In this age of end-zone dances, home-run bows and slam-dunk poses, it’s a hard to imagine, hard to fathom professional athletes would opt for substance over spectacle. But the Blues are doing just that. Perhaps you noticed during the last two games, wins over Nashville and Winnipeg. When the line of David Backes, Alexander Steen and T.J Oshie have been on the ice for Blues’ goals — and that has been the case on six occasions — there has been no skate to the bench for a Conga line of high-fives. There has been the traditional raised arms, the traditional hugs and smiles among those involved. And there has been a return to positions for the drop of the puck. In short, the Blues act like they’ve been there before, and aspire to be there again. “That came from a few gentlemen who used to play here,” Backes said. “They felt like the going through the line thing was a high school, college type of play. “It’s one of those things where you didn’t really think about it. It’s just the way it was when we got here, the way it was in college, what we did in high school. I think this is a unique thing that maybe we can change the trend a little bit — score the goal, congratulate each other and let’s go do it again.” The idea was born at a fantasy camp last summer, a gathering attended by former Blues players like Kelly Chase and Hall of Famer Brett Hull, as well as Blues broadcaster and former NHL goalie Darren Pang. Also at the camp was Hall of Fame defenseman Paul Coffey, who currently coaches one of the top junior teams in Toronto. Coffey’s team has adopted the same traditional behavior, dispensing with the high-five trips. In conversations, the Blues personnel decided to approach the current Blues players about embracing the decorum. The idea got lost in the shuffle at the start of the season, but Chase re-visited the concept with some players during a recent road flight. “As Hullie says, act like you’ve been there before,” Chase explained. “I couldn’t stand the fact that my kids were emulating that. I just think you might have done it high school, or done it in college but this is the NHL.
Blues choose class over youthful celebrations
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Nov 1