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Backes Wants Blues to Stop Playing "Cute"

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - With just one goal in each of their last three games, Blues captain David Backes said it’s time to stop being “cute” and instead get back to playing the way they know they can.

“When we look for that one cute play, it’s pretty ugly, and we’ve seen a lot of that in the last few games,” Backes said after the team’s practice on Monday. “Goalies in this league are good. We’re going to need traffic in front, create opportunities, rebounds, tips, screens - those types of things. The cute plays, we’re finding (only) one per game, and that’s the story the last couple of games.”

After taking Sunday off, the Blues held an up-tempo practice Monday as they prepare to play four home games over the next six days, starting Tuesday vs. the Arizona Coyotes.

“It’s a gradual process,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said of getting the team back on track. “I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. Just build more and more good minutes. We did a lot of really good things (Saturday vs. Toronto) and then we stopped doing them. We could have been up 5-0 in the first period if we scored on our easy chances. But we didn’t score, it was 1-0 and then we started leaking. That’s what we’ve got to avoid.”

So how will the Blues snap a three-game skid? Hitchcock said they’ll start by making his team more predictable to each other.

“We had a lot of drills (today),” Hitchcock said after practice. “These were familiar drills that everyone knows. We just played ice hockey today, but we did it with a good tempo and good spirit.

“I think you're going to see marked improvement starting tomorrow.”

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