Apr 23, 2013, 3:26 PM EDT
All the St. Louis Blues need from tonight’s game against Colorado is one point, and they’re in the playoffs.
To that end, head coach Ken Hitchcock’s icing a lineup similar to the one that lost to the Avs 5-3 on Sunday night, with one notable change — winger David Perron has been dropped from the first line to the fourth, and looks to be off the power-play entirely.
“I respect the decision and I’ll just go out and play hard tonight,” Perron told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Hopefully we can clinch tonight and go [in the playoffs in] the front door, and that’s all I’ll worry about.
Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch reports Perron was skating with Adam Cracknell and Ryan Reaves on the bottom forward unit — rookie Jaden Schwartz was in his place on the top line next to David Backes and Alex Steen.
Perron had a costly turnover during Sunday’s loss, which led to Jamie McGinn‘s tally that put made it 3-1 in favor of Colorado.
Clearly, Hitchcock hasn’t forgotten about it.
The Blues head coach abruptly answered questions about Perron’s demotion — “It’s part of the 12 [forwards], don’t read anything into it. OK, thanks,” — before walking off.
Perron’s had an erratic year. He started well, scoring 20 points in the first 26 games of the year, but has struggled as of late and only has five points (just one goal) since Mar. 19.
That scoring slump won’t be helped any if he is indeed off the power play. Rutherford reports that two sets of forwards were practicing with the man advantage today, and Perron wasn’t a part of either.
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 11
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 10
- Sounds like it’s Rundblad, not TVR, in for Chicago on defense 16
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ 39
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 17
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 6
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ (49)