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The St. Louis Blues lost over the weekend at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game was ugly and Toronto seemed to get all the bounces in this one.
The real news of that game is a report that came out just after on NHLTradeRumors.com that Toronto has made an offer for Alex Pietrangelo. You can find that report here.

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In this report, it says that chatter surrounded the Blues that Petro wasn’t happy when the Blues traded for Justin Faulk and signed him to a long-term deal. Ok, maybe. If that is true then the “chatter” was very quiet and only known to very select few.

No one in the media picked up and reported on this “chatter” so I don’t think it’s as big as “surrounding” as the report suggests. It may have been a mumbling if anything.

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It goes on to say that the team hasn’t made any real legit offers to the captain. Perhaps that’s true but doubtful.

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One thing the Blues GM Doug Armstrong is great at is keeping contract talks, trades, and extensions quiet. To take the statement that the Blues haven’t made any legit offers to heart is questionable. Nothing has been made public that we know and we won’t know anything.

I have been on the record here at Bleedin’ Blue on more than one occasion saying I don’t expect the captain to be a Blue after this season. Armstrong has not been the type of GM to sign guys to long and expensive contracts that will take them into the wrong side of their thirties. At least not since he has felt the crunch from the Alex Steen contract.

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The Justin Faulk deal I believe was more of an expansion draft defense than anything else and maybe Armstrong offered Petro what the Blues were willing to commit and Petro declined the offer so Armstrong has to move forward accordingly.

The article says that the Leafs are willing to include William Nylander a name we have heard for the past couple of years. If there is no chance for an extension then they will send Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson.

The Blues are also rumored to be in the Taylor Hall market. I wouldn’t want Taylor Hall, but if I’m the GM and the writing on the wall says I’m not going to sign Pietrangelo, then I’m going to create as much smoke as I can involving him in trade scenarios and get the sale price as high as possible.

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Linking Petro to a Taylor Hall trade only makes Toronto’s GM Kyle Dubas more willing to part with more for Pietrangelo. Dubas and Toronto have been linked to Petro for a couple of years so the interest is high and linking him to a Hall deal only increases the price IMO.

I don’t want to see the captain go, but I also don’t want the Blues to become the Chicago Blackhawks with high paid wrong side of thirty-year-old defensemen.

It’s not the popular move but from my viewpoint, Armstrong appears to be holding all the cards right now. Armstrong is no dummy and has made some great trades in his career with the Blues. Fans didn’t like the Faulk signing me being one of them, but the way the trade deadline market is shaping up Armstrong could be genius.

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Armstrong has positioned the Blues to be winners during the deadline. We either ink Petro to a team-friendly deal, or we trade him for Taylor Hall or a William Nylander package.

If the Petro is willing to sign with the Leafs and waves his NTC for either team then the price for him goes up and the return is greater.

Buckle up Blues fans. Changes could be on the horizon. I’m not sure what they will be if any, but one thing seems certain, Armstrong is creating a buzz around the captain more now than ever.

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How this shakes out will be interesting, but Army, from my perspective, has the Blues in a position of power not being held hostage by a contract negotiation and setting the stage for max returns if he doesn’t get what he feels is fair from the captain.

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Hopefully, we can keep the captain and he signs to a team-friendly deal that makes both sides happy. The complexities of such a deal and what it would look like I can’t speculate, but if it can’t be done the Blues are sitting well in the trade market to get max return on a potential trade.

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The only way the Blues and Army lose is if Petro doesn’t sign and he doesn’t wave his NTC to get traded. Something I believe has already been discussed with the captain or else we wouldn’t be hearing the chatter.

Down to 11 forwards at the moment, or one less than needed to form four full lines in a game, the Blues have recalled forwards Jordan Kyrou and Austin Poganski from their San Antonio affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Kyrou was averaging nearly a point a game for the Rampage, with nine goals and six assists in 16 games. He played well and had several scoring chances in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies, which was televised by the NHL Network. Over his previous two games, Kyrou had scored our goals, including a hat trick last Wednesday against the Iowa Wild.

A second-round pick in 2016, No. 35 overall, Kyrou made the Blues’ opening-day roster last season, appearing in 16 games with one goal and two assists. But he spent most of the season in San Antonio, making the AHL all-star game before suffering a kneecap injury that required surgery.

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Kyrou was in Blues camp this preseason, but skated on his own or in non-contact drills as he completed his rehab and recovery from last spring’s surgery. He made his season debut for San Antonio on Nov. 2.

Poganski had been called up by the Blues on Thanksgiving Day, following Oskar Sundqvist’s injury, but was a healthy scratch for five games before being sent back down to San Antonio in a move the Blues announced Sunday. As it turned out, it was a move made simply to let Poganski get a game in for San Antonio before his recall 24 hours later.

Poganski made it to Toronto in time to play Sunday’s Rampage game against the Marlies. Toronto is only 100 miles from Buffalo, where the Blues play Tuesday, so it will be easy enough for Kyrou and Poganski to join the team there.

The St. Louis Blues knew they were in for a rough ride when their injury list started picking up big names. They have gotten through it, but fate seems to keep giving them more obstacles.
The St. Louis Blues have been a walking, or skating if you will, M.A.S.H unit over the last month or so. They have not only lost several players to injury, but they have lost several big names off their roster.

The Blues lost their best scorer in Vladimir Tarasenko early on. Tarasenko went out with a shoulder injury on October 24, 2019 and was scheduled to be out for around five months.

When Tarasenko went down, the question was where were the goals going to come from. That was bad enough, but then the names started piling up.

Alex Steen picked up a high-ankle sprain on November 6 and would not even be re-evaluated until after four weeks. Sammy Blais picked up a 10-week wrist injury on November 20 and Oskar Sundqvist got a foot injury on November 27 that would keep him out an indefinite time.

That is four of your top 12 forwards on the injured list. One third of your starting forwards to open 2019-20 are hurt and have missed significant amounts of time and the calendar has not even turned to 2020.

The funny thing is the Blues have overcome all of this. Guys have stepped up and the roster has continued with a team-first attitude that has driven them to success.

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Through early December, the Blues remain at the top of the Central Division and the Western Conference. The scoring is sporadic and the defending has holes, but through solid goaltending and sheer will power, the Blues have done it.

Even so, you wonder how long this can continue. With the team’s depth challenged each and every night, they need some form of relief.

Everyone has played up to their capabilities and beyond on most nights. Yet, it is taking a toll and even fate seems against the Blues at the moment.

It is bad enough to have one third of your forwards injured. Then, on December 7, the Blues lost around one sixth of their team to injury in that game alone.

At one point, the Blues were without Robert Thomas, Colton Parayko and Zach Sanford all at once. Thomas got hit in the face with a puck, Parayko got hit in the face and Sanford picked up the dreaded “upper body” injury and did not return.

The Blues have had to make line changes as it was. Losing that many guys within a game forces things to become even more jumbled.

It also puts more pressure on the remaining top guys to score. Unfortunately, hockey by its nature is a streaky game.

David Perron was one of the hottest players in the league for a time, just when the Blues needed it. However, his goal against Toronto on December 7 was his first in seven games. That’s fine when you have everyone healthy, but when you depend on him to score, it’s a little too far between.

Ryan O’Reilly continues to pick up points, but only has six goals over a quarter through the season. He currently has one goal in his last 13 games. Alex Pietrangelo currently has more goals than O’Reilly.

Nobody expects O’Reilly to put up gaudy goal numbers, but unfortunately, at the moment, the Blues need more from him than just assists.

The same is true of everyone. It would be great to sit back and allow Thomas all the time he needs to develop. You see the kind of player he will become, but right now, the Blues need it right now, not tomorrow.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Blais, Steen and Sundqvist are skating with Steen and Sundqvist actually practicing.

However, more than anything else, the Blues just need a break. Hockey is a rough and tumble sport and you are going to pick up injuries, but it is getting to a ridiculous point.

During this injury plague, the Blues brought up Klim Kostin for a look. He performed well, but they wanted him to keep that momentum going in the AHL. Kostin immediately got hurt upon returning to San Antonio.

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The Blues would like to have called up Jordan Kyrou. He was dealing with returning from a preseason surgery, so the Blues have let him settle back into the AHL first.

The Blues won a Stanley Cup because they could roll out four lines and had depth to plug holes. They have continued to do that early in the 2019-20 season, but it is becoming tougher with injuries squeezing the team like a snake. The more they struggle, the tighter it seems to get.

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The team needs to start getting bodies healthy or their current two game losing streak might compile more L’s. The guys that are healthy are giving their all, but without help, they are likely to get worn down.

It’s great to have everyone with a next man up mentality. It would just be nice to not have to rely on it so much.

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With 5:59 left in the second period, Australian winger Nathan Walker claimed his first goal with the St. Louis Blues during Saturday night’s tilt against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Volleying a bouncing pass out of mid-air from Jaden Schwartz, the newly promoted forward blasted a slapshot past goalie Matt Murray to give the Note a 2-1 lead.

This tally made history, with Walker being the first Australian to ever score for the franchise. Then again, he has a history of making history.

How exactly did Walker end up on the Blues’ top line, notching his second NHL goal? His path to hockey’s premier league takes many unexpected turns, starting with the fact that he was born in Cardiff, Wales. Not exactly the hotbed of hockey talent.

At the age of two, his father uprooted the Walker clan and transplanted them in sunny Sydney, Australia. Known for its hard-hitting rugby, time-honored cricket, and endless surfing, there are only 22 ice rinks sprinkled across the continent down under. That did not stop the young Walker from falling in love with the game:

It all started when my brother started playing. We slowly learned the hockey, and from there we went to Toronto for a tournament, went to the Hockey Hall of Fame and bought all the hockey DVDs. I think it just kick-started from back in the day when “The Mighty Ducks” was up and running.
Mike Vogel – NHL.com

Having worn out home-made goals of PVC pipes and growing frustrated by limited ice time, Walker’s outsized ambition lead him to do what can only be described as a “hockey walkabout.” He moved to the Czech Republic at the young age of 13 to play junior hockey against players his age and skill level.

From 2007-10, Walker laced up for HC Vitkovice U18, racking up 57 points in 62 games for the under-18 squad. Stints with the under-20 team allowed him to test his skill against older players, all while flashing his trademark speed. He proudly wore the green and gold sweater of his home nation, competing in the 2012 World Championship Division Group B in Krynica, Poland. Although the Mighty Roos failed to win a game in the tournament, he bagged two goals and turned his attention to playing in the United States.

The Youngstown Phantoms were Walker’s first taste of North American hockey and there was no jet lag in his game. Tallying 27 points in 20 games, he was quickly making a name for himself. However, due to the byzantine draft rules, he would have had to wait until the 2014 Draft to sign an NHL contract. Instead, the Aussie winger opted to play in the American Hockey League for the Washington Capitals affiliate, the Hershey Bears, signing in Sep. 2013.

With 5:59 left in the second period, Australian winger Nathan Walker claimed his first goal with the St. Louis Blues during Saturday night’s tilt against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

Volleying a bouncing pass out of mid-air from Jaden Schwartz, the newly promoted forward blasted a slapshot past goalie Matt Murray to give the Note a 2-1 lead.
Craig Berube: “It was a big goal. Made us feel good about ourselves.” (‘NHL Post-game press conference’, NHL.com – 11/30/19)

This tally made history, with Walker being the first Australian to ever score for the franchise. Then again, he has a history of making history.
Long and Winding Road to the NHL

How exactly did Walker end up on the Blues’ top line, notching his second NHL goal? His path to hockey’s premier league takes many unexpected turns, starting with the fact that he was born in Cardiff, Wales. Not exactly the hotbed of hockey talent.

At the age of two, his father uprooted the Walker clan and transplanted them in sunny Sydney, Australia. Known for its hard-hitting rugby, time-honored cricket, and endless surfing, there are only 22 ice rinks sprinkled across the continent down under. That did not stop the young Walker from falling in love with the game:

It all started when my brother started playing. We slowly learned the hockey, and from there we went to Toronto for a tournament, went to the Hockey Hall of Fame and bought all the hockey DVDs. I think it just kick-started from back in the day when “The Mighty Ducks” was up and running.
Mike Vogel – NHL.com

Having worn out home-made goals of PVC pipes and growing frustrated by limited ice time, Walker’s outsized ambition lead him to do what can only be described as a “hockey walkabout.” He moved to the Czech Republic at the young age of 13 to play junior hockey against players his age and skill level.
Nathan Walker British Empire
Nathan Walker, HC Vitkovice U18
(hc-vitkovice.cz)

From 2007-10, Walker laced up for HC Vitkovice U18, racking up 57 points in 62 games for the under-18 squad. Stints with the under-20 team allowed him to test his skill against older players, all while flashing his trademark speed. He proudly wore the green and gold sweater of his home nation, competing in the 2012 World Championship Division Group B in Krynica, Poland. Although the Mighty Roos failed to win a game in the tournament, he bagged two goals and turned his attention to playing in the United States.
Phantoms, Bears, and Caps Oh My

The Youngstown Phantoms were Walker’s first taste of North American hockey and there was no jet lag in his game. Tallying 27 points in 20 games, he was quickly making a name for himself. However, due to the byzantine draft rules, he would have had to wait until the 2014 Draft to sign an NHL contract. Instead, the Aussie winger opted to play in the American Hockey League for the Washington Capitals affiliate, the Hershey Bears, signing in Sep. 2013.

That decision started a series of historic “firsts” for Sydney’s favorite son. Walker was the first Australian to play and score in the AHL. Following a solid season with the Bears, the Capitals drafted him in the third round of the 2014 NHL draft, 89th pick overall. Another first.

Then, on Oct. 7, 2017, Walker became the first Australian ever to play in the NHL. He even picked up his first NHL goal, deflecting a Devante Smith-Pelly wrister off of his backside and into the net.

After being picked up by the Edmonton Oilers on waivers and then reacquired by the Capitals just 18 days later, Walker became the first Australian to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, in which he recorded an assist. (from ‘Capitals re-claim Aussie forward Nathan Walker off waivers,’ Washington Post, 12/20/2017)

And then the biggest first of them all came on June 7, 2018, as he joined his teammates in hoisting the Stanley Cup. This was a first for Australia and the first for the Washington organization, too. Though he did not get his name engraved on the sacred trophy, he did get a shout-out from then-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball.

Equally as rewarding were the complimentary words from Capitals then-head coach Barry Trotz. “He’s got a really unique skillset,” Trotz said of Walker. “He’s explosive, he’s quick, he gets on people, he causes havoc. It’s not nice to play against. A lot of those Australian qualities that you endear with those south of the equator, he has that mentality and mindset. He’s going to make you pay, he’s going to play hard against you and he’s going to have an effect on the ice.“
From One Champ to Another

Called up for just three games in the 2018-19 campaign, Walker decided it was time to part ways with the Capitals after six years. On July 1, he signed a two-year, two-way contract with the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues.
Nathan Walker skates for the Capitals against the Blues in a 2016 preseason game (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

So, how could a 25-year-old left winger with only 12 NHL games get a shot with defending Stanley Cup champs? By putting up impossible-to-ignore numbers for the Blues’ AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. At the time of his call up, Walker led the Rampage with 12 goals and 22 points.

Yet, even with all the injuries to the Blues offense, there was some concern that Walker might get passed over due to his size. Listed at 5-foot-8, 186 pounds with speed to burn, he reminds many fans of the recently-traded Robby Fabbri, who couldn’t crack the lineup this season.

During his post-game interview on NHL.com following the Blues 5-2 win over the Penguins on Nov. 30, here’s what Craig Berube had to say about Walker:

This guy’s had a good year so far. He had a real good training camp. You know, (Walker) was really close to making the team. Probably maybe even did make the team. But we have the same team back from last year and there wasn’t room right away, so he went down to the American League and is leading their team in scoring, and maybe the league, I think, in scoring, so he’s played really well.
from ‘Blues win third straight, beat Penguins 5-2,’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 11/30/2019

Subbing for the injured Oskar Sundqvist, Walker made a pest of himself against the Dallas Stars and appeared to have scored his first NHL goal in two years, stuffing the puck home past netminder Ben Bishop. Unfortunately, that goal was waved off due to offsides.
Craig Berube, Jake Berube
St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube, along with his son Jake, carry the Stanley Cup (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

Walker wouldn’t have to wait too much longer to bask in the red glow of the goal lamp. The next night, he found himself skating with top-liners Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz during the second period. Playing on his off-wing, he sent a knuckle-puck bouncing over Murray’s pads, rippling the twine. Berube explained the line mash-up: “Schenn and Schwartz needed a guy to get in there a bit with more energy and bang around a little bit and create some loose pucks.”

With Sammy Blais and Vladimir Tarasenko out for the foreseeable future, the Aussie forward has the opportunity to change the course of his career. From his first three games with the Blues, it appears the man from down under wants to stay up for good.

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OBERLIN, Kan. — Robert Thomas Berkheimer, 82, died Wednesday (Dec. 11, 2019), in Oberlin.

He was born Feb. 18, 1937, in Miller, Neb., to Lee Cloyce (Jim) and Jennie Elnore Boyd Berkheimer.

He married Yukiko Segawa on Nov. 18, 1959, in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.

He was a United States Army veteran and former general manager of the KOMC (more recently KSNK) television station in Oberlin.

He was a member of McCook Christian Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Kenneth and sister, Donna.

Survivors include his wife, Yuki; children, Tom (Melissa) of Johnston, Iowa, Jim (Heather) of Rapid City, S.D., and Patricia (Lance) Dixon of Kingman, Kan.; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services were today, Dec. 13, 2019, at Pauls Funeral Home in Oberlin.

Memorials can be given in his name to McCook Christian Church and the Golden Age Center, both in care of the funeral home. Online condolences can be left at Pauls Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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For the St. Louis Blues and their fans, Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and gratitude. A time for family and friends. It’s a time we can all take a minute or two and bring to mind the blessings we have in our lives today. It’s something that goes so far beyond sports.

It’s about more than just being mindful of all the blessings. It’s about showing that gratitude and blessing another fellow human. Be it a stranger, a family member, a friend, or a co-worker. I don’t want to miss the true nature of gratitude in this article without encouraging all of our readers at some point between now and the end of the year to reach out and bless someone else.

Nothing brings gratitude like unconditionally helping another. Sometimes it’s just listening to someone as they unload their burdens and worries. Sometimes it’s through a random act of kindness. Whatever the case we all know someone, somewhere who needs our help. So show some gratitude and help them.

If no one immediately comes to mind then as you think about it here are some things as Blues fans we can be grateful for.

As St. Louis Blues fans we have already endured some tough news this season with injuries and suspensions.

Although this news has been unwelcomed and unsavory there are some things we can certainly be grateful for.

It’s not the November 2018-19 season!

A year ago at this time, the Blues were fresh off firing then-head coach Mike Yeo and Craig Berube had taken over as the interim. The team was in the midst of spiraling its way to the bottom of the league record-wise.

This season, however, the Blues sit near the top of the Western Conference and near the top of the entire NHL. The Blues have a 14-5-6 record good for 34 points and tops in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference.

Robert Thomas is Displaying Top 6 Center Skills

With the Blues combatting injuries and looking for some more offense Craig Berube finally unleashed Robert Thomas as a center for the third line. In his brief time there at the writing of this piece, he has amassed 5 points in his last four games.

He is showing off his vision and playmaking abilities with ease and has really come on as the future superstar the Blues and their fans have been hoping for.

David Perron’s Wrist Shot

DP57 since his time in Vegas and here has really developed and improved his wrist shot to the tune of 11 goals in 25 games. With the unwelcomed and unfortunate news of Vladimir Tarasenko needing shoulder surgery and being on the shelf at a minimum of 5 weeks DP57’s number has been called often. Paired up with Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron has been given every opportunity to showcase his shot.

With O’Reilly setting the table Perron has shown not just the Blues, but the entire NHL that he has a shot that is hard, quick and more importantly incredibly deceptive. Thank goodness he altered the curve on his stick and has found this new shot.

He always had a good shot, but the way he is delivering now has added an element of deception that makes it very tough for the opposing goaltenders to pick up on the release. Keep firing the puck DP!

Jordan Binnington is a Bonafide NHL Starter

At the start of the season, everyone outside the Blues fanbase was questioning if Jordan Binnington was the real deal or not. Over the course of the first quarter of this season, all Binnington has done is go 11-4-4 with 1 shutout a 2.23 GAA and .923 SV%.

I don’t think there are any doubters or question marks left. The guy has ice water coursing through his veins and an unrelenting competitive hellfire burning in his chest. He is the biggest reason this team will make the playoffs and stay competitive in this early injury-plagued season.

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Oskar Sundqvist, or Sunny, as his teammates and fans call him was coming off of missing 6 games with an injury. He was a welcomed return in a line up searching for cohesion and rhythm.

The Blues over the three-game slide looked like a team searching for each other. What I mean by that is the Blues passes have been off. Either hitting their skates or behind them. Or leading the player far too ahead or going to spots where the players thought the intended receiver would be only to find vacant ice.

It continued to a degree in this game against Vegas as well, but there were some nice stretches, especially in the second period, where the Blues were, well the Blues. The one difference in this game compared to the rest was Oskar Sundqvist.

Sunny was everywhere! Aside from making a save, although he did block a shot, Sunny owned the game.

He showed the team how they used to play and need to play going forward in order to win.

Let me stop here for just a second. I have to admit that when we received Sunny in the trade for Ryan Reaves and a first-rounder I thought eh another AHLer lifer.

Sorry about that Sunny. I have eaten my words and am happy to say that I was dead wrong. Sunny has become a consummate Blue. He is Mr. Plug and Play for Craig Berube. Need a penalty killed? Sunny. Need the next man up? Sunny. Need a scoring winger? Sunny. Need a goal? Sunny. Need some offensive zone time? Sunny. Need a shot blocked? Sunny. You get the point.

Sundqvist currently has 6 goals and 1 assist in his last 6 games with a +5 in those games and 19 shots on goal. He has been excellent in whatever role Berube needs him to fill.

The Blues were floundering a bit over the last couple of weeks and the chemistry wasn’t there for long stretches. We weren’t getting to our game very much and it seemed at times the Blues didn’t know what their game was to even get to it.

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ST. LOUIS — Prior to Saturday night’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the St. Louis Blues received encouraging news on two members of the fourth line that was so crucial in their 2019 Stanley Cup victory.

Though Oskar Sundqvist was placed on injured reserve on Thursday after suffering a lower-body injury in Wednesday night’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, head coach Craig Berube announced Saturday that Sundqvist’s prognosis is significantly better than initially thought. At minimum, the 25-year-old forward will miss Saturday’s game as well as road matchups with the Blackhawks and Penguins this coming week, as he’s required to sit out at least a week while on IR. But Berube said Sundqvist could still accompany the team on the road trip and begin working his way back into game shape, categorizing his status as week-to-week.

After a breakout 2018-19 campaign in which he collected 14 goals and 17 assists in 74 games, Sundqvist has again been impressive this season, scoring eight goals with four assists while serving in a variety of roles throughout the lineup.

Meanwhile, veteran forward Alexander Steen took a major step in his recovery on Saturday, skating for the first time since suffering an ankle sprain on November 6. At the time of his injury, the team said Steen would be re-evaluated in four weeks, so his return to the ice is certainly good news as he progresses toward a return.

Steen, who had 10 goals and 17 assists in 65 games last season, has five assists through 17 contests in 2019-20.

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ST. LOUIS — The round of former Blues coming to town includes Paul Stastny and Ryan Reaves, both members of the Blues once upon a time and past players that were glad for friends to win a Stanley Cup.

Stastny is close friends with a number of current Blues players, particularly Steen, Jaden Schwartz and Robert Bortuzzo, and kept in contact with them surprisingly during the Cup run.

“I was talking to them throughout the playoffs,” Stastny said. “Once we were out, I was talking to them, whether it was Schwartzy or Bobbo or Steen, guys I’m really close with. Then I sent a text right away. I wasn’t expecting a text back for at least three or four days. Some came back right away, some came back a week later, which is what was expected. You realize how hard it is. Some guys work so hard for it and never get there and obviously takes a lot of hard work, a lot of luck, so you’re happy for some of those guys.

“It was bittersweet. You’re happy for the city. Growing up a St. Louis fan and knowing the hardships the team went through, some of the times, like you knew the city was waiting for it. There are certain guys I was super-happy for just because I know how hard they worked. Not just on the ice but away from the rink, the kind of the battles that they went through, ups and downs, whether it was the year before or so many years before that.”

The feeling was mutual for Reaves, as far as a bittersweet feeling is concerned.

“Bittersweet obviously. Happy for all the guys I played with, happy to see them win and lift the Cup. Happy for the city’s first Stanley Cup in team history, but you never want to get traded from somewhere and them go win. It doesn’t usually feel too good,” Reaves said. “The city was thirsty for the win and they got it. I could only imagine it was a good time. I saw some videos, some pictures, it was fun. … I text all the guys I played with and congratulated them for sure.”

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Reigning NHL MVP Nikita Kucherov remains out of the lineup after absorbing a devastating hit from the St. Louis Blues’ Brayden Schenn in Tuesday’s game.

Kucherov had just passed the puck when Schenn plowed into him with a clean, hard check, causing the Tampa Bay Lightning star to hit his back and head on the ice.

Kucherov got up slowly as Erik Cernak went after Schenn and a scrum broke out. He went to the locker room and didn’t return.

The Lightning said after the game that Kucherov had an upper-body injury and coach Jon Cooper told reporters that it wasn’t concussion-related.

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He was ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks and is considered day-to-day.

The Russian forward was voted league MVP last season after recording a league-best 77 assists and 128 points as the Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 wins. He has 18 points in 18 games this season.

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Zach Sanford, who missed the final two periods on Saturday night with an upper-body injury, didn’t skate with the Blues at practice on Sunday and probably won’t play on Tuesday against Buffalo.

Just who will is still unclear. Neither Oskar Sundqvist nor Alexander Steen practiced with the team on Sunday, and Austin Poganski was sent back to San Antonio on Sunday morning. That left the Blues with only 11 forwards.

“We’ll get somebody up here,” coach Craig Berube said.

The most likely candidate, with the team looking for an offensive boost at the moment, is Jordan Kyrou, who has been making good progress in San Antonio. The Rampage play in Toronto on Sunday afternoon, so it would be easy enough for Kyrou, or someone else, to play there, stay over and drive to Buffalo — it’s not far — and join the team there when they arrive on Monday afternoon.

As for Sanford, Berube said: “He couldn’t go out today. Right now, he’s probably not available. We’ll see. We’ll see how he does tomorrow.”

And about Sundqvist and Steen he said: “They are probably going to go on the trip just so they can skate with us. We’re going to skate them tomorrow then they’ll skate with the team Tuesday in Buffalo.”

The Blues had a function with season ticket holders, so they practiced on Sunday. The team — other than injured players — won’t practice on Monday before the team heads to Buffalo for a quick one-game trip.

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ST. LOUIS – A day after Oskar Sundqvist returned to the lineup, the St. Louis Blues appear to be on the verge of getting another injured player back.

The Blues assigned forward Austin Poganski to their AHL affiliate in San Antonio on Friday, clearing a roster spot for the potential return of Alexander Steen.

Sundqvist had a goal and an assist in the Blues’ win over Vegas on Thursday, his first game after missing six with a lower-body injury. Steen has been out with a high ankle sprain since Nov. 6. He was placed on injured reserve in the wake of a collision with Oilers forward Alex Chiasson.

Forward Zach Sanford also appears to be nearing a return from an upper-body injury he suffered Saturday against Toronto, but he was not placed on IR and remains on the active roster.

Poganski’s second NHL call-up led to his NHL debut Tuesday in Buffalo. He was on the ice for 5:54 but did not dent the scoresheet. The 23-year-old has 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) in 22 games with the Rampage this season.

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Alex Pietrangelo might seem like the St. Louis Blues’ grizzled veteran captain by now, but it’s true he’s still just 29 years old.

He’s accomplished quite a bit in his 12 years with the Blues, but now he’s getting some more recognition off the ice.

Forbes Magazine has named Pietrangelo to their annual 30 Under 30 List of people in sports to watch for 2020.

The Blues’ defenseman was the only hockey player on Forbes’ list this year. Pietrangelo will actually turn 30 on January 30.

Other notable members of this year’s Forbes list include Nathan Chen, Julie Ertz, Paul George, Patrick Mahomes, Christian Pulisic, Klay Thompson and Christian Yelich.