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Category: St-Louis-Blues

Steve Ott Named Assistant Coach For The St. Louis Blues

(May 25, 2017) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has named Steve Ott Assistant Coach.  Ott, 34, who played for the Blues from the 2013-14 season through the 2015-16 season, has signed a three-year contract.

“Steve was a competitor on the ice as a player and I expect him to bring that energy in this role,” said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo.  “He was highly respected as a player and a person among his teammates and I believe he will be a huge asset to our staff.”

“I am very proud of my playing career and will devote the same work ethic to my coaching career,” said Ott.  “The Blues organization is very special to me and my family and I’m excited to take the next step in my hockey career with this franchise.”

Ott played in 848 NHL games from 2002-17, amassing 288 points (109 goals, 179 assists) along with 1,555 penalty minutes.  In 14 seasons, he played with Dallas, Buffalo, St. Louis, Detroit and Montreal and served as Buffalo’s Captain during the 2013-14 season before being acquired by the Blues on Feb. 28, 2014.  The Summerside, PEI native was originally drafted by Dallas in the first round, 25th overall, of the 2000 Entry Draft. 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+ott

Season Ends In Nashville For The St. Louis Blues

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

If someone had told the Blues that a transition season that also saw a coaching change and the trade of a top defenseman would last until Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, they probably would have taken it.

But when the postseason arrived at that dead end Sunday at Bridgestone Arena, where Nashville won 3-1 to claim the best-of-seven series 4-2, the Blues were still left with regrets.

They couldn’t find a way to win any of their three games in Nashville, they were held to just three goals on the road and the power play was abysmal both home and away.

Those were some of the reasons that in a series the team labeled as “winnable,” the Predators were able to punch their ticket to the conference finals for the first time in their history, denying the Blues a second straight trip to the third round.

“First off a lot of credit to Nashville, congratulations to them, they played a great series and they’re a real strong team, but it hurts right now for us,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “We felt like there were moments in this series where we could have grabbed it. There was times where we felt like it was winnable, like we could have come out on the other side. They definitely deserve to be moving on, but ... it stinks, I hate it, I hate to say it.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Is Well In Nashville

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

May 7, 2017, gets its own chapter in the Predators' history book now, the day Nashville sent St. Louis home for the offseason and arrived in a new place as a franchise.

In the Western Conference finals, yes, for the first time, a far-away dream when the Predators started NHL play in 1998 and even 10 years ago when fans held a rally to keep the team in Nashville. But that also means the Predators have stepped onto a bigger stage, into a brighter light. The work they did to get here suggests they’re up for it.

"The expectation is a Stanley Cup," Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said after the 3-1 win in Game 6 to extend his first season with the team. "I think we took a big step today for this organization and this city, but that's not our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. We've worked really hard to put ourselves in a good position. There's still a lot of hockey left to be played, but we should enjoy this today. It's a hell of an accomplishment for this organization."


from Arpon Basu of NHL.com,

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Nashville Predators Advance To The Western Conference Final

First conference final for the Predators and they will face either the Anaheim Ducks or Edmonton Oilers.

Final score was 3-1 and here is the game winner from Ryan Johansen.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ryan+johansen

From The Winning Side

from Jeff Miller of the OC Register,

Now that’s some dramatic home improvement, the Ducks needing only a mind-spinning, greatest-ever late-game rush to right a series that had been nothing but a road show.

After falling behind Edmonton by three goals following two periods and most of a third, the Ducks assembled a stunning and completely unforeseen comeback over the final 3-1/2 minutes of regulation, eventually winning in double overtime, 4-3.

“You get that first goal…you never know what can happen in this game, especially in these playoffs,” said Corey Perry, who scored the winner at 6:57 of the second OT. “There’s funny things going on all over the place.”

Funny, bizarre, even unthinkable. There was a bit of everything Friday at Honda Center, where the Ducks finished with 64 shots on goal to the Oilers’ 38 in becoming the first road team to win in this best-of-7 series.


from Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

There Will Be A Game 6 Between The St. Louis Blues And Nashville Predators

from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,

The Blues had to have it, and the Blues got it. And now they can say with full confidence and accuracy what the Chicago Blackhawks tried to say when they trailed the Predators 3-0 in the first round. They can say all the pressure is on the Predators.

“I disagree with that," Predators defenseman P.K. Subban said, which is his right even if he's wrong. "I think every game is important and everybody has pressure on them. At the end of the day, we’re going into our building, it’s our barn. And we’re going to be ready to play the way we know how. It’s going to take our best, and we will be at our best.”

The Blackhawks got swept out of the playoffs in the fourth game of that series. The Blues will bring momentum to the sixth game of this one, Sunday at Bridgestone Arena, where the Predators fans who have earned so much acclaim in this postseason will try to will their team to a fifth win in five playoff tries there.

The Predators have to have it.

“We’ve got to be real here, we’ve got to be better," said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, his team's best player by far Friday. "That’s the bottom line. Two desperate teams right now, I think it’s going to be crazy at the Bridgestone Arena. Really waiting for the game. It’s going to be a fun night.”

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Watch the game highlights of the 2-1 St. Louis win below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Wrong To Doubt The St. Louis Blues

from Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The character and leadership that the Blues have shown since March are reasons coach Mike Yeo is optimistic as they prepare to stave off elimination Friday night in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal against the Nashville Predators at Scottrade Center.

“I think we’ve faced adversity before,” Yeo said. “We know we have a tough hill to climb here. We know we’re playing against a real good team and we’re aware of where we’re at in the series. Our mindset is on tomorrow’s game.

“I think that’s what we did effectively and was a big part of our success the last part of the season. We didn’t look at the hill that we had to climb, we didn’t look at who was in the lineup, who was out of the lineup. The guys focused on the job they had to do and we took care of the moment that was in front of us. And that’s what we have to do again tomorrow.”

Some columnists and radio hosts love to take shots from afar, especially the cowards among us. The ones I respect are willing to own up to their mistakes and face the men they criticize.

I was wrong after the Kevin Shattenkirk trade when I thought this Blues team was done, and I refuse to doubt them again this season.

“See you for Game 7,” I told Yeo at The Mills on Thursday afternoon after he and I watched a clip of the “Miracle” scene when Herb Brooks gives his famous speech to Team USA before that historic victory over the Soviet Union.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

One More Win And The Nashville Predators Are In The Western Conference Final

from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,

A win Friday in St. Louis would clinch the Predators’ first trip to the Western Conference final.

“It’s what we’ve built for all year and put our focus on all year,” said Predators forward James Neal, who padded the team’s lead with a knuckling wrist shot late in the third period. "We’re continuing to get better throughout the playoffs. Each game brings challenges. We’ve been up for them each night.”

The Bridgestone Arena ice surface brimmed with animosity Tuesday. The Predators and Blues understood how the outcome of the game would impact the series. Each hit had a bit more venom behind it. Each post-whistle scrum seemed to draw a larger crowd.

“It’s battles out there,” Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm said. "Every whistle, something’s going on and someone’s trying to do something to get the other one angry or (to) retaliate.”...

“We all know that it’s one win away, something that at least the guys who’ve been drafted by Nashville and groomed by Nashville, we’ve never been there," said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who has a 1.33 goals-against average and .953 save percentage during the playoffs after making 32 saves Tuesday. "That’s something that would obviously be amazing and for this organization, too.

"Now we have a chance to really step on their throat, and we can control our destiny. You couldn’t ask for more.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Mad Blues

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

The Blues managed only one goal for the second consecutive game, so they have little to complain about in terms of not winning Game 4 against Nashville on Tuesday. But they weren’t happy with a turn of events that triggered the Predators’ 2-1 victory.

There was extracurricular activity throughout the game between members of the fourth lines, but when it happened with 15 minutes, 49 seconds left in regulation, the penalties handed out were not what many except the crowd of 17,273 at Bridgestone Arena might have expected.

The sequence resulted with the Blues’ Joel Edmundson and Ryan Reaves, along with Nashville’s Cody McLeod, being assessed roughing penalties, and on the ensuing power play Ryan Ellis broke open the scoring. The Predators added a goal by James Neal with 6:57 to play, and that stood as the game-winner after Edmundson scored with 3:49 to go....

The Blues know one goal per game won't cut it against the Predators and admitted that a too many men on the ice penalty on the power play in Game 4 was costly, but they all left Music City singing the same tune about the turning point in Tuesday's game.

"I think it’s a terrible call,” Reaves said. “I disagree with it 100 percent. There’s 10 guys all grabbing one guy and you pick one extra on one team in a crucial part of the game in a big series … I think it’s bad judgment.”

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Below are two videos- game highlights and Mike Yeo post-game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All About Compete Level For The St. Louis Blues

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

In a playoff series in which each team’s fate has been deserved, there was no development more fair than Robert Bortuzzo’s shot ringing off the post in the third period of Game 3 Sunday.

The Blues didn’t deserve to be tied with Nashville, and order was restored when Predators defenseman Roman Josi put the game out of reach in a 3-1 victory for the hosts at Bridgestone Arena.

Unprovoked coach Mike Yeo admitted as much after seeing his club fall behind two games to one in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Nashville.

“We scored one goal (today) and fact of the matter is, we weren’t even competitive,” Yeo said. “We obviously have to be way better. We have to make a couple of changes personnel-wise for the next game and look at the tape and see what we can do a little bit differently and a little bit better than tonight because it wasn’t good enough.”


Watch the game highlights below....

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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