Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Finger Pointing In St. Louis

02/24/2023 at 7:25pm EST

from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic,

If you call Enterprise Center on Friday looking to buy an Alexey Toropchenko No. 13 Blues jersey, they might be on backorder.

It is extremely rare in the NHL for young players to speak their minds, especially a 23-year-old fourth-round draft pick with just 73 games in the league before Thursday’s game against Vancouver.

The Russian speaks impressively good English, and he did not mince words after the Blues coughed up a 2-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of regulation and fell 3-2 in overtime. The Canucks got a short-handed goal, pulled their goalie and tied the score with 29 seconds left, then won on Elias Pettersson’s OT shot.

But it wasn’t the fact the Blues, who have already begun their fire sale, lost the game. It was the lackadaisical effort by the team’s top players, which everyone in the crowd of 18,096 could see well before the final-period collapse....

“Even if we’re not in the playoff spot, I will do everything because it’s a hockey game,” Toropchenko said. “You can’t (disappear), especially when you’re playing in the NHL. You’re not playing somewhere else, on the beer league or something like that. You need to show something. You need to show heart and character and be strong everywhere. Just play from your heart. Not good.”...

The trio of Schenn, Thomas and Kyrou has a combined one point in the past four games, and that was an assist by Kyrou in last week’s 4-1 loss to Colorado. In their four-game losing streak, the Blues have been outscored 18-6, and here’s the breakdown of five-on-five goals for/against that those three have been on the ice for: Schenn (2-4), Thomas (0-6) and Kyrou (1-6).

“Not good enough,” Berube said. “Not even close.”

more ($)

Below, watch as Sportsnet's Hockey Central discusses this...


from Lou Korac at NHL.com,

Craig Berube did not back down one day after making strong comments regarding the recent play of the St. Louis Blues following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.

The Blues coach was critical of his team's play, including saying that a number of their best players, "don't play with any passion, no emotion and no inspiration at all."

St. Louis lost Thursday despite having a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, including allowing the tying goal with 29 seconds remaining.

"I don't regret things," Berube said after practice Friday. "Like I said, we need to be better as a team. Individuals need to be better, and that's the bottom line. We need to be better. I need to be better. Coaching staff needs to be better. So, we've got to work on getting better. Sometimes you say things and hopefully you get a response."

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong addressed the team prior to practice regarding some of the comments from Berube and forward Alexey Toropchenko after a fourth straight loss (0-3-1) since trading captain Ryan O'Reilly and forward Noel Acciari to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 17, a week after trading forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola to the New York Rangers on Feb. 9.

"I think the raw emotion after a game like that was evident from everyone involved," Armstrong said. "From a managerial perspective, it's understandable. We've made some radical changes to this group over the last couple of weeks. Emotions are raw right now. What we need to do is come to grips with what we have on our team right now and start to build.


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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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