About Michael Caples

Michael Caples was born just minutes outside of Detroit and the Canadian border, into a family that introduced him to hockey the day he was born.

By the age of three, Michael could recite every NHL club, where they were from, and the primary colors in each jersey. He has worked for the Red Wings’ official website since 2008 and has contributed articles for LAKings.com, Michigan Hockey, and various other sports publications.

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  • What's going on in St. Louis? Print
    Central
    Written by Michael Caples   
    Thursday, 23 December 2010 03:05

    Even if you don't believe the Blues missed a chance to retaliate against Joe Thornton, the team's lack of scoring is enough cause for concern. Leadership suddenly looks like a question mark, too.

    Michael Caples
    On Monday, someone from within the St. Louis Blues family called out the team for not responding to a dirty hit.
     
    Kelly Chase, who once served as the team's enforcer and now works as its radio color commentator, told a St. Louis radio station he was disappointed with the lack of retribution against San Jose’s Joe Thornton, who injured star forward David Perron on Nov. 4. San Jose beat the Blues 4-1 in the rematch Saturday night in St. Louis.
     
    AROUND THE CENTRAL
    Thornton received a game ejection and a two-game suspension for the original hit on Perron, but apparently Chase didn’t think it was enough.
     
    "The game against the Sharks the other night really bothered me," Chase told 590 “The Fan” KFNS. "David Perron gets knocked out by Joe Thornton, and we didn't respond. It's been a long time since I could say that about a Blues team. If there's guys in there that are looking to be leaders, and are looking to be captains ... we hear about these young guys, they're stepping up, they're stepping up ... well they didn't step up the other night.
     
    "Joe Thornton came to St. Louis prepared to fight, at least be confronted by one of the guys over their teammate ... not one guy responded ... not one guy went and said one thing to Joe Thornton."
     
    The next day, Blues defenseman Barret Jackman responded to Chase's comments.
     
    “That's bull,” Jackman told stltoday.com. “That's radio talking; that's guys going off. We're about winning games right now. If the situation warrants it, fine, but we were down most of the game. You can't go down three goals to a team like that. It's one of these things where the situation didn't really present itself.”
      
    Because Chase has played the game before and still follows the team closely, it makes one wonder about the players' desire. After losing to the Sharks, the Blues lost 3-1 to Vancouver – again on home ice. Despite a 4-2 win in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Blues are tied for last in the Central Division and are 12th in the Western Conference.
     
    A chance for revenge against Thornton and the Sharks should have been a rallying cry. In reality, the loss of Perron has just made scoring goals that much more difficult for the Blues, whose 83 goals are good for 23rd in the league. Along with the continued injury absence of T.J. Oshie, players must be internally frustrated about their scoring struggles.
     
    But who among the current will lead them out? From the time veterans such as Keith Tkachuk, Paul Kariya and Daryl Sydor left town, leadership became a question mark for the Blues. Are Chase's comments another sign that the team lacks a necessary voice in the locker room?
     
    For now, St. Louis is three points out of a playoff spot. Hopefully the players are truly secure in their decision to not retaliate against Thornton.

    But if the desire wasn't even there to begin with, they will not be making the playoffs this year. 

    Notes

    The Detroit Red Wings will be without the services of perennial all-star Pavel Datsyuk for an estimated four weeks. The crafty Datsyuk suffered a broken hand during the Wings’ 5-4 win over Vancouver on Wednesday. … Despite still missing Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks are on a three-game win streak. … The Predators should be excited about future leaders within the organization. Their 2009 first-round pick, Ryan Ellis, will be Team Canada’s captain at the World Juniors Championships in Buffalo. … In case you missed it, check out this video where the Blue Jackets miss out on what should be a goal Saturday.

    Photos by Getty Images

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    Last Updated on Thursday, 23 December 2010 03:36