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This is not Brayden Schenn’s
#1
first rodeo with a lot of things this season.It is his second time playing under Craig Berube as an interim coach and the third time his name has been prominent in trade speculation. For Schenn and the St. Louis Blues Philipp Grubauer Jersey Womens , those things are related.A bad start to the season cost coach Mike Yeo his job in November and started talk that just about anyone from Schenn to star winger Vladimir Tarasenko to young defenseman Colton Parayko could be dealt away. But over the past two month as interim coach, Berube has turned things around — so much so that the Blues could make a run at the playoffs and keep general manager Doug Armstrong from selling ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.“Guys are playing hard right now and (Berube) obviously commands a lot when it comes to the work ethic side of the game,” Schenn said Monday in Washington. “We’ve had high expectations right from the beginning, we didn’t meet them, then there’s tons of rumors about everyone. That’s kind of how it goes when you’re not winning and you’re not meeting expectations.“Now we’re in a position — closer, anyways — to make a playoff push, and we feel like we can in this locker room. Now it’s up to us to try and save ourselves, each other, from getting traded and staying here together.”Berube has pulled the Blues together by getting them back to basics. They’ve gone 5-2-1 in their past eight games to move within four points of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and can now think about the postseason.“This is such a good team here, and we’re starting to get back to our game,” leading scorer Ryan O’Reilly said. “We can get into the playoffs. We can make a difference.”After trading for O’Reilly and signing forwards David Perron, Tyler Bozak and Patrick Maroon last summer, the Blues were expected to make the playoffs and contend for the Stanley Cup. Twelve losses in their first 19 games led to the coaching change, and Berube has instilled some badly needed consistency.“He’s one of those guys that wants you to make plays, but he demands a lot http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-...vid-jersey ,” captain Alex Pietrangelo said. “He wants you to work. And we’re working right now. That’s what we’re doing. That’s how we’re winning hockey games.”Berube, who also was interim coach for Schenn and the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013-14, has helped the Blues win games by changing their mentality to become more of a north-south team. There was never a shortage of talent, but now the direction of the action is straight toward the net with the kind of direct style more suited to the group’s size.“We control the puck in the offensive zone a lot,” Berube said. “We shoot the puck and get to the net. That’s our game.”It helps that the Blues are getting stellar goaltending from rookie Jordan Binnington and veteran starter Jake Allen of late. Binnington is 3-1-0 with a 1.55 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in his first four NHL starts after getting called up at age 25 and being asked to steady the ship.“With a little bit of pressure comes opportunity,” Binnington said. “You try to do your best to feel confident and prepared for the moment, so you just work hard off the ice and on the ice in practice, and when the moment finally comes, hopefully you’re prepared. That’s kind of how I looked at it.”Blues skaters look at their rough start not as a case of subpar goaltending but disastrous play in front of the net. Schenn said it was “ugly” early on, and Pietrangelo said the team has done a better job cutting down on rush chances against, which has made life easier for the goalies.“We’re playing more of a 60-minute hockey game,” said Allen, who has a .910 save percentage this season under Berube (it was .879 under Yeo). “We were finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot prior to that. We’d play 20 minutes of good hockey, 20 minutes of bad hockey, 20 minutes of mediocre hockey and sometimes we win Milan Lucic Jersey Kids , sometimes we lose. But right we’re getting goals and we’re hunkering down, but at the same time we’re still finding a way to capitalize on opportunities.”More than anything, the Blues need to pile up the points to go from last place in the Central Division at the time of Yeo’s dismissal to the playoffs after missing by one point last season. Berube gets a lot of credit within the locker room for establishing a foundation of success.“He’s just brought some stability to the group,” defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said. “He’s definitely made an emphasis on character and compete. I think that’s something we all needed as a group and something we’re going to need night in and night out.” ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks stumbled through the past five weeks with just three wins. Their lineup has been decimated by injuries, and they’ve fallen short in close games with a dismaying regularity.When they held off the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night by showing all the late-game poise they’ve lacked, the Ducks found themselves in third place in the Pacific Division in spite of it all.Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, John Gibson made 25 saves for his 100th career victory and the Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the skidding Canucks.Ondrej Kase, Adam Henrique and Kalle Kossila also scored for the Ducks, who had lost 12 of 15 since the last time they scored four goals in a game back on Oct. 17.Even while Anaheim has struggled through these injury-plagued five weeks, the Ducks have still collected enough overtime points to stay in the Pacific race. This win pushed them past Vancouver and into third place, a mere four points off the lead.It’s only November, but the standings matter to the Ducks, who are thrilled to be keeping pace.“When you get in tough times, it’s nice to look and understand that it’s a long season and there is time to turn it around Oscar Klefbom Jersey ,” said Getzlaf, who is Anaheim’s leading scorer despite missing six games with injuries. “Luckily enough, our division hasn’t pulled away from us at the start of the year here. So we’re getting points. We’re scrapping and clawing, and we just keep going.”Kase scored on a pass by defenseman Josh Mahura, who earned his first NHL point in his second game.The Ducks are playing without injured defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler, forcing them to use four rookie blueliners — including Mahura — who have all played in fewer than 50 career games. Anaheim hadn’t used four rookie defensemen in the same game since the 1994-95 season, but coach Randy Carlyle must improvise in the absence of his two team leaders in minutes played.“We’ve got to stick together in here,” said Henrique, who scored early in the third period. “Some teams fall apart in the dressing room, and we’re sticking together. We’ve just kept working on things, and everything has gotten better.”Bo Horvat, Derrick Pouliot and Jake Virtanen scored in the Canucks’ seventh consecutive loss.“I don’t know what the number is right now, but it (stinks),” Pouliot said. “We are trying to come to work every night. Something has got to give. Eventually we’re going to break through.”Pouliot scored early in the second period on a slick cross-ice pass from Sam Gagner, who got his first point since returning to the Canucks. After scoring 31 points for Vancouver last season http://www.officialoilers.com/authentic-...ins-jersey , Gagner was waived Oct. 1 and eventually sent to the AHL, only to be recalled last weekend when injuries drastically thinned the Canucks’ forward lines.Jacob Markstrom stopped 32 shots as Vancouver failed to rally from a late two-goal deficit and remained winless since Nov. 8 despite pushing aggressively for a tying goal in the final minutes.“It didn’t feel like the last game, that’s for sure,” Canucks coach Travis Green said of a 6-3 home loss to Winnipeg on Monday. “I liked our push at the end. It was a close game. We’ve got to find a way. We’re making a couple of little mistakes that are costing us, and we’ve got to clean that up.”Kossila put the Ducks up 4-2 midway through the third period when he converted a pass in the slot from Brian Gibbons for his first goal of the season and second of his NHL career. Gibbons’ assist was his first point in 17 games with Anaheim.Horvat scored his 11th goal on a deflection with 4:44 left to keep Vancouver in it.NOTES: Anaheim has won three straight home games against Vancouver, matching its franchise record in the rivalry. … The Canucks are without five injured regulars, including star Brock Boeser, who missed his ninth straight game with a groin injury. … Lindholm missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Fowler is out indefinitely with broken bones in his face after getting hit by a puck. … Gibson became the fourth goalie to win 100 games with the Ducks, joining Jean-Sebastien Giguere (206), Guy Hebert (173) and Jonas Hiller (162).UP NEXTDucks: Host Edmonton on Friday.Canucks: At San Jose on Friday.
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