Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 1/17/13
ST. LOUIS - A six-day training camp, no preseason games and six games in nine days to start the regular season would seem to be a tough situation for teams to face as the NHL schedule kicks off on Saturday. The St. Louis Blues feel it plays right into their hands. A team that returns their coach, both goalies, virtually their entire lineup from last year and the momentum from winning their first playoff series in a decade, the Blues figure they wont have the growing pains that others might endure early in the season. I think were in a good spot, coach Ken Hitchcock said. I think were in a real good spot. What we do with it is up to us, but mentally I think were in a good spot. Were not making a lot of changes to our system, we think we have a good way to play and were just going to keep building on it and hopefully we can get going right away. A big reason the Blues are excited about competing within a condensed 48-game schedule in barely three months is because of returning netminders Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. The two combined to win the Jennings Trophy a season ago by allowing the fewest goals in the NHL. The Blues play ten sets of games on back-to-back nights and will play 41 of their 48 games with either zero or one day of rest. Both goalies figure to get plenty of work and both should stay relatively rested. How many other teams will have the luxury to feel as confident in both of their goalies as the Blues? Not many. While other teams are overworking their starters, the Blues will be alternating on a nightly basis without much dropoff. Up front the Blues have very few changes either. Only defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo is gone from a rather impressive defensive unit and his replacement prospect Ian Cole looked impressive during sporadic time in St. Louis last year. Veteran Jason Arnott is the only subtraction from the forwards but hes being replaced by Russian sensation Vladimir Tarasenko, who most expect to make an immediate impact for the Blues on a line with Alex Steen and Andy McDonald. I think its going to be great, said Blues forward T.J. Oshie. As far as D pairings and as far as the lines go, everyone has played with everyone except for maybe a couple guys but theres going to be some instant chemistry that we dont have to find and need to build. Its already there. That should be pretty good for us to get a good start. With us being so familiar with each other and the systems and what we need to do, thats going to put us one step closer to our end goal. While some teams are spending the six-day training camp and likely the first few weeks of the season trying to get to know the tendencies of their new free agent or trade additions, the Blues wont be in the same boat. The Blues already know Hitchcocks system and they already know how they fit within it. It figures to be an obvious advantage as the season gets going this weekend. I think thats extremely important, said defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. You look at some of the best teams in the Western Conference and the league, theyve kept most of their teams together and thats why they are so successful and I think with what we have here, its a huge, huge advantage if we can make it that. I know were all comfortable with each other. Added Barret Jackman, the longest tenured Blue, Theres been a lot of changes throughout the league, big players going to different teams and a lot of moving parts on different teams but here, its the same team and we have a lot of depth so that will help carry us, especially the first part of the season. The depth and chemistry we had last year will help. The Blues open the season Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings at Scottrade Center. Coverage on FOX Sports Midwest begins at 6:30 p.m. CT.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Tavares dismisses rumors, wants to stay with Islanders

UFC signs a new broadcast deal in the U.K.

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker