Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
“What we’re doing is not paying any respect to checking,” he said. “We’re not paying any respect to defense, to managing the puck, to managing the proper way to play. I don’t care what the shots on goal are. When you give up as many odd-man rushes as we gave up in the last two games, we’re showing no respect for what matters in the National Hockey League at this time.
“And in the offensive zone, the sense of urgency that we’re not playing with, that we’ve played with all year, is not there. That’s why we don’t score, that’s why we don’t get second and third chances, that’s why we don’t win the front-of-the-net battles. Those combinations are lethal the wrong way. You have no control over the hockey game because of the scoring chances you give up off these odd-man rushes.
“We’re a team that’s made a lot of great inroads on playing a certain way and now we don’t want to play that way, and we’re not interested in playing the way that’s been successful here. We want to play a different way right now and it’s really, really hurting us.”
more on the Blues...
Below, watch Hitchcock post-game...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Doug Armstrong has shown he's got brass coconuts when it comes to making the moves he's needed to make for this team the last few years. But having given up future assets over a few trade deadlines, including this year's first-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres in the Miller deal, you can't go for the home run every year. His team is deep, it's good enough to make a run at a championship. Could he tweak it with a depth move or two? Yes, I think that's possible. Also, if they do something, in a perfect world it would be a hockey deal not a rental, a player who could also play for the team beyond this season.
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
Nearing the end of a grueling stretch of nine games in 15 days, including seven in the last 11 and three in the last four, the St. Louis Blues may be showing signs of slowing down.
After a franchise-record 13-game unbeaten streak, they were pounded 7-1 at Columbus on Friday and then failed to deliver again Sunday in a 4-2 home loss to the rival Chicago Blackhawks. The game Sunday was tied 2-2 headed into the third period, but Chicago controlled play after that.
“Most of us took yesterday off,” Blues captain David Backes said. “We’re getting the rest on the off days and everyone’s kind of got a chaotic schedule this time of the year. I think we had a lot of jump the first two periods (Sunday).
“We were playing on our toes, getting in on the forechecks and turning pucks over and having some extended zone time, trying to force our game onto them. We did a pretty good job of that.”
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was in no mood for questions about a potentially tired team.
“I don’t look at it like that,” he said. “I look at it like we lost a close, hard-fought hockey game. It was a hell of a hockey game. We’ll rest up and move on to Tuesday (against Arizona). That’s all I look at right now.”
from Scott Powers of ESPN,
Facing Eastern Conference competition has been very rewarding to the St. Louis Blues this season. The Blues are on a seven-game winning streak and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games thanks to their dominance against the East.
Seven of those nine victories were against Eastern Conference foes. The Buffalo Sabres put up challenge against the Blues on Thursday -- St. Louis goaltender Jake Allen and Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth both played well -- but the Blues were too much in the end and pulled out a 3-0 win.
The Blues improved to 15-3-2 overall against the East and possess the best cross-conference record in the NHL. The Blues' recent success has also helped them in the Central Division. They have now matched the Nashville Predators with 72 points through 51 games.
read on for more hockey topics from the ESPN writers...
Backes was thankful that the NHL's Player Safety Department saw the hit on the Capitals' Karl Alzner the way hit did, deciding not to issue supplemental discipline.
"Yeah, it's nine years now and I've had one major penalty that was quickly rescinded right after that," Backes recalled. "Now this one, where I think it's pretty benign — he hops back up and doesn't miss a shift.
"Never looking to hurt anyone out there. The rules are the rules, I guess, and if there's blood, (then the ejection was warranted).
via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on the Blues...
If you missed the hit, watch it below...
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk will undergo abdominal surgery after suffering an i
Shattenkirk will have the surgery in the next seven to 10 days and be listed as week-to-week following the procedure.
Shattenkirk, 26, leads all defensemen with 32 assists and ranks second with 40 points overall through 49 games this season.
In addition, the 6-foot, 202-pound rearguard ranks second among all skaters with 24 power-play points, including a career-high 20 power play assists.
The Blues announced he would not return today, lower-body injury.
added 2:52pm, video of the hit below...
Brodeur deserved the same grand sendoff that Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom got in Detroit, that Mike Modano got in Dallas even after leaving for the Red Wings, that Daniel Alfredsson got in Ottawa even after an apparent fracture with management and ownership.
Maybe Brodeur’s ego was still hurt that he wanted to play one more year and Lou Lamoriello wouldn’t make it happen. Maybe Lou was just being stubborn Lou and didn’t feel it was important enough to make sure Thursday’s event was in Newark, not St. Louis.
But it’s a real shame it did. It was the most unemotional presser you’ve ever seen for a player as great as Brodeur. The Devils were barely mentioned, his Hall of Fame career almost glossed over.
-Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on Martin Brodeur. Read more from Russo plus other hockey topics...
Did he lose the puck or just relax?
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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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