Reaves delivers revenge against Tootoo; players react to Rams; Stastny skates
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- A number of New Jersey Devils fans were upset with Ryan Reaves during the third period of the Blues' 5-2 victory on Tuesday.
Reaves had just finished a quick demolition of right wing Jordin Tootoo, knocking out the Devils' enforcer with two solid rights. The first was no big deal. The second is what incensed Devils fans.
After Reaves knocked Tootoo to the ice with a solid right, Tootoo was laying face-first curled up on the ice. Reaves decided to deliver another blow for good measure.
The brief fight came as a result of a late hit that the Devils' Bobby Farnham laid on the Blues' Dmitrij Jaskin in the third period. Farnham received a five-minute major for interference and a game-misconduct and was scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety Wednesday.
(UPDATE): The NHL's Department of Player Safety suspended Farnham four games (http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=60&id=927285&lang=en).
But there's a reason for Reaves continuing with Tootoo. It goes back to his rookie season that Reaves hasn't forgotten.
Reaves said it was a game in which the Blues were playing the Nashville Predators, and Tootoo tried to fight Matt D'Agostini. Reaves said he intervened and asked Tootoo twice to go, which he refused. After the second time, Reaves said he skated away and Tootoo delivered what he called a sucker punch from behind.
"I don't forget," Reaves said. "I don't know if other guys do, but I definitely don't forget, especially with a guy like that who has a reputation. For all I know, he gets up and tries to throw another punch. That was kind of the situation and that's how it goes down.
"I think you know that I don't usually do that, but it kind of goes back to my first year when he threw a cheap shot at me when I asked him to go. I think I never really forgot that one. I told him I was going to get him back eventually and I finally got a hold of him."
Kyle Brodziak was on the scrum as well and received a two-minute roughing penalty and 10-minute misconduct when Kevin Shattenkirk was involved with Farnham initially.
"I didn't see the hit initially, but everyone started yelling and you look and see Jaskin on the ice," Brodziak said. "Everyone's first instinct is to kind of skate over there. Looking at it after, it was obviously a pretty bad hit.
"We want to be a group that has that trust for each other, has each other's backs. That's something that we talk about and we keep building on."
Reaves said the fight had nothing to do with pumping up the crowd. The Blues were leading 4-2 at the time.
"I don't know if that was so much firing up the crowd. It's protecting a teammate," Reaves said. "It was a dirty hit on Jaskin and I see Tootoo has Shattenkirk. He doesn't think it's a mismatch but in my head, I've got to grab him and make sure I protect (Shattenkirk) so two guys don't go down.
"To be honest, I've been waiting for that one for six years. ... I told him it was going to come and it came. That was long-awaited. It got that one off my list."
* Blues react to Rams leaving -- The chant was loud and clear to the 17,000-plus at Scottrade Center. It resonated throughout.
"Kroenke Sucks!" was heard loud and clear in reference to Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who received approval from NFL owners on Tuesday to relocate the team to Los Angeles.
"I'm not sure if I heard that, but I saw a lot of tweets about it," Reaves said. "I know St. Louis isn't too happy about it.
"You never want to see a sports team leave. Obviously having more sports teams is good for a city. It's tough seeing them leave. It definitely doesn't help. It's too bad."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was trying to keep his comments in check in light of the community in an outrage on Wednesday. However, he hopes more fans navigate towards the hockey team that's currently in a position to participate in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I'm kind of staying away from that stuff," Hitchcock said. "Today's the first day I read articles on it. Probably best I just stay away from it, let other people who are a lot smarter than me figure it out.
"My only thought is sports is sports. The more sports you have, the more people get jacked up for sports in general. I know it's an emotional time for everybody. We've got to do our thing and we've got to give them a reason to come watch our hockey team. I couldn't think of a better reason than spirit the guys are playing with right now. We're not going to win every hockey game; we know that, but if we keep putting this type of effort in, I think we're going to make everybody proud."
* Stastny skates -- Center Paul Stastny continues to be day-to-day with an upper-body injury and his status for Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes is up in the air.
Stastny, who was struck on the left side of his cheek by a deflected puck Jan. 8 against the Anaheim Ducks, has missed the past two games. He practiced on Wednesday for a second straight day.
"I think we've got to wait and see how (Stastny) feels after the skate tomorrow," Hitchcock said after a very light optional skate. "I don't really know right now. He wasn't comfortable yesterday, give it a go today. I think we'll skate tomorrow as a group and then we'll get a better evaluation after the skate tomorrow."
* Briefly -- Goalie Brian Elliott will make his third consecutive start. He's won his past two decisions.
The Blues have won three in a row and posted points in seven of the last eight (6-1-1) against the Hurricanes. Carolina’s last win in St. Louis came in a shootout Dec. 11, 2010.