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At the Rink blog

St. Louis seeking answers on special teams

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 2:12 PM

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

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At the Rink blog
St. Louis seeking answers on special teams
ST. LOUIS -- The continued struggles for the St. Louis Blues' special teams -- particularly the power play -- has the team searching for answers and trying to find ways to break through.

The Blues are currently last in the league on the power play (3-for-36) at 8.3 percent. Only the Blues and fellow Central Division competitors Chicago (4-for-46, 8.7 percent) and Columbus (6-for-63, 9.5 percent) are below the 10-percent threshold.

But nobody's panicking in the locker room, since the Blues feel like the chances are there.

"We hadn't been (getting good opportunities), but I think the last couple games, they have been better," winger Matt D'Agostini said. "We're getting a lot better zone time, shots on net and chances. ... We've got talent on this team to put in goals. I don't think we're too worried about being snake-bitten or anything like that."

The Blues are ninth in the league in 5-on-5 situations, scoring 1.17 goals per game more than the opposition, and once they get the speciality teams straightened out, their 5-6 record should vastly improve.

"I think early on, there was some execution that didn't get in the net and then all of the sudden, we kind of got ourselves spun into a number of different situations where the unit's changing and Andy (McDonald's) out," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "Now all of the sudden, we have trouble getting the puck in the zone. I don't think that's as much of an issue now. Now you see teams really coming at us because they know we haven't scored a bunch of power-play goals.

"I think the guys are gaining an understanding of how we're going to counteract that and how we're going to stick with it. ... These guys are too good to be held off for too long."

Quote of the Day

Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL