The Morning After STL

Shattenkirk on “The Morning After”: Blues Have More Team Chemistry Than Past Seasons

Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk came on The Ryan Kelley Morning After Thursday to talk some Blues topics ahead of Friday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Read excerpts and listen to the interview below.

On Brian Elliott’s recent string of performances:

“I think…Brian really took it upon himself to really come back when he was ready. He didn’t rush anything. That’s why he’s looked so seamless coming back. When he went into that Vancouver game, he really didn’t miss a step. We kind of looked at each other like, ‘Oh it’s the same Brian again.’ Against San Jose, he made some excellent saves down the stretch.”

On the decision between who will start in goal for the Blues in the playoffs (Elliott or  Jake Allen):

“It’s something I don’t envy (coach Ken Hitchcock) for having to make that decision. Both guys will get chances down the stretch and get some games. They’re both great friends…and they’ve created a healthy competition. But they both thrive on competing against the other one.”

Blues Announce Elliott to Start Fri. vs. Canucks; Allen to Play Sat. Against Capitals

On someone always fighting for your job in professional sports:

“Yeah, that’s professional sports at its best. There’s always someone coming up the ranks…I think you have to make sure you’re taking care of your own responsibilities and not taking any days off to make sure your spot is secure. I think that’s why we’ve been able to stay successful when guys got hurt this year. We’re all happy to enjoy a little more responsibility and play better.”

Do you think this team has more chemistry than in seasons past?

“I do think it’s true. I think we’ve come together a lot earlier in the season. I think part of it has to do with guys stepping up when big players got hurt. I think that brings a team together. We’ve enjoyed that together. We’ve enjoyed winning…we haven’t taken it for granted. We really enjoy winning for each other and that’s the most important thing. You have to win for the guy next to you and I think we’re seeing that. We’re seeing guys block the extra shot to set the next guy up…and that’s important.”

On how tough the first round of the playoffs will be no matter who you play:

“I think we’re kind of used to that now. If you come in first, third or fourth, you’re playing someone tough. It’s tough. But we’re used to that now. We’re not using that as an excuse anymore. It’s part of playing in our division. We do so well against (other Central teams in the regular season), we have to keep that mentality going into the playoffs.”

“I think with our locker room, we have a lot of fresh faces…older guys like Troy Brower and Brodziak who’s been through it and young guys where it’s a new experience for them. Us guys who’ve been here for a while…it’s good to have that new blood.”

On the increased responsibility and minutes he’s gotten this season:

“It doesn’t allow you to sit and think of your mistakes…when you’re getting a lot of ice time. It’s nice…with the added responsibility this year, it’s been great. I know the coaches have confidence in me getting a lot of minutes…and I enjoy it.”

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