Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Duchesne's Trick Treats Blues 3-2

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Duchesne's Trick Treats Blues 3-2

Article excerpt

After the Blues' 3-2 victory over Toronto on Monday night, Steve Duchesne realized that his hat trick might make him vulnerable in the Petr Nedved Compensation Sweepstakes.

"Oooops," Duchesne said, playfully. "Maybe I picked the wrong game to play well. Now, I guess I'm going to Vancouver."

At least one, and maybe more, of the Blues players in Monday's National Hockey League game may be headed to Vancouver today as compensation for the free-agent signing of Nedved, who had two assists in his Blues' debut.

It could be Duchesne. It could be Jeff Brown. It could be Kevin Miller. It could be Igor Korolev. It could be Craig Janney, who was home in St. Louis nursing a strained left knee.

It could be anybody, but the Blues won't offer Brendan Shanahan, Brett Hull, Curtis Joseph or injured Phil Housley. The Canucks won't get Shanahan unless a deal can't be struck by today's 11:59 p.m. deadline and they get him in arbitration.

"I'm really not worried; should I be worried?" Shanahan asked. "I'm hoping I'm still a Blue, but it's out of my hands."

The Blues were able to put aside the compensation distraction and emerge from a three-game losing streak. They beat Toronto for the second time in five games this season (2-1-2) and won in Toronto for the first time in 12 games. The Leafs had been 8-0-3 on home ice against the Blues since a 4-2 setback in December 1990.

Blues coach Bob Berry wasn't impressed with ending that drought.

"`Was I coaching then?" he asked. "No, I wasn't. I really don't care. . . . The Ottawa Senators probably haven't won here since 1912."

What Berry cared about was that the Blues put aside the distractions and played, in his words, "one of our better games in some time."

"We had lots of questions on how the team will respond because guys should be on pins and needles, but one of a coach's jobs is to strip everybody of their excuses or alibis, " Berry said. "Some of them would have had an alibi for not playing, but we played very hard tonight. …

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