Penalty kill fails Blues in loss to Leafs

Penalty kill fails Blues in loss to Leafs

Credit: AP

St. Louis Blues' Scott Nichol (12) reaches for the puck with Toronto Maple Leafs' Nikolai Kulemin (41), of Russia, in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

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by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

HockeyStL

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 12:35 AM

(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues are near the bottom of the league when it comes to special teams play and Thursday night’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs proved once again that it still plagues the team.

The Maple Leafs scored twice on three power play opportunities in the first period against the Blues.

“We were checking with our eyes, not our legs,” head coach Ken Hitchcock said.  “That is something we got to change.  You can’t kill penalties if you just play with your eyes.”

Hitchcock believes the Blues had the first period penalties as a result of “gliding and reaching.”  He stressed to the team to become more engaged with their feet to put the Leafs back on their heels.  The Blues responded and outshot the Leafs 20-8 in the final two periods despite being outshot 14-8 in the first period. 

The Blues rank 28th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage (73.5%).

by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

-follow me on Twitter @Scott_Bierman
 

 

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