Apr 24, 2013, 1:48 PM EST
On Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues punched their ticket to a second straight playoff appearance with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
That led to GM Doug Armstrong being asked about possible first-round opponents — to which he offered up a rather interesting response.
“I don’t want to play Chicago right now,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Other than that, we’re going to be ready to take on whoever has to come.
“Chicago is the one team that from start to finish has put a three-month distance between itself and the rest of the pack. Anything else in the conference is nothing more than a mild upset.”
Based on how this season has gone, it’s not surprising Armstrong wants to avoid the ‘Hawks.
The Blues are just 1-3-0 against Chicago, with their lone victory coming via the shootout (the two teams will play each other once more in the season finale on Saturday.)
The ‘Hawks have also outscored the Blues 11-5 and shut them out twice.
Despite this, it’s kind of strange to hear a GM say (publicly) that he wants to avoid a particular team.
But it’s also been a strange year for St. Louis.
The team has battled inconsistency, resulting in an inability to follow up on last year’s stellar campaign — Ken Hitchcock said 2013 has been “as challenging as any season I’ve ever coached in,” — and it appears these inconsistencies may have left some questions of the group.
That said, this could simply be Armstrong’s subtle way of challenging his team, something he alluded to in speaking with the Post-Dispatch.
“[Playoff] games are for the self-motivated,” he said. “But right now, that’s playoff hockey. The playoffs always clarify things. They show your strengths and magnify your weaknesses.
“We’re now at the stage where it’s what we do. We’re in the playoffs. We’re going to find out what we are.”
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Malkin had a third straight three-point game.
Mar 1, 2015, 10:05 PM EST
He collided with Ales Hemsky.
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The Washington forward remains in the game.
Mar 1, 2015, 8:30 PM EST
The Sharks get a fourth-round pick.
Mar 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EST
Both teams also swapped draft picks in the deal.
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Dallas looking to snap a five game skid.
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He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Mar 1, 2015, 6:45 PM EST
Both are free agents after this season.
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It started with a Matt Greene hit on Mark Scheifele.
Mar 1, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
The Pens’ captain was unharmed on the play.
Mar 1, 2015, 5:56 PM EST
He’s 14 back of Marcel Dionne.
Mar 1, 2015, 4:20 PM EST
All the blockbuster details have been updated.
Mar 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EST
Sunday’s expected starting goalies.
Mar 1, 2015, 3:02 PM EST
Could Philly move him by Monday?
Mar 1, 2015, 2:22 PM EST
The Islanders winger was February’s best first-year player.
Mar 1, 2015, 1:16 PM EST
A decent catch for a rising team.
Mar 1, 2015, 12:55 PM EST
Winnipeg faces Los Angeles on Sunday.
Mar 1, 2015, 12:34 PM EST
Mar 1, 2015, 12:21 PM EST
A quick rundown of waiver transactions on Sunday.
Mar 1, 2015, 11:33 AM EST
Anaheim readies for a road-heavy March.
- Trade: Rangers land Yandle, Coyotes receive Duclair, first-rounder 65
- Trade: Capitals land Glencross, Flames get two picks 23
- Flames place Giordano on IR 5
- Flyers keep faint playoff hopes alive with win over Rangers 28
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder 73
- Jagr earns high praise in his Panthers debut 1
- Bruins maintain four-point edge in playoff race, hand Coyotes ninth straight loss 5
- NHL on NBC: Rangers look for a fourth straight win against the Flyers 7
- Ducks score four third-period goals, come back to beat rival Kings 9
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 13
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (144)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (73)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)