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
Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo
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.”
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.