DALLAS - Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock hinted that there could be lineup changes for his club when the Blues and Dallas Stars meet in Game 5 of their best-of-7 series today at noon (NBC, Y98 FM).
“We have a chance to maybe change our lineup, which we’ll look at, to help ourselves and maybe have more depth,” Hitchcock said before the team left for Dallas on Friday. “I think we have to decide how we want to play the game in (Game) 5 and 6. The players are giving so much right now every shift. Depth and competitiveness will become a big issue with short rest.
“This is three games in four-and-a-half days, so you’re going to need everybody. The deeper we can play our lineup the better. We have a chance to help ourselves by changing a few personnel.”
Will Steve Ott draw back into the lineup? Will Robert Bortuzzo return? Could Dmitrij Jaskin or Magnus Paajarvi play in their first playoff game of 2016?
We’ll have to wait until game time to find out. With a noon start time, neither team will be holding a morning skate today at American Airlines Center.
Despite the quick turnaround (Game 5 will happen less than 48 hours after Game 4), the players say they’re still pretty fresh.
“It’s a little funny playing a 12 o’clock game,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “I don’t think anyone’s too tired. I think guys are a little beaten up, and I think we’ve been pretty physical on them. We like to think we’re wearing them down a little bit. We have a lot of fresh guys in this lineup and we’ve got a lot of good energy in us.”
Troy Brouwer cited the Blues’ resiliency this postseason as a reason to be optimistic the Blues can leave Dallas this afternoon with a 3-2 series lead.
“It’s what’s been successful for us - being able to get a win after a loss,” Brouwer said. “Coming out with a great attitude, great intensity and moving pucks forward, doing things we need to do to win, sometimes when you lose a game it’s a good learning experience and you’re able to build off of it.”
Fans can enjoy today's game at one of the club's official Blues Bash locations: Ballpark Village and HotShots in Edwardsville (2511 State 157, Edwardsville, IL 62025) are serving as the team's official watch parties.
Paul Stastny (one goal, two assists) and Alexander Steen (two goals, two assists) are currently on three-game point streaks.
The Blues have won five of their last seven games at American Airlines Center.