The last time the Blues took on the Senators, Ottawa’s Zack Smith was given an illegal check to the head penalty for a hit on St. Louis’ leading goalscorer, Alex Steen. According to the Blues, Steen landed on IR with a concussion and missed 11 games partly due to that blow, one head coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t fond of.
“I didn’t like it,” Hitchcock said prior to tonight’s rematch, per the Post-Dispatch. “It was a double-back hit. I didn’t like it.”
There’s no video available of the hit but, according to the Post-Dispatch, the league did review the incident before declining to follow-up with supplemental discipline.
Smith is a gritty player that sits fourth on Ottawa in hits (132) and fifth in fights (two). He’ll be in the lineup tonight, but Hitchcock doesn’t figure much will happen in the way of retribution — even though the Blues are dressing Ryan Reaves for the second straight game after he was a healthy scratch against New Jersey and Carolina.
“Nah, I don’t think so,” Hitchcock said, when asked about the possibility of retribution. “I think if it was a Western Conference opponent, we might look at it differently, but these are two games … we might never see these guys again.
“Points matter more than anything right now. That’s our focus right now. We’re not prepared to be distracted by that right now.”