The St. Louis Blues have already dealt with the grind of an 82-game regular season, a physical first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks and a number of injuries. So when they get some time to rest, they're going to take it.
The Blues called a short team meeting inside their hotel on Tuesday following their 2-0 shutout loss in Game 3 on Monday night. But aside from that, head coach Ken Hitchcock wants his players to take advantage of their downtime before the puck drops again Wednesday night.
"I think we should be warriors, we should be the guys that relax," he said. "I think that getting away from it for the players and getting away from the rink — there's enough stress and pressure once you hit the ice, especially in both these buildings. You don't need to amp up anything. Just going on the ice in both these buildings amps you up beyond description. So I think the more relaxed the players can stay and the more rest they get at this time of year is quite frankly better."
The players were happy to have a day to themselves; a number of them went to lunch and did some shopping around Michigan Ave. prior to their team meeting.
They said that while they're taking time to reflect on what went wrong for them in Game 3, their main focus of the day is to recharge.
"(Today) was good, any time you get some downtime and some time to relax is always good, especially after three games and the battle we've been playing in so far," defenseman Barret Jackman said. "You take some time to yourself, but you also take some time to prepare for what you have to accomplish tomorrow."
Wednesday will present an entirely new challenge for both the Blues as Blackhawks as Game 4 will get off to an even later start than normal.
Hitchcock said that the focus and rest his players are getting today will need to be repeated on Wednesday afternoon before the puck drops again.
"It's going to be a challenge tomorrow because it's going to feel like a long day with an 8:30 start," he said. "So I think controlling our energy today and tomorrow's going to be a big challenge."