Assuming he’s on the call tonight, at some point Pierre McGuire will start gushing about Joel Edmundson. That’s because he’s big, and he played for two different teams in the WHL with the combined population of one castrated horse. Pierre will shorten his pants because he thinks that Edmundson intimidates forwards and closes down the ice. He’s wrong.
Here’s what you need to know about the Blues. They only have one d-man under 6-2, and that’s rookie Vincent Dunn, whom they assuredly will spend the summer trying to stretch on a rack while force-feeding him shitty St. Louis pizza to try and make him bigger. And this is one of the reasons the Blues won’t go anywhere while you’re alive.
The league is getting faster and lighter. The Preds don’t have any atom-smashers on their blue line, just six guys who are lightning quick. They’re leading the division after getting out of the conference last year. The Jets d-men are big, yes, but they can all really skate. Their size is secondary. The Lightning don’t come with size there either as they move away from their Sustr and Coburn era into the Sergachev-McDonagh one. The kid currently saving the Bruins, Charlie McAvoy, can’t get on every rollercoaster.
The Blues continue to employ a big and slow defense. And it’s costing them. Jabe O’Meester is dead. Alex OrangeJello has never dominated the #1 d-man they’ve needed because he can’t get around the ice quick enough. Parayko changes direction at the same rate as an ocean liner. Edmundson is slow and dumb, to complete the set.
As long as the Blues continue to choose this path, they’ll finish up the track in the West, as teams get faster and faster. When the Blues feel like competing, they’ll start moving guys like Edmundson out for more players like Dunn. We won’t sit on a hot stove waiting for it.
Game #73 Preview