Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues coaches and players have had a tough time explaining how a team predicted to finish last in the NHL — even before all the injuries — can be within striking distance of a playoff spot.
But with nine games to play in the regular season, and their playoff status seemingly riding on every period, one Blue with a Stanley Cup in his past took aim at the question Wednesday.
“I think it’s because we’ve got a big group of guys who are underdogs,” said Dan Hinote, who won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. “All of the sudden, there’s a bunch of injuries ... we’ve got call-ups, we’ve got guys that haven’t been in the NHL before ... we’ve got guys that were waived ... guys that were traded. It was kind of like a big group of guys that weren’t supposed to do well.
from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues are an endearing team, fun to follow, and their intense work ethic and shared purpose have strengthened the ties that bind them. That spirit was a factor in Friday’s comeback. Getting those two points at Calgary — after being on the edge, and nearly slipping into the rapids — was a huge save.
And now only 10 games remain on the Blues’ regular-season schedule. Will the spirit sustain them? Can their belief system ride them into the playoffs?
It’s still a difficult assignment. Six of the 10 games will be on the road, and seven will be fought against teams with winning records. Among the traffic jam of teams squirming for the eighth playoff spot, only the Blues and Anaheim have more games on the road than at home.
Obviously, there’s hope. And Mason is the primary source. We’re not trying to diminish the importance of the other Blues; this task will require contributions from every player.
But Mason has made a profound difference in his team’s fortunes, starting 23 consecutive games and showing no sign of breaking.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that forward Keith Tkachuk’s X-rays on his left wrist were negative and he is listed as day-to-day. Tkachuk suffered the injury in the third period on Thursday, March 19 in Vancouver.
This should clear up the erroneous report posted on the web that he had suffered a broken wrist.
via the Dallas Stars Blog,
Stars forward Mark Parrish put his head down to control a pass from Brian Sutherby when he was blindsided by hard charging Jay McKee at center ice. The highlilght reel hit sent Parrish crumbling to the ice. He got to his knees, tried to get up but instead waited for assistance.
From Sportsnet.ca, Andy Wozniewski has been acquired by the Penguins in exchange for Danny Richmond of the St. Louis Blues.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Typically on the days leading up to the NHL trading deadline, the actual games themselves can be afterthoughts. But that won’t be the case tonight when the Blues host the Detroit Red Wings on the eve of the deadline.
Any game against the Red Wings is an attention-grabber, but with the Blues inching closer to a playoff position and with the outcome of tonight’s game possibly affecting the club’s deadline strategy, there seems to be a lot riding on the final score.
It may not be a stretch, in fact, to call tonight the Blues’ biggest game since the 2004-05 NHL lockout.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Thanks to only three regulation losses during a 19-game stretch since Jan. 15, the Blues—somewhat amazingly—are three points out of playoff spot and the trade deadline is around the corner.
Who’s kidding who, St. Louis might very well move Tkachuk, an unrestricted free agent July 1; but maybe, just maybe, they might also have to tell him, “Sorry, Keith. Unpack your bags, we’re still in it!”
“Well, that’s the idea,” Blues president John Davidson told ESPN.com on Thursday night after his team won 3-1 in Dallas. “We’ll see what happens.”
St. Louis Blues forward Cam Janssen has been fined $2,500 for his high hit last night on Zbynek Michalek of the Coyotes, but he will not be suspended.
The incident happened in the first period behind the Phoenix net. Janssen jumped off the ice during a check and got his elbow up on Michalek. No penalty was called on the play.
Here’s video of the hit. Not great quality, but clear enough we can argue about it if you feel we must…
via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
On an innocent line change, Perron tossed the puck into the offensive zone, and the puck found its way to the back of the net.
“I thought someone else scored,” Perron said. “I had no idea what happened. I turned around and (Cam) Janssen was all over me.”
The crowd of 17,512 was just as surprised as Perron and the Blues. Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky shook his head in disbelief.
From Roger Hensley at STLtoday.com
Obviously injury-riddled all season, the Blues offered early hopes, sank in the standings, then made a big run right before the All-Star break. It even had some, myself included, talking playoff possibilities as recently as earlier this week. Of course it was a long shot. But since I mapped out the “Ten Nights in February” posting a couple days back about the import of the next ten games, beginning with Vancouver, the Blues have responded with a resounding thud.
That has brought me to the precipice of capitulation. Not on the team, mind you, but on the realities of this season. This decision did not come easily, but is one that had to be made. It was either that or I end up sticking a fork in my eye during one of these games.
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.
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