Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
(Andy) Murray is on the spot. When his teams succeed, his exhaustive game-planning draws praise. Players feel well-prepared to face every opponent and every game situation.
But when Murray’s teams struggle, people within and outside the organization wonder if the players are burning out.
Have they endured too many group and individual meetings? Have they heard the same motivational note too many times?
Has their coach’s withering intensity sapped their energy?
“I had the most fun in my career in St. Louis. We had (only) two married guys on the team, a good bunch of young kids going out and having fun on the ice. We played hard, on and off the ice. St. Louis is an unbelievably good city.”
-Brett Hull. Much more on Brett from John McGourtey of NHL.com.
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
These are self-examining, soul-searching times for the St. Louis Blues. A strong finish in 2008-09 and a grand beginning to the present campaign have given way to a 10-game stutter step.
Since going to Sweden and sweeping two games against a Stanley Cup finalist from last season — the Detroit Red Wings — a sour Note is 3-6-1 overall and 1-5 in its own building.
To make matters worse, the Blues have gone two games in succession without scoring, six straight periods without seeing a red light. With three more off days before the schedule resumes against Calgary at Scottrade Center on Thursday, there will be extensive appraisal of these figures, in the media and in the team’s practices.
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
Every NHL coach would love to have the comfort of having a Martin Brodeur or a Roberto Loungo in goal for 70-80 games a season. But Murray believes he has the next best thing with Mason and Conklin.
Mason put the Blues on his shoulders late last season and led them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs by playing in the final 33 games. He posted an impressive 24-8-6 record down the stretch with five shutouts, a .924 save percentage and a 2.08 goals-against average.
Conklin? All he’s done is register a record of 18-8-5 in Pittsburgh two seasons ago and 25-11-2 last season while helping Pittsburgh and Detroit to the Stanley Cup Final respectively.
more plus Central Division notes…
from Jeremy Rutherford of the Morning Skate at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Here’s somee postgame reaction from the Blues following Saturday’s loss to the Stars.
In the second period, Dallas’ Steve Ott leveled Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. Ott laid a hip check on Colaiacovo, which instigated a team-wide brawl, ending with a combined six penalties on both teams.
“There’s 18,000 people that will agree with me and say that was a dirty hit,” Colaiacovo said. “Hopefully the league will take a look at it, and do what’s right.”
added 3:23pm, I have added the Ott hit on Colaiacovo below the first video.
continued and another hit by Ott should be looked at by the NHL too. Check out the knee on B. J. Crombeen late in the game last night.
via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues forward T.J. Oshie had an emergency apendectomy this morning and will be out of the lineup indefinitely, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.
Oshie went to the hospital Friday night, following the Blues’ 3-1 victory over Minnesota at Scottrade Center. He played 17 minutes, 33 seconds in the game.
The recovery time for the surgery varies from person to person. Blues goaltender Chris Mason had a similar surgery last season and missed approximately two weeks.
“...He made a difference for me in the way that he played and approached the game. He found a way to get himself into an NHL lineup with what I would say not above average skills. He asked a lot of great questions. And those guys like that are on the bubble, they ask a lot of questions because they want the coach to notice them all the time and he was good at that.”
-Bliues Coach Andy Murray speaking about player Dan Bylsma who he coached when Dan was with the Kings. More from Andy Murray by Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the club has placed center Alex Steen on injured reserve.
Steen injured his right wrist Thursday night in the Blues 3-2 overtime loss in Phoenix. After being examined by Dr. Richard Gelberman, it has been determined that Steen fractured his right wrist and will be out approximately six to eight weeks.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues took a step Thursday night. It was a small step, for sure, but progress nonetheless.
They got a point at Phoenix, reaching overtime against the Coyotes before losing on Ed Jovanovski’s goal. This was not the desired result, of course, but every point matters in the frantic Western Conference race this season.
Andy Murray’s team looked like its old self through the middle portion of the game. The Blues pressed the action and stayed after the puck.
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 email@example.com