The Blues have their breath back and their top-end players on track. Ken Hitchcock’s goal in the next three days is to rediscover the team’s tempo.
The club responded to back-to-back losses, which came during a grueling travel stretch, with a 2-1 victory over Columbus on Saturday night at Scottrade Center.
“This past week was a heck of a week of travel,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “It seemed like we were trying to catch up the whole week on sleep. Luckily we had a couple of days leading up to (Saturday’s win) to do it.”
In the victory, which ended a five-game losing streak at Scottrade Center, the Blues were bolstered in the third period by the line of David Perron, David Backes and T.J. Oshie. Perron converted the game-winning goal on a workmanlike setup from Backes.
This season, of the Blues’ top four forwards in ice time, Oshie, Backes and Perron rank Nos. 1, 2 and 4, respectively. But the team’s leaders in goals are Patrik Berglund (nine) and Chris Stewart (seven), and in total points it’s Alex Steen (16).
“To get that line back working (was positive),” Hitchcock said. “I thought they were forcing chances in the first period (Saturday), and then they really settled in halfway through the hockey game and started to put their work boots on.
“With their skill level and the work boots that they have, they’re capable of really dominating games, and as the third period wore on, that line was really good for us.”
Perron’s goal was his sixth of the season, second at Scottrade Center.
“I’m at a point now when I know when I don’t play well,” Perron said. “I wasn’t happy with my performance (in the first two periods), and in the third, I thought I was a lot better and so was the whole team. It starts with getting some pucks deep with our linemates. It seems when you have two or three (good) shifts in a row, everything starts clicking and that’s when we made those plays happen.”
Blues look to turn up the tempo
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 25