quite yet formed an identity. They have a number of leaders but I think it'd be best if the Blues named Walt captain at this point so he stays focused and presses a little more, though I am impressed by his better work ethic so far this season(and offseason).
They need to nail down a team concept of play and do it fast. I saw too many times players looking around unsure about postioning and it led to poor puck pursuit and support on the forecheck. Overall the positioning most of the game was unsatisfactory. If you're going to dump and chase you need to have strong puck pursuit and support on the forecheck otherwise the forecheckers will get caught down low and the other team's breakout will create odd man rushes and open passing lanes. I'd prefer the Blues to utilize their talent and speed and play a game of puck possesion; where they could go back to the defense and search for the weak spots come in with a burst of speed with the puck while the other team's defense would be caught flat footed.
As far as goaltending goes I say let the Schwarz experiment begin. Play him and Toivonen and keep playing whoever's hottest. I like Legace but he's best served as a back up.
These have been some of my observations and opinions thus far. I'm curious as to what you think and what you hear.