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He feels good about first time in game this season.
Gunnarsson's availability for the regular-season opener seems to be throwing a wrench in the plans.
Blues put Mueller, Prosser on waivers.
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.
On tonight's Lets Go Blues Radio show, we are giving away an Ingress invite!
That's right...no waiting weeks for Google to send you an invite code if you are the winner!
Just send us a tweet before or during tonight's show (in otherwords, you have all day to tweet us)...we start taping at 9:30pm central and end around 10:30pm.
Ask us a Blues question, make a statement, random thought, or whatever...we'll read it on the air. At the end of the show. We'll announce which tweet was our favorite and we'll send that person the Ingress invite.
All you have to do is tweet us and be sure to include #lgbradio in the tweet so we'll see it...that is the only rule.
Good luck and don't be shy...it doesn't cost you a dime...so send us those tweets!
This post was originally published at TheHockeyWriters.com.
Former Head Coach Andy Murray was run out of town for shuffling the Blues’ lines too much as it was believed that he was throwing a wrench in the Blues’ chemistry.
By Gum, it’s working for current Head Coach Ken Hitchcock.
All season long, Hitchcock has stuck to his guns and, for the most part, kept his lines intact. The team’s top line from a season ago, which consisted of T.J. Oshie, David Backes and David Perron, was thrown back on the ice this season and stayed together through most of the team’s horrendous 0-3-1 home-stand in early February. The line combined for just three goals and three assists while posting a minus-7 in the four-game stand, which Hitchcock appropriately coined “the home-stand from hell.”
The line wasn’t cutting it. Since the start of February, the Blues have lost four key forwards to injuries (Vladimir Tarasenko, Andy McDonald, Alex Steen and Jamie Langenbrunner), while posting a measly 5-7-2 record from February 1 to March 5. They also scored just eight goals in six games, including two shutouts, heading into Los Angeles Tuesday night. Changes needed to be made to get the team gelling offensively again.
The Blackhawks proved that it truly does not matter who is in net for them to win games.
Corey Crawford started the game Thursday night in St. Louis but did not finish it. After making six saves in the first period, Crawford did not return for the second period and was instead replaced by backup goaltender Ray Emery. The reason for Crawford’s departure was unknown but it’s possible that it could have been related to an injury that kept him out of four games earlier in the season.
Emery made 15 saves in the final two periods for the combined shutout.
Saves were not the only thing that helped extend the Blackhawks’ NHL-record opening points streak to 20 games. 12 seconds into the game, Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews tapped in a pass from rookie forward Brandon Saad for the 1-0 lead.
After a scoreless second period, the Blackhawks added two goals to their lead in the third period. Forward Andrew Shaw knocked in a one-timer in the slot off a Bryan Bickell pass at 2:11, then Toews added his second goal of the night off a rebound from Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak at 6:56.
The Blues seemed outmatched most of the evening, being outshot 23-21 with most of the play in the Blackhawks’ offensive zone This was the Blues’ first game without top forwards Alex Steen and Andy McDonald, who were both injured in practice Tuesday morning. The team has also been playing without rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko, who was injured after a hit in last Wednesday’s 1-0 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
Lets Go Blues Radio, brought to you by Fanzlive, the official app of the fan! This week we decided to do a live video broadcast of our show. This is the audio from that broadast. We recap the Columbus game earlier in the week, we discuss the rash of Blues injuries, the upcoming game vs. Chicago, trade rumors, we read your tweets, plus all kinds of other good stuff.
This post was originally published at TheHockeyWriters.com.
What a difference a calendar year can make.
At this point one year ago, St. Louis Blues right winger Chris Stewart had registered 13 goals in the first 59 games played of the 2011-12 season. He had posted a total of 16 points, averaging .27 points-per-game. Stewart was seeing third line minutes, splitting time between playing with Patrik Berglund and Jason Arnott on the second and third lines.
After Stewart finished the season with a disappointing 15 goals and 30 points, he was unnoticeable in the playoffs. This resulted in head coach Ken Hitchcock scratching him in game two of the Western Semifinals against the Los Angeles Kings.
“We need more from him,” Hitchcock said before the game that put the Kings up 2-0 in the series. “It’s certainly not just based on one hockey game. We just need more. From that position on our hockey club, that third-line role, we need more tenacity, more determination, more second and third effort on the puck. We need all of that from that position.”
After the Blues were ousted in four games, Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong negotiated a deal with Stewart as both sides agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract extension. This contract was considered a one more chance contract, something that Armstrong was known for awarding in the past.
Stewart complied to the demands of his team. Spending time with the Czech Extraliga and the German Bundesliga during the lockout, Stewart did not stay away from the game. Stewart had a strict diet which helped him drop 20 pounds before the NHL season began. He estimated that his body fat percentage lowered from two to four percent.