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At the Rink blog

Blues weren't counting on early-season struggles

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 2:16 PM

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Blues weren't counting on early-season struggles
ST. LOUIS -- Struggling out of the gates wasn't what the Blues expected. In fact, there was so much hype coming out of camp that a 2-4-0 start was the furthest thing from their minds.

"We'd love to be 6-0 right now," veteran winger Jamie Langenbrunner said, "but it's all part of the process and we'll continue to work through it."

The Blues, who entertain the Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-1) tonight, have work to do in all areas of their game. Special teams is an obvious area, where the Blues are 30th in the league in both power play and penalty killing.

"I think we just need to simplify it," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "Once we don't have the success we want initially, I think we kind of want to look for some alternate options rather than sticking with who we have and getting back to the basics.

"With what we had going last game in L.A., we had some good scoring chances, some good opportunities. Right now, I think it's just a matter of coming out tonight and doing the same thing. When we get that one chance to score, we have to really bear down and put it in the back of the net."

It seems teams are relegating the Blues to the outside and not allowing any interior play, which was pretty evident in their recent road swing where the team went 0-for-16 with the man advantage.

"Penalty killing, it seems like it's even better this year than it was last year," Shattenkirk said. "It comes as a result of us not being successful getting the puck in and setting up. When you're scrambling and looking for pucks, it's kind of easy for teams to set their pressure and not allow us to get that time and space to work."

Said Blues coach Davis Payne, "We're concerned about every aspect of our game. Our game isn't up to snuff. Goaltending's one of them, power play's one of them, penalty kill's one of them. ... There's a number of areas that's concerning. We've got to get them corrected."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp