Rookie winger Tyson Nash might have been the Blues' best player Wednesday night.
Unless the evaluation comes from the other bench. To the Detroit Red Wings, the 4-2 victory over the Blues almost seemed secondary. Their primary mission often seemed to be trying to exterminate Nash - otherwise known as "a little pest," as Detroit winger Martin Lapointe called him.
"It's hard to keep your cool," said Lapointe, an accomplished agitator in his own right. "Every time he goes back to the bench, he looks at the coach and says, 'Did I do a good job?' He's just a little pest. But you can't blame him."
Blues coach Joel Quenneville wanted to praise Nash.
"He's a momentum changer," Quenneville said. "He's a banger. He goes up and down, and he did his job."
"The kid's great," said Blues veteran Geoff Courtnall. He and Jamal (Mayers) create something in the other zone every shift."
* Detroit coach Scotty Bowman is using a three-dimensional power play.
While Bowman juggles his units like a circus act, he has been tinkering with three defensemen.
Bowman puts Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Duchesne at the points, with Chris Chelios posted up front. The forwards are both centers, Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov.
* Darren McCarty, Detroit's ruffian winger, was wearing a visor in the third period. A collision with the skate of rookie teammate Yuri Butsayev sliced a postage-stamp-size piece of skin off McCarty's eyebrow, right between his eyes.
Play was halted to search for the missing piece, which was returned to McCarty by teammate Sergei Fedorov.
"It looked like an anchovy," teammate Kris Draper said.
The skin was grafted in place with the help of 40 stitches. McCarty expects to have plastic surgery to finish the job.
* Detroit winger Tomas Holmstrom needed four stitches to close a cut on the bridge of his nose after a Rudy Poeschek high stick. Poeschek received a double-minor, which the Blues killed.
* The Blues scratched winger Kelly Chase and newly arrived defenseman Bryan Helmer. The Red Wings scratched defenseman Yan Golubovsky and forwards Stacy Roest and Marc Rodgers.