‘Playoff mode’ starts for Blues against familiar foes

‘Playoff mode’ starts for Blues against familiar foes

Credit: Getty Images

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 24: Members of the St. Louis Blues celebrate a goal against Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center on January 24, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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by Scott Bierman / HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

(HockeyStL) -- It won’t take much thinking to know when the Blues have a game over the next couple weeks. 

Starting Tuesday and ending February 19, the Blues will play a game on every odd numbered date and will have an off day on the even numbered.  A game every other day is the type of schedule teams will see in the playoffs -- which is exactly how the Blues look at it.

“I think, for us, playing every second night probably puts us in the playoff mode for the next three weeks.  I think we’ll get a real good evaluation of where we’re at,” Ken Hitchcock said.

The team will begin a four-game homestand Tuesday night against the Predators, a foe the team has already beaten twice.

“It’s always nice to continue playing hard teams and improving your game.  That’s what we have to do to beat Nashville,” Barret Jackman said.

Hitchcock noted that this game against Nashville will be played similar to the first game which resulted in a 4-3 shootout victory and not the 3-0 rout on January 24.  For the Blues, it will be a game to see how they measure against one another.

“I think they know us and I think they they were tired in the 3-0 game in our building,” Hitchcock said.  “Both teams are pretty refreshed so I think the first game we played in Nashville is going to be the measuring tape type of game we’re looking at. 

“That was a very hard game for both teams.  It was physical, it was demanding and I think it’s going to be the same (Tuesday).”

In the last meeting, the Predators were in the second game of a seven-game road trip, which began January 22 and concludes Tuesday at the Scottrade Center.  The Predators entered St. Louis coming off their first win of the season, a 3-1 victory over the Wild, but were smothered by the Blues en route to only 13 shots and no goals.

The Blues will look to start the season with three straight wins over the Predators since the 2008-09 season.

The homestand will continue Thursday against another familiar opponent, the Red Wings.  Detroit rebounded from a 6-0 loss on opening night to beat the Blues in a controversial manner 5-3 last Friday.

For fans wanting to see a different opponent, you will have to wait until Saturday when the Ducks come to town followed by the Kings on Monday.

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