For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the series.
Ramsay played in more than 1,000 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres before going on to coach the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he led the Flyers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final. Ramsay was most recently an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.
ST. LOUIS -- If the St. Louis Blues are going to forget about their season-ending six-game losing streak and start strong against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series Thursday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW), Craig Ramsay said it has to start with the opening faceoff, literally.
Ramsay said the Blues need to get the puck early, get it deep, and get their cycle game going to gain confidence against Chicago.
"It's not just the centerman; it's the two wingers too," Ramsay told NHL.com. "Everyone [on St. Louis] is trying to win the first faceoff so they can get the puck and get it into the Chicago end. If they can do that, one of the things St. Louis is capable of doing very well is running cycles. They can get the puck in deep and they can keep it, and that's what they have to do against Chicago, make them go backwards and make them chase them around in the offensive zone.