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Chris Pinkert has covered the St. Louis Blues for more than seven seasons and will frequently contribute news, analysis and stories from the locker room to the Blue Note Insider blog. Check back often for exclusive behind the scenes access to the Blues and be sure to follow him on Twitter at @BlueNoteInsider

Blues Expect Tough Test in Nashville

Monday, 01.21.2013 / 12:05 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blue Note Insider
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Blues Expect Tough Test in Nashville


After a 6-0 rout vs. Detroit in their home opener, the Blues begin their first road trip of the season tonight in Nashville. The Predators are coming off of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their season opener on Saturday.

Tonight’s game begins at 5 p.m. on FS Midwest (HD) and KMOX 1120 AM.

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said he expects a tough game due to the similarities between the teams.

“We both have similar strengths, both have to work to generate scoring chances, both teams go to the net hard, both teams follow a script of a certain philosophy as far as play goes,” Hitchcock said. “Both teams really rely on their forwards to do a lot of work. That’s just the way both teams are built and the way both teams are structured.”

After the Blues’ win on Saturday, Hitchcock stressed the importance of not getting too high or too low during the season.

“This is one game,” Hitchcock said Saturday night. “Let’s evaluate us after 10 games and see what we’ve got. But I liked that we stayed on the hunt, except for the first two shifts, we stayed on the hunt for the rest of the game, which is a real good sign.”


NO LINEUP CHANGES

Hitchcock will keep the same lineup for tonight’s game in Nashville. Jaroslav Halak gets the nod between the pipes, but Brian Elliott will start tomorrow in Chicago.

FORWARDS

David Perron - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Chris Stewart

Andy McDonald - Alexander Steen - Vladimir Tarasenko

Vladimir Sobotka - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

DEFENSE

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell - Roman Polak

GOALIES

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott


MORE TARASENKO

Nearly everyone saw Vladimir Tarasenko’s two goals on Saturday…except Hitchcock.

“I didn’t see it. The players stand up and I can’t see anything anymore. I’m too short,” he said. “I didn’t see the first one and never saw the second one.”

Hitchcock watched replays of both goals and here’s what he had to say about them: “For us, it’s strange because we don’t score those types of goals. We don’t get breakaways, so it was nice to see…that’s what gifted offensive people do, they make plays like that. It was good.”

Tarasenko became the 14th player in Blues history to score in his NHL debut and just the second to score twice in his debut. The first was Doug Palazarri in 1974.

“He’s a good kid. I keep saying that,” Hitchcock said. “He’s going to have his ups and downs, getting on a charter is new thing for him, staying in hotels, knowing where to go…all those things are new. But he’s a good kid. He asks questions, he wants to learn, he wants to please the veteran players. He’s got a real healthy respect for the veteran guys in the League, which to me is so important.

“He’s almost a throwback to be honest with you. It’s very impressive.”


NOTEWORTHY STATS

Barret Jackman will play in his 600th NHL game tonight, all with the Blues. David Backes has 3 goals and 7 assists (10 points) in his last 11 games against the Predators. The Blues are 16-14-11 all-time in Nashville.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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