The Blues won a close game against the Wild Friday before dropping a spirited battle against Dallas on Saturday. The focal point in the Dallas game had nothing to do with the score, as Steve Ott added two more dirty hits to his resume which led to several fights on the night in route to the Blues 4-1 defeat. Add in some disappointing news about T.J. Oshie and later D.J. King, Saturday was a tough day to be a Blues fan.
The Dallas game started with a bang as just a couple minutes into the contest, D.J. King dropped the gloves and won decisively against Krys Barch. While it was nice to see Kinger dropping the gloves and winning yet another fight, it became clear he injured his hand in the scrap. News later broke that he likely broke his hand, and is set to miss more time. Quickly, King is appearing to be an injury risk which is not an appropriate label for an enforcer or fighter.
While in the first few games of the season it was the first period, Saturday it was the second period that knocked the Blues off their game. Steve Ott, the player known of making several dirty/illegal plays in his career, took the legs out from under Carlo Colaiacovo with a drawn out hip check. Cue the next controversy in the NHL; should hip checks like Ott’s and the one Scuderi laid out in the King’s game be removed from the game of hockey? Obviously a hit like this leaves the player pretty defenseless and leaves him with nothing but his head to land on. Considering the latest push for the NHL to crack down on blows to the head, one has to assume that dirty checks like Ott’s should be punished.
This hit sparked a wave of disorder from the St. Louis side that failed to generate any major offense and failed to put a clamp on the Dallas offense.
Did you think we were done talking about Steve Ott? Of course not, as if one cheap hit wasn’t enough, he then pulled out a knee-on-knee hit out of his bag of dirt on BJ Crombeen. And just in case you thought Ott might be a tough guy and this fan is just biased, when Crombeen came calling to fight Ott for his disgusting antics, Ott showed his true coward and pressed Crombeen against the boards in a warm embrace. As those around the NHL call it, Ott turtled his way out of the fight and did nothing to right his already cheap, dirty and cowardly reputation. With the litter of bad hits and frightening injuries sustained around the NHL this past weekend, one has to wonder what the NHL will do to clean up some of this mess.
Oh, and the Blues lost by a score of 4-1. The Note narrowly avoided the shutout as Alex Pietrangelo scored his first NHL goal with just over three minutes and change remaining in the game. Nice to see Pietrangelo light the lamp and play a pretty good game Saturday in a day that had few bright headlines. Chalk that up as the lone bright spot, as Conklin saved 27 of 31 in a losing effort and the Blues drop another home game to fall back to 4-4-1.
On the injury side of things, the Blues sure are hurting up and down the roster. T.J. Oshie and his appendectomy, D.J. King and his likely broken hand, Carlo Colaiacovo and an upper body injury following the Ott hit, etc and etc. The Blues will have a bit of time to recover as their next matchup is Wednesday in Carolina, but for the immediate future the injury list is starting to fill up. Stay tuned as the Blues will likely need to call on some reserve players from Peoria to join the team prior to their next game.
For those interested in seeing the Ott/Carlo hit, it can be viewed below. While the debate can be made about the hit being clean or dirty, the arm lift in order to flip Carlo certainly comes into question. Ryan Lambert, a writer for the NHL blog Puck Daddy on Yahoo gives his views on some of the dirty hits this weekend, including the one in question here. To read Lambert’s views on the dirty hits (yes, he agrees that both the Carlo hit and the knee-to-knee hit were dirty) be sure to check out What We Learned: Grading the weekend’s dirtiest hits.