The St. Louis Blues find themselves trying to re-discover the formula that jump-started their 6-1 start to the regular season.
The Blues have since lost three straight – their last two losses by a combined score of 11-2.
“My job is to get them out of the ditch,” Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock told St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday.
“And you don’t get them out of the ditch with a bunch of criticism and a bunch of conflict. My job is to get them back up and running and feeling good about themselves.”
The Blues stormed out of the gate, posting two shutouts in their first four games and six wins in seven games.
However, the last two losses – blowouts to the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings – came on home ice.
The Blues host the Anaheim Ducks Saturday.
“We had a great meeting today and were able to see the positive and negative video clips,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“When we’re doing things wrong, this is what it looks like. When we’re playing like us, this is what it looks like. We have had flashes of it the last few games. But it’s just a matter of doing it over and over again.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?