Tyson Nash dot com


Grinders are Lone Bright Spot Against Nashville


Dave Luecking
© St. Louis Post-Dispatch
January 5, 2001


With the Blues struggling in the second period on Thursday, coach Joel Quenneville reunited the Blues' best grind line, putting center Craig Conroy back between Jamal Mayers and Tyson Nash.


The line was dynamic in the Blues' 4-2 loss to Nashville, recreating the magic it had displayed before Quenneville recently took Conroy off the line in favor of Mike Eastwood.


Conroy set up Nash for the Blues' first goal at 6:55 of the second period, cutting Nashville's lead to 2-1. As Mayers battled a Nashville defender for a loose puck behind the net, Conroy swooped in and fed Nash all alone in front. The goal was Nash's sixth of the season.


Then, with the Blues trailing 3-1 late in the third period, Conroy deflected Chris Pronger's shot past goalie Mike Dunham for his seventh goal of the season, cutting the Nashville lead to 3-2 with 3:45 remaining.


That was as close as the Blues got before Scott Walker iced the game with an empty netter.


"That line was the only line that had any energy," Quenneville said. "There weren't many guys we were happy with. They gave us some jump, but across the board, we were pretty weak."


Conroy earned the No. 2 star for his effort.


"I feel good with those guys," said Conroy. "We had some good games before, and we got a lot of chances tonight. Unfortunately, it was a little too late."


As a tribute to the line's effort, Conroy, Mayers and Nash were on the ice with Al MacInnis, Pronger and sixth attacker Pascal Rheaume in the final 48 seconds of the game.


In games in which team or individual records are on the line, the Blues are only 1-5 this season. Their only success was a 6-3 win over Atlanta on Dec. 15 that marked their eighth consecutive win - a team record winning streak. It was their second crack at the mark. An earlier attempt ended in a 0-0 tie with Toronto on Nov. 4.


They failed in both tries to extend unbeaten streaks to a club-record 13, losing 4-3 to Vancouver on Nov. 21 and 5-2 to L.A. on Dec. 28. And they failed twice in Brent Johnson's effort to break the club record of seven consecutive wins by a goalie - the 4-3 loss to Vancouver and Thursday's loss to Nashville.


Johnson said losing in his quest for the record was of "no concern. I'm just upset that we lost back-to-back games."