BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Roughly 18 hours after not wanting to comment on what he and the Blues obviously felt was goaltender interference against the Boston Bruins that resulted in a goal during a 3-1 loss, Blues coach Mike Yeo started off a little more humerous about the coaches challenge that went for naught.
"Not today. Next question," Yeo said with a grin, drawing laughter from an optional skate Friday at KeyBank Center.
Yeo was asked to comment again on the play that eventually cost the Blues a time out.
"I don't think I need to. I think it was addressed," Yeo said. "I think my answer spoke volumes."
Those were famous words used by Yeo on Thursday but in a more direct tone, more powerful in his displeasure that the during the first period, David Krejci's goal counted and gave Boston a 1-0 lead in a game that had every intention of being low-scoring and the first goal was going to be crucial.
Goalie Jake Allen, who was shielded away from his crease by two Bruins sliding in (Jake DeBrusk and Ryan Spooner), could never get back to his crease and Krejci deposited a loose puck into an open net in the process.
The Blues said on Thursday that officials on the ice told them that Allen was out of position and never had a chance to make the save, so the goal stood.
That answer was obviously unsatisfactory to Yeo and obviously unsafisfactory to Blues GM Doug Armstrong.
"I know Army said some things about it and I share the same opinion as Army," Yeo said. "I understand it's a difficult thing to solve right now and everybody's trying to solve it."
Players talked about how gray the ruling is, and Yeo said it's a feeling coaches and executives feel also.
"You know, I don't know what the answer is, to be honest with you," Yeo said. "It is a gray are, there's no question, but I'm not going to change my approach. The simple thing for me is I'm going to stay in my lane and my lane is to coach and my lane is to obviously watch the game and to try to determine if a situation arises like that again, if that same situation were to happen tomorrow, I would make the same call."
The Blues, who outshot the Bruins 14-9 in the first period, played a good road hockey period and when the goal was scored at 12 minutes 32 seconds, it bled into the second period with the Blues down a goal chasing the game and getting outshot 22-6.
"It certainly looked like our game changed after that goal," Yeo said. "That's a team that's had an awful lot of success, that's a team that's very difficult to generate a lot of offense against and to generate an attack against. No question, I knew tht the first goal was going to be a big factor in that game yesterday, but I also don't want to sit here and blame that game on the referees. We made mistakes leading up to the goal or challenge or whatever you want to call it that gave them that opportunity to score that goal. Afterwards, there was still plenty of time in that hockey game to win. We weren't good enough to win the game so now we have to bounce back."
* Allen on ice Friday -- Less than 24 hours after a season-high 43 shots in the loss, Jake Allen was among a dozen skaters to hit the ice Friday in front of their dads.
Allen certainly gave the performance worthy of recognition and gave the Blues a fighting chance of winning.
"He was great, especially in the second and third," Blues center Paul Stastny said of Allen. "In the second, we turned it over too many times. They played a really stubborn game and got away from what we really needed to do. They lock it down nicely in the neutral zone and the d-men have long sticks. We almost should have chipped it more as we did earlier in the game. Sometimes we got pressure and we were trying to kind of make that play around them. In turn, they got a couple 2-on-1's and 3-on-2's. (Allen) made some big saves and kept us in it. I think when our goalies are on, they give us a chance to win every night. In our mindset, we know what we've got every night. ... It's a good steppingstone for him."
Yeo said he got a good sense even before Allen, 1-9-0 his past 10 starts, took the ice that he would be zoned in.
"Going into the game, I felt confident in him," Yeo said. "Going into every game, if we put a player in the lineup, I go into every game expecting the player's best game. Jake's no different. We know what Jake's best games look like.
"... I'm still pleased with his effort in the game, so that's a positive. I hope that that's a game in his eyes that he can build off of."
Will Yeo come back with Allen for a second straight start for the Blues (31-19-3) against the Buffalo Sabres (14-28-9)?
"We'll talk about that tomorrow," Yeo said, leaving the door open for a potential Carter Hutton start.
There's also the crazy notion conjured up by some Blues fans that the team plays harder and a more responsible defensive game in front of Hutton than Allen, a claim Stastny thinks is nuts.
"No. It might be like that sometimes, it might seem like that," he said. "That's more on us. One bounce goes in on one goalie, one bounce goes in another way on the other. As a player, and I've said this before, even going back when we had 'Moose' [Brian Elliott], we're so confident in both goaltenders. When they're on their game, they make the big stops when they have to. In the past I've been on teams where you play things differently when you have a goalie like that, but now, we have two starting goalies, 1A/1B goalies like that, we don't even think about who's in net because we know they're going to make the stops."
* Gunnarsson patiently waiting -- Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson continues to be the odd-man out of the Blues' group of seven defenseman, but the Swede is patiently waiting for his turn to get back in the lineup, which could come against the Sabres.
"Hopefully I get in tomorrow, we'll see. It's a little tough right now," Gunnarsson said. "Sitting on the outside, you try to do whatever you can. Hopefully one day you get the call and you play. You get a good chance to show off because you want to stay in the lineup."
Gunnarsson, who's played in 42 games this season and has six points (four goals, two assists), last played Jan. 23 at Ottawa and has played in just two of the past seven games.
"It's kind of a weird situation," Gunnarsson said. "It's tough to explain if you haven't been in it. Not much you can do. You can't go around and complain. You try and work hard. ... We're doing well. Last night was a tough game but before that, we strung a couple wins together, which was nice. The team's winning and it's tough to take somebody out of the lineup, I know that. You just try to stay focused and positive.
"I think it's been a good mix here with competition and keeping the group together. Going down the stretch, I think that's important to keep everyone involved and making sure everyone's comfortable and feeling good in here."
* Yeo reflects on one year -- It was one year ago on Feb. 1 when Armstrong rocked the Blues' organization firing close friend Ken Hitchcock and naming Yeo, an associate coach at the time, to the position of head coach and guided the Blues to a 5-1 win over Toronto in his debut on Feb. 2.
Yeo, who was to succeed Hitchcock at the end of the season anyway, is 53-27-5 in the calendar year, second to Tampa Bay for most wins (55).
"It's such an awesome organization to be a part of," Yeo said. "It's a great group to coach, so I feel very priviledged and not a day that ... it doesn't matter if it's a day after a loss or a day after a win, I love coming to the rink and I love coaching the St. Louis Blues. I'm excited about what's coming up here."
The Blues are have put up some great numbers the past year, including allowing a league best 2.28 goals.
"Seems like it's been a year of coaching, let's put it that way," Yeo said. "There's always good times and there's always bad times, but that's the journey and that's what you have to like as a coach. As a coach, if you don't really embrace just how difficult it is and embrace the ups and downs of a season, and that's your job, really. That's our jobs as coaches to navigate through that and to get your group to where you want to be at the end of a season."
* Different look? -- When the Blues face off with the Sabres on Saturday, a couple line tweaks and/or roster changes could be in the works.
One was on display Thursday when Yeo, looking for offense, reunited Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko and moved Alexander Steen with Paul Stastny and Ivan Barbashev.
Stastny, in his fourth season with the Blues, knows a thing or two about line shuffling and said it doesn't change what he does.
"No, I just think when you play with different guys, you know what they're bringing, so all of the sudden, one guy will probably have more possession than the other guy and one guy might have less possession but we might have that chance to be ready for him to shoot it from anywhere because he can score," Stastny said. "We've had different line combinations and it happens all the time. Sometimes you switch it up. I don't know what it's going to be tomorrow. I don't know who I'll play with tomorrow, but it's someone I've had great chemistry with. You play 82 games, you play with four or five combos and you start figuring out who you play well with. That's what we're trying to do."
* Thomas suspended -- Center Robert Thomas, a 2017 first-round pick, was suspended by the Ontario Hockey League on Friday for a stick infraction against Peterborough and center Zach Gallant on Thursday.
Thomas, who was traded earlier this season from London to Hamilton, was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the play.
Thomas was acquired by the Bulldogs in a trade from the London Knights last month, he was drafted with the 20th pick by the Blues in Chicago last June.
Thomas has 56 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 36 games this season and also had a goal and three assists to help Canada win gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship here in Buffalo last month.