Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
Wade Belak of the Predators takes on Cam Janssen of the Blues.
from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Feb 10 is the 20th anniversary of Blues announcer Dan Kelly’s death. Below is Kevin Horrigan’s obituary for Mr. Kelly that ran Feb 11, 1989.
A voice that once was called the ‘‘purest, most knowledgeable, most accurate’’ in hockey was stilled Friday morning. St. Louis Blues broadcaster Dan Kelly, 52, died at his home in Chesterfield after a five-month struggle with cancer….
‘‘In sports, we talk a lot about ‘franchise’ players,’’ said Michael F. Shanahan, chairman of the board of the Blues. ‘‘Dan Kelly could easily be said to have been a franchise broadcaster. There were times in the last 20 years he was this franchise to the hockey fans. ‘‘He did what he wanted to do, and nobody ever did it better. How many of us get to say that?’‘
read on and watch Dan Kelly’s call of a famous Bobby Orr goal below…
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that forward Andy McDonald has signed a four-year contract extension.
“St. Louis Blues ownership and myself realize how integral Andy is to the future of our organization,” said Davidson. “He’s a first line center who will play a major role in the development of our team.”
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.
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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