The Blues are the only team in the NHL without a shorthanded goal this season, and it's not for a lack of trying but more so that they are focused on having a stout penalty kill.
Under Hitchcock, the Blues didn't seem to take as many risks in jumping into the play when an opportunity presented itself to go forward shorthanded, but under Yeo, that could change.
"For me, I'm pleased with the penalty kill right now," Yeo said. "I think that an aggressive penalty kill was always the way. There are some situations. A lot of the shorthanded goals, you do a good job in your zone, you create a turnover, you catch them out of position and when you have a chance to go, you go for sure, but the flip side of that, you have to make sure you're not pushing that to the extreme where you try so hard to score. You score one shorthanded goal every 10 games, but you give up an extra three or four power play goals against, then that doesn't equate. There's some situations. Maybe you can read that a forward's on the backend and you can challenge them a little bit more aggressively, but I've got no issues right now. Our penalty kill has been strong. As long as we continue to do that, then we're in good shape."
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According to Pietrangelo, as long as the Blues stay in that upper echelon of penalty killing efficiency (they're fifth at 84.2 percent), that's what matters.
"Some years you score 10, some years you score two, you score four, you score none," he said. "The ultimate goal of that penalty kill is to get it back to even strength and I think we're what, fifth or sixth in the league. We're doing the job that needs to be done. I know we use a lot of guys, a lot of different rotations. We keep guys fresh in the zone. That's why we've had a lot of success. A lot of times, that's not going to allow guys to get up in the rush and try to make a play because we're constantly changing trying to get energy out there. If we don't score one the rest of the year and we don't give up a goal, we'll go score 5-on-5 or the power play.
"We see momentum killing that penalty and you look at a team like Montreal, there's some key times in games where we're killing these penalties and that's what's building a lot of momentum whether it's in the first period, there's a lot of pressure on us and we kill it or at the end of the game. Yeah, you might score, but chances are of you try that the next game, there's going to be an opportunity going back the other way. We'll continue to do what we're doing and if we've got the opportunity to score, we'll take it."
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