ohio BLUES wrote:
For the future of this team, a loss tonight seems good. Would go a long way to getting Murray booted.
Nope. Just like I said in the Edmonton GDT, it's not going to happen....http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports ... enDocument
BY JEREMY RUTHERFORD
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Forgive Blues fans if they're a bit tentative going through the turnstiles tonight at Scottrade Center.
On Dec. 5, 2006, the last time Brett Hull returned to St. Louis to be honored in a pregame ceremony, the game that followed didn't come close to matching the scene of Hull's No. 16 being raised to the rafters.
"It was a special night for the fans, and then we came out and laid an egg," said Keith Tkachuk, one of only four Blues, along with Jay McClement, Barret Jackman and Eric Brewer, who were in the lineup that night.
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"What was the score ... 5-0 for Detroit?" Blues coach Andy Murray asked.
It was actually 5-1 in favor of the Red Wings. Murray wasn't on the bench for that fateful evening, but the result of the game was perhaps one of the reasons he joined the Blues a week later. The fallout of the team's fifth straight loss led to the ouster of Mike Kitchen as Blues coach and the introduction of Murray.
Tonight, the details will be eerily similar, as Hull returns to be honored for his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. On another December evening with No. 16 in the building, the Blues are trying to fend off speculation that changes are imminent.
"We're in a different place than we were," Blues President John Davidson said. "Detroit was on top of their game at that point and we were in transition. I give our guys a lot of credit. We were just trying to put a team together, just trying to compete. That night, it was like a hot knife going through butter. The night itself was wonderful, but the game ... OOOF!
"But we're in a different place now. We'll compete Tuesday, no question."
In 2006, the Blues were 7-15-3 and had lost their last four games heading into "Brett Hull Night." This time, they are 13-12-5, including 5-3-1 in their last nine games.
But the sting of Friday's 5-3 loss to Edmonton, a game the Blues led 3-0, is still throbbing. Instead of talking about how the club is taking steps to turn the corner, critics have spent the last three days debating the inconsistencies of a club that is 8-2-3 on the road and 4-10-2 at Scottrade Center.
Another result of Friday's loss is rampant speculation about the future of Murray with the Blues, a topic that Davidson attempted to play down Monday.
"We're all responsible ... every one of us," Davidson said. "I have to answer to Mr. Checketts and ownership every day. We all have people to answer to. It's a very emotional world, the world of sports. But we who are in charge have to keep our wits and make decisions that are stable. Decisions will get made along the way. We have to do what's right for the club."
Davidson said the circumstances are different today from when the Blues fired Kitchen 2½ months into the 2006 season.
"Going back to Mike's days, in my opinion, it was right to keep him in place (at the start of the season)," Davidson said. "Mike was not dealt a good hand and it was hard for him to get into a position of winning with that group. But we needed somebody with a little more experience because of the situation we were in, and Andy was able to provide that for us."
In three-plus seasons with the Blues, Murray has a record of 114-97-39. Last season, he led the club to its first playoff appearance in four seasons. Before the start of this season, the Blues picked up the option on Murray's contract for 2010-11, and about a month ago, owner Dave Checketts gave Murray a vote of confidence.
On Monday, Murray said: "I believe in our players, and I'm going to keep doing that. The bottom line is, that's what you have to do in a situation like this. I believe they'll get it done."
Well, if "Brett Hull Night - Part 2" isn't the perfect opportunity for the Blues to redeem themselves, then what is?
"We'll be ready this time," Tkachuk said. "It'll be a special night."