We’ll just keep rolling along with the grace from the Lord above, and finish out the Blues forwards corps.
3rd Line: Derek Roy-Patrik Berglund-Brenden Morrow
At least, this is my guess. Morrow and Berglund are injury worries. Berglund also may play on the second line with Steve Ott here before he and Morrow get into a fight amongst themselves.
Berglund is the Blues biggest enigma. You look at the size, the hands, the smarts, and he really should be one of the better centers around. Some nights, some shifts, he looks like that. But then a lot more nights, and a lot more shifts, you don’t even know he’s there. He should be the prime source of secondary scoring for the Blues, and he just isn’t enough nights. And this is when he’s healthy, which he isn’t now.
Sometimes I forget that Derek Roy is even on this team. He was hurt for a bit there, has been a healthy scratch too. He’s got nine goals. Maybe he’s their John Druce, but I doubt it.
Five years ago I would have been terrified of playing Brenden Morrow in a playoff series. There were few players better bred for playoff hockey. Nasty, big, with a knack for scoring killer goals. Now? Slow, still nasty but in all the wrong ways, and half your skaters on the ice would have to come down with vertigo for him to score regularly. He’ll be part of their thug-squad and causing ruckuses after whistles, but I don’t see where he does much else. If Berglund isn’t on this line, the Hawks could really expose Ott and Morrow with speed.
4th Line: Magnus Paajarvi-Maxim Lapierre-Dumpster Boy
I’ve always liked Paajarvi when he was an Oiler, but it took injuries and an age for him to crack the lineup, and he may be the first one out if Tarasenko plays. He’s a smart two-way player with some offensive flash that has been snuffed out in St. Louis either by Hitch’s ways or playing with utter garbage. The rest is more of the thug-squad. Lapierre can win a draw and that’s about it before he goes off to cross-check Patrick Kane in the back of the head or slash at his knee or whatever other cheap bullshit he’s going to pull before running away wetting himself when anyone with any size comes to confront him. Ryan Reaves… well, if Cieslak will allow me, lives in a dumpster behind the Purina factory (TM).
Wild Card – Vladimir Tarasenko: The story is that he is going to play at some point this series, but we don’t know when. How effective he can be after six weeks off with a broken hand is up for debate. He also doesn’t exactly have a playoff pedigree, because he was scratched for most of last year’s flameout against the Kings. But if healthy and not shying from the moment, Tarasenko is the only other source of inspiration that the Blues have. He can create his own shot and space, but he can also get buried along the walls. Maybe rested, maybe rusty, may be back after it’s too late.