Vaughn: Line switch ahead of Thursday's game a welcome change
Ken Hitchcock watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues instructs his team from the bench against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scottrade Center on November 10, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
By: Doug Vaughn / HockeyStL
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (HockeyStl) -- In an effort to get the offense going, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock has switched up the lines for tonight's game against Calgary at Scottrade. It's worth a shot for a team that has lost two in a row, and five of its last six games.
“I'm part curious and really excited to see how this looks”, said Hitchcock after Thursday's morning skate. “It was dynamic yesterday at practice and different than anything we've done.”
“As of right now I'm with (Paul) Stastny and (Jaden) Schwartz”, said T. J. Oshie. “It'll be good. I've played with Stas before. We feed off each other well. Schwartzy makes any line he's on better, so I'm excited for the start.”
The other lines have David Backes centering Dmitrij Jaskin and Patrik Berglund, Jori Lehtera with Olli Jokinen and Ty Rattie, and Marcel Goc between Steve Ott and Ryan Reaves.
Rattie was called up from the minors in an effort to replace some of the offense lost with the injuries to Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. Tarasenko and Steen will not play tonight.
“That's a nice vote of confidence,” said Rattie. “You want to be that guy that they call in. I think last time around I showed myself well, and played well, and now I have to build on that.”
Brian Elliott has lost his last four starts. Jake Allen will be between the pipes tonight, and looking for his 20th win of the season.
Allen said, “I'm looking forward to the challenge. Calgary is fighting for their playoff lives. It's a huge game for both teams, and probably the toughest test we've faced in a while.”
The Blues can clinch a playoff spot tonight if they earn one point, or if Los Angeles loses to Edmonton in regulation time.