Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 @pinkertBLUES

Blues Ready for Game 1

Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 12:02 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blue Note Insider
X
Share with your Friends


Blue Note Insider
Blues Ready for Game 1

The Blues lost all four games against the Kings in last year’s playoffs, and they lost all three regular season meetings this year.

So why does Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock think this time around will be different?

“The one thing we have going for us is I don’t think they know our team, because they haven’t played against this team,” Hitchcock said after today’s practice. “This is a different team than they played even here in the 4-2 (loss on March 28), and it’s a much different team than they played in the 6-4 (loss on March 5). What we’re hoping on is the way we played at the end of the year in the last six weeks is what our team is and we’re good enough to play against them.

“We’ve been preparing for this for 10 days and we think we’re ready.”

Since last playing the Kings on March 28, the Blues have won 12 of their last 15 games.

The Kings had an impressive 16-4 record last season in the playoffs en route to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Hitchcock said they are the only team in the League with the knowledge of what it takes to win the Stanley Cup.

“They know how deep they have to go, they know how deep they have to dig. Nobody has that knowledge,” Hitchcock said. “We’re all trying to get it, but they’ve got it. We’re going to have to find that if we expect to win because they’re not going to give us anything easy.”

BLUES LINEUP

As has been his mantra lately, Hitchcock told members of the media not to read into today’s lines in practice.

But here’s what we know for sure: T.J. Oshie will return to the lineup tonight after missing a month with an ankle injury. Oshie will replace rookie Vladimir Tarasenko.

Said Hitchcock: “I’ve always believed the first kick at the can in playoffs is for veteran players. You give them a go. Tarasenko and (Dmitrij) Jaskin will probably get some time during the playoffs, but you want to give the veterans a chance to prove they want to take the ball and run with it. That’s what we’re going to do. If somebody underperforms, we won’t hesitate to replace and move from there.”

Expect Barret Jackman back in the lineup tonight, too. He said he would have played on April 27 vs. Chicago if it had been a playoff game. Well, tonight is a playoff game.

The fourth line of Chris Porter, Ryan Reaves and Adam Cracknell will remain together tonight. Porter and Cracknell will make their NHL playoff debuts.

“To be where we are now, we’ve very grateful of what we had to go through to be here,” Cracknell said. “Sitting on the bus in Peoria, you don’t think you’re going to be playing against the defending Stanley Cup champions. We’ll never forget what it took to get here, but we have to live in the moment right now and take care of what we have to do tonight. That’s why we’re here.”

Jay Bouwmeester and Jaden Schwartz will also make their playoff debuts.

“Everyone knows the atmosphere and everything that goes with these games,” Bouwmeester said. “It’s something you look forward to. Everyone has those little butterflies I guess, but I think once you get in the game, it all goes away and you just play hockey.”

‘NOTEWORTHY

  • Brian Elliott will start in goal. He’s looking for his 12th win in April, which would extend his new franchise record set earlier this month.
  • The Blues allowed just one power-play goal on 21 opportunities against the Kings in Round 2 last season.
  • How important is home-ice advantage? The Blues are 45-13-6 at home since 2011-12 and have outscored opponents at Scottrade Center 176-120 (+56).
  • David Backes had 30 hits vs. LA last season, ranking fifth overall in the League.
  • Vladimir Sobotka, Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron each have two-game point streaks against the Kings.
  • The pregame rally starts at 4:30 p.m. outside Scottrade Center tonight. The Blues have prize giveaways, live music and more planned. The puck drops at 7 p.m.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 8 7 1 0 29 15 14
2 NSH 8 5 1 2 19 16 12
3 LAK 7 5 1 1 17 10 11
4 CGY 10 5 4 1 26 22 11
5 DAL 8 4 2 2 29 29 10
6 CHI 7 4 2 1 20 13 9
7 SJS 9 4 4 1 28 27 9
8 MIN 6 4 2 0 19 6 8
9 VAN 7 4 3 0 23 24 8
10 STL 7 3 3 1 16 15 7
11 ARI 7 3 3 1 18 25 7
12 EDM 8 3 4 1 23 32 7
13 COL 8 2 4 2 19 27 6
14 WPG 7 2 5 0 13 20 4

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Schwartz 7 5 3 2 8
K. Shattenkirk 7 1 5 0 6
D. Backes 7 2 3 0 5
V. Tarasenko 7 1 4 2 5
P. Stastny 4 1 3 1 4
A. Pietrangelo 7 1 3 -1 4
A. Steen 7 1 3 0 4
J. Lehtera 6 1 2 0 3
R. Reaves 7 1 0 0 1
D. Jaskin 1 1 0 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 2 2 1 .922 1.78
J. Allen 1 1 0 .915 2.02

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
Full Season Tickets
Half Season Plans
12-Game Plans
6-Game Packs
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

TEAM
Roster
In the System
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

SCHEDULE
Regular Season
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blues Overtime Blog

VIDEO
Game Highlights
GameDay
News & Interviews
All-Access
NHL Network

SOCIAL
Find a Player
Facebook
Twitter
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

FANS
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US