Ken Hitchcock

Hitch skates the Blues hard at practice

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With four days between Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Columbus and Thursday’s home game versus the Blackhawks, the St. Louis Blues are taking the time to work on a few things.

And by work, we mean work.

Today, head coach Ken Hitchcock put his players through a fast-paced practice with the goal of, in TJ Oshie’s words, “learning stuff while we’re tired.”

“We’re trying to make guys play with proper precision while being tired, and that’s the big challenge,” Hitchcock said, per the Post-Dispatch. “We’re trying to push it to another level.  Our guys were serious and really focused.”

The Blues have won four of their last six contests after a five-game losing streak that saw last season’s best defensive team surrender far too many goals (and Hitchock coin the phrase “home stand from hell.”)

Of course, it’s hard for a team to win games when it’s not getting good goaltending, and St. Louis wasn’t even getting average goaltending from Brian Elliott during that losing streak.

Now that Jaroslav Halak is back and healthy, the Blues should be in position to put some wins together.

Kassian sent to hospital after being involved in car accident

Scott Darling, Zack Kassian

Montreal Canadiens winger Zack Kassian was involved in a car accident early Sunday morning.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Kassian was a passenger in the vehicle that crashed into a tree.

The SUV was being driven by a 20-year-old female at the time of the accident.

Montreal police confirmed that speed didn’t play a factor in the collision, but alcohol may have.

The Canadiens have since confirmed the incident took place and have also mentioned that Kassian was taken to hospital.

A club official described his injuries as being “minor”.

“(Kassian) was all bloodied up and stuff. He was in a daze,” said Steve Petrenko, a resident of the street on which the accident took place. “He had a hard time walking, and he almost took a fall.”

This story will be updated when more information is made available.

Habs and Fleischmann agree on one-year deal

Tomas Fleischmann,
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The Montreal Canadiens announced that they have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a one-year contract.

According to TVA Sports, the deal is worth $750,000.

The 31-year-old was invited to camp on a professional tryout, but his preseason performance showed that he could still contribute at the NHL level.

Fleischmann found instant chemistry with new linemates David Desharnais and Dale Weise, and it looks like the trio will open the regular season as Montreal’s third line.

The veteran winger started  last season with Florida, but was traded to Anaheim on Feb. 28. He had a hard time cracking the Duck’s lineup and was a healthy scratch in most of their playoff games last spring.

Fleischmann scored eight goals and 27 points in 66 games last season.