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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:33 am 
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The St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche shared something in common ahead of their Sunday night matchup in Denver -- they both are coming off losses at Winnipeg.

For the Avalanche (17-43-3), losing 6-1 to the Jets on Saturday night doesn't mean much in the standings, but the Blues' setback hurt their fight for a spot in the postseason.

St. Louis has now lost five straight games and was a point out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

It's a tough position to be in for a team that started the season with hopes of a deep playoff run but has changed coaches and shipped off a top blue-liner before the trading deadline.

The deal that sent Kevin Shattenkirk to Washington wasn't a white flag, the Blues insist.

"We've got to rise to the moment," Blues coach Mike Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before Friday's 3-0 loss to the Jets. "I'm not inside the locker room, but my hunch is that they're saying that this is their season right now."

The Blues (31-27-5) were riding high after a five-game winning streak in February, the first four of which came on the road. But three one-goal losses highlighted the recent slide.

St. Louis can start to turn things around at Colorado, where the Avalanche have struggled all season.

Add to the fact that they played Saturday night in Winnipeg and are playing their first home game since trading icon Jarome Iginla to Los Angeles and St. Louis is facing a struggling team playing out the string.

General manager Joe Sakic didn't trade any of the team's core players, although there was interest in Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. The fact that they could still be dealt in the offseason could weigh on their minds -- and the rest of the team -- in the final month of the season.

"I've always said they're good hockey players, but does it mean I'm not going to try to help our team long term?" Sakic told The Denver Post. "No. I'll do anything that's going to make sense for us, that we feel is going to help us for the future."

The immediate future is an attempt to reach 10 wins in an arena where the Avalanche used to play dominant hockey. Colorado is 8-20-2 at Pepsi Center, and every team it hosts in its final 11 home games is fighting for playoff positioning or just to make the playoffs.

The Blues are up first, and they are hungry for a win.

"We need to realize that we need to be desperate," backup goaltender Carter Hutton told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch after making 37 saves against Winnipeg on Friday night. "We're not in the playoffs right now and we're falling behind here, five in a row now. It's unacceptable at this time of year and any time of year, so we need to be better, that's for sure."

St. Louis would like to get back to the way it was playing in early February when it outscored teams 18-6 during a five-game span.

That was followed with scoring just six goals in the next five games, including the shutout loss at Winnipeg on Friday.

"To be honest, it's been the story the past couple of weeks here, we're scoring one goal, two goals," Alex Pietrangelo told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We're giving up one or two and we're losing games. We've got to find a way in these close games, we've got to find a way to score some goals. We've just got to get more pucks on net."
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Blues • The Blues will look to snap their five-game losing streak in Colorado, where they will play for the first time this season. The Blues beat the Avalanche 5-1 on Nov. 6 in St. Louis. ... The Blues’ penalty-killing started off solid under Mike Yeo, but the unit has given up one power-play goal in four of its past five games. ... Jake Allen is expected to be back in net Sunday, after Carter Hutton’s spectacular performance in Friday’s 3-0 loss to Winnipeg, stopping 37 of 38 shots.

Avalanche • Colorado remains in last place in the NHL standings with 37 points, which is 16 fewer than the next-highest team in the league (Arizona). ... The Avalanche will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set. They were in Winnipeg on Saturday, where they were blitzed 6-1. ... The Avs made a move at the trade deadline, sending veteran Jarome Iginla to LA. But the team held onto young forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, continuing to look for better offers.

Injuries • Blues — LW Robby Fabbri (knee) is out; Avalanche — D Nikita Zadorov (ankle) and G Semyon Varlamov (groin) are out.


This day in history:
1969 Blackhawks Bobby Hull becomes the first player to score 50 goals in a season four times
1977 Dionne becomes the first player in Kings franchise to score 100 points and the first to score 100 points with two teams
1985 Dionne becomes first player in NHL history to score 100 points in a season eight times in his career
1985 NY Islander Mike Bossy becomes 1st to score 50 goals in 8 straight seasons
1991 The completely unnecessary, chemistry destroying trade which sent Geoff Courtnall, Cliff Ronning, Robert Dirk, and Sergio Momesso to the Canucks for Dan Quinn and Garth Butcher happened. (Let's trade 3 of our top 9 forwards for a 3rd line C and a tough guy defenseman who doesn't score... BRILLIANT!!! - hated it then, still hate it today)
1992 Mats Sundin has 7 point night (5G, 2A) in Nordiques 10-4 win over Whalers ending a 33 game road winless streak
1996 Gretzky plays his first game with the Blues in 2-0 win over Panthers

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:16 am 
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I guess when you lose 5 in a row, you need to start with small victories to build some confidence back.

Facing Colorado might be just the right thing. :?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:40 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:09 am 
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And the moron coach plays the 1 point wonder, Lehtera w/o Tarasenko, over Barbashev. What accountability is being held to veterans?? Typical lip service from Yeo.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:34 am 
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He promoted Barbashev up to Lehtera's spot during the game on Friday. Scratching him makes no sense, I agree.

If you're looking for offense, putting Jori on the ice is not the elixir. No matter who the opponent is.

Will it take losing to the Avs to get Lehtera out of there?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Toasted Oates wrote:
He promoted Barbashev up to Lehtera's spot during the game on Friday. Scratching him makes no sense, I agree.

If you're looking for offense, putting Jori on the ice is not the elixir. No matter who the opponent is.

Will it take losing to the Avs to get Lehtera out of there?


Barbashev only played 2 shifts in the 2nd period with Shwartz and Tarasenko. The rest of the game, including the entire 3rd period, the STL line stayed together. That wasn't a promotion, but that was Yeo's version of "sending a message" which is completely pointless if the coach is going to wind up benching the guy who isn't producing because he's playing on a 4th friggin' line. This is the same crap Yeo pulled with Granlund in Minnesota.

What will it take to get Lehtera out of there? Losing games to Colorado and Arizona is my guess. We all know management isn't expecting the Blues to beat the Wild, right now. I just can't believe no one knows that Lehtera has a sum total of 1 point this season when not on the ice with Tarasenko.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:53 pm 
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I was agreeing with you, not arguing. Whether it was 2 shifts or 10, it's still surprising he scratches the kid. Yeo has talked Barbashev up off the ice, moves him up for a little bit during the game...doesn't make sense he's the one who's scratched.

And you don't need to know that stat to know Lehtera sucks.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:55 pm 
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I was just demonstrating how much Lehtera sucks. It's staggering he has that few points with as much ice time as coaches keep giving him.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Glad to see Schmaltz is going to get some ice time, that'll be important moving forward since he and Dunn will both be in next season. Better to have at least one of them get some NHL time beforehand so we're not rolling with two true rookies at D.

FWIW, Samuel Blais had a 4 point night and has really turned in a pretty good season so far after a slow start this year in his first AHL campaign--33 points in 57 games and a +8. I'd sure like to see him get a call up and a look since we're waving the white flag on this season anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:23 pm 
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Great passing play on that PP goal by Stastny! Schwartz et al. Blues lead 1-0!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:23 pm 
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And The Blues score again right away, Brodziak knocks in the garbage!!! Blues lead 2-0!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:27 pm 
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2-0 already. Can we just beat the living shit out of these guys? Just to make me feel 5% better about our team?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:47 pm 
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While the score is 2-0, the only line getting good 5-on-5 scoring chances on net is the friggin' 4th line. There is no intensity from the top 2 lines and I'm not going to count the joke that is the 1st round bust line with Paajarvi and Yakupov.

This kind of effort will result in the Wild completely destroying the Blues on Tuesday.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Not a terrible 1st Period. Schmaltz looked okay. He didn't look like he doesn't belong in The NHL. Brodziak played well. Not happy that Barbashev and Agostino aren't playing, and Yakupov is.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:16 pm 
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No optimism here, with Parayko limping off after blocking that shot. I hope it's just a stinger, and nothing serious. :cry:

Good to see Parayko right back out there on the ice!!! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:23 pm 
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Berglund knocks in a slightly missed hit that fools the goalie!!! PP goal, and Blues lead 3-0!!!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Great kill thanks to Stastny and Berglund!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:44 pm 
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Not a bad 2nd Period for The Blues. But, despite their having scored 2 PP goals tonight (and 3 out of 8 since the trade), we can see that losing Shattenkirk from The #1 PP Unit, has hurt BOTH units severely.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:36 pm 
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Schmaltz looked good. Keep him in there.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:40 pm 
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Robb_K wrote:
Not a bad 2nd Period for The Blues. But, despite their having scored 2 PP goals tonight (and 3 out of 8 since the trade), we can see that losing Shattenkirk from The #1 PP Unit, has hurt BOTH units severely.


Losing Muller in the off-season hurt the PP more, IMO. We saw the same 1-3-1 PP from both units and while it did score twice vs the Avs - it was the Avs. Last season the PP changed tactics from one unit to the next and often within the same game the unit would change tactics if given more than one opportunity. This season it never changes.

This kind of effort vs the Wild will not get it done.

Glad they won, but not happy with the way they played. Lehtera seriously needs to be benched as do the 1st round busts from Edmonton. Classic Paajarvi. Look, I scored 2 goals and played good for 3 games. Now I suck again for the next 5. And Armstrong guaranteed he is not being sent back to Chicago already...

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