Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Have No Time to Relish Grand Opening; Back-to-Back Road Games against Nashville and Chicago Force Team to Stay Grounded; NHL

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Have No Time to Relish Grand Opening; Back-to-Back Road Games against Nashville and Chicago Force Team to Stay Grounded; NHL

Article excerpt

As far as opening acts go, the Blues 6-0 win over Detroit in the teams season opener Saturday was near perfect.

Pretty close, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo acknowledged. But anybody can always get better. Its just one night. Weve got a big week coming up.

In 2011-12, one of the Blues top traits, the trait most responsible for them playing into the second round of the postseason, was the knack of never getting too high or too low.

Only one game into the Blues new season, its already apparent how important having that ability will be in 2013. After dismantling the Red Wings with two goals apiece from Vladimir Tarasenko and Chris Stewart, the club heads on the road for back-to-back games against Nashville and Chicago, respectively.

The puck drops at 5 tonight against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Ideally, thats what youd like to happen every game, especially against (Detroit), Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. But we wont get a game like we got (Saturday). We wont get a game like that probably the rest of the year.

But I think we look forward to raising our level even more. Its just going to force us to play better and clean things up even more. Now we go on the road against two divisional opponents. Its going to be a tough test.

Just a few days ago, the Blues offense was being questioned about its lack of production during training camp. But that was a distant memory by the second period Saturday, when they led the Red Wings 4- 0.

People were getting a little nervous when our intrasquad games were so low-scoring, Stewart said. Were obviously not going to expect to score six goals every night, but ... as you can see, the power play is clicking, which is a bonus.

Four of the Blues six goals Saturday came on the man advantage, including both of Stewarts goals. Thats quite a start for a unit that ranked 19th in the NHL last season (16.7 percent).

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock emphasized special teams in training camp. Not only was the power play successful Saturday, but the clubs penalty-killing unit kept the Red Wings off the board on four chances and picked up a short-handed goal from T. …

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