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Hall of Famer will be a sounding board for Hitchcock and also work with the club's minor-league affiliate.
The lineup Hitchcock put on the ice vs. Carolina is close to the one he’ll have on opening day.
He will play on a line with Stastny and Lindstrom.
First NHL teams looked at their kids. Then they gave depth guys their chance. Now coaches are locking in serious season preparation with their key players.
Blues forward will wear No. 17 to honor his late sister Mandi.
Maybe I am a little late in seeing this week’s power rankings, but I feel it deserves a closer look from hockey fans in St. Louis.
Every week, The Hockey News compiles a list called The Hockey News Power Rankings, in which they rank all 30 NHL teams based mostly on their play from the week before, but also taking into consideration how they have looked as a whole throughout the season. This list is compiled every Monday.
So not including Tuesday’s win over Detroit and Thursday’s victory over Florida, the Blues had gone 2-0-1 in the previous week, allowing them to go 8-7-1 on the season. The wins came against the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning (both 3-0 victories mind you), and the overtime loss came at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs (a game in which the Blues were down 2-0 and rallied back to take the game to overtime).
So where did the Blues place in the power rankings?
That 23 means 23rdplace and the 25 means that the Blues were in 25th place the week prior.
This may not seem as troubling to you. The 23rd really is not my problem; there are two reasons as to why this bothers me.
Reason #1: There are two words in the Blues’ description (called The Scoop) that makes me want to lose it: same inconsistency. What was inconsistent about last week’s play?
The only two goals that the Blues surrendered all week were the two first period, power-play goals that the Maple Leafs scored. That one period could be questioned but the other eight periods were gems. The Blues dominated the play against the Hawks, only allowed 19 shots against the Lightning and made things happen in the Maple Leafs game by battling back and sending the game to overtime.
The only two goals given up last week were power-play goals, meaning the penalty-kill stayed very consistent; just consistently bad.
Reason #2: Take a look at where other teams placed and their description of why they ended up where they did.
The Chicago Blackhawks, who were the titled team for this article, finished the week 3-1-0 with wins over the Blue Jackets, Flames and Oilers). While that is a pretty strong week, the Hawks jumped from 8th to 4th in that one week. So how is it that the Blues beat a higher-echelon team, yet they only jump two spots and the losing team jumps 4? The BCS Standings compilers would not understand this either.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, another team that the Blues beat pretty convincingly, also jumped two spots in the week. This one may even be more mind-boggling since the Lightning, who played in just two games last week, received an overtime win against the Florida Panthers. The Lightning won the game 4-3, but allowed 41 Panther shots. Florida is ranked 19th in the power rankings, so is it not concerning that a top-15 team allowed 41 shots to a lower-tiered team? According to THN, that does not matter at all.
This may just be me being as nit-picky as possible, but I would like the Blues to be commended for their high level of play. Hopefully next week THN will give the Blues credit that they definitely deserve.