Panthers @ Blues

October 31, 2009

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Brad Winchester is back in the lineup tonight

The only change to the lineup tonight is that Tyson Strachan will sit out and Brad Winchester will return. This will give the Blues a much more balanced look with 6 D-men instead of the 7 who played against the Coyotes. Carlo Colaiacovo is still out with flu.

The Blues really need to come out strong tonight – the Panthers are a fast team but they have defensive problems. The Blues need to punish this weakness and punish it fast. The Panthers beat the Stars last night in a shootout with Steve Reinprecht scoring a natural hattrick.

Let’s hope the Blues play to their strengths – don’t try for the perfect pass on the powerplay, just shoot, keep pounding the net and it’ll happen. Let’s hope that sitting a game has had an effect on Brad Winchester. He’s a big guy…he needs to use his size and start crashing the net. Eric Brewer should have shaken a bit of rust off – and the pairing with Pietrangelo looks a good one.

Come on Blues – don’t let Mike Kitchen have the last laugh…

Source: Andy Strickland


Coyotes 2 – Blues 0

October 30, 2009

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The Blues couldn’t get past hot goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov

Why can’t the Blues play two good games in a row? I don’t know. The downsides of last night’s game were the seeming lack of effort until the last few minutes of the game; the powerplay still very ineffective; Paul Kariya tried…but he simply did not have a good game at all – mind you, it would be very hard to single out a player who had a GOOD game. On the upsides, the Blues DID create chances – quite a number of chances – and were thwarted by the hot goalie of the moment, Ilya Bryzgalov. Eric Brewer had a solid return – he might have been on ice for both goals but you can hardly blame him for them. For the first goal, Brewer did his job and pushed Daniel Winnick towards the outside – Winnick however let go with a wrist shot that seemed to almost trickle past Ty Conklin. For the second goal, Brewer and Pietrangelo were on the wrong end of a 3 on 2 breakaway and couldn’t really do a lot about it.

However, if you want to read some game reports:

So – you want a bit of good news after that? Okay, Jeremy Rutherford is reporting on Twitter that TJ Oshie, Barrat Jackman, Alex Steen and Eric Brewer were out on the ice this morning – and that Oshie is moving well. Thank goodness for that.

Oh Captain, My Captain – Coyotes @ Blues

October 29, 2009

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He’s back! Cap’n Eric suits up for the Blues tonight

Blues Captain, Eric Brewer, will be in the lineup for tonight’s game at Scottrade against the Phoenix Coyotes. This will be the Captain’s first game since last December after being sidelined with a back injury. Let’s hope that the big guy can provide some much needed stability and calm to our defense corps. Eric Brewer is one of those players who polarises fans – you like him or hate him – and I think a certain section of fans will never forgive him for being part of the Chris Pronger trade.

Eric Brewer is NOT Chris Pronger. He never claimed to be. Brewer is a big, solid defenseman who can log big minutes each game against the oppositions top lines. He’s not flashy, he’s not one for fancy plays – Brewer is safe and solid. He’s calm – not prone to panic plays and will prove to be a good, stabilising influence on our youngsters. Brewer was named Captain of the team for a reason. He was the players choice – they, along with Andy Murray and the rest of the management team – recognise his leadership qualities.

Eric Brewer looks like being the only change in lineup for tonight’s game against the Coyotes. Brewer is expected to partner Alex Pietrangelo as he has been doing in practice and Tyson Strachan is expected to sit out tonight. Carlo Colaiacovo is out with flu.

Good luck in your first game back, Captain.

Blues 5 – Hurricanes 2

October 29, 2009

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Cam Janssen was instrumental in Yan Stastny’s goal

A stuttering powerplay didn’t hold the Blues back last night – it couldn’t because the Blues only had one powerplay in the entire game. Contrast that with the fact that the Hurricanes had 6 powerplays and you start to realise why the Blues were outshot 36-18.

The Blues started strongly with two fights in the first 6 minutes. Brad Winchester lost his fight against Jay Harrison but then Cam Janssen stepped up to show Winchester how it was done by hardly breaking a sweat in his matchup against Tim Conboy. This was about sending a message – and it seemed to be received and understood by the Hurricanes. A couple of minutes after Janssen’s fight, David Perron leapt on a rebounded shot from Patrik Berglund to put the Blues ahead after 7.32 of P1. Less than 10 minutes later, a huge hit by Cam Janssen caused a turnover and it was beautifully played by Yan Stastny, celebrating his callup with his first goal of the season for the Blues. Less than 30 seconds later, the Blues were 3 up as a pass from David Perron found Jay McClement who scored on a breakaway. In the last minute of the period, the Hurricanes pulled one back with Mike Weaver in the penalty box for stick holding.

In period 2, the Blues killed off two more powerplays for the Hurricanes, with Chris Mason making some superb saves. Then, during an awful line change for the Hurricanes, the Blues were suddenly in a 3 on 1 situation. Tkachuk passed to McDonald and the Blues were 4-1 up. From being outshot 14-11 in P1, the Blues were outshot 5-3 in P2.

Period 3 was very much a time of attrition – the Blues were outshot 17-4, gave up two powerplays and the Hurricanes pulled it back to 4-2 with a powerplay goal after 8 minutes of the period. With Mason looming large in goal though, the Blues never really looked in danger and David Perron sealed the win with an empty net goal in the final minute.

Kudos have to go to Chris Mason – superb saves at the right time;
David Perron – who seems to have found his confidence again; Andy McDonald – speedy as ever; Paul Kariya – whose workrate has increased and Alex Pietrangelo – another really good game for the youngster. On the other side of the fence, Carlo Colaiacovo has flu and his place was taken by Tyson Strachan last night.

Another tick in the win column but the Blues still have things to work on – they’ve got to stop giving up silly penalties. It could really have hurt them last night. They also need to stop searching for that perfect pass whilst on the powerplay. After all, if you don’t shoot…you don’t score.

Blues @ Hurricanes

October 28, 2009

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Alex Pietrangelo gets another start tonight

Andy Murray doesn’t have a lot of choice tonight as regards to who plays. Injuries mean that needs must and the lineup is expected to be:

Andy McDonald-Keith Tkachuk-David Backes
Paul Kariya-Patrik Berglund-Brad Boyes
B.J. Crombeen-Jay McClement-David Perron
Brad Winchester-Yan Stastny-Cam Janssen

Darryl Sydor-Erik Johnson
Mike Weaver-Roman Polak
Carlo Colaiacovo-Alex Pietrangelo

Chris Mason

David Backes is moved to right wing and Tkachuk will center the line. The Winchester-Stastny-Janssen line will provide a lot of energy and passion. Let’s hope passion and energy is what the Blues as a whole provide tonight – we need to come out strong and physical from the start.

Source: Jeremy Rutherford

Tuesday hits

October 27, 2009

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Carlo Colaiacovo is back on the ice

First up, Yan Stastny has cleared waivers and will be in the Blues lineup for tomorrow’s game against the Hurricanes. However, the main piece of news from today actually concerns Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars. Ott laid a very low hit on Carlo Colaiacovo in Saturday’s game, causing Carlo to the leave the ice with an upper body injury. Ott received no penalty during the game but, the incident having been examined by the NHL, Ott has been handed a 2 game suspension. It’s the right call – but I’m surprised that nothing has been said about Ott’s knee to knee on BJ Crombeen later in the game.

If you haven’t seen the hits then check them out. First up is the low hit on Carlo Colaiacovo:

And here’s the knee to knee on Crombeen from late in the game:

Monday hits

October 26, 2009

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Yan Stastny gets recalled by the Blues

Well, after an eventful weekend there are a couple of pieces of news in Bluesland today:

  • Yan Stastny is recalled by the Blues from Peoria.  Stastny will have pass through re-entry waivers.  The Blues should know tomorrow if Stastny has cleared.
  • DJ King is expected to be out for 8-10 weeks after breaking his hand in the game on Saturday.
  • Carlo Colaiacovo skated today and should be okay to face the Hurricanes on Wednesday.
  • And…Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars, responsible for the awful knee to knee hit on BJ Crombeen and the rather low “hip check” on Carlo Colaiacovo on Saturday, has a hearing with the league tomorrow.

And a brief note to the Hockey Gods:  thanks…but that’s it for the injuries to the Blues, okay?

Sources: Jeremy Rutherford and Andy Strickland