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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:26 am 
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ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues made it 2-for-2 on Tuesday night.

For the second time in a month, Blues coach Mike Yeo went with an unconventional 11-7 lineup (11 forwards, 7 defensemen). For the second time, it yielded a victory in a 3-0 shutout of Ottawa.

Yeo last went with the 11-7 on Dec. 30, a 3-2 win over Carolina. That lineup was made out of necessity, an attempt to protect defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who was returning from a lower body injury.

The latest lineup came after a 5-2 setback to Arizona on Saturday, arguably the Blues' worse loss of the season.

"When we did it last time, I liked the response we got from the group of our forwards," Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "They seemed to really embrace the idea of having some extra opportunity there and seemed to be real engaged, not just for the expected shifts that they were going to get. You come back to the bench and have to be ready, you don't know if you're going (back) at any time, so it seems to keep you really engaged."

Whether it was the lineup or the tough practices that followed the Arizona loss, the Blues responded.

"We had a locker room full of angry players, frustrated," goalie Carter Hutton told the Post-Dispatch. "We talked about it. It's one thing to lose; it's hard to win in this league and you're going to lose games. But it's the way you lose sometimes. We weren't happy about that and I think the message is clear."

The 11-7 formation is most likely a one-game solution, especially with the expected return of forward Jaden Schwartz to the lineup as the Blues host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

Schwartz had scored 35 points in 30 games before taking a puck off of his foot on Dec. 9. St. Louis is 9-10-1 without him. He has been medically cleared to play, but Schwartz will decide if he's ready to go against Colorado.

"We have a spot in our lineup for him when he's ready to go," Yeo told 590AM after Wednesday's optional skate.

The Avalanche are coming off a 4-2 loss at Montreal on Tuesday night, which snapped the team's 10-game winning streak.

Colorado trailed for 94 seconds during the streak and had outscored their opponents 41-16 in the 10 games. It is the longest winning streak in the NHL this season and was the second-longest in team history.

"It was a good run, it's over, you've got to move on," Colorado coach Jared Bednar told NHL.com. "I don't know, it looked like we were out of gas tonight. That's what it looked like, that's how we played."

The Blues are 14-3-3 in their last 20 games against the Avalanche, but Colorado is hungry to keep the winning going.

"We can't get too down, obviously," Avalanche goalie Jonathan Bernier told the Denver Post. "Everybody is a little sour right now. But we have a big game in St. Louis (Thursday). We got to make sure we finish strong before the all-star (break)."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:17 am 
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This will be a big test- Colorado is a lot tougher than Ottawa. They've obviously got the talent to string together 10 wins in a row.

It's very important that we don't suck.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:11 pm 
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gaijin wrote:
This will be a big test- Colorado is a lot tougher than Ottawa. They've obviously got the talent to string together 10 wins in a row.

It's very important that we don't suck.


It's also worth noting that we have the most games played in the whole western conference. In that sense, our place in the standings is misleading.

Might be a bad thing to be drawing the Avs coming off their 10 game win streak though. Feels like this could be a spot where Avs are playing more loose now that they've lost a game and get to stop answering questions about "the streak" and can get back to just going out and playing. Takes some pressure off.

Not sure why you'd bring Schwartz back at this point just to give him some days off for the All Star Break. Why not just wait until the boys get back? idonno.

Blues 2
Avs 4

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:42 pm 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
It's also worth noting that we have the most games played in the whole western conference. In that sense, our place in the standings is misleading.


That's one of the reasons the extended "slump" we've been in since Schwartz went down has been so harmful. We dropped to third in the division while playing more games (in some cases many more games) than our rivals.

WaukeeBlues wrote:
Not sure why you'd bring Schwartz back at this point just to give him some days off for the All Star Break. Why not just wait until the boys get back? idonno.


I could see either point of view. Obviously if he is held out this game, it's that much more healing time to ensure the ankle really is good to go. Less risk of re-injury.

On the other hand, if he plays tonight, it gives him the long weekend to work out the soreness of the first game back, and be ready to go again when the normal schedule resumes next week. When it comes to returning to physical activity after injury, that's yuuuuge.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:55 pm 
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The real problem had already begun when Schwartz got hurt. It was the return of Bouwmeester. I'm thrilled to get Schwartz back, but we need secondary scoring from our defense, and that has been few and far between since Bouwmeester came back.

That said, I think we win tonight.

Avs - 2
Blues - 3

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Maybe someone can 'splain this to me.

While I am happy both power plays finally have 2 defenseman on the points, why is he putting Dunn and Edmundson on one unit while Pietrangelo and Parayko are the other? Why 2 righties on one and 2 lefties on the other. I understand the concept of one of them being a QB and the other one being a shooter. To me, this tells the opposition which side of the ice your power play is going to favor. However, why not use the KISS method and keep everything balanced, for once, instead of trying some nonsense again?? PP is still struggling and we have yet to see a balanced left/right power play except for seconds at the end of a few of them.

As to this game, Bednar's got the Avs rolling after Sakic finally got rid of the guy who didn't want to be there and everyone knew he didn't want to be there. Much easier for a team to listen to a coach when everyone wants to be there, instead of listening to a coach while watching him roll out a guy who simply doesn't give a crap about the team he is playing for.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:16 pm 
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theohall wrote:
Maybe someone can 'splain this to me.

While I am happy both power plays finally have 2 defenseman on the points, why is he putting Dunn and Edmundson on one unit while Pietrangelo and Parayko are the other? Why 2 righties on one and 2 lefties on the other. I understand the concept of one of them being a QB and the other one being a shooter. To me, this tells the opposition which side of the ice your power play is going to favor. However, why not use the KISS method and keep everything balanced, for once, instead of trying some nonsense again?? PP is still struggling and we have yet to see a balanced left/right power play except for seconds at the end of a few of them.


I think you've kinda already said this, but having opposite hands allows one timers from the point.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:30 pm 
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Power play's got some juice tonight.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:07 pm 
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It would be nice if The Blues could score early in The 3rd, and take the pressure off. I-goal leads make me nervous.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Nice save by Hutton on McKinnon!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Steen buries the game sealer on a 2 on 1 with Sobotka, who made a great feed!! Blues lead 3-1. Steen passes Red Berenson in Blues goals!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:42 pm 
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Avs were absolutely dominating large portions of that third period. Good to come away with a win! :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:43 pm 
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Nice all-around win for The Blues, offence, defence and goaltending!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:00 pm 
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Schwartz looked pretty good for his first game back. That's a good sign, that he'll be up to speed very soon. He had a few good chances, played great on defence, His skating looked smooth, with little hesitation. I expect him to start a scoring streak soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:37 am 
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Schwartz play away from the puck is better than every other player on this team. If a couple of guys could learn to do the things he does that don't involve playing the puck at all, it would go a long way to making this team better. This was painfully evident on the power play when guys magically had open shooting lanes to the net whenever Schwartz was on the ice.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:50 am 
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theohall wrote:
Schwartz play away from the puck is better than every other player on this team. If a couple of guys could learn to do the things he does that don't involve playing the puck at all, it would go a long way to making this team better. This was painfully evident on the power play when guys magically had open shooting lanes to the net whenever Schwartz was on the ice.


And this is one of those things that is absolutely impossible to measure with statistics. There's no way to track/measure the ability of a player to do this, but you can definitely tell when you watch.

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