In and around the NHL there are always players fans love to hate, the agitators and pests, the guys who play a gritty, in-your-face style of game. These are the guys other players can’t stand playing against but love to have on their side, and St. Louis Blues forward Steve Ott is definitely one of those guys.
Ott was a 1st Round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2000 though he never had the chance to play for Ken Hitchcock there. Always feisty, Ott has had his run-ins with the league, getting hit with three suspensions for illegal checking incidents during his time in Big-D, one reason some St. Louis fans haven’t quite warmed up to him.
A captain in Buffalo, Ott came to the Blues just before the trade deadline this year along with teammate Ryan Miller. Ott’s leadership and demeanor made him an instant hit in the locker room, regardless of how the fans have felt about his presence on the ice. He’s got playoff experience and that should be a valuable asset as the Blues open up their Round One match-up tonight with the Blackhawks.
Due to injuries, a couple of key players will miss tonight’s action (T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund) and Coach Hitchcock has said Ott will play on the top line with David Backes and Alexander Steen. Hitch apparently hopes the rough-and-tumble Ott’s presence there will open up the ice for his linemates to rediscover their scoring touch:
Hitchcock says Oshie and Berglund are out tonight. He is hoping that Ott on the top line will allow Backes and Steen to be more offensive.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 17, 2014
Whatever happens, Steve Ott has a role to play on this club and like him or not, his constant chirping and hounding of the ‘Hawks should prove for an entertaining series, if nothing else.
GO BLUES! LONG LIVE THE NOTE!