Kukla's Korner Hockey
St. Louis’ David Perron has missed 13 games since a Joe Thornton hit on him, giving him a concussion. It was a good hockey hit, the type players grow up learning. Still, Thornton had to be suspended. You can’t take that hit out of the game, but the league has to try; concussion prevention simply hasn’t kept up with the strength of players.
-Jake Leonard of the San Francisco Chronicle
If you need a refresher, watch the hit below….
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
These are challenging times for Blues coach Davis Payne. His team is sputtering. The Note is playing hard enough, but not well enough.
There is no reason to panic. But there is no time to dawdle, either, given the hyper-competitive nature of the NHL’s Western Conference.
Payne must find ways to get his group back on the playoff-bound track. His job got a whole lot tougher the last few weeks.
via Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
So now we’ll see what Jaroslav Halak is made of.
His remarkable start is just a memory now, obscured by a flurry of goals allowed. The Blues goaltender went from unbeatable to hapless is a flash. He allowed 19 goals on 95 shots in his last four starts.
Such is the life of a NHL goaltender. Stuff happens. It’s the nature of the business.
But how will Halak deal with the dramatic downturn?
Will he battle on and clean up his game this weekend at Scottrade Center?
Blues fans will learn a lot more about him during the next few weeks.
Niklas Kronwall was a bit woozy after the hit but did return to action.
Drew Miller gets credit for the goal.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed forward David Backes to a five-year contract extension.
“David could have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and we are excited that he has made the long term commitment to the Blues organization,” said Armstrong. “The way he handles himself on and off the ice represents what the Blues are all about.”
“I am ecstatic to have this deal signed and to be a Blue for many years to come,” said Backes. “My wife and I love this city and these fans have been nothing but great to us. This is a great organization to play for, from top to bottom, and we expect to be a top team in this league.”
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers,
It’s commonplace for players to limber up by kicking a soccer ball in a circle, but the teams are usually separated by a considerable distance to avoid conflict. For example, in Nationwide Arena teams play soccer at either end of a 200-foot hallway.
The Blues, however, are the one visiting club with a history of circumnavigating the unwritten code in Columbus, an NHL source said. Last night, Blues players walked around the inside of the building to hold their soccer game within about 100 feet of the Jackets’ players, eyewitnesses added.
Jackets alternate captain R.J. Umberger, who does sprints before every game, apparently ran through or nearby the Blues’ circle sparking a verbal exchange, several eyewitnesses said. Umberger has grown weary of what he perceives as gamesmanship by the Blues, a source said. The Blues certainly have set a physical tone against the Jackets in recent seasons and the local club has not always responded well.
via a Jeremy Rutherford tweet,
According to Blues coach Davis Payne, forward T.J. Oshie has suffered a broken ankle, which will surgery.
With just under 11:00 minutes left in the third period down 8-1, Oshie jumped on the back of a Columbus Blue Jackets player trying to break up a fight. However, when the player fell backwards with Oshie on his back, it appeared that the third-year forward came down on the left leg awkwardly.
added 11:41pm,Watch the video below and notice Oshie get up after the oribinal hit and tangle with the Columbus player.
You can see Oshie fall to the ground and understand how his ankle was injured.
from B.J.Rains of FSMidwest,
There’s no denying that the Blues goaltending - Jaroslav Halak in particular – is the main reason the Blues are looking for an eighth straight win Wednesday night in Columbus. Acquired from Montreal over the summer, Halak has endeared himself to Blues fans in a big way already.
Halak is tied for the NHL lead in both wins and shutouts and is third in both goals against (1.46) and save percentage (.944). Conklin hasn’t been bad either, earning a shutout Sunday in New York in his first action in more than two weeks.
But the Blues know that Halak and Conklin can’t pitch a shutout every night. At some point, the goal scoring needs to improve of the team won’t continue to win close games. David Perron and Matt D’Agostini lead the Blues with five goals each, good for a tie for 37th most in the NHL.
The Blues have at least one goal from 14 players but just six have two or more goals. Still, Payne doesn’t see the lack of scoring as a problem just yet.
from David Pollak of Working the Corners,
Players and one San Jose broadcaster had suggested that Perron embellished the hit by lying flat on the ice for a while in order to make sure Thornton got the maximum in-game penalty. The fact that Perron was back on the ice less than five minutes later and ended up scoring a goal certainly bolstered the idea.
So were players ready to back down now that the St. Louis forward has been held out of two games?
“Like I said, from what we saw on the bench, it didn’t look that bad,” said Dan Boyle, one of the players I talked with that night. “We felt he embellished. . . . The fact that he’s missed a couple of games certainly makes it a more legit injury. But it didn’t look right from the bench and then he came back right away.”
Both Boyle and Dany Heatley noted that it was unfortunate that Perron has missed a couple of games and “nobody wants that at all.”
But Heatley stuck to his original statement as far as Perron “did stay on the ice to get that five-minute call.”
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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