Since we've seemingly discussed this a lot lately, I went back through the (horrible) P-D archives to check out just how many non-hockey ledes he's written since the season started. The answer: quite a few. I'll start you off with one that's everyone's favorite, and then you can see the other FOURTEEN after the jump.
- Ty Conklin is not a Chilean miner. But if he was, and if he had been stuck underground for 69 days, chances are he could have started in goal the night of his rescue and backstopped his team to a win.
- Did you hear? A new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has started, a St. Louis Blues version. This rendition of the show doesn't center around comic actor Larry David; it focuses on rehabbing forward T.J. Oshie.
- These are strange days, indeed. There have been black birds and turtle doves falling from the skies, honey bee populations disappearing and fish washing up on shores. And now the latest bizarre incident impacting our world - the New York Rangers beating the St. Louis Blues in a regulation hockey game. Most peculiar, momma.
- Deceased blues great Albert King would have had no trouble singing about the hockey team named for his musical genre. The onetime Lovejoy resident recorded a classic — "Born Under A Bad Sign" — that covers it quite well. That is, if it wasn't for bad luck, the Blues would have no luck at all.
- Let's face it, if you have a headache, you don't bang your head against a wall. If you're lost in the desert, you don't eat saltines to quench your thirst. And if you're suffering from a hockey infliction, you don't come to Hockeytown to get healthy.
- As the Joker said in The Dark Knight, it's all part of the plan. Blues goaltender Ty "The Reverend" Conklin will be the starter against the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, because that's how Blues coach Davis Payne and his staff had it mapped out.
- Perhaps Davis Payne has a little Tony La Russa in him. The Cardinals manager has caused a stir over the past few baseball seasons by bucking tradition and slotting the pitcher eighth in the batting order. The historically acceptable assignment for pitchers is to bat ninth.
- A New York institution, Madison Square Garden had a rough week. Debris fell from the roof in the building, and maintenance people discovered asbestos in the attic. A Knicks NBA game had to be postponed until the situation could be corrected. Satisfied its facility no longer represents a dangerous place, the Rangers played host to a hockey game Sunday. And in the aftermath, the St. Louis Blues would just like to concur — it's true, the Garden is not a danger.
- Everyone has pondered what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object. It's an age old paradox. But what happens when an immovable object meets ... an immovable object. We're about to find out.
- In his prime, soul singer James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business. In the business of hockey, the Blues are something of an antonym to that label. But that's going to change.
- Perhaps no conference facility in sports is assigned more importance or responsibility than a hockey dressing room. The dynamics of "the room" have been credited for both building championships and sabotaging seasons.
- If hockey has a position that translates well to baseball, it is defenseman. The defensemen are to a hockey team what pitchers are to a baseball team - especially valuable, especially vulnerable, impossible to overstock.
- In rock music, as the Rolling Stones have declared, you can't always get what you want. In the NHL, as the Blues demonstrated on Saturday night at American Airlines Center, you don't always get what you deserve.And to close, one about the Cubs (THE CUBS!) and a four-paragraph behemoth:
- If Ernie Banks had been on hand at Scottrade Center during a warm and sunny Monday afternoon, he would have decreed, "Let's play two." And given how the Blues responded to an unusual day game on their NHL schedule, "Mr. Cub" would have had plenty of support.
- We've seen this special breed of athlete before in St. Louis. During the 1960s, Johnny Roland was a multi-dimensional football threat at the University of Missouri. Roland played running back and defensive back, both with All-American aplomb. He ran back kicks and punts, even threw the occasional pass. He was a John of all trades.
During the early late 1970s and early '80s, the football Cardinals made the most of Roy Green's talents. Green once returned a kick 106 yards for a touchdown. In 1981, he had three pass interceptions as a defensive back and 33 pass receptions for 708 yards as a receiver. He was a Roy for all reasons.
During the late 1980s, the Cardinals had a baseball chameleon in Jose Oquendo, adaptable to any position or situation. In 1987, the switch-hitting Oquendo batted .286 with a .408 on-base percentage while playing eight different positions, including pitcher. He was a veritable can of WD-40, the Cardinals' "Secret Weapon."
As the Blues prepare for the 2010-2011 regular season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday at Scottrade Center, they also are blessed with such an athlete. Like those predecessors in other sports, Alex Steen has the ability to impact a game in multiple ways.