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What a first game for Davis Payne – new interim Head Coach of the Blues. Thrown in at the deep end after less than 10 hours in the job with a game against the Division leading Chicago Blackhawks. So, did the Blues do anything different? Well, they definitely played with energy, intensity and passion – laying out some bonecrunching hits and working hard for the puck – but the same mistakes were still there. Turnovers, errors in front of goal, unable to score on powerplays, the odd soft goal given up by the goaltender – but did anyone expect Davis Payne to suddenly get the Blues to gel and outplay the Blackhawks within hours of taking over? The Blues stayed with them in the first period though before the errors really crept in during the second and third periods.
There ARE positive things to take out of the game though:
- The hard, physical aspects of the Blues play were excellent – especially the fantastic open ice hit by Mike Weaver on Patrick Sharp. Weaver is one of the smaller guys out there and to see him lay out Patrick Sharp like that bought the crowd to their feet.
- Eric Brewer scored again; Jackman made a great save on an empty net; Roman Polak played hard in the offensive zone.
- David Perron – couple of great takeaways and then he took down Versteeg … and continued to yap away at him from the penalty box.
- Not sure whether this is a positive for Keith Tkachuk but he DID score…with his mouth. Great shot from Oshie, tipped by Berglund, hit Tkachuk in the mouth and went into the net. Tkachuk was helped off the ice and Andy Strickland is reporting that Tkachuk lost multiple teeth and suffered a gash above the mouth.
As this was Payne’s first game, we’ll stick with the positives and give him time to work out the negatives. Anyhow – your game reports:
- St Louis Game Time does it’s own search for the positive aspects of the game.
- The Blues Official Site has the recap, highlights and interviews with David Backes, Mike Weaver and Davis Payne.
- Dan O’Neill in the Post Dispatch notes that it’s a “new coach, old result” for the Blues with comments from Davis Payne, David Backes and Mike Weaver.
Davis Payne now has a few days to work with the guys before they head out to California for their next game – against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. He doesn’t get it easy.