Looking to reverse their fortunes after two straight losses, the Blues might go back to their energy line tonight.
The “CPR Line” — Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter and Ryan Reaves — could be reunited for Game 5 against Los Angeles.
Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock name-checked the unit during his pregame presser and Cracknell spoke like a guy getting back into the lineup (he was replaced by Vladimir Tarasenko in Game 4).
“Going into Game 5 now, guys might be starting to get some bumps and bruises. As a line, you want to try to wear down the opposing team,” Cracknell told the Blues website. “Try to get it down low, get some hits on their D and try to re-aggravate those injuries or bruises.
“Just make them a little tired, and I think you’re going to make mistakes when you’re tired.”
The CPR line rose to prominence in Game 1 of the series with its rambunctious play and number of hits (Reaves recorded nine on his own). The unit was also largely credited with establishing St. Louis’ physical presence through the first two contests, which the Blues won.
Now, Hitchcock is hoping a reunion will kickstart his team — though he was quick to point out St. Louis’ 4-3 loss on Monday wasn’t just about a lack of CPR.
“The difference in the hockey game wasn’t the CPR line,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The difference was we gave up a bunch of odd-man rushes when we had no reason to, and that was the difference.
“That’s what let them back in the hockey game.”
This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.
Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.
While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.
There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.
Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.
Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:
It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.