The shortened season is causing teams to break from the norm. In St. Louis, that means the squad will run three power-play units.
“We’re going to use three units, we’re going to use eight guys to kill penalties, that’s just the reality of the season and where everybody is at physically and mentally,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.
“I think you just have to use as much of your bench as you can. It’s a little more work for everybody, but I think getting guys used to doing it is important.”
One power-play line features Alex Steen at the point and includes Chris Stewart, Vladimir Tarasenko, Andy McDonald, and Kevin Shattenkirk.
T. J. Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo manned the points of another unit that consists of David Backes, David Perron, and Patrik Berglund.
Finally, the third unit consisted of Matt D’Agostini, Jaden Schwartz, Vlad Sobotka, Kris Russell, and Ian Cole.
Although he admits it’s a risk, Hitchcock has already seen some “good things” by having forwards Steen and Oshie play in the back end.
“It looks like we’re a threat and that’s the key thing,” Hitchcock said. “I think this includes more players, it makes us more dynamic.”
The Blues had a mediocre 16.7% power-play success rate in 2011-12 and they weren’t much better during their subsequent playoff run.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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