ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues coach Mike Yeo wasted no time in sending a message to his players following a dismal 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes last Saturday.
About 12 hours after the final buzzer, the team was back on the ice taking part in one of the most demanding practices of the season.
"Talk is talk," Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We can have as many meetings as we want. We can give you as many good quotes as we want, whatever the case is. Action is what matters right now and your play is your action. That's the only thing that matters, that speaks to your teammates, that you're playing for them and you're ready to lay it on the line. For me, that's pretty simple. You step over the boards, people watch you and that's the talk that we're looking for."
An extra off day before the Blues host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday allowed room for the intense practice.
Chances are, the players may still be feeling the effects even after the puck drops.
"Yeah, we definitely deserved to get pushed hard today," Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson told the Post-Dispatch. "Last night and the last couple home games were pretty embarrassing for our team. We've always had the fans' support at all or most games and we want to show what we've got in front of the crowd and the past couple games, we haven't done that. It's been a tough 24 hours for us, but we got the work in today, we had a meeting and just reset the mind."
One positive was the presence of forward Jaden Schwartz, who was a full participant for the first time since taking a puck off his foot on Dec. 9. Schwartz had 35 points in 30 games when he was hurt.
Schwartz could be back as early as Tuesday. St. Louis is 8-10-1 since he was hurt.
"He got the conditioning and he got the battle part of it and actually, he got through it, got through it well," Yeo told the Post-Dispatch.
The Blues beat the Senators 4-1 at Ottawa last Thursday. St. Louis has points in 10 of its last 11 games against the Senators overall (6-1-4).
The Senators will enter the game on the second night of back-to-back road games. Ottawa dropped its third straight game 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
It was the second consecutive game that the Senators lost while entering the third period either leading or tied.
"Two great periods and I don't quite understand how they're the more desperate team to start the third," Senators center Matt Duchene told the Ottawa Sun. "Yeah, we had 38 shots, but they took it to us at the start of the third and that's all she wrote, I guess."
The Senators are looking for a quick rebound.
"We wanted to have a good start to this short trip," Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf told the Sun. "Now we've got to find a way to rebound and come back."