Things around HQ have been hectic in the last few weeks, so the blogging has been lighter than I had hoped, so we’re going to need to lump the weekend headlines and other tidbits together.
Everything is bigger in Texas… including the losses.
Not that I need a reason to put Chuck Norris in the blog... just glad I have one.
So the Rivermen lose in Texas by a combined total of 11-3. The Texas Stars beat them 6-2 on Friday. This loss was followed by an equally crappy showing in San Antonio where the Rivermen lose 5-1.
There is nothing good that comes out of this weekend. Nothing. Well, Grachev did score his first for the Rivermen since being sent down from the Blues. So I guess that there is something to hang your incredibly disappointed hat on. I could sit here and rant about how terrible the team played in Texas, how the goaltending was weak (really Ben?), the defense hardly better than an orange traffic cone, or the offense performing a greater vanishing act than Houdini. I could blame it all on the coaches.
But I won’t.
There is nothing to be gained from frothing at the mouth. There is still a lot of hockey to be played, and the Rivermen are still in a decent position to make a run when it counts. We’re nowhere near must-win territory, but we can’t afford to be giving away points either.
Bishop gets All Star recognition…
Apparently he got the news on the road trip. That’s right, Ben Bishop, recently named All-Star, upon hearing the news goes out and promptly surrenders 11 goals.
…and has the handwriting pointed out to him.
So the goaltending controversy in the Blues organization is likely to get a lot less complicated in the near future. At the beginning of the year it was clear that Halak was the #1 and that Elliott and Bishop were going to battle it out for the #2 slot, with 2a spending time in Peoria.
Well, in the beginning of the season Halak couldn’t stop a beach ball if he had five minutes of warning that it was coming. Elliott stepped up and took the team on his shoulders for the first two months posting unreal numbers and causing a controversy between #1 and #2. Meanwhile Ben Bishop is in Peoria making a case for himself about being NHL ready and suddenly we wonder who the hell we pencil in as #1, #2, or #3.
Elliott played himself into a two year contract extension. Well deserved. Even the most ardent of Bishop supports can’t deny that Elliott has played unreal hockey this season. But that also means that Bishop is most likely getting shown the door before the NHL trade deadline passes on February 27th.
Jeremy Rutherford has a good story on the whole situation. In order to turn Bishop from an unresrticted free agent at the end of the year to a restricted free agent he has to see NHL game time. Barring a major injury to Halak (who seems to have found his game again) or Elliott, Bishop is unlikely to see the time in St. Louis. This means that it is in the Blues best interest to trade him before the deadline to a team that needs goaltending (I’m looking at you Tampa Bay). If they trade him before the deadline they will receive something of value for him in return rather than let him walk away as a UFA in the summer and get nothing.
I wouldn’t expect to see Bishop in a Rivermen uniform in March.
Don’t adjust your radio
Tomorrow is the 2nd Faceoff Field Trip – a game at 10am against the Milwaukee Admirals in which a couple of thousand high pitched screaming school aged children will be bused in to attend. I listened to the broadcast last year and it was obvious that Brendan Burke was trying to wrap his mind around having several thousand area school children in the stands as opposed to most normal Rivermen fans. That’s not to say that he didn’t like it, but more that it was kind of a surprise.
So my oldest son will be joining his classmates at the game, which he is very excited about because he’s the “hockey guy” in his class, and he gets to share his knowledge. I’ll be there too, mostly because I am a glutton for auditory punishment, and I want to see how quickly my eardrums bleed.
Words in my mouth
My oldest son is also a very big Pittsburgh Penguins fan, and for his birthday my wife and I got him tickets to see the Penguins play the Blues in STL. The thing is that the game is tomorrow night, and so we’re leaving right from the Rivermen game to get to St. Louis to catch Blues/Penguins. Big hockey day for the TRB family.
I would like to know what you guys want me to yell at the Penguins while I am there. Leave a suggestion in the comments section.