Kukla's Korner Hockey
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced the club has placed forward Andy McDonald on Injured Reserve today. McDonald is listed as week-to-week after suffering a left knee injury during practice yesterday at St. Louis Mills. In addition, the Blues have listed forward Alex Steen as day-to-day with an upper body injury. Steen was also injured during yesterday’s practice.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The incompetence displayed by the alleged NHL leadership is so staggeringly routine, it leaves me in awe. How can one league remain so utterly clueless and still survive? This is the real miracle on ice.
In the latest piece of unique wisdom, the NHL reaffirmed that it’s OK to crush a defenseless player with a vicious shot to the head — as long as the hit doesn’t stem from a specific, targeted attempt to injure.
Despite countless studies that loudly sound the alarm over the danger of head trauma, the NHL thinks it’s OK for a player to attack the head of an opponent.
Blues rookie Vladimir Tarasenko, a budding star at 21, was flattened by a cheap shot delivered by Colorado’s Mark Olver in Wednesday’s game. The image of a bleeding and disoriented Tarasenko collapsed on the ice did nothing to nudge the NHL out of its hopelessly irresponsible Neanderthal mentality.
If you didn't see the hit or need to see it again, watch it below...
In the first video, NHL Tonight says Tarasenko was blindsided by the hit.
In the 2nd video below, John Forslund and Brian Engblom with their call and opinion of the hit.
What do you think and there was no penalty on the play.
from Chris Pinkett of Blue Note Insider at the Blues website,
The team was supposed to take off from Vancouver at noon (yesterday) St. Louis time, but were delayed when the airline needed to wait for a replacement part to arrive. Just over 15 hours later, the Blues took off for St. Louis, where they landed at approximately 6:30 a.m. this morning.
Here’s the rub: the Blues host the San Jose Sharks tonight at 7 p.m. and then will fly to Denver after the game, where they’ll face the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow night at Pepsi Center.
Needless to say, the Blues deviated from their gameday routine and didn’t hold a morning skate at Scottrade Center today. They will play tonight’s game as scheduled at 7 p.m.
As the hours in the airport dragged on, those that were grounded took to Twitter to keep themselves entertained. Below are some of the tweets that were sent while waiting to board their delayed flight home.
On an early adition of NHL Live today, McKenzie discussed the Sabres, the Blues and their goalie situation and the latest on Ryan O'Reilly.
from the CP at NHL.com,
"I saw the guy out of the corner of my eye and it was desperation. I didn't have much of a chance so I just threw my stick out there and fortunately enough for me, it hit it and it popped right up so I could catch it right away too," said 22-year-old Allen, who looked nonchalant the whole way.
"I took a deep breath after that. It's one of those saves that you thank the hockey gods for and it was a big boost for us as we got two more goals after that."
Scott Burnside is embedded with the St. Louis Blues, traveling on their three-game, five-night road trip to Detroit, Calgary and Vancouver.
CALGARY, Alberta -- The visiting coaches' room at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary is a first cousin to a broom closet.
By the time the St. Louis Blues' coaching staff and their bags and computers are in the room, there is quite literally no room for anyone to turn around. After changing for a late-afternoon practice following a four-hour flight from Detroit, the coaches' clothes end up hanging from door jams and cords powering laptops are snaking into the tiny washroom attached to the room.
"Do we want to do video or get on the ice and just practice? It's been a long day," head coach Ken Hitchcock asks his staff.
The coaches agree that the video can wait until Friday, when they will face the hometown Calgary Flames in the second of a three-game road trip, so the team hits the ice for a 45-minute skate.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On this day, the Blues coaching staff was on board a bus that transported them from their hotel to Joe Louis Arena at 8:30 a.m. Their "office" at the arena is a AAA minor hockey team dressing room next to the team's dressing room. By 9 a.m., there are seven laptops up and running plus a big screen television with video capability. The staff -- associate coach Brad Shaw, who came over from the New York Islanders organization last summer, assistant coach Gary Agnew, Hitchcock's assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets for four seasons; assistant Ray Bennett, who has been a member of the Blues' coaching staff since December 2006; goaltending coach Corey Hirsch, who once played junior hockey for Hitchcock in Kamloops; and video coach Dan Brooks -- are spread out at three long wooden tables.
Each of the coaches is responsible for at least one element of the game plan, so there is quiet chatter as they work on strategies for exiting the defensive zone, penalty kill and power play schemes and decide which video clips they will use to reinforce the message when they meet with the players later in the morning.
"Who's got scoring chances for from the first three games?" Hitchcock asks. "I want to see two or three clips where we got the sticks in the blue paint [the crease]."...
"I'm going to talk to Russell today just about his mentality, OK, Shawsy, just kind of [stuff] happens. He's got to have a warrior mentality and he's [frigging] good when he's like that," Hitchcock said, referencing Kris Russell, one of the Blues' young defensemen.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Many observers liked the Blues to take another step forward with a long playoff run next spring. Some, including this scribe, liked the Blues to use last season's successes to catapult themselves to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship, much like what Los Angeles did last season.
Forward T.J. Oshie and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk admitted that hearing and reading those kinds of predictions might have seeped into the Blues' subconscious after the lockout ended.
"We've come to expect our game to show up a little bit too much" as opposed to working to produce the level of play that marked the Blues' of last season, Shattenkirk said.
One of the team's bright lights on the blue line, Shattenkirk noted that consistently good teams never assume they will be good again just because history suggests it will be so.
"They don't carry that with them. They leave what happened behind them," he said.
The Blues need to learn that whatever accolades they received as a result of last season are worthless now. That shouldn't be too hard after the past couple of weeks. Still, for some of the Blues, this is uncharted territory. Under Hitchcock, who took over 13 games into last season, the Blues never lost more than two games in regulation at any point in the season and that happened only once.
“This is the home stand from hell. We lost our goalie, we didn’t play as well and now we’ve got to take this onto the road and we’ve got to be much more accountable to each other.”
-St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock after losing 4-1 to the LA Kings last night. More on the Blues from Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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.
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