Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Still Waiting on First Short-Handed Goal

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blues Still Waiting on First Short-Handed Goal

Article excerpt

DETROIT * The Blues went into Wednesday's game with the fifth- best penalty-killing in the league, stopping opponents on 84.2 percent of their power plays. They are also the only team in the league not to score a short-handed goal this season.

Part of that is the way the Blues kill penalties, stressing getting the puck out of their own end and then regrouping. Some of it is also a matter of chance; the Blues have had some short-handed breakaways and haven't been able to finish them. One finish by Kyle Brodziak or Alexander Steen, and that stat goes out the window.

"I think an aggressive penalty kill is always the way," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "A lot of the short-handed goals, you do a good job in your zone, you create a turnover, you catch them out of position and when you have a chance to go you go, for sure. But the flip side of that is you have to make sure you're pushing things to the extreme. If you try to score one short-handed goal every 10 games but you give up three or four power-play goals against, then that doesn't equate.

"Sure, there are some situations, maybe you can read the forwards on the back end and you can challenge them more aggressively. Our penalty kill has been strong; as long as we continue to do that, then we're in good shape."


The arrival of center Wade Megan on Wednesday meant that one- third of the Blues' forwards against the Red Wings, four out of 12, were until very recently playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

That included one whole line, as Yeo put Kenny Agostino, Ivan Barbashev and Magnus Paajarvi together on a line, while Megan centered the fourth line between Scottie Upshall and Ryan Reaves, the same group he played with on his previous trip to the NHL, on Nov. 22 against Tampa Bay.

"It's good to see some familiar faces," Megan said. "It helps ease the tension coming into a new team. …

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