Updated: Feb 1
This week in St. Louis Sports. From the Billikens to the Blues, this short and weekly series will have it all. This week has been busy for St. Louis Sports. There have been trade rumors, free agency rumors, wins, losses, everything a good sports week has. Here's a rundown for each team.
SLU had a home game vs. Dayton on Tuesday after not playing since December 23rd. Despite being ranked 22nd in the country, they dropped the game 76-71. Guard Jordan Goodwin had another Double-Double, and Javonte Perkins led the Billikens in points with 20. Free-throws continue to be an issue for the team. They shot 58% (10/17) from the line against Dayton. If SLU is dropped from the top 25 after going as high as 22 when they weren't playing, did they even deserve to be there in the first place? SLU’s game against Richmond on Friday was postponed.
Travis Ford has done a great job rebuilding SLU. However, the free-throw percentage has gone down each year. If you continue that trend, the team will get nowhere. They have all the talent in the world, but regardless they desperately need to make free-throws.
They also need to work on clutch shooting. It has been evident that players like Jordan Goodwin can't hit shots in any situation. However, he can hit those critical shots at the ends of close games from time to time.
One final issue is they need to get more consistent. They're an outstanding team, and they have a 22 in front of their name for a reason. They keep playing down to their opponents. If they play their game at a more consistent level, they have the potential to make a deep run in the March bubble.
The Blues continued their season on Monday when they beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 in Shootouts. Goals were scored by Perron (2), Schwartz, and Kyrou. Perron and Schenn scored shootout goals. Goalie Jordan Binnington had 42 saves and a .913 SV%. With the win, Binnington moved up to 12th in Blues history in wins. He sits at 58 wins in his career. Thursday's game between the Blues and Golden Knights was postponed due to a player and coach testing positive for COVID.
The Blues remain the most penalized teams with 157 penalty minutes. A key reason for this is laziness. The majority of penalties by the Blues have been hooking calls. It seems that they aren't skating hard enough on the backcheck, which results in these lazy penalties—the Blues rank 27th in the NHL for PK% as well as PP%. Not a good look so far. However, during the last few games, both units improved. The Blues will play the 3-2-2 Anaheim Ducks on Saturday at 8:00 PM CST.
The Blues have to step up. They are way too good to be playing like this. To get into specifics, Mike Hoffman hasn't played anywhere near his potential. While he has a goal and an assist, you rarely hear his name called. It seems like he has been invisible. The team is also evidently missing Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen. They have to find the next player who is as gritty as those two players.
While the Cardinals have not started playing yet, there has been some news. The team has landed coveted third baseman Nolan Arenado in a blockbuster trade with the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies are sending approximately 50 million to the Cardinals to offset the contract obligations, and they are also adding another opt-out for Arenado in 2022. According to Derrick Goold, the Cardinals are no longer "actively pursuing" Second Baseman Kolten Wong. Read more into my thoughts on the Cardinals leadership right nowhere.
Thursday and Friday were pretty eventful for Cardinals fans. On Thursday, it was reported that Adam Wainwright signed a one-year deal worth up to eight million dollars. It's also been reported that Yadier Molina may be returning on a one-year deal with the Cardinals.
MLS: St. Louis CITY sc
As the wait continues for CITY's kickoff in 2023, stadium construction continues with the Market Street Bridge's demolition. There was some big overall MLS news this week, according to The Athletic and ESPN, there is a possible work stoppage on the horizon. The MLS and MLSPA will need to re-negotiate a CBA to get back onto the pitch ahead of the recently announced April 3rd start date. Hopefully, they can quickly re-negotiate a deal, regardless of if it affects CITY or not.
It was a busy week in the world of St. Louis sports. Expect many more busy weeks coming up, especially with the Cardinals starting camp on February 17th and the Blues and Billikens continuing their seasons. I will be providing a lot of insights and stats for these upcoming busy weeks.