March 1, 2011

IMG_5107.jpgphoto © 2011 Bridget Samuels | more info (via: Wylio)


Vladimir Sobotka is unable to play tonight after taking a Jarome Iginla slapshot off the toe of his skate. Adam Cracknell has been recalled from Peoria.

Ben Bishop will once again get the start in goal – with Ty Conklin as backup. Jaroslav Halak practised today and took a few shots but he’s not ready to return just yet.

And if you thought the Blues had thrown in the towel on the season, they obviously forgot to tell their players – specifically TJ Oshie. There’s a great interview at the Blues Official Site where Oshie discusses the Calgary game plus the recent trades. Well worth a watch.


Oshie and Wellwood…

January 18, 2011

TJ Oshiephoto © 2010 Dinur Blum | more info(via: Wylio)


He’s back. The Blues announced today that TJ Oshie has been activated from IR and is expected to play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. Those of you with tickets to the game? Lucky people.

Also, Kyle Wellwood has been claimed off waivers by the San Jose Sharks. Another short lived signing by the Blues. Guess it’s time they gave up on signing players from the KHL. Other teams let the Blues do the work and simply grab the player from waivers.

Injured warriors…

December 16, 2010

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 15: Erik Johnson  of the St.Louis Blues prepares for a face-off against the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on December 15, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

It never rains but it pours. With all the injuries the Blues have suffered, Erik Johnson left the game last night in the first 10 minutes. Johnson got somewhat tangled with Datsyuk and limped off the ice. The good news is that he got off the ice under his own power – the bad is that he didn’t return; will be evaluated further today and is definitely out of tonight’s game against the Kings.

So, the state of play injury-wise is currently:

David Perron – Concussion – no timetable for his return.

Andy McDonald – Concussion – no timetable for his return.

Roman Polak – Wrist surgery – skating and will be evaluated in January.

TJ Oshie – Broken Ankle – will be evaluated in February.

Erik Johnson – Knee – status unknown but will definitely miss tonight’s game.

Alex Pietrangelo – Shoulder – should be day to day and was on the ice at practise today.

Nikita Nikitin has been recalled from Peoria and Andy McDonald has been placed on IR retroactive to 4 December. Despite being hit by errant pucks last night, David Backes and Vladimir Sobotka should both be in the lineup tonight.

Apologies for the lack of recent updates – real life has intruded somewhat.

Injury Update

November 12, 2010

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 18: T.J. Oshie  of the St. Louis Blues looks to pass against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on October 18, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Blues have announced that TJ Oshie will miss a minimum of three months following his ankle surgery yesterday. Doug Armstrong said that the Blues would not “immediately” look outside the organisation.

In Jeremy Rutherford’s weekly chat, he gave a brief timetable for return on the Blues’ injured stars:

Perron – didn’t skate today. I would think he’s doubtful for Saturday and Monday. Could come back next week at the earliest.
Colaiacovo – skated today. Told reporters he might be available Monday.
Winchester – skated briefly today. Still day to day, but doubtful this weekend.
Jackman: Thanksgiving at the earliest. The Blues said he would be re-evaluated then, not necessarily ready.
Polak: 6-8 more weeks.

Blues 1 – Blue Jackets 8

November 11, 2010

 COLUMBUS,OH - NOVEMBER 10: Alex Pietrangelo  of the St. Louis Blues helps teammate T.J. Oshie  of the St. Louis Blues leave the ice after he was injured during the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 10, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus defeated St. Louis 8-1. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Ouch.  The Blues came back down to earth not with a bump but with the force of an impacting asteriod. They had no energy, no passion, they were slow, sluggish and listless – with endless turnovers and seemingly no cohesion.

The rot started right away – with the Blue Jackets scoring three goals in the first period. So, 3-0 at the end of period 1; 6-1 at the end of period 2 and 8-1 by the time the game ended. The Blue Jackets had breakaways and there was a fluky goal that hit Halak’s skate and popped into the net. Halak was pulled after giving up 4 goals on 15 shots but Conklin didn’t fare much better, giving up 4 goals on 20 shots. The Blues defense was almost non-existent – as mentioned before, an appalling number of turnovers, sloppy play and hardly any forechecking or backchecking contributed to this dire loss.

In the third period, the Blues had both Janssen and Boyes ejected from the game as they tried desperately to haul back a little bit of respect. Of course, it just had to get EVEN worse. With just over 10 minutes left to play in the game, TJ Oshie was helped off the ice after becoming involved in one of the many scrums that littered the game. Pahlsson fell on top of Oshie who landed awkwardly – it was later revealed that TJ Oshie has broken his ankle and may have to undergo surgery. This is a very bitter blow for a Blues team already decimated by injuries.

Eric Brewer and Erik Johnson were both -3 on the night – as was Andy McDonald who managed 6 shots. McDonald, Boyes and Backes really need to pick up their pace. McDonald has 2 goals and 3 assists on the season, Backes has 1 goal and 4 assists and Brad Boyes, whilst money in the shootout, has 1 goal and 4 assists. These three HAVE to lead by example now – there is no excuse.

Nick Drazenovic has been called up from Peoria and expect another call up during the day. Winchester could be close to returning but Perron is still suffering from headaches relating to the Joe Thornton hit.

The Blues play Nashville at Scottrade tonight – let’s see if this game was a temporary blip…or the shape of things to come.

UPDATE: Blues have recalled Chris Porter along with Nick Drazenovic from Peoria.

Blues 2 – Bruins 1 (S/O)

November 7, 2010

TJ Oshiephoto © 2010 Dinur Blum | more info(via: Wylio)



This was a very even game between two very good teams. Both near the top of their respective conferences and both teams being very stingy in goals allowed, you knew it was going to be a close fought affair. However, with the injuries the Blues have at the moment (Polak, Colaiacovo, Jackman, Perron and Winchester), it was a huge win for them. The Blues dressed 6 defensemen, with Ian Cole and Nikita Nikitin getting their first games. Cole looked a bit shaky but will settle down. Nikitin, on the other hand, looked settled and strong on the puck.

Throughout the game, the Bruins had two “goals” reviewed – both times the puck didn’t cross the line and the Bruins also hit the post and crossbar FOUR times. The shot count was 35-34 just edged in the Blues favour and kudos must go to the two goalies – Rask and Halak – who were both superb in net. Tim Thomas has been getting all the credit in Boston but overlook Rask at your peril.

If the Blues have a weakness, then it’s their powerplay. Again, nothing happened on the powerplay – they pass the puck and don’t shoot, their crisp 5 on 5 passes seem to disappear when they have the man advantage and, rather worryingly, the opposing team seem to have more chances on the Blues powerplay than the Blues themselves do.

The Blues got the first goal – in a very good first period that saw them outshoot the Bruins by 13-6. With just over 3 minutes left in the first, Steen stole the puck from Seidenberg and passed it to Sobotka who lined up his shot and fired it into the net. A great moment for the ex-Bruin who was buzzing around all game. He registered some good hits and was a constant source of irritation for the Bruins. Another play who was irritating the Bruins was TJ Oshie – laying on a couple of fantastic hits and his forechecking and backchecking was second to none. His hit on Chara was a joy to behold with the big guy being unceremoniously dumped to the ice.

The Bruins came back into it in the 2nd and 3rd periods and Halak and the Blues defense really had to work hard. Halak saved the Blues from great chances from David Krejci and Matt Hunwick. The Blues still had some good chances with Rask rescuing the Bruins from McDonald and Backes. Backes had a good game – a few hits, a fight and a couple of good scoring chances. The goals will come for Backes. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the Bruins got back into it and they scored with 7 minutes left in the game, when a 3 on 2 break resulted in Gregory Campbell scoring past a screened Halak. Halak’s shutout streak ended at 150.3 minutes.

The game went to overtime where, again, it was pretty even at 2 shots apiece. The main talking point of overtime however, was TJ Oshie’s hit on David Krejci. It was a good, clean hit with both guys going for the puck. Oshie seems to explode into a hit – he has a low center of gravity and just seems to expand into a hit. Krejci’s head seemed to hit the boards and the ice and he was helped off the ice. No word on his status at the moment.

The shootout saw Boston shoot first with Bergeron. His shot hit the post (I’m not sure if Halak got a piece of it or not) and then it was TJ Oshie’s turn. I don’t think it was what Oshie planned but he managed to get the backhand under Rask to put the Blues 1 up. Next shooter for Boston was rookie, Tyler Seguin, who made no mistake with his first shootout attempt, scoring a great goal past Halak. Brad Boyes – who can’t score in open play but is money in the bank in the shootout – scored with a neat move past Rask to put the Blues 2-1 up. Next up was Michael Ryder and, for the fourth time in the game, the post came to the rescue and the Blues gained the extra point.

A great win for an injury depleted team and the Blues play again tonight against the New York Rangers. Conklin could well be in net for the Blues and Nick Drazenovic, called up for Peoria, could get his first game of the season in the Bluenote. Here, from Inside Hockey are the post game interviews with Jaroslav Halak, TJ Oshie and Bruins coach, Claude Julien:

Sharks 0 – Blues 2

November 5, 2010

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak makes a glove save on a shot by San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 4, 2010.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

A very chippy game this one, that contained controversial hits and decisions – and saw three Blues players make their way to the locker room at various points during the game. David Perron went off the ice following a nasty hit from Thornton but later returned. Barret Jackman injured his knee and limped off – later returning. Brad Winchester also left the ice. Three boarding penalties on the Sharks – I don’t know whether they felt they were above being penalised but that was the way they played.

The first period saw the Blues have four powerplays – and score on none of them. The powerplay was a shambles – there seemed to be little teamwork and, to be honest, the Sharks ended up with more shots on goal and chances than the Blues did. More than once, the Blues were thankful to Jaroslav Halak for pulling them out of the fire. The save Halak made on a shot from Huskins simply took your breath away. The Blues went ahead with just over 2 minutes left to play in the first. Barret Jackman flipped the puck across the ice to Matt D’Agostini who surged down the wing and sent a laser of a shot past Niemi in the Sharks goal. It was D’Agostini’s 5th goal of the season. An interesting fact about the first period is that, despite the Blues 4 powerplays to the Sharks 1, the Blues were outshot 9-8.

The second period was even worse penalty wise. 12 penalties were called, including a 5 minute major and 10 minute Game Misconduct on Joe Thornton who was ejected from the game with just over 5 minutes gone in the second. Minutes earlier, Thornton was penalised for boarding – a nasty little hit on TJ Oshie. As he left the penalty box, he skated towards David Perron and levelled him with a shoulder to the head. Perron was blindsided and, to be frank, Thornton’s defense after the game of “he just ran into me” simply cuts no ice. Thornton was deservedly ejected from the game and Perron went to the locker room. David Perron returned shortly afterwards and scored to put the Blues two up. Perron picked up a rebound from an Oshie shot and casually flipped it into the back with a neat little backhand. The Blues were surging in the second – outshooting the Sharks 14-5.

In the third, the Blues relaxed a bit – and were outshot by the Sharks 11-7. They didn’t seem in danger though, and were skating hard and trying for the third goal. A complete change on last season where they sat back and waited for the opposition to come to them. Backes missed an open net but the Blues came out deserved winners. Game notes:

  • Jaroslav Halak picked up his third shutout of the season, stopping all 25 shots.  He has now played 9 games with 7 wins and 3 shutouts.
  • Alex Pietrangelo registered two assists and his first NHL fight.  Pietrangelo and Couture dropped the gloves following Thornton’s hit on Perron.
  • Eric Brewer did the Captain’s job again – picking up a roughing penalty after Thornton’s hit on Oshie.
  • The games three stars were: 1. Jaroslav Halak, 2. David Perron and 3. David Backes.

Next up, the Blues take on Boston – but it seems unlikely that we’ll see the two top goalies in the league duel it out.  Tim Thomas is playing tonight against the Capitals so it appears that Rask will get the start for Boston tomorrow.  Anyway, here are the edited highlights of the game.  For the fuller highlights, check out the Blues Official Site