St. Louis Blues Hall of Famer Brett Hull has never been a guy to mince words. While most people will know Hull for being quick with his shots on the ice, Hull was the originator of the big blasts off it as well.
Hull, never being a guy to not share his opinion, was more than happy to share his thoughts on Oshie’s unexcused absence and as usual, Hull offered his own peculiar take. Jeremy Rutherford of The St. Louis Dispatch shares with us how Hull thinks that the concept of team doesn’t just apply on the ice.
“I don’t know what the reason is, why he missed,” Hull said. “But to me, I put less blame on him and blame his teammates. When we played together … (Kelly Chase), (Adam Oates) and (Brendan Shanahan) … we took care of each other. That never would have happened. Someone would have been at his house getting him up and getting him to practice.
“So to me, I would blame more the teammates than I would him. You’ve got to take care of each other, especially that team. They’re so young. They’ve got such an opportunity to bond together and be a great team. There’s so much talent there. They’ve got to take care of each other in those situations off the ice.”
So much for personal responsibility. Imagine trying to pull that excuse when you’re a kid and missed practice and you told coach that you didn’t make it to practice because your parents didn’t wake you up. Good luck on that. For what it’s worth, Hull did go on to say that “something has to done” about this and that Oshie likely got the scare of his life screwing up in such a way.
Hull is his own guy and his take is interesting from the perspective that he’s been there before and he knows how it goes. Of course the other side of that says that he’s OK with Oshie not taking matters into his own hands the way he should because his teammates should be there to kick down his door to make sure he’s up and ready for practice.
I know Oshie is still a young guy but let’s get serious here, they’re still all professionals and playing hockey is one hell of a great way to make a lavish living. If getting out of bed in the morning is a problem, then perhaps Oshie should reexamine his priorities. If you think we’re being tough on him, just imagine what Doug Armstrong and Davis Payne have said. Here’s to hoping Oshie gets it figured out, or gets a better alarm clock.
Hitchcock believes Blues’ Allen is ‘locked up mentally’
Blues fans and management must be wondering, then: what’s wrong with their goalies, especially with Allen? Head coach Ken Hitchcock seems resigned to allowing him to fight through it, if nothing else.
“There’s a lot going on right now. … He’s kind of locked up mentally and he’s going to have to fight through this,” Hitchock said, according to Lou Korac of NHL.com. “What we see at practice, we like. That’s why we put him in quite frankly.”
Alex Pietrangelo did the typical deflecting thing, nothing that this is a “team” and that there are “no individuals.”
Still, Hitchcock’s longer press conference makes you wonder how much trust there is in Allen and Carter Hutton.
From Hitch’s perspective, it sure sounds like he believes that the Blues are over-correcting to try to limit “goals, shots.” By trying to do too much, they might be putting themselves in bad positions. And that might stem from a lack of confidence in the guys in net, or in the team’s work in their own zone overall.
Let’s be honest. As much as we can play chicken-or-the-egg as far as a defense’s impact on a goalie, it’s tough to explain away save percentages under .900 in the modern NHL. At some point, your team needs more stops.
With the races for the lower spots in the Western Conference’s playoff picture seemingly tightening up, the Blues don’t have a ton of time to figure this out.
Capitals shine glaring light on Blues’ goalie woes
It wasn’t just that the Washington Capitals bombarded the Blues by a score of 7-3. It’s that they really didn’t need to fire a whole lot of shots on goal to get to seven.
Here’s a harsh rule of thumb: when both of your goalies play in a game and each one barely makes more saves than goals allowed, that’s an awful night. Take a look at what Jake Allen and Carter Hutton went through:
Allen: six saves, four goals allowed in 25:11 time on ice
Hutton: five saves, three goals allowed in 35:49
Allen got pulled from the contest twice, by the way. He’s been pulled from four games since Dec. 30. Woof.
Even before these horrendous performances, the Blues goalies have been shaky. Hutton came into tonight with an ugly .898 save percentage; Allen wasn’t much better with a .900 mark.
Those are the type of numbers that would make Dallas Stars fans cringe, or at least experience some uncomfortable familiarity.
Now, is it all on Hutton and Allen? Much like with the Stars’ embattled goalies, much of the struggles probably come down to a team struggling in front of them.
Even so, if you assign more of the blame to Allen and Hutton, nights like this Capitals thrashing definitely strengthen your argument. Yikes.
Rangers overwhelm Leafs, make life pretty easy for Lundqvist in win
Heading into Thursday, many were wondering how the New York Rangers will handle Henrik Lundqvist‘s struggles. Instead, the focus shifted to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ difficulties, perhaps specifically in dealing with Morgan Rielly‘s absence.
The Rangers handily won this one 5-2, at least giving Lundqvist the win. He wasn’t especially busy, stopping 23 out of 25 shots, so you can probably file his story under “To be continued.”
Lundqvist wasn’t oblivious to his team’s impressive overall play.
Lundqvist: "We didn’t give up as much, and it shows how committed we need to be in our own end.”
Really, it was all about the waves of attackers the Rangers can send at opponents and the trouble that caused for the Maple Leafs. It wasn’t the easiest night for Frank Corrado, in particular, who took a couple costly penalties.
Mike Babcock: The back end was in lots of trouble tonight.
The Rangers’ next two games come in a road contest vs. the Red Wings on Sunday and a home game against the Kings on Monday. Perhaps those matches will serve as a better barometer for where Lundqvist’s really at, as he passed tonight’s test … but it wasn’t a particularly difficult one.
So, is Mike Condon actually really good? He certainly was against Columbus
Considering their numbers heading in, many were perplexed when the Ottawa Senators essentially replaced Andrew Hammond with Mike Condon. Now many are perplexed by just how strong Condon’s often been for Ottawa.
Thursday might stand as the prime example that this guy could be better than many expected.
The Columbus Blue Jackets dominated much of the play, generating a 42-28 shots on goal advantage, but Ottawa ended up winning 2-0 tonight.
Condon already came into tonight with a solid save percentage (.915 before this shutout), and he’s now won four of his last five games. Three of his four career shutouts have come this season.
Ignoring his one relief appearance with Pittsburgh this season for the sake of simplicity, just consider his tough times with Montreal last season. He went 21-25-6 with a shaky .903 save percentage.
This marks just his 21st start and 23rd appearance of this season, so it’s not a guaranteee for future results. Still … it’s another example that goalies are as just about as unpredictable as they are crucial to a team’s fate.
More and more, it seems like Condon might just be a difference-maker, and in the positive sense this time around.