The newest personnel in the St. Louis Blues organization are creating quite a buzz around the community, and for very differing reasons. Jim Corsi is the highly touted goalie coach who came up with the famed Corsi Rating advanced statistics that have become a household name in various NHL circles around the league.
Joakim Lindstrom was a highly touted prospect selected in the 2nd round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft (41st overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both guys now see their paths cross in St. Louis, and both are hoping to have a positive impact on the squad moving forward.
Behind the New Faces
As briefly mentioned earlier, Jim Corsi and Joakim Lindstrom have very different backgrounds, but are now united towards the same goal, getting a Stanley Cup to St. Louis. Here’s what each brings to the table.
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) May 28, 2014
Here’s a guy who’s been a professional of the sport in one way or another since 1976. He’s been a part of Buffalo Sabres teams that saw amazing playoff runs, and one very close try at a Stanley Cup. He has coached and helped develop goaltending greats such as Dominik Hasek and Ryan Miller, and has proven he gets the game on a level most do not. His true claim to fame came when he made his strategy on how to measure a goalie or player’s effectiveness based on a plus/minus system for shots for and against with that player on the ice went public.
The stats can be broken down into scoring chances/percentages (among a ton of other categories) and allows coaches to see who is truly making a difference on the ice over the course of a game. His Corsi Rating is only the tip of the iceberg though, as is made evident most recently by Ryan Miller’s playing career, one which Jim Corsi developed.
Ryan Miller has shown significant growth throughout most of his career, and has always played with a calm demeanor. This reflects Jim Corsi’s work with the 2-time Team USA Olympic netminder, and shows that he is excellent at identifying goalies needs. Though he may need to treat Brian Elliott and Jake Allen differently (from Miller and from one another), make no mistake that Jim Corsi is ready to take the new tandem to the next level, and help put up a brick wall in net for the Blues all next season.
Here’s a guy who was supposed to be a very solid player early in his career, but who never really got it together and ended up back in Sweden to perfect his craft. Joakim Lindstrom indeed showed signs of hope early in his career, signs that he could be a real difference maker by getting to those tough spots on the ice and making plays. However, he never really developed into the consistent player he was supposed to be, and after many inconsistent seasons he ended up back in the Swedish Elite League (SEL) where he was determined to develop to get back to the NHL.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) May 28, 2014
Though his background may seem eerily similar to that of Patrik Berglund (who the Blues are trying to decide the future of), he is a different type of player now. He is now a guy who can really add some true depth to the lineup and who will work his butt off to stay in it. His consistency is going to be an issue as it is historically with the Blues, but his veteran status should have a consistent calming effect for young Notes’ teammates. Add in his drive to contribute and fans can see the potential.
One final note on this Swedish forward may ring most valuable for the Blues club, as he has a proven track record of playoff success, and that is what the Blues need most. He was even awarded the SEL’s MVP award for the postseason this past year, registering 18 points (6 G, 12 A) in just 14 games (Check out what fellow THW Blues’ writer Jeff Ponder says about Lindstrom here). If he can keep his stride all season, expect him to be an invaluable piece to the puzzle at this time next year.
New Season, New Faces Will Continue to Emerge
Though fans now have answers to a few burning questions regarding the fate of the team moving forward, the summer is still very young and more changes will be on the way. One thing is certain, Doug Armstrong and Ken Hitchcock seem to be keeping their eyes on the coveted Stanley Cup prize, and also seem to be at wit’s end with early playoff exits. You may see more shake-ups than ever before that goal is reached, but sometimes that is the path a team must take to a championship, especially in the NHL.
Jim Corsi and Joakim Lindstrom are great pieces to the puzzle, and will surely compliment the rest of the team night in and night out. They are a welcome addition to the roster, and are the framework of a new type of Blues hockey that is truly playoff oriented. Let’s hope they both come prepared to work and commit their parts to the team, and things will look great for the organization moving forward.
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Mike has covered the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning in depth for The Hockey Writers since 2013. He is also a contributing writer for KSDK News Channel 5, the St. Louis area NBC affiliate, and has been a credentialed media member of the Blues since 2014. Follow him on Twitter @pep30.