TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joined The Writers’ Block to his take on the Blues’ season so far and detail a few trade options involving the club.
Read a couple excerpts and listen to the full interview below:
What’s your take on the Blues?
“I think around the hockey world…a lot of people are wondering what this St. Louis Blues team is all about. We’re trying to figure out what the identity of the Blues is right now. They’re not the big, heavy hard to play against team they once were. You lose two or three players like Backes, Brouwer and Ott…that can change the identity of a team that quickly.”
On the Blues’ goaltending struggles:
“If your goaltending isn’t up to par, you’re going to suffer. It doesn’t matter what you got defensively or up front…you just can’t mask sub-par goaltending. That’s primarily been the biggest issue.”
On the notion the Blues could trade Kevin Shattenkirk:
“It’s a tough one. He’s such a key part of the St. Louis Blues. If you move him out, your weakening your position as a playoff team. But you have to balance that with what’s best for the organization. Can you afford to have Shattenkirk drift into unrestricted free agency and get absolutely nothing in return. That’s the harsh reality. I think the Blues have paid that price…and you just can’t go down that road again. I think Armstrong is considering every option conceivable…and one of those options is to hold onto him. The most (intriguing option for me is to trade and extend him). If St. Louis and Shattenkirk can find the right location (and a team he’s willing to sign an extension)…then there’s no question St. Louis is going to get a higher level of return then they otherwise would as a rental.”
What do you make of Jake Allen’s situation and his struggles?
“They don’t have much choice but to be patient and make sure everyone around him are giving him good, sound advice. It sounds like that’s what’s going on with Martin Brodeur. I have to believe Jake Allen is taking full advantage of him. Maybe he rights the ship and gets back on track. But there are no teams knocking down the door, looking for a goalie who can’t stop the puck. He’s got to figure this out. And the Blues have no choice…but to encourage him and help him figure it out. That’s an asset they’re going to have to be able to utilize in the games ahead and the years ahead.”