The St. Louis Blues have always been a physical team, but this season there is something special that has been added to the mix. This season Ryan Reaves, Chris Porter, and Adam Cracknell have combined to become what the St. Louis Blues are calling their “CPR line.”
Perhaps the reason for excitement with this line comes from the bone crushing hits or maybe it is the ability to seemingly outwork every line they have faced in the last month. Maybe it is the ability to score goals that Reaves showed in the last week of the season. No one knows for sure what makes the chemistry of this line so great, but no one cares either.
These three men have banged bodies and played the puck with the best of the players in the league. Against the Los Angeles Kings, the CPR line seems to go above and beyond outworking their opponents on a regular basis. In a series that is just as much physical as it is skilled, the Blues have to be able to wear out their competition in order to stay ahead of the curve. Coach Ken Hitchcock has praised his fourth line saying they are better than most fourth lines in the NHL and some third lines as well. The key difference that Hitchcock notes in his third line is simple, not only can they hit and boost energy, but they can score.
In order to make a long playoff run, teams rely on using all four lines. Last season the Kings had a powerful fourth line that could contribute offensively as well which allowed them to outwork and outplay their opponents. This season the Blues seem to have that very same trait. In fact, the fourth line is playing so well that rookie sensation Vladimir Tarasenko has lost his spot in the lineup (at least for now).
It has never been hard for Blues fans to love their tough guys, and Reaves is no exception. Training in the offseason as a boxer only helps his persona in the NHL, but putting the puck in the net cements your place in the lineup. If Reaves and company can keep their level of play high, it may prove to be the difference between a long playoff run and scheduling tee times for late in May.
So what are your impressions of the St. Louis Blues CPR line? How much of a difference do you think they are making in the Blues playoff run? Let us know in the comments below and on Facebook or Twitter!
LET’S GO BLUES!