Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome to St. Louis, Now Go Fuck Off

While most of my high school classmates stayed in state for college, I jumped at the chance to move back to St. Louis. Some my say that I only did that because my alma mater is the only school that gave me a scholarship, and those people are right. This city has a lot of things that most others don't. And unfortunately for new St. Louis Blue Carlo Colaiacovo, this city has St. Louis' own Bernie Miklasz

You see, I don't really care for the guy. To me, he's the Jay Mariotti of St. Louis. I don't subscribe to the Post-Dispatch because of him. I don't watch Cardinals pregame because he might be on. I only clicked to read his article because I didn't know he wrote it. If I was a better blogger, his RSS feed would be on my toolbar. Well I guess I'll take one for the team.

I have a giant pet peeve, and that's misspelled names. My name is very difficult for people, even after the Jeff Jarrett character in the WWF spelled my name for months before hiting people over the head with guitars. J-A-double R-E-double T. *KA-BONG*. So let's dive right in.

The Blues ought to send some video to Earth City, and give the Rams something to look at in between naps. Rams players could learn a few things about giving the fans an honest effort for their ticket dollars.

Man, those Rams suck! They're so bad, in fact, that they should take lessons from a hockey team! Lessons in playing hard! While the Rams players take naps atop their millions of dollars, I'm sure they'll take a second to play harder for the fans that paid to watch them.

The Blues have their flaws, but they never stop working. Over the weekend, their gritty one-goal victories over Anaheim and Minnesota were a testament to determination.

Their gritty win over Anaheim was so gritty that they had the lead 2-1 with 6 seconds left and Anaheim scored when Jay McClement knocked Ryan Getzlaf over Manny Legace so he couldn't see the puck coming in that tied the game at 2. Then Lee Stempniak scored the game winner in OT. More on him in a second.

Sure, improved goaltending played a role. Manny Legace has emerged from his funk, and No. 2 Chris Mason played his finest game as a Blue on Saturday night in Minnesota.

The final scores were 3-2 and 2-1. You think goaltending was important in those?

They've pushed back to .500 on the season (8-8-2) and you had to love the way they fought their way past Anaheim on Friday in one of the most entertaining games at Scottrade this season. The Ducks can be physically intimidating, but the Blues stood up to the visitors, with B.J. Crombeen, Cam Janssen and Brad Winchester throwing down in the first 10 minutes.

That's right Blues fans, you have to love that they gave up the lead late. You have to love it because there were fights! Nothing says "New NHL!" quite like three fights and a 3-2 final. I was at that game, and the more entertaining game was the 6-1 thumping the Blues put down on the Stars where we all got free DQ Blizzards.

Blues coach Andy Murray seems to have a genuine fondness for old-time hockey, and the injuries have given Murray a chance to thicken the depleted roster by adding muscle.

You know what helps you lose games in the NHL these days? Playing Old-time hockey. It's great that you want to send fighters out there, Bernie, but Sidney Crosby will skate past him and score on a breakaway.

"Our players aren't reticent," Blues president John Davidson said. "They'll run you out of the building. The message the other night was, 'This is our house.' ''

Followed by the message "CHEETAH GIRLS: DECEMBER 7TH!"

Two new Blues entered the house Monday, when the team traded scoring winger Lee Stempniak to Toronto for defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and center Alex Steen.

I'm staying silent on what I think of the trade. Which tells you I hate it. But this blog is about bad journalism and Bernie and his editor leave a tightly coiled bundle of it right here.

Stempniak scored 27 goals two seasons ago but has only 16 goals in his last 97 NHL games despite clocking a lot of minutes on the power play. Stempniak was playing well at the time of the deal, but his fragile confidence is always an issue.

Also fragile? His left knee. It gave him problems all last season and was re injured this season.

The case can be made that the Blues gave up on Stempniak too soon, and the deal could blow up if his consistent scoring touch returns.

Last 5 games: 2 goals, 5 assists.

But this move also makes sense for a few reasons.

Reason #1: Nonsense

Stempniak is supposed to make $3.5 million next season; then he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Is Stempniak a $3.5 million player? Not really, and Colaiacovo and Steen will make a combined $3.1 million next season. So the Blues have obtained two players for less than the price of one, and the savings of $400,000 can only help the mission of getting McDonald re-signed after the season.

Because $400,000 will keep an NHL player from leaving.

The Blues are banking on the newcomers' upside. Colaiacovo and Steen are former No. 1 draft picks. If you include Erik Johnson and rookie Alex Pietrangelo (who was recently sent back to juniors), the Blues have 14 No. 1 draft choices on the roster.

WRONG. The Blues have 14 players who were picked in the first round of the draft. Not 14 #1 overall picks. So the two new Blues could either be really good, or total shit. In late breaking news, the Blues have also acquired The Little Engine That Could.

Colaiacoco is a bit of an enigma.

In that he doesn't exist. See, that's not his name. A simple typo. This will be corrected.

Noting Colaiacoco's injury history, Toronto coach Ron Wilson recently ripped into him for his poor conditioning. But if Colaiacoco can stay on the ice, his skating and passing should enhance the Blues' plodding transition game.

Carlo, welcome home, buddy! We make a lot of beer here in St. Louis, so hopefully you like drinking. Also, the sports columnist that St. Louis loves for no good reason will be spelling your name wrong. A lot. But don't worry, he'll spend most of his time writing about how bad the Rams are, how the Cardinals are the toast of the town, or about eating straight suet right off the kidney of a calf.

Colaiacoco didn't receive much ice time on the power play in Toronto, but he has a heavy shot and will take some turns on the point here. Still only 25, Colaiacoco has a chance to reach his potential in St. Louis and can be a top-four defenseman. Are Wilson's criticisms true or false? How hard does Colaiacoco want to work? We'll find out.

Hopefully he doesn't have that fragile confidence that Stempniak had, because some fat fuck is misspelling his last name. That's six times in two paragraphs that his name is wrong. It's not an easy name to type or pronounce. But the first thing he'll see in his new hometown's paper is that this midwestern yutz can't spell his name right. Thanks, dipshit.

If Stempniak, 25, starts pumping in the goals, the Blues may have regrets. But they've traded one mid-20s talent with upside for two mid-20s talents with upside. And they save money. It's a smart gamble.

$400,000 isn't saving a lot of money. With the economy set to bring the salary cap down next year, it doesn't hurt. I fail to see how you can say "saving money" is an upside to the trade. That's like a The only smart gamble here is William Howard Taft as the next Halloween costume for Bernie Miklasz. Or maybe he'd prefer Miklazs. Or perhaps Mikfatfuck.


cb said...

The Leafs won this trade. Carlo Colaiacovo owns the best name in sports, is a great teammate and has a lot of potential, but he's never played in more than 48 regular-season games in an individual year; and there's no reason to believe he ever will. Steen's offense has been MIA the last two seasons and he's not as good as Stempniak. I can see why you're pissed. I'm also pissed, though, as I wanted the Sabres to acquire Stempniak, the hometown boy who'd be a great fit for us.

Tonus said...

How tough can your team be, when your GM uses words like "reticent"?

Bengoodfella said...

Let me start by saying, I love hockey posts. Everyone knows this but I have to reinforce it everytime.

Maybe hockey is different from every other sport, but making a trade and then listing the fact the team saved $400K does not seem like a real positive to the trade. In real life 400K is a lot of money, but in the sports world this is not a huge reason to make a trade. I know nothing about hockey but it sounds like the Blues got two underachievers and that is not going to be good for their scrappy team.

Jarrett said...

cb - I'm especially pissed because this trade came seemingly out of nowhere. Last season, I knew the hammer was dropping on Doug Weight when the Blues got Andy McDonald for him.

Tonus - There's a reason he was the best color guy in the NHL.

BGF - Every article I read about the trade noted the Blues saving $400K, and it seems very pointless to me. With a cap around $55M, and contracts going over $1M, how does $0.4M make a difference to a team?

Then I took a look at the wonderful www.nhlnumbers.com and saw the Blues (with the help of Eric Brewer, Jay McKee, and Paul Kariya) are under the cap by a mere $314,000. Next season, they have $35.4M against the cap and the cap will fall next year to the neighborhood of $55M. And Manny Legace becomes a UFA at the end of the season. He also makes $500K less than the backup, which will no doubt change for him.

Larry B said...