Let me start off by saying that I have taken notice of Brewer's better puck handling skills as of late, but that does not translate tp playing the point on the power play. Unless he does the old Pronger trick, and heads down to screen the net minder then he's more of a risk factor than having a forward on the point.
There's no statistical data I'm aware of to back this up, besides the fact the guy's never scored more than 29 pt.s in a single season. But anybody who has been watching the Blues play knows that he has trouble moving laterally and keeping the puck in, his shots seldom get through to the net, he usually makes poor decisions that lead to the last negative, his inability to recover and keep the play in front of him by skating backwards.
It seems that at least once a game the power play surrenders a break away caused by Eric Brewer's inabilty to recover on a broken play and keep the play in front of himself. Often times he ends up tripping all over himself and ends up on the ice leaving the kid Eric Johnson and the goalie to make big plays.
Now if, for some reason, Andy Murray can't figure out it's better to have a forward, Steve Wagner or Backman out there then it's hopeless. It's like the Blues are trying to make sense of signing this guy for 4.25 million a year. As if they can force him to be Pronger.
I personally can not see why McKee gets scratched for four games now and Brewer's still playing. Brewer is starting to play better but is this just another tease and his continued inconsistency? Can't we trace a number of goals in games, in games we should have won back to costly mistakes by Brewer?
On another note, how many people think it would be fun to see McClement play on a line with Martin Kariya and Mike Johnson? It might sound a bit strange or funny but with that speed and Mike Johnson's size and hands followed by McClement's tenacity and sometimes great playing making ability what could happen? All I know is we're sans Backes and even with him in the line up we're missing just one more speedy slick player of Paul's ilk but not necessarily the same talent level and who better to fill that role than his little brother. It might also cause at times the opposing team some mistaken identity.
Jamal Mayers should be the Blues fourth liner and one of the best fourth liners in the game. He's getting better and if I was asked a year ago I'd never have seen this coming. On the same token I still don't buy into Ryan Johnson. I still think he's not quite NHL caliber. He lacks the strength for the fourth line and in liue of that further lacks any sort of scoring touch. He's got the heart but so does another dozen guys who have more skill and equal if not better speed than Ryan Johnson.
For a fighter King's got some sweet hands, sweeter than average for his trade. What makes it hard to bear to watch this guy in a game is the lack of speed or skating ability the kid posesses. Why not bring a kid like Glumac along as a fighter? He's a big guy and he just wants a chance to play at this level. He's got the skill set and I'd be surprised if he couldn't do it. Or have some like Hinote fight. Besides fighting's overrated. If your boy wins great you're pumped up. If your boy loses, you and your fellow teammates have to take the sacrefice to heart and give it your all for boy and that gets you going just as well.
I guess the overall theme is that the Blues need to find a player or players to contribute offensively. I think they need another player to fill the void sans Backes or not. Backes is still growing into an NHLer as a power forward one of the types of players that takes some time to develop in the league. It's rare for that type of player to put up big totals early in the develop offensively. That said another player with speed I think will open the game up for the Blues.
As always more than interested to hear your take and opinions.