Thursday, September 15, 2011

Training Camp Preview

hockey night in saint louis by MattHurst
                     hockey night in saint louis, a photo by MattHurst on Flickr.
By ANDREW ALLSMAN

ALHAMBRA, IL-- Training camp starts tomorrow (finally) so here is a list of things to watch for.

Backup Goalie
With Conklin gone the Blues have to make a decision on who will be the goalie that backups for Halak. Some say Elliot who has more experience and others say Bishop has earned his chance and he should have the spot. Neither of these reasons will determine who actually gets the spot, the only thing that will decide is how they do in training camp. I don't really have a preference because I like both Goaltenders but if I had to guess, I would say while Bishop has earned his spot, Elliot will get the spot, but again this a shot in the dark because I really have no idea.

Remaining Forward Spots
It is believed that there will be 14 forwards remaining on the team after training camp, but with 12 players that are practically already on pro roster, there will be approximately 20 other players battling for 2 spots. The names that really jump out at me as having a chance to make the team are: McRae: had a great showing at the prospects tournament and played with Blues last year a little, Ryan Reaves: the Blues may need his physicality, Grachev: has a little bit of NHL experience and is the person who I am most anxious to see in camp, and Cheechoo: at one point was a 56 goal scorer and if he shows in any way that he's returned to his old self the Blues will have to give him a chance

Line Combinations
Probably this is something the Blues have a good idea of but i wanted to point out a couple that aren't decided. Pietrangelo's partner: This has been talked about for several weeks, and it is widely speculated that Colaiacovo could be the player that is paired with Pietrangelo. This would be a good decision by the Blues, but ultimately it will come down to who performs best in training camp with Petrangelo. Oshie and Berglund: I like seeing Oshie and Berglund on the same line because they have great chemistry, but I would look to see Oshie possibly swapped out with D'Agostini and Stewart on the first line depending on how they all perform but those are the 3 players that I see being moved around the most (Oshie, Stewart, D'Agostini)

I for one can say that this off-season has been too long and Im ready for Blues Hockey to get underway and with less than a month before opening night the wait is almost over. LETS GO BLUES!!!


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