Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Berry: Blues' Shoddy Play `Mind-Boggling'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Berry: Blues' Shoddy Play `Mind-Boggling'

Article excerpt

The bodies were willing but the minds were weak.

The Blues finally muscled up and came out hitting in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series with the Dallas Stars.

The Blues didn't have their thinking caps on at crucial times. And that helped cost them a 5-4 overtime loss Friday night at The Arena.

"Keep the puck out of the middle. That's going to be on my tombstone," Blues coach Bob Berry said. "Maybe some guy will be out there in the cemetery with his family and want to be a hockey coach someday. Maybe he'll see that on my tombstone and be able to tell his players:

"Stay out of the middle."

Berry was apparently referring to a cross-ice pass by center Petr Nedved intended for inoffensive defenseman Murray Baron.

The Stars picked off the pass and steamed in on Blues goalie Curtis Joseph. Nedved was penalized for holding Mike McPhee in front of the net.

Berry had nothing to say about the penalty, but plenty to say about the errant pass that led to it.

"It's mind-boggling to me, especially in overtime when the chips are down, that we would force a pass across the blue line," Berry said.

Nedved didn't realize which white shirt he was trying to set up. He definitely knew afterward that this was not his best idea of the night.

"Somebody was sliding through the middle," Nedved said. "I tried to flip it through the crowd. That's my fault."

As for being penalized by referee Paul Stewart, Nedved said, "In overtime, they usually let it go. That's his choice. I held him I guess too long and he called it."

On the ensuing penalty kill, defenseman Steve Duchesne braked behind the net and fumbled the puck. It eventually ended up on the stick of former Blues defenseman Paul Cavallini, who ripped in the winner.

"Everybody worked hard," Berry said. "We're killing the penalty. We have full control of the puck. Take one step and rip it off the glass. …

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