Originally written on Kukla's Korner  |  Last updated 10/22/14

TORONTO - OCTOBER 13: Roman Polak #46 of the St.Louis Blues moves for the puck against Nik Antropov #80 of the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on October 13, 2008 in Toronto, Ontario.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
from Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat, As a veteran NHL coach, there aren’t too many things that surprise Ken Hitchcock any more when it comes to hockey. After taking over the Blues last month, one of those rare surprises presented itself in the form of 6-foot, 225-pound defenseman Roman Polak. “Polak for me is the biggest surprise,” said Hitchcock, who has marveled at Polak’s strength, superior skating and shut-down defender ability that eliminates scoring chances at a rapid rate. “I didn’t know much about him, but he’s a very, very strong player. He plays a very physical game than can really wear people out.” Polak and the Blues begin a two-game road trip at 8:30 p.m. today in Colorado, then travel to Phoenix for a Friday game. While the Blues are blessed with some top-flight young puck movers on defense in players like Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ian Cole, there is plenty of room for gritty veterans like Polak and Barret Jackman. continued
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