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ST. LOUIS — The Arizona Coyotes Adidas Jack Eichel Jersey , sporting the Western Conference’s worst record, haven’t exactly been world beaters this season, except when it comes to the St. Louis Blues.

The Coyotes pounded the Blues 6-0 on Saturday night in Phoenix, the most lopsided loss of the season for St. Louis. Arizona also beat the Blues 5-2 in Jan. 20 in St. Louis and the Blues had to rally for a 3-2 shootout victory at home on Nov. 9.

Blues coach Mike Yeo said something looked missing from the Blues.

“First off, I will say there were times where it looked like, yeah, we didn’t have the energy to have the gap or to be strong enough on the forecheck, whatever the case is,” Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“But we are certainly not going to allow that to be a factor, be an excuse here. You’re not allowed to be tired this time of year. That’s the bottom line.

“We’ve played the same amount of games in the same amount of time as everybody else now. We’ve got ourselves still in a good position. This is a frustrating, disappointing one. But we’re still in a good position and now we have to recharge tomorrow and get ready for the next one.”

Though the Coyotes have posted one of the league’s best records recently, 16-8-2 since Feb. 7, time is running out for excuses for a Blues team fighting for their playoff life.

The Blues (43-29-6, 92 points) trail the Colorado Avalanche by one point for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, but the Avalanche have played one more game than St. Louis.

The Blues’ regular season ends on April 7 at Colorado in a game that could ultimately decide which team gets into the postseason.

But the Blues have three games before then, including hosting the Washington Capitals on Monday night.

“We got to look in the mirror tonight, tomorrow, recharge and get ready for Monday because they’re gonna be coming,” Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo told the Post-Dispatch.

Washington beat visiting St. Louis 4-3 in overtime on Jan. 7.

The Capitals are coming off a 3-1 victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The win clinched the third straight Metropolitan Division title for Washington.

“That goes to the guys in the room and all the guys that put in the work all year,” Washington coach Barry Trotz told reporters. “Obviously a tough summer for us as an organization and just getting some traction getting out of the gates was as tough as it’s been and I think we sort of grew together. We understood what we might have to be just to get into the playoffs. The guys had a good push just to get us into this position and not fighting in the back end, which most people thought we would be this year.”

T.J. Oshie http://www.officialbluejackets.com/a...-savard-jersey , Dmitry Orlov and Tim Wilson scored and Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the Capitals (47-25-7, 101 points) in the win over the Penguins.

Ask the men he coaches what makes Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner tick, and you get a variation of the same response.

He's a dude. A good dude. But just a dude.

"There's nothing special or outrageous or eccentric," guard David DeCastro said.

And that might be exactly what the Steelers need after six highly productive if occasionally volatile seasons with Todd Haley calling the plays.

On the surface Fichtner and his predecessor could not be more different. The sometimes combustible Haley wasn't one to hide his emotions and followed a personal mandate to wear shorts at every practice regardless of the weather.

Fichtner, promoted from quarterbacks coach to coordinator in January after the team allowed Haley's contract to expire, takes a decidedly more even-keel approach.

The most recent time he remembers truly losing it on the field came during the 2010 season opener against Atlanta.

When Rashard Mendenhall crossed the goal line for a walk-off win, Fichtner leapt into the air and jokes he may have pulled his hamstring in the process.

To be fair, the 54-year-old Fichtner can still move a little bit. He finished practice on Thursday by playfully dropping into coverage as a safety while the first-team offense went through a quick walkthrough after the defense left the field.

Unlike Haley, Fichtner makes more conservative choices, at least sartorially.

While Haley showed off his calves, Fichtner is usually in sweats, a long-sleeved undershirt and a pullover as he was on Wednesday even as temperatures soared into the 90s.

The thing is, Fichtner didn't really look uncomfortable. Probably a good thing considering the stakes of his new gig.

He takes over one of the league's most star-laden offenses, even with All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell out while waiting ... and waiting ... to sign his one-year franchise tender. All Fichtner has to do is design an attack that will produce a fifth consecutive playoff berth and 鈥?the team hopes 鈥?its first trip to the Super Bowl in eight years.

Asked if he's ready to be second-guessed every Monday and Fichtner smiled.

"Sure, absolutely, comes with it," Fichtner said. "I get it."

He's been there before, just not for a while. He's a football lifer. His father Ross was a quarterback at Purdue then spent eight seasons as a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns in the 1960s. Randy didn't wander far afield.

He played briefly at Purdue then went immediately into coaching after graduation. His nomadic climb up the ladder included four years at Arkansas State from 1997-2000, where he crossed paths with a young defensive backs coach whose energy and edge Fichtner couldn't help but be drawn to.

So when that young defensive backs coach called in 2006 and offered Fichtner a job in the NFL, Fichtner figured there was no way he could tell Mike Tomlin no.

More than a decade later, the partnership is still going and is one of the main reasons Fichtner stayed in Pittsburgh rather than chase other opportunities.

"That's just Youth Dalton Schultz Jersey , my relationship with Mike," Fichtner said. "I told him when I came, I told him 'I'm coming for you' and since I've been here, I'm all-in for the (owners) and the organization also. Makes it a couple of reasons. I've always felt I've been content with jobs that I've had and I'm content and just do the best I can."

Having some of the most talented players at his disposal doesn't hurt either. Fichtner has developed a strong bond with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who figures to given plenty of leeway to run the no-huddle as he pleases when the Steelers open the season in Cleveland on Sunday.

"I'm sure he's quite capable of making the right decisions at the right time," Fichtner said. "He's done it in the past and I don't see it being any different in the future."

Still, even Roethlisberger is a bit curious how different things will be with Fichtner's voice coming through his helmet instead of Haley's.

"I don't know," Roethlisberger said. "We'll see. That's the question everyone wants to find out. What's Randy's personality? What are his tendencies? We'll all find out on Sunday I guess."

Josh Dobbs, who credited Fichtner's tutelage for helping him supplant Landry Jones as Roethlisberger's primary backup coming out of training camp, is curious to see how willing Fichtner will be to let the creativity he shows during meetings come to life on the field.

Yet for all of Fichtner's "just one of the guys" persona, Dobbs allows there's a fire underneath even if it's imperceptible on the practice field. Just start watching film with Fichtner. The joking stops, at least briefly, replaced by Fichtner's inner perfectionist.

"When you get in the meeting room, he flips and he's the most passionate guy every single play," Dobbs said. "It's 'Do this and it's a touchdown. This is what we can do.'"

The self-described "old dude" understands he's an unknown quantity outside the locker room. He's not inside the locker room. His role has changed. His approach has not.

"He's probably wanted to be an OC for a long time," Dobbs said. "So to get to that position where he's the guy calling plays and game-planning and to see him not change is really good. He's the same guy, bringing energy. ... I think that shows in how he attacks the field."

NOTES: Tomlin said he does not plan to outline the team's plan for Bell with Bell's representative. Bell's agent Adisa Bakari said Wednesday they wanted to discuss Bell's usage before Bell reports. "I don't communicate with agents regarding how I utilize players," Tomlin said. "I communicate with players regarding how I utilize players." ... TE Vance McDonald (foot) did not practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play against the Browns.
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