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Blues will use 3 power-play units in shortened season

Jan 14, 2013, 9:46 PM EDT

Chris Stewart Getty Images

The shortened season is causing teams to break from the norm. In St. Louis, that means the squad will run three power-play units.

“We’re going to use three units, we’re going to use eight guys to kill penalties, that’s just the reality of the season and where everybody is at physically and mentally,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.

“I think you just have to use as much of your bench as you can. It’s a little more work for everybody, but I think getting guys used to doing it is important.”

One power-play line features Alex Steen at the point and includes Chris Stewart, Vladimir Tarasenko, Andy McDonald, and Kevin Shattenkirk.

T. J. Oshie and Alex Pietrangelo manned the points of another unit that consists of David Backes, David Perron, and Patrik Berglund.

Finally, the third unit consisted of Matt D’Agostini, Jaden Schwartz, Vlad Sobotka, Kris Russell, and Ian Cole.

Although he admits it’s a risk, Hitchcock has already seen some “good things” by having forwards Steen and Oshie play in the back end.

“It looks like we’re a threat and that’s the key thing,” Hitchcock said. “I think this includes more players, it makes us more dynamic.”

The Blues had a mediocre 16.7% power-play success rate in 2011-12 and they weren’t much better during their subsequent playoff run.

  1. valoisvipers - Jan 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Hitch thinking outside the box again. Scoring and goal tending by committee. Keeps everyone fresh and raring to go.

  2. rainyday56 - Jan 15, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Scoring?? There’s no scoring in Hitch’s systems. He’ll wear out his welcome in St Louis soon enough like he has everywhere else. His destiny is to be hired by Stevie Y in Tampa after which he will go to work and make Stamkos a 25 goal scorer.

  3. bardown66 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Well, the blue are interesting. I thought would be like what the kings turned out to be come playoff time. Not that my final pick is worth much, but right now I’d have them in the discussion if they can score more. Same problem that crippled NY

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Hmm! I don’t know about this. When the game is on the line you want your best players out there. PP and PK will win and lose you games. Ok with rolling with the full resources he has at even man, but not during the PP and PK. 2 PP units, and 2 or 3 PK units is the max. You want your best PK and PP guys to be at their best for the playoffs, and you don’t do that by minimizing their ice time in a 48 game schedule.

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