Oshie's part of the blazing Blues
ST. LOUIS -- By recent standards, the St. Louis Blues' preseason was a start on which the Blues could hang their helmet. Former UND forward T.J. Oshie was a big part of the turnaround. "Up and down the lineup, we seem to be creating offense," for...
ST. LOUIS -- By recent standards, the St. Louis Blues' preseason was a start on which the Blues could hang their helmet.
Former UND forward T.J. Oshie was a big part of the turnaround.
"Up and down the lineup, we seem to be creating offense," forward Andy McDonald said. "The checking lines have been playing well, so there are a lot of positives to take out of it. But we've got to make sure that we get ourselves ready."
In the days leading up to Friday's season opener against Nashville, the Blues will be turning their attention to the regular season, which hasn't been kind to them the last three years.
The infusion of young, skilled players like Patrik Berglund and Oshie should help bolster the Blues, but coach Andy Murray says that he has no better feeling for how 2008-09 will map out than when the preseason began.
"We've got such a young team, it's hard to say," Murray said. "We believe that we can challenge . . . it's just hard to know. It's hard to put a finger on our team right now, more so than maybe any other year I've coached, just because we're so young. But that brings excitement, too."
The Blues, however, believe they can draw some conclusions from their preseason success.
The line of McDonald centering Brad Boyes and Lee Stempniak collected 35 points in five preseason games.
"I think it's a good sign for our line," McDonald said. "We're trying to make good habits."
The line of Paul Kariya, Berglund and David Perron also was productive, as were Keith Tkachuk, Oshie and David Backes.
"Hopefully everybody stays healthy and we get production from all three lines," Tkachuk said. "It's nice to finally have three scoring lines. This is something that we've been missing for the last three or four years." The Blues believe the preseason also illustrated they might have a quicker team this season.
"That's why we're on the power play so much, because of our speed," Tkachuk said. "You look at Andy (McDonald), Paul, Oshie, Berglund, Perron, Backes, Stempniak . . . they all bring speed, and it's hard for other teams to compete with that. You could see it in the preseason." And the Blues are finally making something out of their power-play chances.
They were 11 for 43 in the preseason (25.6 percent).