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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:40 am 
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What seems like a simple task of winning two games in a row proved elusive for more than a month for the St. Louis Blues.

Now that they finally reached that goal, however, they don't see any reason for their winning streak to stop at two.

A 4-0 win Saturday in San Jose and a 2-1 overtime triumph in Anaheim on Sunday night marked the first time the Blues won back-to-back games since a three-game winning streak ended on Dec. 1.

They will try for a third consecutive win as they return home Tuesday night to host the Ottawa Senators.

"On the road, especially, it's a good feeling," said defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. "I think we not only found our game, but found our game on the road, which has obviously been a cause for concern for us."

Both wins came with backup Carter Hutton in goal, playing in place of struggling starter Jake Allen. Allen was pulled early in three of his last five starts but coach Ken Hitchcock has not said whether Allen or Hutton will get the start against the Senators.

Hutton said he thought the team's success came from its overall mental approach more than how he played in goal.

"It's a little bit mental," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "All these guys are pretty tremendous athletes and this league is really good. That's the biggest thing. You can't take nights off. When you play higher-end teams, you have a little more focus. We're a little tighter. It's just consistency, playing a full 60 minutes, battling."

Both goals in Sunday night's win were scored by center Patrik Berglund, his ninth and 10th of the season.

"He's just playing so well," Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch. "It's really impressive to see how well he's playing, how gritty he's playing. I think he's playing well because he's playing so darn gritty. This is as heavy as I've seen him play for a long time. He's lugging the puck, he's carrying us out of trouble, he's killing penalties, playing on the power play ... he's carrying a huge load for us right now and like I said, this is the best I've seen him compete and that's why he's having success."

The Senators will open a three-game road trip with the game against the Blues, also the official start to their second half of the season.

For them to continue to hold onto a playoff spot, the players know they will have to play better defensively than they did in their last game, a 4-2 loss at home on Saturday night to Toronto.

"There's more pressure to play well defensively and that's the main focus," forward Zach Smith told the Ottawa Sun. "The coaching staff has made it known right from the start if you're not going to play the defensive game you're not going to play.

"Everyone has made sacrifices in their games -- especially the offensive guys they have to make sacrifices to think defense first before offense and getting points. That's a great testament to see that everybody had bought into that and that's why we've cleaned up our defensive zone."

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Blues • The Blues have beaten Ottawa in St. Louis just once since 2001-02 and are 0-0-3 in the past three seasons. The Blues have fewer wins against Ottawa, both at home (just five) and overall (14) than any team in the league. … Robby Fabbri has 17 assists, two off his total from last season. … This will be Patrik Berglund’s 600th game as a Blue.

Senators • Ottawa has won just two of its past seven games and is tied for third in the Atlantic Division with Toronto. … Erik Karlsson is third among defensemen in scoring with 35 points on seven goals and 28 assists. Mike Hoffman is tied for sixth in power-play goals with eight. … Mike Condon, who started the season with Pittsburgh, has played in 17 consecutive games in goal for the Senators; Craig Anderson is on leave of absence while his wife is treated for throat cancer, and Andrew Hammond is injured.

Injuries • Blues — D Carl Gunnarsson (lower body), questionable. Senators — G Craig Anderson (personal), G Andrew Hammond (ankle) and F Clarke MacArthur (concussion), out.


This day in history:
1976 Derek Sanderson scored 10 seconds into the game recording the fastest Blues goal to start a game in 7-5 win over Bruins
1976 Chuck Lefley recorded a hat trick in the same game vs the Bruins
1976 And the Blues tied a record with their 6th straight home win
1979 NY Islanders didn't get a shot off in 1 period against NY Rangers
1981 Mike Bossy sets an NHL single-season record with his eighth hat trick of the season
1989 Al Arbour wins his 600th NHL game as coach

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Last edited by theohall on Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:04 pm 
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The Blues have fewer wins against Ottawa, both at home (just five) and overall (14) than any team in the league.


:shock: I had no idea.

Ottawa is not quite on the same level as San Jose and Anaheim, so we'll see if we've really "found our game" or revert to our old ways. And let's get #91 back on the scoresheet.

Two points, please. :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:39 pm 
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2 of those wins were in the Senators' god awful inaugural season, which makes it even worse.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:45 pm 
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Well the Hunt experiment was nice while it lasted. Are we going to have anyone left on the farm after our waiver claims? Do we get compensated in any way for losing guys like that?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:14 pm 
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tjk002 wrote:
Well the Hunt experiment was nice while it lasted. Are we going to have anyone left on the farm after our waiver claims? Do we get compensated in any way for losing guys like that?


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/predators-assign-fiala-milwaukee-place-granberg-ir-174327018--nhl.html

I know Subban has been injured (and now Granberg), but is Nashville's D so bad that they had to steal one of our AHLers?

And no, tjk002- no compensation required on the part of the Preds.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:21 pm 
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tjk002 wrote:
Well the Hunt experiment was nice while it lasted. Are we going to have anyone left on the farm after our waiver claims? Do we get compensated in any way for losing guys like that?


Time to bring up Schmaltz?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:35 pm 
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Forget Schmaltz for the time being. Dunn is cleaning up in Chicago, give him first crack. I think Schmaltz was injured at the beginning of the season anyway, he needs to get some more time in. Bottom line, both will be on the team next year, A) after Shattenkirk gets traded at the deadline--don't doubt that for a second, I'd bet on it happening for sure (and the return being disappointing) and B) after we lose a d-man to Vegas in the expansion draft. Dunn 1st, Schmaltz next season.

As for Hunt, I liked what he brought to the table but he's too small to be a regular NHL d-man. Not overly disappointed by his exodus from the roster.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Le sigh. 1-0 Sens.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Stastny tips in Bouwmeester's wrister!!! Blues tie it 1-1!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:51 pm 
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Not a very good 1st Period, but not bad. Now The Blues are poised to take over the game in The 2nd.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:43 pm 
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Shattenkirk blasts it in from the point!!! Blues close within 1!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:08 pm 
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Steen!!!! Driving to the net and gets a great feed in stride from Pietrangelo!!!! Blues tie it at 3!!!

But just as I type, The Sens score! Boo! :aaaa:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Nice flurry of good offence by The Blues, staying in the O-zone for quite a while, and getting some scoring chances. If this keeps up, they'll tie it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Berglund tips it in. But way too little, way too late. The Blues need badly to win games like this at home vs. middling teams. But, they just don't seem to have that capability. And with weak goaltending, it's just that much harder. They can't even get a shot on net with the extra man.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:20 pm 
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gaijin wrote:
tjk002 wrote:
Well the Hunt experiment was nice while it lasted. Are we going to have anyone left on the farm after our waiver claims? Do we get compensated in any way for losing guys like that?


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/predators-assign-fiala-milwaukee-place-granberg-ir-174327018--nhl.html

I know Subban has been injured (and now Granberg), but is Nashville's D so bad that they had to steal one of our AHLers?

And no, tjk002- no compensation required on the part of the Preds.


So is there at least a limit to how many players we can lose in a year on waivers?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:07 am 
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gaijin wrote:
tjk002 wrote:
Well the Hunt experiment was nice while it lasted. Are we going to have anyone left on the farm after our waiver claims? Do we get compensated in any way for losing guys like that?


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/predators-assign-fiala-milwaukee-place-granberg-ir-174327018--nhl.html

I know Subban has been injured (and now Granberg), but is Nashville's D so bad that they had to steal one of our AHLers?

And no, tjk002- no compensation required on the part of the Preds.


Well correct me if I'm wrong but once the Preds get healthy and want to start inserting guys back in the lineup won't they be in exactly the same position with Hunt as we were? (Having to send him through waivers to their own AHL affiliate?) Heck we could conceivably scoop him right back up.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:08 am 
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Anybody else notice there's been a slew of high scoring games lately? I don't know if this year has scoring up more than what's average but it at least lately seems that way.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:09 am 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
Anybody else notice there's been a slew of high scoring games lately? I don't know if this year has scoring up more than what's average but it at least lately seems that way.


This week, yeah. I remember Monday I was flipping through channels and landed on the Pens-Caps game. In the 8 minutes I watched, the score went from 3-0 Caps to 5-3 Pens. I checked the score later and it ended 8-7 in overtime. :aaaa:

I think the Stars just had a severe outburst of the offense as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:44 am 
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Here's a decent writeup on our Jekyll and Hyde play: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/ben-frederickson/benfred-s-blues-continue-to-send-mixed-messages/article_8b767edb-27dc-5714-9c21-b7991397cbe3.html

The telling part:

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I could buy in on the Blues attempting to build off of last year's run to the Western Conference finals. In this scenario, general manager Doug Armstrong does everything in his power to make coach Ken Hitchcock's last season one for the record books. Turn the organization's 50th anniversary into something more memorable than that year the Winter Classic came to town. Make this team better before the Feb. 28 trade deadline — even if a cost will be paid in the future. This is the Blues' big year.

I could also understand a more pragmatic approach. In this scenario, you stand by the faster style of play you told us was necessary to succeed in the NHL of the future, a transition you embraced after you didn't spend big to keep bruiser and team leader David Backes in town. Prioritize what is best for the start of the Mike Yeo era, a transition you embraced when you hired the coach-in-waiting and essentially made Hitchcock a lame duck on a victory lap. Play fast even though you aren't fast, because overhauling a team and its philosophy takes both time and some ugly games. Use the trade deadline to produce a better team in 2017-18. Acknowledge that last year, not this year, was the big chance. Keep the focus on the future.

What doesn't make much sense to me is setting up camp somewhere in the middle, which is exactly where the team seems to be more than halfway through their season.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:44 am 
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glen a richter wrote:
As for Hunt, I liked what he brought to the table but he's too small to be a regular NHL d-man. Not overly disappointed by his exodus from the roster.

Not only is he too small, he lacks speed. That combination is a killer for an NHL defenseman, not so much for a journeyman AHL defenseman. Great offensive instincts and ability to distribute in the offensive zone, but there has to a reasonable expectation to actually defend against guys and break up plays when the offense in front of him breaks down. I remember at least 3 times already this season where his lack of size and/or speed directly led to goals against because a) he couldn't get there or b) he was over-powered. (go ahead and insert the Bouwmeester issues, we already know ;) )

There is a reason Hunt has been with an NHL team for 5 years, but played almost exclusively in the AHL, and failed to crack the Edmonton Oilers disaster of a defense the previous 4 years.

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