Hockey

When a GM is in a job for over 10 years, as Blues GM Doug Armstrong will pass into this summer, it’s either a sign of an organization’s inertia or incompetence, or a sign of sustained success. Or in the case of the Hawks, both. And it may be that’s the case in St. Louis as well.

Armstrong ascended to the GM chair while the Hawks were on their way to their first parade, and as things always worked with the Blues, everything they did seemed to be not to measure up to the class of the division (it was Detroit in the past), but to be in opposition to it. Of course, the Blues set some of this in motion when former GM Larry Pleau took Erik Johnson instead of Jonathan Toews.

But while the Hawks and others were getting faster and more skilled, the Blues seemed determined to plod and crush their way to success, which had predictable results. They hired Ken Hitchcock, which only made them more defensive. We know they emphasized size and GRITHEARTFAAAAART. And while they have been a consistent playoff team, there was only one conference final appearance.

It was the kind of record that usually gets GMs fired, and so would have the coaching boondoggle of installing Mike Yeo as an heir apparent to Hitchcock, and then watching all of that go to shit when the players rebelled against both of them. It culminated with the Blues missing the playoffs in 2018.

But that kicked a new direction and sense of urgency for Armstrong, something we’d love to see around here. Maybe he knew his job was on the line. But they traded for Ryan O’Reilly and signed Tyler Bozak to give them the center depth that they’d lacked and the Hawks or Sharks or Predators had picked apart in years previous.

A shift in drafting before that though were the real tracks. Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Vince Dunn, and an absolute theft of Brayden Schenn out of Philadelphia set the Blues on a path to be fast, dynamic, and skilled. All the things they hadn’t been before. And clearly, Armstrong was rewarded.

The final stroke, and perhaps the act of a man who was sure he was headed for printing up a bunch of CVs, was correcting the mistake of installing Yeo as coach after the players had turned on him and giving Craig Berube the job. Suddenly the Blues were playing faster and more aggressive, because with the speed Armstrong had installed in the lineup they could. We know how the rest goes.

Only Armstrong and his bosses will know how close he was to the axe, but everyone seems to think it was very much on the cards had the Blues not turned around at New Year’s last year. Armstrong deserves credit for realizing the mistakes of the past, seeing how his team had to adjust, and not being afraid to switch gears. Perhaps the Blues ownership deserves credit for letting Armstrong have the time to do it all.

Would that work here? Hard to say. Stan Bowman’s recent drafting record is already a strike against that. Recent player acquisitions would suggest they haven’t even diagnosed the problem yet. He’s made his coaching change. though Armstrong has been allowed three. And for every Armstrong who’s been allowed to dig themselves out, there’s Boston, Pittsburgh, Carolina and others who have found success changing things in the front office. There’s no set model for it.

What a state of affairs when you look down I-55 and wonder why things can’t be like that here. Life is meaningless.

Everything Else

Yes, that’s probably an insult to Denmark to compare it to St. Louis. We hope the Danes forgive us. We love Christian Eriksen. Does that help?

Alex Pietrangelo is something of a yearly post for us. While the Blues have touted and used him as a #1 d-man for a good few years now, we aren’t the only ones who have gone to lengths to show that he’s just not. Is he a good d-man? Yes, unquestionably. If he were a #2 or #3 on a team, that team would almost certainly be really good. At least on the blue line it would be.

But as we’ve pointed out, probably far too much for anyone who still pretends to be of use to society. Pietrangelo just doesn’t push the play that much against the toughest competition. We started when he somehow conned his way onto Team Canada in ’14 (with Bouwmeester! And he played ahead of Subban! Assuredly not because Subban is black!) He’s not prime Keith. He’s not Doughty. He’s not Karlsson. He’s not even Kris Letang. Pietrangelo’s metrics are fine. They’re usually right in line with the team’s, though the Blues’ numbers were always skewed by Ken Hitchock’s ultra-defensive system that didn’t give up much but sure didn’t create much either.

The only time in the past six season that Pietrangelo has exceeded his team’s possession rate by anything significant is this year, where he’s +2.3. That’s going really well for the Blues too, who are still staring up at the Hawks.

Pietrangelo is a good skater, but not great, and can get beat by the faster forwards in the league. And he can get caught with the puck, too. That seems to be a problem this year, where the Blues can’t get out of their zone if there was a carbon monoxide leak. Or maybe there is and that’s the problem. Hard to tell, given the way the whole city smells. Yes, we know carbon monoxide doesn’t smell, just fucking go with us you heathen!

But let’s shelve that discussion for another time. Hockey loves its intangibles. No sport loves to mention what goes on “in the room” more. There is some mystical quality to where the players get dressed, and that has kept some truly woeful hockey players in a job for longer than you’d believe because it was thought they added to this. “The Room” in hockey is somehow weirder than the one with Tommy Wiseau, and maybe it’ll be the subject of its own “Disaster Artist” one day (probably starring David Backes), As if you couldn’t just pack a dressing room full of really good players who win all the time and they wouldn’t just figure it out when they’re not on the ice to get along. We present the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks as evidence.

And it can’t be any clearer that there is something amiss with the Blues both on and off the ice. We can pinpoint the problems on it. The ones off it are a little tougher.

The Blues are about to turf their second coach in less than three seasons. A loss tonight could be the final straw in the case against Mike Yeo. So it’s fair to ask how many coaches the Blues are going to cycle through before they conclude that it’s the group of players who are in someway unreachable.

Pietrangelo is the captain. Along with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Steen, that’s pretty much the leadership group in St. Louis, as they’ve been around the longest. While Tarasenko’s performances have never dropped, he clearly had a hand in throwing Hitchcock overboard (quite the feat). But if Pietrangelo is wearing the “C”, the questions have to stop with him.

While the Blues were indisputably stupid under the stewardship of David Backes, you couldn’t accuse them of floating and giving up and trying to undermine their coach. Their effort was in all the wrong directions and tactics, but it was there. This will be the second time they’ve downed tools under Pietrangelo. This becomes a theme at some point soon.

Compare that to the local side, where everyone knew that Joel Quenneville was minutes away from the axe from training camp. And yet you never got the impression the Hawks had quit on him. The front office did last year, but the players didn’t, at least for the most part.

Maybe the silly arrangement of having Yeo right there to succeed Hitchcock jaded the players. They could have soured on Yeo before he even took the job, knowing all the time he was going to take the job. Maybe someone completely new juices everything (though the rumors have it that it’ll just be Craig Berube sliding over from assistant, which is how we got here in the first place). Perhaps the Blues want a completely new voice.

Methinks the players are the thing….

 

Game #19 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Brad Lee runs a gameday program, like we used to but then we either grew up or lost the light in our eyes, called St. Louis Gametime. It’s like ours if all the people who wrote ours huffed paint for lunch. Follow him on Twitter @GTBradLee.

So when are the Blues hiring Quenneville? Or can you not go down that road again?
Blues fans decided five seconds after hearing he had been fired that he was a perfect match for the Blues. Granted, it’s a wet dream at this point. Coach Connor McDavid can’t teach the Oilers how to play defense or put kid gloves on dealing with Jake Allen. Both sound like pains in the ass. The dealbreaker might be how much power the Stache wants. GM Doug Armstrong is in the first year of his new contract. A new coach would get no power. Period. And make no mistake, the Blues are one bad loss away from a coaching change…before Craig Berube is promoted from associate coach. Of course I prefer the future HoFer.
The Blues are generating barely any chances at even-strength. Why?
Because the Blues struggle to get the puck out of their own end. Because the Blues defense makes shitty exit passes out of the zone. Because the Blues dump the puck in way too much. Because only one forward line wants to play well at a time. Because Ryan O’Reilly can only do so much. Because the hockey gods hate us. Because it’s a .500 team and that’s how .500 teams play.
If it’s not firing the coach, what’s the big shakeup that clearly is coming? Or is there not one coming?
Yeo is a dead man walking. The Blues went 4-3-0 on a seven-game homestand that just ended. At one point they won three of four and Yeo actually said on the television that it didn’t feel like they had won that often. On Tuesday after practice, Yeo tried to tell the media that Jay Bouwmeester is working his way back to previous playing levels. It’s a lie. Potential shakeups: Yeo gone. Bouwmeester on long term IR. Jake Allen sent packing. Possible captaincy change. Probably only two of those are likely.
The Blues and Hawks fighting it out to stay out of the basement of the division. Honestly, doesn’t this feel like where we belong?
As the late Dennis Green would say, they are who we thought they were. And we let them off the hook. On paper, the Blues are supposed to be better than this. They aren’t. Too many core guys look exactly how they did when they got Hitchcock fired. Pushing the boss overboard has gotten easy. Common. Accepted. And it sucks. Is Yeo a good coach? Hell no. He lost the room early. Ultimately that’s his fault. But the reality is he had a partial season, a full season and this one so far. And the players couldn’t figure out a way to play hard for him in that short timespan. That’s rotten. The roots of the core of this team might be rotten. And I don’t know how they fix it without a blowtorch. As for the Hawks, long-term contracts are fun. It spreads the misery out over several years. Most expensive Blues players aren’t signed past 2020.

 

Game #19 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

 vs. 

RECORDS: Hawks 6-2-2   Blues 2-4-3

PUCK DROP: 7pm

TV: WGN

MIKE MATHENY’S NEW PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: St. Louis Gametime

As you’ll have seen/will see in our Q&A with grade-school dropouts and Missouri state congressmen St. Louis Gametime, games against the Hawks tend to be watershed moments for Blues coaches. Not only is it how the fanbase defines their tenure, but they tend to signal the beginning/end of their time behind the Blues bench.

That appears to be the case against tonight, and Mike Yeo is basically having the black hood put over his head and the rope placed around his neck. All that’s left is for the players, yet again, to signal to the hangman to drop the floor. “This Time It Will Be Different” is coming off getting it shoved up them sideways by the Jackets at home on Thursday, where they gave up a touchdown and the PAT. They’ve got two wins on the season, and are rooted to the bottom of the Central. Their underlying numbers blow too, though I wouldn’t be convinced the Blues’ front office pays attention to that kind of thing, mostly because I’m not convinced the Blues’ front office can read. Gives them a nice symbiosis with the fanbase, you have to admit.

There are so many factors here contributing to the Blues state. One, it’s a wonky roster. They have some of the same problems the Hawks have. Their defense just isn’t that quick and isn’t that good, and that’s in a conference that moves toward hyper-speed more and more. Yeo’s directive was to play a more open, expressive, and faster style than Hitchcock, but that’s hard do when the defense isn’t really built for it. What the Blues don’t have is a world-class goaltender to bail them out nor as much top line scoring as they need to counteract their defense. Especially with Vladimir Tarasenko off to something of a slow start (and his -7 is a touch unsightly after nine games).

Whatever their give-a-shit levels or their desire to get yet another coach turfed, the biggest problems remain in net. Overall, the Blues are getting a .895 SV% at evens. You’re not going anywhere with that. They could have cracking analytic numbers and still be bottoming out because their goalies can’t get in front of a manatee in the sand. This seems to be a problem they want to have, because they keep foisting Jay Gallon the team like your grandmother and her coworker’s child because you’re not getting any younger! (Just me?) There are only three teams that have given up more goals than the Blues.

So tonight seems to be a nexus for the Blues. Either they’ll show some actual professional pride against a team that they still consider their biggest rival, realize it’s still quite early, and they could turn things around with a feel-good win. Or they’ve completely checked out, as seems to be their way, stand aside and watch it crumble so they can get another solution and the Hawks will gleefully drive the final nail in Mike Yeo’s coffin and the Blues will once again be trying to change course. It was ever thus.

Things are much smoother on the SS Westside Hockey Club. They’ve won three of four, are coming off two confidence-building wins against hanging curveballs Anaheim and the Rangers. There have been signs of life from Brandon Saad, there might be an actual third line with Alex Fortin, SuckBag Johnson, and Nick Schmaltz, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Erik Gustafsson and Brent Seabrook have been pretty good when not under serious duress. Corey Crawford looks like Corey Crawford, which of course is the biggest thing.

So it could be quite the atmosphere in Whatever-The-Fuck-It-Is-Now Center. The natives got awfully restless in that loss to the Jackets on Thursday. They’re already aching for change. And it’s a Saturday night against the Hawks, which we know they get just about as gassed up for as the ol’ Family Pit Fight out back to decide who will get Brutus The Mule this year. An early Hawks lead could turn it pretty poisonous. Or the Blues will come out flying in response to being embarrassed (if they’re capable of such a thing anymore) on Thursday and it’ll be the normal bullshit the Hawks find down there. What it won’t be is boring, you can be sure of that.

Again, this is a pretty soft part of the schedule. The unimpressive Oilers await tomorrow, and then a jaunt to Western Canada and its various wayward children on the road. It’s really not until around Thanksgiving that the Hawks face what you’d call a “gauntlet,” and with the way the rest of this division looks you need to grab every point while you can when you can. Ruthlessness is vital, and putting Mike Yeo out of his misery is part of that.

 

Game #11 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

In some ways, it was never going to work out for Mike Yeo in St. Louis. One, the guy who replaced him Minnesota, Bruce Boudreau, has gotten better regular season results with basically the same roster that Yeo had. That always colors a view of a coach.

Second, and more importantly, the whole “succession” plan with Ken Hitchock was doomed from the start. When you tell a team that their head coach’s replacement is standing right next to him on the bench every night, you can’t be surprised when they’re not totally invested in what the coach is selling. Especially when it’s the Blues and were aching for an excuse to quit on Hitch yet again. But by then that lack of give-a-shit and bad habits are already entrenched. You don’t get the bounce of a fresh voice when they’ve been listening to that voice already and it was the one they knew was coming anyway. There isn’t a surprise or a lift on a new atmosphere at work.

Third, Yeo has been saddled with Jake Allen, a slow roster in a league that’s speeding up rapidly, and a lack of scoring depth. His charge was to play a style that was a little more free than what Hitch was running that killed everyone’s soul. Except the Blues haven’t really had the horses, especially with Robby Fabbri‘s (or Fabby Robbri’s) and Jaden Schwartz‘s injury problems. The acquisitions of Tyler Bozak and  Ryan O’Reilly was meant to address this, except Bozak apparently showed up with his give-a-shit still in Toronto to stay.

Still, after all this time, Yeo has only coached one team to 100 points in a season. That was 2014-2015, which got the Wild a second-round sweep by the Hawks. And that was on the back of Devan Dubnyk suddenly becoming a firebreather. It’s not a very impressive record at all, even if his teams consistently have finished around 95 points…that is before they quit on him. Yeo maxed out what he had in Minnesota, and he did it by trying everything. He was the players’ coach. He was the hard-ass. They pressed and harried up the ice. Sometimes they trapped. It seemed at the time like Yeo was trying to keep opponents guessing. Now it seems like he was just trying everything until something clicked.

Until the Wild realized he had played every card, and waited him out. Based on the Blues giving up a touchdown to the Jackets at home on Thursday, the Blues don’t seem to be too far behind. Whenever the axe comes down on Yeo, it’ll probably be due to decisions that came too late. Jay Bouwmeester hasn’t been a top-four d-man in three years at least. Only this year has he been relegated to the third pairing. Vince Dunn is finally getting a look with Alex Pietrangelo. Carter Hutton was clearly playing better than Allen last year. He got two starts in the season’s final month as the Blues tumbled out of the playoff spots.

That was combined with things out of Yeo’s control. First off, the directive to play Allen might have come from above, because they forced him on Hitchcock as well. They traded Paul Stastny out from under him at the deadline. Alex Steen got old in a hurry, and players like Patrik Berglund and Vlad Sobotka had flattered to deceive for years before last year. Yeo wasn’t the first nor will he be the last to not get that much out of them.

Once again, Yeo has been trying everything, which signifies a lack of answers and desperation than a confidence in one’s decisions and lineups that stability would. Bouwmeester has swung from healthy scratch to third pairing to top pairing in the span of a week. Vinnie Dunn has done the same. Edmundson has played on all pairings. Lines have been shuffled with the kids in and out every night.

And this is still mostly the same roster that torpedoed Hitchcock. At some point, it can’t be the coach anymore. Maybe someone can come in and get this team to play at a pace to match Winnipeg and Nashville and Colorado. It’s at least what the Hawks and Stars are attempting. There isn’t that much time. While the Blues do boast some kids they like, Tarasenko, Schwartz, O’Reilly, and Schenn are in their primes right now. Pietrangelo is 29. There are some years left, but not that many.

Yeo seems like the kind of coach to max out a team that’s looking to scrape into the playoffs with limited talent. Maybe the first coach in a rebuild. But the Blues signaled with their trade for Ryan O’Reilly and signing of Bozak that they were after more.

Then again, firing Yeo seems to have worked out ok for the Wild. Maybe it’s the key log the Blues have been looking for their entire existence.

 

Game #11 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Believe us, we’re even more sick of them than you are. But with Hawks-Blues games being crammed into the first month, we have to put up with @StLouisGametime together. Just close your eyes and think of a happier place, and soon it will be over. 

 

When’s Mike Yeo getting fired? Is it tomorrow? It’s tomorrow, isn’t it?

Here’s a fun story. When Andy Murray took over for Mike Kitchen as head coach of the Blues, his first game behind the bench was against the Hawks. When Murray got replaced by Davis Payne, his first game was against the Hawks. When Payne was cut loose, Ken Hitchcock’s first game was against the Hawks. You remember Joel Quenneville used to be the Blues head coach, right? His last game with the Blues was a Hawks game. And here we are, Mike Yeo, embattled Blues head coach, piloting a quickly sinking ship and it’s a Hawks game. Too bad Craig Berube, the associate coach who has experience stepping in mid-season, wasn’t hired yesterday. So Yeo could follow in Q’s footsteps and make tonight his last game. When they beat Toronto a week ago, Yeo said after the game he didn’t know why his team played better. After Thursday’s blowout loss, he said something to the effect of the Blues focused a lot on the end goal for the Blues and not the process of becoming a team. That’s some mumbo jumbo bullshit that frankly sounds like an indictment of his own coaching. He’s tried to be nice. He’s tried to be mean. Nothing works. Maybe this is telling: when the axe finally falls and a new guy is in charge, Alexander Steen and Alex Pietrangelo will still be Blues. Petro was a young guy just coming in, but Steen was established when he came to St. Louis. The next guy will be their fifth head coaches in St. Louis (Murray, Payne, Hitchcock, Yeo, Berube). If Berube is only the interim and they name another permanent head coach, that would be six. These are two of the leaders of the team. Maybe they shouldn’t be.

When’s Jake Allen getting fired? Is it tomorrow? It’s tomorrow, isn’t it?

Jake Allen has to fucking love Mike Yeo. He probably offers him a discreet over the pants HJ on the team plane as a thank you. Because hardly anyone is talking about Jake Allen in St. Louis right now. In eight games this season, his goals-against average is 3.93. He’s pushed his career GAA to 2.53. If he tries hard enough (doesn’t try enough?), he could double his career average this season. Only one more goal a game. And I think he can do it. He’s stopped only 87.6 percent of the shots he’s seen this season. Those numbers would get most goaltenders put on waivers and then not claimed. Of course Allen is in the second year of a four-year deal paying him more than $4 million a year. It’s not Brent Seabrook bad, but even Cam Ward wonders how Allen got that contract. But like I said, no one is even mentioning Allen as an anchor pulling the Blues to the bottom of the ocean. So no, he’s not getting fired tomorrow. Even if he deserves it. He’s problem 1B on a list as long as my arm. And I have long arms.

Why is Vince Dunn terrible this year? Is he getting fired?

Vince Dunn is not terrible. You see, Brad Shaw was an assistant coach here forever. All those coaches I mentioned above, he outlasted almost all of him. He was in charge of the defensemen. Now he’s in Columbus. And Mike Van Ryn is the assistant in charge of the defensemen. I’m sure he has a system. If you named it, the moniker might be Chase The Other Team Around Like A Puppy Chases His Tail And Never Get The Puck Like The Puppy Never Gets His Goddamn Tail. Van Ryn has Jay Bouwmeester go from a healthy scratch for the first time in his career to basically leading the defensemen in minutes the next game to third-pairing to practicing yesterday back on the top pairing. When Yeo gets fired, if he doesn’t pack up Van Ryn with him, there may be a riot. And if there’s anything we know how to do in St. Louis, it’s riot.

Your Schmaltz is as big as ours….

Jordan Schmaltz is a find third-pairing defenseman. He’s not too fast or tough. He’s ok. He’s fine. Don’t get me started on the mistakes the other defensemen are making on a nightly basis. I haven’t screamed his name at the TV or at the game yet. That’s a positive sign. He was a first-round pick, but was one of the slowest in his draft class to sniff the NHL. He’s fine. Honest.

When are you getting fired? Is it tomorrow? It’s tomorrow, isn’t it?

This is my seventh season running the Game Time paper. Before that, I wrote for the previous editor/publisher, Gallagher, for seven seasons — six on the front page. So this is my 14th season writing for GT. Our prospect guy is the only one who has written longer. During that time, the Blues have won four playoff series. All those coaches up above, I’ve written extensively about all of them from Kitchen on. I’m still here and all those guys are gone or will be gone soon. I’m the cockroach of St. Louis underground hockey writers. It’s going to take more than one shitty season to get rid of me. And if this wasn’t a well-disguised cry for help, I don’t know what is.

 

Game #11 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

There was a time, not so long ago, when we used to produce a program just like this for every home game. We had quite the little rivalry with St. Louis Gametime. So in a nod to the past, we’re just going to give you their program for tonight’s game. Cinch it up and hunker down. It’s 24 pages of St. Louis.

Blackhawks 4-4-18

 

Game #80 Preview

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Here in Chicago, we usually don’t get much of a spring. Even with the temperate/weak-ass winter we had this time around, the April-May stretch bounces between glimpses of actual summer and then visions of November. Usually in this place it’s just cool and gray until somewhere around Memorial Day, and then the next day is gorgeous and it’s summer/construction. We don’t slowly ramp up to summer. It just arrives like Monty Python’s foot.

So rites of spring, we don’t really recognize them. We see leaves on trees but are suspicious. Our allergies kick up at various times, so it’s not much of an indicator either. We have to make up our own. The ivy showing up on the outfield wall at Wrigley. Streetfests and outdoor music festivals start releasing their schedules and tickets go on sale. Sadly, shootings go up, if it’s even possible at this point.

And oh yeah, the St. Louis Blues reveal that nothing has changed, and they’re still a collection of dumbasses trying to play a game the sport has long ago left behind.

Everything Else

 vs 

Game Time: 6:30PM CST
TV/Radio: NBCSN, WGN-AM 720
Dexter Fowler’s Biggest Fans: SLGT

Now that the Mike Yeo era began a little quicker in West East St. Louis than most outside of this outlet anticipated, the Blues still find themselves at a crossroads organizationally. This is still basically the same group that Ken Hitchcock couldn’t do anything with, and now that the Blues have fired their fourth of the four winningest coaches of all time, they’re left wondering if it’s at all worth going through another one-and done playoff visit, being essentially locked into their current playoff position. And of course that mean bringing their usual brand of bullshit into the UC tonight.

Everything Else

There’s a lot of weirdness about this Hitchcock farewell tour and the planned succession to Mike Yeo. It’s all very Blues, and it’ll be even more Blues in the various ways it could go totally balls-up.

First off, we know Hitch grudgingly lets his team get up and down the ice, and would rather be coaching the All-Blacks and play that version of hockey. But look at this roster. Where exactly is his beloved jam? Backes and Brouwer headed for the exit, and in came in only David Perron and the only grinding with him is the one that produces smoke coming out of his ears when trying to do any sort of math problem. Lehtera, Tarasenko, now Yakupov, Schwartz (for the five minutes he’s in one piece), Stastny, Jaskin, Robbi Fabbry or Robby Fabbri, this team has much, much more skill than GRITSANDPAPERHEARTFAAAAARRT. Is Hitch going to open up the throttle on this? Doesn’t he have to to maximize what he’s got?