St. Louis Blues Pre-Season: Blues End Pre-Season With 5-3 Record

The St. Louis Blues closed out the pre-season with a 4-0 loss at home to the Dallas Stars.

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Blues Send Eight Players ToPeoria, Including Goaltender Ben Bishop

The “who will be the Blues’ backup?” drama is officially over, as the Blues announced today that they are sending Ben Bishop down to the AHL Peoria Rivermen. Philip McRae and Ian Cole also join Bishop in Peoria. Jonathan Cheechoo, Adam Cracknell, Anthony Peluso and Brett Sterling are also to be sent back, as is defenseman Mark Cundari.

In unrelated news, BJ Crombeen is out indefinitely with a fractured shoulder sustained in today’s pre-season loss against the Dallas Stars. It is unknown when he will return, and between his and Carlo Colaiacovo’s injurtes, it seems that the Blues’ annual injury bug is anxious to get started. These two injuries open up two roster spots possibly for players who would not otherwise have gotten a start with the Blues this season.


St. Louis Blues Drop Final Pre-Season Contest To Dallas Stars 4-0

Today wasn’t the way that the Blues wanted to end the pre-season. Coming into the game with a 5-2 record, the Blues were shut out by Andrew Raycroft and the Dallas Stars 4-0 in an early afternoon game at the Scottrade Center.

Jaroslav Halak allowed four goals on 33 shots to luminaries such as Jake Dowell, Francis Wathier, Vernon Fiddler, and Tomas Vincour. Not to worry, Blues fans. This wasn’t the season starting line-up and the team wasn’t playing at season-starting level. Brett Sterling Jonathan Cheechoo, and Anthony Peluso returned before the season even started as AHL call-ups for today’s game, and Mark Cundari was recalled as well to replace an injured Carlo Colaiacovo.

Colaiacovo, who can tend to be more than a little injury prone, was injured Thursday. Said Davis Payne, when Belleville News Democrat Blues reporter Norm Sanders asked if Colaiacovo’s injury was serious:

“We hope not, but again until you get all that info … until you get that clearer picture it doesn’t make much sense to say anything. What we determined this morning is we need to look into it a little bit more.”

Well, at least the Blues have the jump on the season in one aspect. The season starts on Saturday October 8th with pre-game festivities beginning at 4:30.


Colorado Avalanche At St. Louis Blues: Blues Win 3-1 Behind Big Guns

Nearly the first two periods of tonight’s preseason game seemed fairly evenly matched, with both Blues goalie Ben Bishop and Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere both playing like their goal was a shutout. Neither of the two wound up with one, and only one of the two goaltenders faced a number of quality shots as the Blues defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

David Backes got the Blues on the board at 17:28 with a backhand shot that snuck past Giguere. The Avalanche answered early on in the third period with a goal from Joakim Lindstrom.

Fan favorite T.J. Oshie scored his goal of the game with assists from Andy McDonald and Alex Pietrangelo, who so far this pre-season is showing absolutely no sign of a sophomore slump. The Blues final goal came from Patrik Berglund at 12:28 of the third period with an assist from Barret Jackman. Berglund, after a wildly successful World Championships showing, is expected to have a break out season with the Blues.

Ben Bishop made 18 saves on 19 shots, making the decision for Davis Payne regarding the back up position that much harder. Neither Bishop nor Brian Elliott has given Payne much cause for demotion.

The Blues conclude their preseason with a game at home on Saturday at 1:30 against the Dallas Stars. Fans then must wait a week before opening night on October 8th, when the Nashville Predators come to town.


St. Louis Blues At Tampa Bay Lightning: The Rematch

Wow, that was quick. The Blues take down the Bolts 3-1 last night on the strength of some work by Evgeny Grachev and his line-mates David Backes and Jamie Langenbrunner. Tonight, they’re going to have to try to go 2-0 so far on the preseason with a whole new line-up. With four more games in four days, the Blues’ll be thankful training camp has so many people.

Tonight’s game won’t be held at the St. Pete Times Forum – it’ll be at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida (no word on if Amway’ll try to slap their logo on the teams’ jerseys). Central Florida’s a bit stuck when it comes to NHL hockey. You either have to drive to Tampa Bay or schlep all the way down to Sunrise, so the Bolts decided to bring hockey to the other land that the Mighty Ducks movie franchises help build.

According to the Lightning’s game preview, Tampa Bay has a 3-0-1 record in Orlando, and their pre-season record is an impressive 13-4-3. Let’s see if St. Louis can’t make that 13-5-3 tonight.


Tampa Bay Lightning At St. Louis Blues: Blues Take First Preseason Game 3-1

It’s difficult to re-cap a game that you listened to on the radio. Mainly, what you can take away from this game via the radio broadcast and the scoresheet is threefold:

1. Brian Elliot seems to want the back-up job – he stopped 21 of 22 shots for a .955 SV%.

2. Silly penalties at inappropriate times are back! The Blues took seven non-fighting penalties, including a four minute double minor for high-sticking to Brett Ponich in the 2nd period. Pre-season or no, you don’t take those penalties.

3. Evgeny Grachev wants to make the NHL. Two goals (one an EN) with Jamie Langenbrunner and David Backes assisting on each seems to give credence to the fact that tonight’s top line worked. Let’s see if in future preseason games Davis Payne keeps them together or mixes them up. Sure, this wasn’t a powerhouse performance from Grachev, but two goals isn’t being a slouch, either. Well done!

Tomorrow night the Blues travel to Orlando to take on the Bolts yet again. Puck drop’s at 6, and believe me – I think that Roman Polak and Carlo Colaiacovo’ll be taking the night off. With 18:52 and 15:29 of ice time tonight respectively, I think they’ve earned it.

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