Hockey

Joel Edmundson – For the rest of his career, he’ll have that Stanley Cup sheen that blinds every GM and commentator to the fact that he sucks and is stupid. Edmundson has always been a rock that Blues fans worshipped because he hit Toews once, and he only fits in Carolina because they have so many other mobile d-men. But don’t you fret, this is still the same shit-for-brains you remember, leading the Canes in PIMs at the moment.

Dougie Hamilton’s Coverage – It’s not going to matter to far too many people that Hamilton leads the Canes in points, or is one of the better puck-moving d-men in the league and has been. No, all they’ll focus on, and you can bet Pat and Eddie will remark on it tonight at some point, was that he avoided one hit from Alex Ovechkin in the playoffs that led to a goal. Never mind the Canes won that series or the next one. They’ll do their best to make it seem like all of his teammates hate his guts for that one bailout while extolling the virtues of Edmundson. Bank on it.

Ryan Dzingel – And they may make time to mention how great of a signing Dzingel would have been because he’s from here and got Olczyk’s autograph once because his dad made him while he had no idea who Eddie was.

Everything Else

You’ll see this in Brad Lee’s manifesto in the Q&A. It’s not the first or last time you’ll hear it either. You can change the names, the era, whatever else, there’s always someone new who is going to save the Blues from the back end. It was Erik Johnson once. It was Kirk ShattenKevin at another point. Remember when it was Chris Pronger? That almost worked! Then it was Alex PuceJello. Or maybe it was Colton Burpo. We do get them confused, seeing as how they all look the same trailing the play. Apparently, now it’s Joel Edmundson.

We can’t tell you why. It looks to us like “Joel Edmundson” is just another term for “Robert Bortuzzo.” Except without any of the Disco Stu jokes. Sure, he’s big at 6-4, 215. Boy the Blues sure do love them some big d-men. Hey, quick question, who was the last Cup winner with a raft of big d-men? Can’t think of one? Yeah, exactly. We’re sure the Jets are just quaking at the thought of their so teeny, so slow forwards having to put up with this Godzilla-conquerer in a playoff series.

Oh right, Edmundson plays “with an edge.” Generally that means he plays dumb. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s true! More than 60 penalty minutes in all three of his seasons. Running out of position to make hits to make a “statement,” which is usually, “I’m a shaved ape and I think Filip Forsberg just went around me again.” But hey, he looks great punching people in the back of the head after a whistle. They actually scout for that in St. Louis.

Sure, he’s a better partner for Alex PlayaCarmello than Jabe O’Meester. So’s a police horse that’s retired. But just look at that beard! So rugged. So dark. It just screams, “I eat Hardee’s between periods!” With that beard and vacant look in his eyes he could be a Cardinal! That’s really what they’re after.

But don’t worry, folks. When the Blues are done getting blitzed in another playoff series because their defense was too dumb and too slow, it’ll be Jake Allen‘s fault. And that will likely be true, which will be great because we get at least one more season of Blues fans screaming from the Ozark-tops that Edmundson and Parayko are this generation’s Pronger and Niedermayer. But extra tough. And then they’ll flex and pull four muscles and rip three ligaments.

 

Game #5 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

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

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

And so it begins anew, and the braintrust of the NHL gets what they ultimately want again with the divisional playoff format with a perennial occurence of legacy NHL rivalries along with an effort to fabricate new ones. The Hawks and Blues will meet in the first round for the second time in three years, with the Blues once again having home ice advantage thanks to their usual solid regular season. But even the florid, toothless cretins along the river are beginning to realize that that type of success and $2.50 gets one on the bus.

Because everything the Blues does is predicated on the prevention of quality chances against, it’s appropriate to take a look at their back end of the blue line and their goalies first.