Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Super Sunday: Day of Rest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues' Super Sunday: Day of Rest

Article excerpt

Super Bowl Sunday began for the Blues on a three-hour charter flight home from Calgary, Alberta, in the wee hours of the morning.

Winger Kelly Chase organized a party, giving out his phone number and directions to his house so the team's many newcomers could watch the game. Backup goalie Jim Hrivnak organized the office pool, even hitting up coach Bob Berry in First Class.

Berry put his money on the line, then teased Hrivnak that coaches never seem to be able to collect their winnings.

Although the trip enabled the Blues to get home for the big game, Berry reminded the players that they didn't fly charter for that reason.

"The reason we chartered home was . . . to give everyone a day of rest to recuperate before we get back to work," Berry said.

"This home stand is key for us, and instead of using Sunday as a travel day, we can use it as a day of rest to prepare for nine home games. We wanted to try to set up the home stand."

First up is Tuesday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the top team in the National Hockey League's Central Division. The Quebec Nordiques will be in town Thursday for the emotional return of Garth Butcher, Ron Sutter and Bob Bassen.

San Jose will be the opponent Saturday night. Winnipeg, Washington, Detroit, Vancouver, Boston and Anaheim will be the other opponents on the 20-day home stand.

Berry wants to get off to a good start and avoid home misfortunes such as those that struck Winnipeg and Edmonton.

"Winnipeg had a series of games at home, and said, `We're going to make some hay,' " Berry said. "Well, they didn't. Edmonton still has a long-shot chance to make the playoffs and has a stretch of five or six games at home. But they tied the first and lost the next two.

"A home game is not a lock. We're not going to show up, throw our sticks out and bang, it happens. We're in a position that with a successful home stand, we can jockey for position in March and April and be ready to go into the playoffs. We have to be ready."

The Blues brought home a lot of momentum. They were 3-0-1 on a four-game Western swing, with victories in Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary and a tie in Vancouver.

The Blues' longest unbeaten streak in two seasons came under seemingly difficult circumstances. …

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