Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
His goal for the organization isn’t about making the playoffs, it’s about winning them.
“I won’t even say the word to the guys, to be honest with you,” Murray said. “I will say we’re playing for the Stanley Cup.”
There are two realities to what Murray says. First is his belief that you concede nothing, that you strive to win every game, win a championship. If you would have asked Murray to project how many points he hoped to get before the season, he would have answered 164, which would translate to an 82-0 record. To answer anything else would be to concede a willingness to lose a few games.
Ask him about the playoffs and you’ll get a similar response. He’s not suggesting these Blues consider themselves a Stanley Cup contender, per se. But there is a perspective to consider. At one point in their history, the Blues advanced to the playoffs 25 seasons in succession. And what did they have to show for it? Close your eyes and what do you see?
“We just have to have a night-by-night focus,” Murray added. “And at the end of the year, if we have enough points to be playing more games, then we will have earned it.”
more on the Blues…
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that Paul Kariya will have surgery on his right hip on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Colorado. Dr. Philippon performed surgery on Kariya’s left hip on Jan. 5.
From Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal via Faceoff.com:
Tkachuk is no stranger to trade deadline turmoil.
In 2007, with Tkachuk an unrestricted free agent, the Blues sent him to the Atlanta Thrashers, a team desperate to make the playoffs. The Thrashers did make it to the post-season with Tkachuk, but were swept in the first round by the New York Rangers. Tkachuk then re-signed with the Blues in the off-season.
At the 2001 trade deadline, Tkachuk went to the Blues for the first time in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes for Michal Handzus, Ladislav Nagy, Jeff Taafe and a first-round draft.
from John Grigg of The Hockey News,
Watched some of the Detroit-St.Louis game on Versus last night. The panel was gushing over the Blues’ kid line of Patrik Berglund between T.J. Oshie and David Backes. Can’t say I blame them….
Most telling, the young trio is a combined plus-11 (with Berglund leading the Blues at plus-13 and Oshie second at plus-6), while Brad Boyes and Keith Tkachuk – the team’s veterans up front – have combined for a miserable minus-38 rating (Boyes’ minus-25 puts him at No. 814 in the NHL, third-last overall, despite a team-leading 41 points).
With Tkachuk likely on his way out – possibly for good this time – around the March 4 trade deadline, Andy McDonald an unrestricted free agent come July 1 and Paul Kariya heading into the final season of his contract in 2009-10, the Blues will be handed over to the kids soon enough.
“I was the worst player in the league tonight by far. We should have won that game 3-0. The guys played great. I’m the reason that we lost in a shootout.”
-Blues goaltender Manny Legace. More on the Blues shootout loss to the Wings last night at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
So Davidson is in an interesting spot. Some experts expected Legace to become available before the trade deadline, should the Blues’ front office decide to sell.
Right now, though, Legace ranks well down the list of available goaltenders.
Davidson could go the other way and add a netminder, since a LOT of them are available. Old friend Curtis Sanford and former Penguin Dany Sabourin are just two of the veterans who hit the waiver wire recently. Senators goaltender Martin Gerber, currently scraping off rust in the AHL, is also available.
It shouldn’t come to that, since Legace and Mason are capable of doing more. And this would be a good time for both men to prove it.
Blues score two goals in last 80 seconds to tie the game against the Bruins today and win in the shootout.
The tying goal with one second left was a bit controversial. Can anyone say Franzen?
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that defenseman Roman Polak will be sidelined indefinitely with a fractured right foot. He suffered the injury in the third period on Jan. 17 vs. Chicago. In addition, the club has recalled defenseman Steve Wagner from the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
For the record, Checketts is staying the course. He stands behind John Davidson’s plan to build a contender through player development.
“I know everybody from John on down is working very hard and is upset that our record isn’t better,” Checketts said.
He remains supportive of coach Andy Murray, whose job security has become the subject of Internet speculation.
“The guy is coaching his tail off,” Checketts said. “He’s effective. The guys are playing hard.”
He would like to re-sign Andy McDonald to a new contract rather than trade him away to a contender seeking rental help for the stretch run.
In other words, Checketts said all the right things for a man in his position. And thus far in his regime, Checketts has been a man of his word.
more on the Blues…
from Flames Insider,
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s oddball match against the St. Louis Blues — plenty of bad blood, but, curiously, little pep to the game — Calgary Flames coach Mike Keenan had plenty to say following the 3-1 win.
* About St. Louis RW Cam Janssen’s hits on LW Andre Roy and D Robyn Regehr: “He definitely left his feet (on Roy), and he definitely left his feet on Regehr. The two hits he made . . . he jumped and leaped. He definitely left his feet with the intent of hitting a player who didn’t have the puck. A deliberate intent to injure. There’s no question in my mind. I watched it over and over just to make sure that I was looking at it clearly. It’s up to the officials and the league to address it. He broke Prustie’s jaw (Dec. 5 at St. Louis). But this one was so blatant and so obvious . . . there’s no need for that tactic in the game. You can body guys all you can and drive them with your shoulder, but you start leaping at guys and leaving your feet? Then . . . you losing respect for the game. The league should take some action and suspend them.”
more on the Flames and watch the hit on Regehr below…
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