Some Blues under the weather heading into reunion with Ryan Miller.
Winger has zero goals, zero assists in first five games.
Former Blues goalie Ryan Miller returns to town tonight and will be in the Canucks' lineup.
Last season's blockbuster trade fizzled, but his ex-teammates say the goaltender shouldn't have been the scapegoat.
Hitchcock thinks it may "be weighing on him." Lehtera back on ice, but now Steen's sick.
This is the final straw. Blues management saw it fit that Marek Svatos should wear a Blues jersey by signing him to a two-way contract for a miniscule amount of money. Everything was set for Svatos to join the Blues. The only thing that was keeping him from skating in a Blues uniform was a 24-hour waiting period where Svatos had to clear waivers. The 24th hour hit and what do you know; the Nashville Predators claimed Svatos! It’s obvious this was done to keep the Blues from adding scoring depth; Nashville has no need for Svatos on their offensive unit. This is not the first time that Nashville has found a way to screw over the Blues.
The truth is, this team has been doing everything to destroy the Blues since day one. The NHL held its expansion draft on June 26, 1998 for two new teams, including the Atlanta Thrashers and Nashville Predators. The new Central Division team, Nashville, selected Blues forward Blair Atcheynum from their roster. Atcheynum was 1/3 of one of the most premier checking lines in the NHL. They broke up the infamous CPA line (Craig Conroy – Scott Pellerin – Blair Atcheynum), and pretty much ruined Atcheynum’s career from there on out. He played just 53 games for the Predators, then bounced around the NHL and other leagues until he finally left professional hockey in 2001, playing in his last game with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL.
It didn’t end there. While the Blues were easy to be stepped on, Nashville made sure to grind the Blues into the dirt. Blues fans try to forget 2005-06, but Nashville’s neglect of the Gateway City cannot go unnoticed. Remember Simon Gamache and Timofei Shishkanov? The Blues claimed Gamache off waivers from the Predators, hoping for some kind of offensive spark from the Quebec native. He put up three goals and four assists in 15 games, but was immediately put back on waivers. Nashville took him back. Why, I don’t know, but it was a failed experiment for St. Louis. And Shishkanov… well, let’s not even talk about Shishkanov.
The Blues shut down those pesky Predators Sunday night for their third straight victory.
The story was the Blues’ goaltending. Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves in the game, recording his fourth shutout of the season, placing him in a tie for second in the NHL. One of these saves was a gem that took place at about the 8:29 mark of the second period. On a three-on-two, Ryan Suter slid the puck to Cal O’Reilly, who wristed a shot to Halak’s glove side. The fast-reacting Halak slid over and snagged the puck Grant Fuhr-style for a great save.
Just like how the Blues fans have come to expect, the goaltender gave credit to his teammates.
“The guys did a hell of a job,” Halak said, “I think they only had seven shots in the third period and we kept their scoring chances down.”
In November of 2008, Toronto Maple Leafs Interim General Manager Cliff Fletcher targeted the Blues as a target for a possible trade. He wanted Lee Stempniak, a then-25 year old winger who had a 27-goal season just two seasons before. He traded oft-injured defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and streaky-forward Alex Steen to the Blues for Stempniak.
“I have yet to know a player trade in any sport that there isn't an element of risk in it," Fletcher said to the media after the deal was approved by the NHL. "There is in every trade because the party on the other side is making the trade because they think they're making a good deal. And we think we're making a good deal.
"Hopefully we're both right."
Remember that fateful scene in Book XI of John Milton’s Paradise Lost when the almighty God punished Adam and Eve for not obeying him? He sent his Son to Earth to tell them of their fate, which was being tossed from the Garden of Eden.
Oh, I guess you didn’t read that one.
Well, you don’t need to. In a much smaller sense, the Blues have been punished for their deeds. It seems that terror has fallen upon this hockey team. The Hockey Gods are not smiling down on the Blues, and have even sent their messenger, the medical staff, to tell the Blues of their fate. Six regular skaters for the Blues have been unable to play in recent games. But one question remains; why? Was it that management did not pursue any new talent in the off-season? Did the team get too cocky with their winning ways earlier in the season? Is it because the Scottrade Center sound crew decided to play Linkin Park in the opening of home games?
Whatever it is, things are not looking up for the injury-plagued team. Even though the Blues (or should we just call them the Rivermen), have been stringing together a few wins here and there, players are dropping like flies. Here is the latest on the notorious six that are currently not in the lineup:
For someone who was often a healthy scratch in Montreal, Matt D’Agostini has found a safe home in St. Louis.
D’Agostini, drafted in the sixth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by Montreal, was never expected to be a top-line talent. That showed while wearing a Montreal jersey, scoring just 25 points in 94 games played, including just 4 total points last season. Fans were upset and the coaching staff in Montreal was disappointed, earning him a reoccurring spot in the press box. But a change of scenery seems to be all the fourth-line mucker needed.
The then-23 year-old winger got a first-class ticket out of Montreal last March, when he was traded at the deadline for prospect Aaron Palushaj. Fans were constantly calling D’Agostini a nuisance to the Canadiens, gladly welcoming the trade. D’Agostini saw only seven games the rest of the season for St. Louis, recording no points. But after missing the playoffs, the Blues gave D’Agostini a chance. And boy did it pay off.
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced in mid-June that the club reached a deal with D’Agostini, signing him to a one-year, $550K contract. Heading into camp, D’Agostini would have to battle the likes of Brad Winchester, Vladimir Sobotka, Cam Janssen and B.J. Crombeen for a secure spot on the third and fourth lines. Not only did he play hard and make the team, but he really got believers with his hard work and patience in the pre-season. After scoring a goal in the pre-season, D’Agostini continued his production in the Blues’ second game of the season. He scored two goals in a Blues’ route over the Anaheim Ducks, resulting in a 5-1 victory.