Ozzies09tc wrote: ↑
Wed Mar 31, 2021 7:10 pm
Jamie Rivers today said Kyle Clifford is supposed to be fighting people and the fact that schenn, sanford, and de la Rose have had to do that is not why we signed clifford...also said he is shying away from the physicality
Our Defense is 3 big guys (scandella, bortz, mikkola) but they arent clearing the crease and are constantly trying to tie the guy up and not make someone's life hell
The Clifford point is nonsense, but the point about the D is significant. Clifford has been better than I expected. Schenn's fight was meaningful only because it was Schenn doing it right off the hop on the first game after Plager died, Sanford's was an orgainic fight in the moment, and DLR was jumped in retrobution for what the Ducks (incorrectly) perceived to be a dirty hit.
The D is a problem. Those 3 haven't gotten a ton of scrutiny since they're not the big names on D, but I you'd hope to see them elevate their game as the pairings have been necessarily shuffled around with injuries. Scandella I think has been ok, but nowhere near where he was with a healthy Parayko. Bortuzzo meanwhile just doesn't have another level to his game anymore. Good guy in the room, but there's a reason he hasn't hit 15 minutes of ice time in a few weeks. Mikkola can't get in the lineup at all. That's disappointing given that he's kind of the exact style of player the Blues could use right now, but he looked pretty shaky to me when he was getting some regular playing time earlier in the year. You could argue that him being benched has more to do with Walman than it does Mikkola, but I don't know that the Blues would be keeping the big guy in the press box if they trusted him to kill a penalty. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, I think there's a makeover coming to the back end this offseason.