Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues have defeated the Red Wings twice on coach Ken Hitchcock’s watch. These high-level victories validate this Note as an emerging power.
Believe it, people: The Blues have arrived.
“When you play Detroit, you decide you’re either all-in, because if you’re just a little bit in, they push you right out,” Hitchcock told reporters after the game. “The thing that has impressed me is that for two games now, we’ve had an all-in mentality and we’ve been competitive against them and that’s a really good sign.”
Indeed it is. The Blues are using their impressive blend of size and skill to dictate play. As they get healthier, they should only get better.
First game back, David Perron adds a goal to the delight of his teammates and fans.
“I think over the last 13 months I went through all kinds of emotions. It was really fun to get the green light to be back in the game. Just the fact that so many people have helped me throughout the whole time is going to make it that much nicer.
“My parents are coming in for the game, so that will be fun. I’m really excited.”
-David Perron of the St. Louis Blues on his return to the lineup tonight. More from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today Blues forward David Perron will return to the lineup when the Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. CT at Scottrade Center. Including tonight’s game in Colorado, Perron will have missed the last 97 games after suffering a concussion on Nov. 4, 2010 against San Jose.
Prior to his injury, Perron had recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) in 10 games in 2010-11. Overall, he has accumulated 131 points (53 goals, 78 assists) in 235 games with the Blues since being drafted by St. Louis in the first round, 26th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Currently, the Blues are 14-8-2 and sit fifth in the Western Conference.
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
“We’ve got to continue to have our players enjoy the ride, but don’t get up off the ride,” Blues President John Davidson said. “We’ve found a formula here. Now we need to stay with it.”
The Blues are learning to win the close ones. Airtight goaltending and improved defense have allowed only 13 goals in 11 games under Hitchcock.
“Most games in this league are one-goal games, maybe an empty-netter on top of it,” Davidson said. “I know we’d like to score more, and we might when the power play kicks in. But we also have to understand that this is how you’re going to win games when you’re tired, when the schedule catches up to you, when you play in the playoffs.
“This is what it’s about.”
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat,
When the St. Louis Blues were searching for backup goaltenders last summer, they had several options.
They could sign a current NHL goalie with experience, simply go with Ben Bishop from their own organization, or make a trade.
With a lot of scouting homework from goaltending coach Corey Hirsch, the Blues set their sights on Brian Elliott.
“He deserves the lion’s share of the credit,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said of Hirsch. “His job responsibility was to scour the available players and he had Elliott high on the list of the players he chose.”
Hirsch and the Blues apparently did their homework extremely well.
Coach’s Corner touched on numerous topics last night, including the play of Brian Elliott, Sidney Crosby should just play the game and the Buffalo Sabres…
from Dan O"Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
You could give the Blues credit for a number of things, but timing is not one of them, at least not this week.
Just two days after Sidney Crosby’s return to active duty, the Blues travel to Pittsburgh tonight to play the Penguins. Crosby sat out 320 consecutive days before returning to action in spectacular style, scoring two goals and four points in a Pittsburgh win on Monday. And the Blues make only one trip to Pittsburgh this season. Had they made that trip sometime sooner, they would have missed “Sid the Kid.”...
“There are leaders and then there are leaders of players, and he is a leader of players,” said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who coached Crosby in the 2010 Olympics. “He’s a guy that people rally around. ... My first-hand experience with him is he’s a leader of players, so he’s always going to inspire the rest of the group to play at a higher level. That’s very difficult to coach against.”
Drew Doughty received 2 minutes for cross-checking and after the game reports were T.J. Oshie was OK.
from the Blues website,
Perron, who has not played since he suffered a concussion on a hit by San Jose’s Joe Thornton Nov. 4, 2010, was given clearance to be a regular participant in practice, thus engaging in full contact.
Perron, 23, missed the final 72 games last season and has sat out the first 18 this season. Although there is no timetable for a return to the lineup, taking another step means he’s that much closer to gaining entry into the lineup for a hot Blues team, which is 4-0-1 since Ken Hitchcock took over as coach.
“I feel good. I feel that it was time to take that step,” Perron said Friday. “It’s just another step, obviously. I’m just going to keep moving forward, which I’ve been doing. There’s still more steps to go, obviously. It’s kind of like getting my conditioning up with the guys and being just a player instead of being the guy you can’t do anything with.
“I’m a long ways from where I was when I started skating. There’s still a ways to go, but we move forward.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org