Cross the Line?
The Minnesota Wild registered more hits than shots Saturday afternoon further proving the puck was secondary as St. Louis had their way on the scoreboard.
The Blues won the game 4-0 to extend their dominance on home ice.
The bigger story may have come after the game as several Blues were unhappy with the “Wild” actions of some Minnesota players.
Front and center was forward Cal Clutterbuck who is no stranger to getting under the skin of the opposition. First an elbow to the head of D-man Alex Pietrangelo followed up by his best Adrian Peterson impersonation on goaltender Brian Elliott. All in all Clutterbuck was penalized on three separate occasions.
His biggest offense may have come while sitting on the bench as Clutterbuck was heard yelling at Blues forward Andy McDonald “I hope you get another concussion.”
Considering McDonald just returned after missing 51 games with a concussion the comments didn’t sit too well with him or his teammates. This was the third serious concussion McDonald has battled in his career.
“I don’t expect players to ease up on me but to make comments like that shows no respect,” said McDonald.
Blues D-man Barrett Jackman who finally got the monkey off his back by ending a goal scoring drought that had reached some 150 games took it even a step further.
“It crosses the line and is disrespectful. We’re not talking about a knee injury, we’re talking about a head injury that can impact a person’s quality of life. It’s bad karma.”
In other words what you say could come back to bite you?
Considering I don’t personally know Cal Clutterbuck I’m not going to label him as a bad person. Does he tend to cross the line on the ice? Sure but that’s the way he probably needs to play to stay in the league. In this case did he take things to far? You could probably say he did.
I understand things are said in the heat of the battle and rarely do athletes truly mean what comes out of their mouth. Ever sat courtside at an NBA game? You might be surprised how far some take their trash talking.
With all this being said there’s no excuse for it either. Opposing players don’t forget comments like these and it won’t win Clutterbuck, a repeat offender, any Lady Byng trophies anytime soon. Was it disrespectful and classless? Yes as are most things said on the ice during the course of a battle. Most tend not to get personal and in this case this is where Clutterbuck went too far.
We often hear how it’s up to the players to starting showing a little more respect to one another. Usually we aren’t referring to how they talk to each other but this is further evidence some guys still haven’t figured it out.
Jackman went on to tell me if he heard one of his teammates making comments like these “it would be handled internally.”
Blues, Chicago This afternoon….
It was good to see Ryan Reaves and Jackman get their first goals of the year. These guys do a ton of the dirty work that allows others to have their space on the ice. They both deserve to be rewarded.
I thought it was interesting Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game his team needs to learn how to tone it down once they have the win in the bag. Captain David Backes was cross-checked in the side of the head by Wild forward Warren Peters who was ejected from the game. This came after Backes ran around hitting a couple of Minnesota players with only 3:30 minutes left. One of the hits came right in front of the Minnesota bench which led to Peters responding in the fashion that he did.
Hitchcock said we’re a young team that needs to learn to “go quieter.”
The cross-check from Peters has earned him a hearing with the NHL and I would think it will be met with a suspension.
Backes was “fine” after the game according to Hitchcock.
Good to see guys like Reaves and Scott Nichol get some power play time late in the game.
Minnesota went a stretch of over 18 minutes without a shot on goal. The Wild had just six shots combined over the last two periods.
I like Kent Huskins but he may not the partner for Alex Pietrangelo. Huskins is a probably a five or a six and he wasn’t overly tested against the Islanders or the Wild. I did think he played better against Minnesota compared to his first game back but we need to ease up on thinking this is a long-term pairing.
The Blues Power play has been executing at a nice clip in recent games. Pietrangelo and McDonald showed some nice creativity on the McDonald goal. This play with McDonald circling up high for a deflection is difficult to defend especially with a net-front presence screening the goaltender.
I’m told Minnesota is looking to move, among other players, D-man Nick Schultz. At $3.6 million over the next two years I would think this won’t be easy. The 29 year-old Schultz has two points and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games this season.
More to come,
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