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Category: St-Louis-Blues

The St. Louis Blues Continue To Improve Under Mike Yeo

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

This series win isn’t about who the Blues beat, but how the Blues got to the second round — Yeo learning from his mistakes in Minnesota to reignite St. Louis, after the late-January Blues hit, Yeo’s words, rock bottom.

“I think (I’ve improved) just the way that I handle situations, players,” said Yeo, who was hired as the coach-in-waiting but became the coach on Feb. 1. “I think my understanding of the game is probably similar to what it was, but (it’s more) as far as working with the group and being a leader for the group.”

The Blues were in transition, you might have heard.

The Blues were playing with house money, you might have read.

And here they are, ready to join an exodus of broke musicians and bachelorette parties on the road to Nashville.

The Blues don’t play perfect hockey. On Saturday, they played much of the third period with a preventative mindset that irked Yeo. And they made a couple of dumb penalties (or, in regards to the Wild defenseman who tripped a Blue while Minnesota was on the power play, “Dumba” penalties). But Yeo has cooked up the right lines and right energy to go from rock bottom to rocky top Tennessee.

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

The Minnesota Wild Comeback Ends In OT

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

The Wild didn't go quietly Saturday afternoon, but few will remember the Wild's franchise-best regular season now that the team couldn't even get past Game 5 of the first round.

Once again, the effort was there, and other than the first 10 ½ minutes, so was the better play. But in the end, the Wild couldn't complete a third-period comeback from two goals down by losing 4-3 in a season-eliminating overtime.

"What is this, five years in a row? I'm sick of it," said center Erik Haula, who was elevated when Eric Staal sustained a scary-looking head injury in the second period. "We're all sick of it."

A team with Stanley Cup aspirations, one that went 30-6-3 during a three-month stretch, got career-best seasons from several players and scored a franchise-record 266 goals, ended in a thud to its former coach with eight goals in the entire series, four at 5-on-5.

read on

Below watch the game highlights adn handshakes...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The St. Louis Blues Fail To Close Out The Series Against The Minnesota Wild

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

The Blues are now 2-4 in closeout games in the past two seasons.

Vladimir Tarasenko, who did have a good stretch in the second period Wednesday, still hasn't scored in the series.

And that the old Wild has awakened - the team that played the first two-thirds of the season.

See, the Wild was really, really good until the last month. It was possible they could've ended up with the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference, if they didn't turn into the “January St. Louis Blues” in March and April.

Much of the problem was Dubnyk. And now he's proving to be the solution, and that's a scary proposition.

“That’s what we need from him every night if we’re going to turn this thing around,” said Hanzal, whose team hosts Game 5 on Saturday at 2 p.m. “He has to be our best player and that’s what he did tonight. We have to do the same thing on Saturday, because everybody in this room still believes we can do it. I believe too, and if we play like this the rest of the series, we’re going to do it.”

Uh oh.

That doesn't sound good.

continued

Below, watch the highlights from the 2-0 Wild win over the Blues...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Offense A Big Problem For The Minnesota Wild

from Michel Russo of the StarTribune,

Six weeks ago, the Wild was gearing up for a deep Stanley Cup run.

But late Sunday afternoon, in a quickly-emptying locker room full of sweaty, stunned faces, Eric Staal voiced what everybody in the organization and thousands of fans who invested their hearts and money into what’s quickly becoming a lost season had to be thinking.

“After the type of year we had, this is definitely hard to imagine right now,” Staal said. “We’ve got to find a way to win one.”

After a franchise-record 106 points, the Wild is three games into this postseason and have yet to figure out how to win a game against the St. Louis Blues or light up their stingy goalie.

Three games that could have gone either way, yet it’s the Wild that lost 3-1 Sunday afternoon to find itself in a colossal 3-0 cavity.

continued

Below, watch Bruce Boudreau post-game...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Must Now Win 4 Out Of 5 Games

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only 18 teams in NHL history have rallied to win a best-of-seven series after losing their first two games at home. The last to do so was the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round against Montreal.

Coach Bruce Boudreau and the Wild face the daunting task of erasing 2-0 deficit.

Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series hold a record of 305-48 (86.4 percent). The Blues are 10-2 in such situations. The two other times they won the first two games on the road ended in a sweep (1993 vs. Chicago and 2001 vs. Dallas).

“We don’t worry about any of that stuff. People can say whatever they want and think we have no chance, but we’ve seen crazier things happen,” Wild winger Jason Zucker said. “We feel we’re a very good hockey team, and we’ve got to come in [Sunday] and win a game.”

Most concerning, though, is that Yeo has implemented a game plan that has neutralized the NHL’s second-best offensive team.

In 137 minutes, 48 seconds in the series, the Blues have allowed two goals, none at 5-on-5. Add in the March 7 meeting that was Yeo’s first game as head coach against his former team, and the Wild hasn’t scored a 5-on-5 goal in 197 minutes against the Blues.

Yeo swears this isn’t because he knows the Wild so intimately that he has some secret elixir as to how to shut down its players.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Jake Allen Stars In Blues Win Over The Wild

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

He sure looked like a human being, but we knew better.

Sitting at his locker on Wednesday night — excuse me, Thursday morning — Jake Allen had the characteristics of a regular person, but mere humans just don't save 51 shots on the road in a playoff game. The extraordinary was extraterrestrial, the superb was superhuman.

How does one describe Jake's 2-1, Game 1 overtime win?

“I don't know that I really can, and I've had time to think about it, too,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said, about 20 minutes after the clock struck midnight. “I knew it was going to be the first question. “

Well, here's a way to describe it: The Blues didn't deserve to win, but the play of one Blue made up for the mediocre play of the other 18.

If they play like this again, they'll lose.

“It’s a long series,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I thought we played a good game. … We had 90-some shots at the net (and) 52 shots on the net. I thought territorially we were pretty good.”

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Time Is Now For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Before every game, more than a dozen Wild players, most young, some old(er), find a dark spot in the bottom of any arena for a game of soccer hackysack.

As the ball bobs off heads, feet and knees and arena pillars, piping and parapets, loud, laughing teammates are wearing T-shirts that say, “I’M COMMITTED” on the front and “OUR TIME IS NOW!” on the back.
There’s no doubt the Wild’s best chance of delivering the Stanley Cup to the “State of Hockey” in the organization's 16 years is now and begins Wednesday night against St. Louis Blues.

The Wild, as deep as it has ever been, had its best regular season in franchise history and scored more goal than every team in the West. It was only 6½ weeks ago that General Manager Chuck Fletcher put all his “chips in the middle of the table for this year” and freighted a haul of draft picks to Arizona for Martin Hanzal because “we are taking a swing” for the Cup.

Three players who don’t take part in the soccer warmup are elder statesmen Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They have other means of prepping for games.

But the slogan, “Time is Now,” arguably best describes the Wild’s captain and his two lieutenants.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Jake Allen Save That Wasn’t

After a review, Blake Wheeler has his goal.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: blake+wheeler, jake+allen

Videos- One Thing Learned Last Night, The Puck Bounces To The Right

Two examples...

 

 

One more below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Ryan Reaves Finishing His Ceck On Nikolaj Ehlers?

Two minutes for roughing.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nikolaj+ehlers, ryan+reaves

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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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