Blues pay tribute to Demitra and Korolev

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Before tonight’s game between Chicago and St. Louis, the Blues organization paid tribute to Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev who both lost their lives in the Lokomotiv tragedy this summer. Korolev broke into the NHL with the Blues and played his final NHL game with the Blackhawks. Demitra also broke into the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and played some of the best hockey of his career during his eight season stay with the Blues.

It was a classy ceremony from a couple of classy organizations. Check it out if you have a spare moment. Or a spare tear.

Zach Parise goes in-depth on the New Jersey Devils

It’s early in the season, but both the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes learned from 2010-11 that it’s important not to procrastinate when it comes to earning points. Zach Parise discusses that topic along with how happy the team is with Peter DeBoer’s style, getting adjusted to playing at center and more in the video below.

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Michael Grabner moves on from wild 2010-11 season


Few players experienced as strange a season as Michael Grabner did in 2010-11, who went from being traded from the Vancouver Canucks and waived by the Florida Panthers to a surprise Calder Trophy candidate with the New York Islanders. Grabner discusses how he moved on from those struggles and how he hopes to keep things going in 2011-12.

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Things didn’t start off too well with just three goals in his first 11 games, but perhaps tonight’s tally is a sign that Grabner is shifting momentum back in the right direction.

Can Ken Hitchcock adapt to a changing NHL?

The St. Louis Blues made a startling statement by firing Davis Payne in favor of experienced coach Ken Hitchcock. For most fans, the image of Hitchock is that of a taskmaster who really only brings out the best in teams defensively. So is Hitchcock ready for the ever-changing NHL game after some time on the sidelines? Ed Olczyk and Keith Jones discuss that topic in the video below.

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Matt Duchene reflects on first hat trick: ‘Most fun I’ve had’

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It’s bittersweet when a personal triumph gets washed away by defeat.

Matt Duchene’s first career hat trick (plus an assist) surely lost some of its luster because the Colorado Avalanche dropped a 7-6 OT thriller to the Dallas Stars. Still, Duchene didn’t deliver team-first platitudes after a rousing four-point performance.

“It’s too bad we lost,” Duchene said. “[But] it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had playing a hockey game in my life.”

In the span of one game, Duchene slammed the door shut on those who worried about a mini-slump in which he was briefly demoted to the fourth line. Those four points were impressive enough – seriously, watch that third goal and let your jaw hit the floor – but he was an electric force all night.

In addition to the plays that showed up on the box score, he also earned Colorado a power play on what was just short of a penalty shot opportunity and had at least two other chances that could have been goals. The dynamic scorer used his world-class speed and creativity to carve up anyone the Stars sent his way.

Duchene came into Dallas with six points and finished with 10. Perhaps it was just a hot night or maybe playing left wing will continue to open up room for him to work his one-on-all magic, but if Duchene keeps having this much fun, opposing teams are going to be quite miserable.