A few bits and pieces to start off the year:
Hot starts - New pickup Anders Lee is off to a torrid start in the NEFHL with 6 goals and 8 points in his first 5GP.
Goaltending - a potential weakness has been a relative strength. Starter Robin Lehner (2-1-1)is currently sporting a .942 SV% through 4 games. Backup Martin Jones (0-0-1) has a .909 SV%.
The 4th line is horrendous - The three forwards Carpenter, Blais and Leipsic are only averaging around 6-8 mpg. Yet in that time they've managed to be on the ice for 3 of the 9 goals scored against the blues through 5 games. This despite having the blues best 2 defencmen on their line. Peak shittiness came in a 4-2 loss verses Dallas. The line averaged 4 minutes ice time but managed to get scored on twice. If the blues are going to make some noise this year, this line has to be better. The eventual promotion of Patrick should be a slight improvement.
Player movement - The Blues signed veteran defenceman Dan Girardi and moved out "crash and bang" Radko Gudas. This was a small incremental upgrade for the blues on the back end. For the same amount of money, Girardi brings much of the same offensive potential as Gudas but alot more DF, EX and LD. Girardi immediately jumps on to the first PK and will eventually provide a defensive and experience boost to the 3rd line.
Slow starts - Both Joe Thornton and Sean Couturier are off to slow starts. Thornton who even spent a couple games in the top 6 has 0 points and is a -1 through 5 games. Brought in to provide penalty killing and scoring depth he's yet to deliver on the scoring. Although with a 9th ranked PK, at least he's doing that. Up until last night Couturier had yet to score a goal. Pehraps the move from the 1st to the 2nd line with buddy Gabriel Landeskog will jump start the 2 way center. The blues will need him to score if they want to finish near the top of Central.
Unsustainability - The blues power play current stands 1st in the league at 90% and 5 goals through 5 games. What is totally unexpected is that it's not the first PP unit featuring goal scorers Couturier and Landeskog scoring driving the percentages. It's the 2nd PP unit featuring Hamonic (2G) and Lee (2G) who have scored 4 of the 5 PP goals so far. Also look for a regression in goaltending. Lehner’s .942 SV percentage is unsustainable and should regress to around .905 at a minimum.
Injuries - Defensemen Danny Dekeyser managed to play 3 games before getting hurt. Currently at 72CD, the blues expect him back in a few weeks. Until he's back new FA signing Dan Girardi is filling his spot on the 2nd line.