(HockeyStL) -- Goaltender Ryan Miller may have been the major piece in the Blues blockbuster trade at the end of February, but fans seem to be falling in love with tenacious forward Steve Ott.
Ott has played in seven games with the Blues and has recorded one assist, but it’s his way of playing the game, Coach Hitchcock’s 200 ft. game, that proves his worth to the Note. Hitchcock’s philosophy succeeds when the Blues play a hard game and lead with the forecheck.
“Personally, that’s the type of game I try to play. I try to, obviously, work hard, compete on a nightly basis,” Ott said, “I’m more of a complete guy. I try to contribute when I possibly can. Other than that, I want to forecheck and make plays out there.”
Ott has averaged 14:57 of ice time per game, only 5 minutes less than when he was playing in Buffalo, and said he knew being traded away from the Sabres was an option.
“The last month or so I kind of knew something was going to go on,” said Ott, “I was just hoping for a contender and if you could ask me my first choice, I would have picked St. Louis in a heartbeat.”
“It was almost like a dream came true. I woke up and now I’m a Blue.”
St. Louis fans fall in love with hardworking players like David Backes, David Eckstein, Kurt Warner and Willie McGee. Ott, the Buffalo Sabres’ former captain, fits in with those players because he’s versatile and gritty. His only assist, so far as a Blue, came after winning a face-off and getting the puck straight to Ian Cole who buried a wrist shot.
And in his first seven games, he’s provided the muscle when getting into his first fight in Sunday night’s game against the Wild. He’s fourth among forwards with 210 hits, averaging 3 per game, and just behind Backes who has 216 hits.
Ott is the guy players hate to play against and love to play with.
“I hated to play against that guy. I really did,” said Patrik Berglund, “[He was] always all over me, hitting and chirping, still can play some really good hockey. I think he fits right into how we play as a team.”
And as Blues fans wait to one day see Lord Stanley’s Cup parade down Market Street, Ott said, as a team, they’re trying to build to the playoffs and beyond.
“It’s been emotional. It’s been exciting,” Ott said, “All the things you dream about coming to a contending team with that kind of excitement. Now starting a new adventure and looking forward to this.”