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Blues Practice Report from Oct. 22

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

HAZELWOOD, MO - The Blues got Jori Lehtera back in practice today but lost Alexander Steen to the same illness.

“Our health is not great right now,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after Wednesday’s skate, just one day before the Blues host the Vancouver Canucks at Scottrade Center. “(We’re) just seeing who can play and who can’t play and seeing what we can get out of the next two games.”

Hitchcock labeled tomorrow’s lineup as a “fluid situation,” saying five or six guys are battling a bug.

“We’ll just manufacture and see what’s available for tomorrow.”

One thing we do know about tomorrow’s lineup is Jake Allen will start between the pipes. His first outing was a strong one, turning aside 24 of 25 shots last Saturday in a 6-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes.

“You get better every day. I feel that the foundation of my game is pretty solid right now, I feel good about it,” Allen said. “Obviously there are always things you can improve on, you’re never perfect. Still got a long way to go, (but I) just try to give the team a chance to win.”

Brian Elliott will start Saturday vs. Chicago.

OSHIE’S START

T.J. Oshie has yet to register a point through five games this season, but he thinks its only a matter of time before pucks start going in.

“I feel like this is the best condition I’ve been in at the start of the season. I feel like my line has been playing really well, we just haven’t been capitalizing on opportunities,” Oshie said. “It seems like there’s one little bounce of the puck or one stick that gets in the way of us making some good plays.

“Get those plays, get a little more crisp, a little more simple and the pucks will start going into the net for us.”

PREPARING FOR VANCOUVER

Hitchcock said Wednesday his team spent the last two days at practice trying to improve their transition game.

“Just that five-man continuity where we are five up together, five back together. Lots of little things,” Hitchcock said. “We had a lot of really good stuff happen in the first two games, then we got a little bit sloppy in the third game.

“It’s just kind of rebooting all the stuff that involves communication and talk and things like that.”

The Blues host the Canucks on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center.

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