ST. LOUIS — On a typical morning before a St. Louis Blues home game, the dressing room is alive with activity.
Players take the ice to loosen legs and sharpen their skills for the game that night. None of that happened Tuesday for a Blues team that spent much of the day just trying to get some sleep.
When trying to leave Vancouver on Monday, the Blues' charter jet had mechanical problems and the flight was delayed. Players, coaches and support staff did not touch down in St. Louis until 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, not the best scenario with a home game coming Tuesday night and another game the following day in Colorado.
"They were matter-of-fact," said Blues assistant coach Brad Shaw, who put aside the travel nightmare long enough to visit Scottrade Center and watch the San Jose Sharks' morning skate. "Nobody looked fantastic getting off the plane this morning, but we didn't expect anything different. They rolled with the punches pretty well and were in a pretty good mood. Today won't be too bad. (Wednesday) is the one I'm a little concerned about."
The Blues seemed a bit tired in the third period of Tuesday's 2-1 home loss to San Jose, but players would not use that as an excuse.
Shaw said once the team was alerted to the potential of delay in Vancouver, Blues players were shuttled over to a nearby hotel around 11:30 a.m. Monday.
"They knew there was going to be a pretty good lag there between possible solutions, so they sent them over to rest," he said. "It's a high-end hotel with comfortable beds. There's no stress."
Shaw remained in an airport lounge area with the rest of the coaching staff and Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong.
"It was actually good for us, we were in a nice lounge with lots of room, lots of food," Shaw said. "From that respect it was fine, it was just a long day."
After traveling all night and getting home earlier that morning, wasn't Shaw tired?
"I slept on the plane," he said. "I'm gonna be tired, it's just sort of how tired. Who cares, really?"
* By playing against the Sharks on Tuesday, defenseman Barret Jackman passed Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis on Tuesday and tied Barclay Plager on the list of most games played in a Blues uniform. It was Jackman's 614th game.
* Before Tuesday the Blues had won four straight and eight of last nine against the Sharks, including their first-round playoff series victory last spring. The Blues also had shut out the Sharks in three of the last four meetings at Scottrade Center.
* Before losing Tuesday Blues rookie goaltender Jake Allen won his first three NHL starts, including a 4-3 shootout victory at Vancouver.
The last Blues goalie to win his first three NHL decisions was Reinhard Divis, who won his first five from Oct. 15, 2002 to Jan. 15, 2004.