Friday, October 29, 2010


Blues would like league's thoughts of Tootoo hit on Colaiacovo;
Oshie on the offensive with seven-game point streak

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Upon further review, the Blues would like to hear what the National Hockey League office has to say about Jordin Tootoo's hit Thursday night.

It was Tootoo's hit, behind the Blues goal that knocked Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo out of Thursday's 3-0 Blues victory at Nashville, that has the Blues wondering what will happen to Tootoo, if anything.

Tootoo caught Colaiacovo with a hard shoulder hit to the side of the head on a lateral blindside hit, immediately knocking Colaiacovo to the ice as Tootoo elevated himself with 6 minutes, 49 seconds remaining and the Blues holding a 2-0 lead.

"We've taken a look at it," Blues coach Davis Payne said Friday after practice at St. Louis Mills. "I'm sure that the league will have their look at it and we'll have our view based on their impressions of it. I don't think there's need to comment on it much further.

"I'm not sure there was contact from shoulder to head like the emphasis has been. I think there was mostly shoulder-to-shoulder contact, but leaving your feet is something that ... we ended up with two charging penalties earlier this year because both guys left their feet. We feel it's something that needs to be addressed."

Defenseman Tyson Strachan, Colaiacovo's partner on the blue line Thursday had a clean look at it. He tried to get Tootoo, who received a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct, to square off but the Predators agitator wouldn't bite.

"You kind of knew right away that that's what he was looking for afterwards," Strachan said of Tootoo. "I'm pretty sure he knew he was going to the box right away and he was trying to goad me into something. But obviously, that's what I like to do is stand up for my teammates and it's hard to turn the other way and not fulfill that. At the end of the day, it's probably the smart play, but it doesn't make you feel great about not stepping in.

"It's late in the game and it's something that is definitely borderline and totally unnecessary. The tough thing about it you'd kind of like to deal with it on the ice. He wasn't willing to deal with the consequences of it. That's a little frustrating to wake up today and know you didn't really do much about it, but we'll see what happens with it."

Colaiacovo was not on the ice Friday, as he was being tested as all head injuries do for possible concussion-like symptoms. Payne said Colaiacovo is day-to-day and was uncertain whether he'd be able to play tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers.

"He's possible. He's day-to-day right now," Payne said. "... We'll see how he is tomorrow."

* Oshie's offense -- Don't look now, but T.J. Oshie is quietly putting together a nice little string of games here recently.

The Blues' forward, playing on the top line with David Backes and David Perron, picked up an assist on Matt D'Agostini's goal Thursday and now has points in seven consecutive games (one goal, eight assists).

"We're building chemistry and me and Backs had that last year a lot," Oshie said. "Perry's stepping into (Paul Kariya's) role and he's fitting in well. We're moving the puck well, we're reading off of each other and just building more chemistry.

"As long as the team's winning, I'm feeling good. I just think it's more the other guys bearing down and scoring goals. Some of the assists are nothing plays and guys turning them into something big. Just right place at the right time on some of those. As long as the team's chipping in and the team's winning, everyone's feeling good."

Payne said for Oshie, who does so much away from the puck, it's about making the quick recognition of certain plays.

The Blues' coach used an example of how Oshie was able to step off the wall and recognize the traffic in front of him but shoots through the open lane on a power play in the second period. Payne said it was a shot Oshie might not have taken last season.

"There's another gear there as far as his intent to make a play, his recognition of how quickly the play happens," Payne said. "I think a year or so ago, he might have seen the play and then perhaps looked to the next play. He's willing to take Option A and attack it, whether it's that next play, whether it's a sidestep on a one-on-one situation or whether he's got to shoot a puck. ... I think there's a recognition on his part to attack quicker. For us, that's a good thing."

* Sobotka still adjusting -- Blues center Vladimir Sobotka played in his fourth game Thursday and although he's getting more comfortable each game and the minutes are increasing ever so slightly (he played 10:11 on 15 shifts Thursday), he's still finding his way around the ice.

"I'm still missing something," the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Sobotka said. "I want more from myself and get a little more physical. I just have to play 100 percent. That's all I can do."

"(The increased minutes) is something that I need, but I have to play good to get my ice time to show that I can play more. I'm still working on that."

* Strachan impresses -- Other than the near-fight with Tootoo Thursday, Tyson Strachan was impressive in taking the place of Roman Polak (wrist) on the Blues' back unit Thursday.

Strachan, who was a healthy scratch in six of the Blues' first seven games, played 12:41 paired with Colaiacovo. Strachan had a team-best five of their 17 blocked shots.

"I was excited to get back in and it was awesome," Strachan said. "I love playing hockey and obviously, it was a good game and a good win for us."

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo led Blues skaters in ice time with a career-best mark of 24:59.

* Fox Sports, DISH Network finally reach agreement -- DISH Network and Fox Networks accounced on Friday a wide-ranging distribution agreement to provide programming from Fox Broadcasting and Fox local television stations in major cities.

On Fox Sports Midwest, viewers will now be able to receive all Blues telecasts, beginning with today's 7 p.m. home game against Atlanta.

"The Blues are thrilled that our two partners have reached this agreement and that our great fans will not miss a minute of exciting Blues hockey," Blues CEO of Enterprises Mike McCarthy said in a statement.

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