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Blues goalies face impending cuts; Cuts now made

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  • Blues goalies face impending cuts; Cuts now made

    QUOTE
    Blues goalies brace for cuts today
    By Tom Timmermann
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/19/2005
    Blues Training Camp

    These are not the easiest of times for NHL goaltenders.

    As the league reinvents itself following the lost 2004-05 season, many of the plans designed to attract fans back are aimed directly at goalies. Smaller pads, smaller gloves and restrictions on where they can go on the ice are all challenges goalies will have to deal with this season.

    So when Blues goaltending coach Keith Allain brought out a box of white hockey pucks at the start of training camp, goaltender Patrick Lalime feared the worst.

    "My first thought was, I hope they're not trying to push that in a regular game," Lalime said.

    No, the pucks for games will stay black. The white pucks were a teaching aid Allain was using to get the goalies to better focus on the puck. "I think focus is so important in goal, and if you can train it a little bit, that's what the white pucks are all about," Allain said.

    The Blues come into this season with a well-focused goalie situation, something that hasn't always been the case in recent years. The No. 1 job belongs very definitely to Patrick Lalime, and the No. 2 job, according to coach Mike Kitchen, is Reinhard Divis' to lose.

    Waiting in the wings, in no definite order, are Curtis Sanford, who made eight appearances in the Blues' almost comically injury-filled 2002-03 season, and Jason Bacashihua, a promising youngster whom the Blues acquired in a trade with Dallas.

    By today, it will become crystal clear who's where. The Blues will make their first, and largest, round of cuts after today's practices. Kitchen said the plan is, with just six preseason games, to get the team down from 53 players to "26, 28, 29," so everyone can start getting the necessary ice time.

    Those cuts also mean the team will be down to two goalies after today.

    Scrimmage stats aren't always accurate barometers of performance, but Sanford and Divis, both playing on the white team, have each allowed five goals in two games. Kitchen still has seen things he likes in Divis' play.

    "Yesterday I thought he played really well," Kitchen said. "The first day I think he would have rather had a stronger game in his mind. I thought he rebounded quite well."

    Both Sanford and Bacashihua think they can challenge for the No. 2 spot, though the limited time will work against them, and Divis knows he'll have to be on his game to remain the backup.

    "If it's my job to lose, that's a perfect situation," Divis said. "If you stay here, it seems that every player except the big stars have to fight for their jobs. That's very comfortable with how I am inside."


    Granato wants to coach

    The Blues have offered former Worcester IceCats head coach Don Granato the option of being a Blues assistant coach or working as a scout based in Chicago.

    Granato, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease last winter, said Monday that he would prefer to join the Blues as an assistant. The 38-year-old Granato finished 12 weeks of chemotheraphy and radiation treatment Aug. 18 and has been given a full clearance from doctors.

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  • #2
    I trust Keith Allain.

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    • #3
      Don't forget it also means the end of the goalie coach's job is at near. When season starts - they disappear as well.

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      • #4
        QUOTE(hansolo @ Sep 20 2005, 02:54 AM) Quoted post

        Don't forget it also means the end of the goalie job is at near. When season starts - they disappear as well.
        [/b][/quote]

        In engrish?


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        • #5
          QUOTE(Prngr44 @ Sep 20 2005, 01:57 AM) Quoted post

          QUOTE(hansolo @ Sep 20 2005, 02:54 AM) Quoted post

          Don't forget it also means the end of the goalie job is at near. When season starts - they disappear as well.
          [/b][/quote]

          In engrish?
          [/b][/quote]

          Do the Blues carry a goalie coach throughout the season?

          I wasn't aware they do.

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          • #6
            Ahhh... goalie COACHING job. I didn't know what the hell you were saying.

            You're right. He shares his time between the bigs and the... littles. But with their AHL affiliate so close now, you'd think he'll get here more often than in the past.


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            • #7
              QUOTE(Prngr44 @ Sep 20 2005, 02:02 AM) Quoted post

              Ahhh... goalie COACHING job. I didn't know what the hell you were saying.

              You're right. He shares his time between the bigs and the... littles. But with their AHL affiliate so close now, you'd think he'll get here more often than in the past.
              [/b][/quote]

              I re-read my post - edited it now.

              How many teams in NHL have a goalie coach full time - and do you think it will benefit the Blues if they do so?

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              • #8
                We've gone over the goalie coaching job thing lots of times.

                I personally think a part time coach at the NHL level is fine. It's the AHL that needs it more so than the NHL level.

                Allain has already said he watched tapes regularly when he WASN'T on hand in the locker room and gave tips and advice in that fashion. I think the starters are good enough that a full timer isn't necessary and the role he fills is sufficient on a part time basis.


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                • #9
                  I've said it before and I'll say it again.
                  Nothing wrong with having more than one goalie coach in an organisation as long as they agree on philosophy.
                  At the least have the goalie coach on speed-dial.
                  Never be afraid to spend as much money as necessary on coaching and scouts, they're often the differencemakers between a minor league club being full of lifetime AHLers and viable support for the big team.

                  One of the things I think screwed Johnson up his first real season was not having a goalie coach or a veteran to lean on. Rough way to go about it.
                  (Not that Johnson was that great, but I did think he was the approximate equivalent to David Aebischer)
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                  • #10
                    Reinhard Divis future in the NHL is zero, I'd give the back up spot to Bacashihua. Some people will say give him the #1 job in Peoria, I say bring him up, let him be in the NHL, let him play a 2-3 games every 2 weeks to groom him ala Marty Turco.
                    You're being fucking dramatic. You own a TV and an air mattress. That's not exactly what I'd call "a lot to lose."

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                    • #11
                      I don't think having a fulltime goalie coach at the NHL level is all that important. At that point in their careers, guys know what they should and shouldn't be doing, and it's pretty clear just by looking at tape if you're doing something mechanically incorrect. Most goalies in the NHL have similar talent levels, and the fundamentals have been the same since they were kids. The biggest difference between the good goalies and the bad is anticipation and confidence, and those aren't things that can really be coached.
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                      • #12
                        QUOTE(Nasty Nate @ Sep 20 2005, 10:16 AM) Quoted post

                        Reinhard Divis future in the NHL is zero, I'd give the back up spot to Bacashihua. Some people will say give him the #1 job in Peoria, I say bring him up, let him be in the NHL, let him play a 2-3 games every 2 weeks to groom him ala Marty Turco.
                        [/b][/quote]
                        I think that's the best way to go...

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                        • #13
                          I want Shawn Belle back.
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                          • #14
                            Maybe someone answered this before and I missed it, so here goes again:

                            Why isn't Schwarz in camp??? Too young??? Stayed in Europe??? Some other reaason??? [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif[/img]
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                            • #15
                              QUOTE(Ohio Blues @ Sep 20 2005, 10:41 AM) Quoted post

                              I want Shawn Belle back.
                              [/b][/quote]

                              Why? Pleau drafted him, so he must be bad. Or, at best, the organization will ruin him, because they can't develop young players. This way, Dallas drafted and groomed this guy, so we can at least hope the Blues can't fuck him up.

                              Moon

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