The St. Louis Blues rank at or near the bottom of the NHL in scoring and power play efficiency. That tends to happen when you have a roster clogged with stay-at-home defensemen and third- and fourth-line wingers whose best chance at scoring involves the opposing goaltender having a grand mal seizure.
One bright spot has been rookie winger David Perron, who has scored 11 goals (on just 46 shots, entering last night’s action), despite having been dressed for only around 40 games, and receiving a lot of limited fourth-line ice time. So why has this budding sniper been buried on the depth chart and filling up on press box food? Well, it seems he’s too “frisky.”
As Blues President John Davidson put it:
“David’s like a young colt that’s frisky, running around. But he’s got to learn some structure. “
Coach Andy Murray had a more specific complaint: it seems that, one time, Perron raised his arms in frustration after Keith Tkachuk couldn’t handle one of his passes. Well let me tell you something Andy Murray: if you had a dollar for every time I personally have raised my arms in frustration, chucked something at the TV, cursed, kicked a dog or stabbed myself in the eye after Keith Tkachuk failed to execute a basic fucking hockey move this season, you could retire.
Later in the article, Davidson said that Perron “has got to be broken.” Broken? So that he can be more like disciplined, hardworking lunchpail guys like Ryan “three goals” Johnson and Dan “10 points in 53 games” Hinote?
Blues brass constantly tries to ease the pain of this season’s string of 2-1 losses by hyping the talented prospects who will likely be Blues next season, like TJ Oshie, Patrick Berglund, and Lars Eller. My response: Well, at least Perron will have some buddies in the press box to talk to about all the fucking goals they used to score in juniors and college. Man, 2008-09 is gonna be sweet.
This story comes right at the intersection of two of my greatest pet peeves as a sports fan. The first is the “system” coach. You know, a guy who is so motherfucking smart that he has developed a foolproof “system,” that if his dumbshit players would just follow and do exactly what he says, championships would flow like wine!
Individual player skill sets are irrelevant–what, do you expect me to change my “system” just so some sniper can score some goals (or some receiver can catch 100 passes)? What, didn’t you read the playbook, sonny? You know who wrote that? That’s right, me. You see this nametag? Yeah, it says “Head Coach.” That means I’m the genius and you’re the kid who shuts the fuck up and does what I say.
The second pet peeve is the “rookies must pay their dues” philosophy. Yes, we are going to deliberately underutilize one of our franchise’s top assets, and actually cost our team some games, so that this kid learns the proper “respect.” We can win later, after we properly “break” this “frisky young colt.” Because, five years from now, when he is properly respectful, he can be a full part of this team and fail to score goals like the rest of this sorry-ass bunch. Those Blackhawks are sure going to be sorry they gave so much ice time to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews!
There simply is no excuse for Perron to sit in the pressbox or linger on the fourth line when this team regularly suits up (and gives PP time to) a useless fossil like Martin Rucinsky. Surely one of the Blues’ frighteningly large collection of offensively inept forwards (Johnson, Jamal Mayers, Hinote, DJ King, Cam Janssen, Jay McClement) could take an occasional turn in the pressbox on the off chance that Perron could actually,you know, make a difference in a game.
As a fan, I am on my knees begging you, St. Louis Blues. This season is gone. Please, for the love of all that is good and decent in this world, and in respect of the memory of Bob Gassoff, please don’t make me watch Rucinsky play one more goddamned shift with this team. Please don’t make me watch Hinote whiff on another easy tap-in. If the team is going to lose, let’s lose in frisky fashion, OK?