Category Archives: Blues Jerseys 2020

Robert Thomas Jersey

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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.

Jaden Schwartz Jersey

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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.”

Carl Gunnarsson Jersey

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CHICAGO — Robert Bortuzzo will be back in the lineup for the Blues when they open a two-game trip against the Chicago Blackhawks today at 7:30 p.m. (FS-MW, ESPN 101.1-FM).

Bortuzzo is eligible to return after serving a four-game suspension stemming from a cross-check on Nashville forward Viktor Arvidsson on Nov. 23.

“More moving past it,” Bortuzzo said of the incident. “You never want to see someone get hurt on a play. I’m just playing hard. Unfortunate a guy got injured. Moving past it and getting ready to go.”

Bortuzzo will be paired with Vince Dunn against the Blackhawks tonight and playing in his 12th game. The Blues assigned Derrick Pouliot to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Sunday to make room.

“That’s the goal. I’ve been skating well and practicing hard. I’ll just get back in there with Dunner,” Bortuzzo said. “We’ve done some good things together. Hopefully just kind of build off some of the games we’ve been playing before the break here. It’s going to be a fun game to play in. It’s always nice to jump into a game like that. … Any time you’re sitting out, you’re just chomping at the bit to get back in there. Team’s playing great hockey. We’ve been able to put some guys in and out. I’m just excited to be around the game, teammates and playing.”

Blues coach Craig Berube opted for Bortuzzo over Carl Gunnarsson, who missed the past two games due to illness but appeared ready to go after taking part in the morning skate; he’ll be a healthy scratch instead.

“He knows if you cross-check somebody like that, there’s going to be some repercussions,” Berube said of Bortuzzo. “It was a (knee-jerk) reaction. He plays a hard game, but he’s normally not doing stuff like that. He’ll play his game. I think he’ll be fine.”

Vince Dunn Jersey

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There are many elements of hockey that have gone painfully soft in recent (or the past ten) years.

Whether it’s the lack of fighting, spineless calls for “roughing,” or just a general need to strangle this wonderful game with a diaper, the NHL action isn’t as fierce as it used to be.

So when I see St. Louis Blues’ defenseman Vince Dunn light up Andrew Mangiapane on Thursday night during a game with the Calgary Flames, I smile like a kid who just located the secret stash of chocolate chip cookies. It was a thing of beauty, please check it out.

They are right. Dunn did destroy poor Andrew, and I am here for more destruction.

I’m not here to tell you whether or not Dunn will be fined, suspended or stoned in the streets by the NHL Player Safety Board of Lame Souls. I truly don’t give a shit. It was a fantastic hit, and I won’t make Dunn apologize for it. It’s the same thing that Brayden Schenn did to a Tampa Bay Lightning player on Tuesday for admiring a pass. You climb over those boards, and you should know it may be a bad shift.

These guys aren’t playing angry badminton out there; it’s hockey. You know, the sport where having all your teeth is a rarity. The kind of sport where a player can break his jaw and continue to play. The kind of sport where a human being gets rocked into the boards, forcing him for a split second to forget his name and date of birth. The kind of sport that used to celebrate unhinged toughness instead of putting it in a corner while the FAST (calm down, Panger!) sport takes over.

According to Jeremy Rutherford, Blues legend Bobby Plager said he dishes out around 15 of those Dunn hits in the press box. Back in the day (which was also a Thursday), Plager would hand 10-15 of those hits out per game. It wasn’t a WHOA moment back then because it was more common.

These days, the first thing people think about is whether or not it will warrant a suspension. Imagine punishing a player for doing what head coaches and the origin of the sport told him to do. It’s not like Andrew messed around with Vince’s girl or stole his steak at lunch; it’s hockey and it’s hard. If it wasn’t hard, basketball players would do it too.

Dunn is an impressive talent. The kid is only getting warmed up. He just turned 23 years old, and put up 35 points last year. He’s playing around 15 minutes per game, so his production will only go up as he finds more time on the ice. Expect that to increase next year when Jay Bouwmeester steps down and the youth continues to ride into Enterprise. After the annihilation of Mangiapane, Dunn sealed St. Louis’ shutout victory with a wicked wrist shot from the slot.

He’s got four points in his last three games and is rounding into shape. Sure, there’s a few “WTF is that Shattenkirk” moments in his game from time to time, but he’s still young and learning. The important thing is Dunn plays the game like a savvy veteran most of his minutes, and knows how to lay someone out. It’ll only get better.

Allow me to apologize for not having a picture of the hit as my posting picture, but the ice detectives haven’t released the photos yet due to the area still being an active crime scene.

Dunn’s hit is unfortunately a rarity these days. As Art Lippo commonly states on Twitter, these kind of hits can make hockey great again.

One destruction at a time, ladies and gents. Old time hockey isn’t dead yet.

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The St. Louis Blues said forward Sammy Blais will be out at least 10 weeks due to a right wrist injury that requires surgery.

Blais, 23, suffered the injury during the team’s 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

Blais has eight points (five goals, three assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 20 games this season, his third with the team.

With Blais out long term, Alex Steen sidelined with a high ankle sprain until early December and Vladimir Tarasenko expected to miss the rest of the regular season following shoulder surgery, the team on Wednesday signed winger Troy Brouwer to a $750,000, one-year deal.

The 34-year-old Brouwer, who had been practicing with the Blues on a professional tryout, was the team’s choice to sign over Jamie McGinn, who was also brought in for a tryout. A 13-year NHL veteran, Brouwer rejoins the Blues after playing the 2015-16 season in St. Louis.

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — The Blues were back on the practice ice Friday after ending their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against Vegas on Thursday.

It was a quick, brisk, snappy practice with what coach Craig Berube called a “pace” practice, one in which was done so with the idea of moving pucks at a rapid pace and one in which groups were working in unison.

“Same as the other day. I just liked the pace and the energy of it,” Berube said. “They’re quick. The intensity’s up right now in these practices, which is good. It’s not a long practice, but the intensity is up, and that’s the key.”

One change from recent weeks is that a near-full group was on the ice, including forwards Alexander Steen (ankle) and Zach Sanford (upper body), both who appear ready to play.

Steen was skating on a line with Ivan Barbashev, Robert Thomas and Troy Brouwer and Sanford was taking shifts with David Perron, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Bozak.

“Yeah, we’ll see tomorrow, but they looked good today,” Berube said of Steen and Sanford. “They’ll let us know today how they felt a little bit later.”

It creates a bit of a logjam up front, something the Blues haven’t had as far as a luxury item. Of course, there’s still a huge void missing in Vladimir Tarasenko, who will miss most of, if not all, of the regular season with a dislocated shoulder, but Berube and staff have decisions to make with two players ready to jump back into the fight and others that are not ready to relinquish their spot.

“I guess it’s a good thing,” Berube said. “It’s tough, you’re right, but it’s a good thing. We’ve got depth and these guys are good players. We’ve got to make decisions, but in saying that, nobody wants to come out, I get that, but we need everybody down the stretch. We know that. We need depth. It’s tough, but it’s part of it all, it’s part of being a pro, it’s part of being a team.”

Players seem to agree.

“Good problem to have,” Blues center Brayden Schenn said. “We have good depth. We have important pieces coming back. Obviously Steener, whether he’s back tomorrow or the next game, he’s a huge piece of our team, huge piece of our locker room, does so many good things for us and we’re excited to get him back whenever that is. You see when a guy like Sunny comes back in how much it means to our locker room and on the ice. … When we got our full lineup in, we feel like we’re a deep hockey team and that’s a good problem to have. We’ve had lots of guys step up and played really good hockey. We’re going to need that throughout the whole year.”

What would be ideal is of Steen and Sanford can have the grand return like Oskar Sundqvist had. Sundqvist returned Thursday with a goal and an assist, his first game after missing six with a lower-body injury.

“If they’re anything like Sunny was last night,” Berube said. “He did a real good job for us.”

With Steen’s return imminent, the Blues assigned Austin Poganski to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Friday. Poganski made his NHL debut this past Tuesday at Buffalo.

The injury bug didn’t completely abandon the Blues. They announced late Friday afternoon that defenseman Carl Gunnarsson will go on injured-reserve with an upper-body injury sustained in the win over Vegas, and the team has recalled Niko Mikkola from the Rampage.

Gunnarsson, who did not practice Friday, played 15 minutes 22 seconds and after a tough first period, he finished with a plus-1 rating and three blocked shots.

“He’s not available to play. We’ll evaluate him tomorrow,” Berube said after practice and before the announcement of Gunnarsson going on IR. “… I don’t know yet. I don’t want to speculate on it to be honest. I just found out today. That’s why he wasn’t out in practice.”

Mikkola, 23, who is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound left-handed shot and a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 26 games with the Rampage this season.

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Les répercussions du congédiement de Bill Peters par les Flames de Calgary dans la LNH, et les accusations dirigées envers Mike Babcock et maintenant Marc Crawford, qui fait l’objet d’une enquête par son employeur actuel, les Blackhawks de Chicago, commencent également à se faire sentir au niveau junior, alors qu’un club, les Tigers de Medicine Hat, a congédié son thérapeute athlétique, Jamie LeBlanc, cette semaine en raison de

Ayant joué chez les professionnels lui-même il y a une vingtaine d’années et jusqu’en 2012, une époque où les entraîneurs n’allaient pas être réprimandés s’ils étaient trop durs avec leurs protégés, Landry est conscient que les temps ont changé grandement.
« J’ai eu des entraîneurs qui étaient durs avec leurs joueurs, qui étaient exigeants et demandaient de l’intensité ou de jouer physique, je pense que c’est la bonne façon de faire, estime l’ancien des Flames de Calgary [où il a été dirigé par Brian Sutter] et du Canadien de Montréal [Alain Vigneault et Michel Therrien]. De faire autre chose, ou de l’abus verbal, ou encore de l’abus personnel, j’ai toujours trouvé que ça n’avait pas sa place dans le hockey. Il y a une grosse, grosse ligne entre le joueur de hockey que tu dois pousser à performer et à le faire sortir de sa zone de confort, et utiliser une méthode personnelle pour faire avancer un joueur. Ça, je ne crois pas du tout à ça. »

Landry, qui a aussi joué neuf ans en Europe, se comptait chanceux de ne pas avoir eu de problème majeur avec ses entraîneurs, ayant toujours bien accepté ceux qui le mettaient au défi « parce que je voulais ensuite leur prouver qu’ils avaient tort ».

Il s’estime tout aussi chanceux d’avoir amorcé sa carrière d’entraîneur sous les ordres de Benoît Groulx, son mentor pendant trois ans avant qu’il n’hérite de son poste, en relève à Mario Duhamel, au cours de la saison 2016-2017.

« Ben est un entraîneur exigeant qui met beaucoup l’accent sur les détails et l’intensité lors des entraînements. Il a ses manières d’amener ça… J’ai tellement eu d’entraîneurs que je peux en prendre un peu de chacun. Il y a beaucoup de points que j’aimais de Ben dans son enseignement, dans sa façon de démontrer de l’intensité, ce que j’utilise certainement. Autant que j’utilise des techniques apprises d’autres entraîneurs, comme pour des rencontres individuelles, que j’utilise aussi. Tu en prends un peu de chaque entraîneur que tu as eu », note-t-il.

Le pilote de 44 ans affirme qu’avec les joueurs qu’il a présentement sous la main, une jeune formation qui est en danger de rater les séries pour la première fois depuis 1984, son approche est justement de les défier pour en arriver à se dépasser.

« J’aime ça challenger les joueurs, j’ai des attentes côté hockey qui sont les mêmes pour tous les joueurs. Ils savent à quoi je m’attends d’eux sur la glace. Et je m’en tiens au côté hockey », dit-il.

De ce côté, ça ne va pas trop bien pour les Olympiques ces temps-ci. À moins de deux semaines de l’ouverture de la période des transactions, Landry constate que son club ressent la pression des défaites qui s’accumulent. « En ce moment, les gars veulent bien faire, ils travaillent, mais ils tiennent leur bâton plus serré aussi. Je pense que ça explique pourquoi on n’obtient pas les buts au moment opportun », dit-il.

Les Olympiques (7-17-3) vont recevoir des Sea Dogs de Saint-Jean qui n’ont que six points d’avance sur eux mercredi soir, une bonne chance de mettre fin à leur série de revers. « C’est un match qu’on doit gagner, on doit utiliser notre vitesse et trouver le fond du filet au bon moment surtout », ajoute-t-il.

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The Blues will break out their vintage 1990s jerseys for the first of three times this season on Thursday at Enterprise Center. They’re the jerseys the team wore for four seasons, from 1994-95 to 1997-98, with the red and the trumpets that were worn by Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky.

“Love them,” said center Ryan O’Reilly. “It’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait. I remember a lot of us watching Gretzky and Hull and those guys that year. I think it’s like an iconic jersey.”

“They look sweet,” said forward Robert Thomas. “I can’t wait to wear them.”

“Retro? Ugly? Nostalgic?” captain Alex Pietrangelo said, looking for the right word. “They all kind of go hand in hand, don’t they?”

While the uniforms drew criticism back in the day — “You mean we didn’t look like Ronald McDonald on skates?” Kelly Chase said after the first game after the red uniforms were gone — time has softened some of the feelings.

“When you look back now, they were fine,” said Al MacInnis, who got to the Blues the same time the uniforms did. “For me, they weren’t bad at the time, and looking back at them now, I see there’s a lot of people dusting them off and bringing them out to games and I think they’re going to be fun to see them coming back. I’m looking forward to it.

“I think they look better now than they did maybe back then. I see them in the stands and people walking around with them, they actually look pretty cool on the ice. They really are.”

Asked if he had a retro suit to wear for Thursday’s game against Calgary, coach Craig Berube said, “I’m not sure I have one. It won’t fit if I did.”

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BOSTON — Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole made his NHL debut in 2009-10 at TD Garden, where he played his 500th game Saturday night. The milestone games against the Boston Bruins are “pretty cool,” Cole told the team’s website at Saturday’s morning skate.

Cole, who won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017, has seen many changes throughout this 10-year NHL career. He has remained a physical stay-at-home defenseman while young teammates such as Cale Makar and Sam Girard have altered what elite defensemen have become.

“The game has definitely evolved,” Cole said. “It’s gone from a lot of big guys occupying a lot of space to very much a speed-and-skill game and it’s changed very quickly. I would say over the past three, four years, maybe five years — it’s really turned the corner to go that direction. Still a physical game, still a lot of physicality in the sport, but it’s a speed-and-skill game now and you need to adapt and change as a player. Everyone is doing it.”

The Avs took a five-game winning streak into Saturday night’s game but are still playing without key forwards. Nazem Kadri missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury and Matt Calvert was given a leave of absence to attend to a family matter.

Colorado, which concluded a three-game trip against Orginal Six teams Saturday, also continues to play without forward Colin Wilson (lower-body injury) and defenseman Erik Johnson (upper-body), who both didn’t travel with the team.

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Unlike most athletes in Vermont, the Rutland boys and girls hockey teams will have plenty of practice time under their belt when the first puck drops this week for the Raiders.

Rutland, and hockey teams across the state, have been practicing since before Thanksgiving, and Wednesday, the Raiders’ wait will finally be over.

Both teams have exciting talent coming back and the hope is that they can take a step forward from their first-round exits a season ago.

The Rutland girls hockey team has gotten used to playoff hockey.

Heading into last winter, the Raiders had a Division I state championship and a pair of state semifinals under their belt across the previous three seasons.

Last year ended with a quarterfinal loss to Burlington/Colchester as Rutland finished the season 11-9-1.

After losing just four seniors to graduation, the Raiders are confident in their ability to climb the ladder of success again.

Rutland is itching to get the season underway.

“The kids are looking forward to it because it has been a long practice season,” said Raiders coach Dirk Steupert. “I’m very pleased with the group of girls. The main thing is to stay healthy and keep practicing and working hard.”

A big story line of last winter was the addition of a large freshmen class and the crucial ice time they received to get their feet wet at the varsity level.

That group is a year older and year more experienced as they enter the 2019-20 season.

“(Last year) was a learning piece for them, competing against Essex seniors and BFA seniors, among others,” Steupert said. “It was a good way to throw them into the fire and learn the hard way. They got better and stronger.”

The Raiders’ two top goal scorers from last season, junior Alexis Patterson and sophomore Isabel Crossman, return this winter.

They’ll be joined on the attack by Isabel Alexander, Taylor Surething, Sydney Wood, Tessa McLaughlin, Molly Abatiell and Sierra McDermott.

Elise Lidstone, Sera Wideawake and Alyssa Kennedy can flip between forward and defense as well.

A new, yet familiar, addition to the forward group is senior Caitie Pelkey, who was away from the team for a few seasons. Pelkey played for the Raiders during her freshman year.

“The injury bug hit (Caitie) for a couple of years, so she stayed away,” Steupert said. “She’s healthy this year and excited to be back. She’s working on getting her skating underneath her and she’ll make a big difference.”

Rutland figures to be strong in goal with a stable of goaltenders with experience. Senior Emily Hathaway and sophomore Kristen Pariseau lead the group and freshman Lindsey Taylor figures to compete for playing time.

“(Emily) has been here for three years and Kristen has done well,” Steupert said. “Lindsey has worked hard and is a quality goaltender too. As long as they stay healthy, we stand a chance.”

Defensively, the Raiders lost Maggie Schillinger and Ella Beraldi to graduation.

Beraldi missed part of last season with an injury, causing Rutland to go with a three-girl defensive rotation.

This gave younger defenders like Ella Lowkes and Abigail Stoodley plenty of ice time to develop.

Lowkes and Stoodley will lead the defensive group this winter and could be joined by Lidstone, Wideawake and Kennedy.

Katherine Pate returns as Steupert’s assistant coach, while AnneMarie Provencal will serve as a volunteer assistant coach.

Rutland starts its season on the road against Hartford on Wednesday. The Raiders have their home opener on December 18 against Brattleboro.

First-year head coach Mike Anderson is clear on how his Rutland boys hockey team will win — hard work.

The Raiders aren’t going to overwhelm opponents solely with their skill or size. They’ll have to outwork whoever is lining up across the blue line with them to come away on the winning side.

“We’re not going to win on skill alone,” Anderson said. “We have to be the hardest working team every night if we want to be successful.”

Rutland has a mix of experienced players and youth that will suit up this winter.

“About half the team is guys that haven’t played high school hockey before and about half the team is guys that have been around,” Anderson said. “There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but the older guys have done a great job of taking the younger guys under their wing.”

Seniors Ethan Coarse and Eric Brewer, juniors Ryan Melen and Dillon Moore and sophomore Micaiah Boyle will be counted on to create some scoring punch for the Raiders.

“They all played quite a bit last year and I expect them to do a lot this year,” Anderson said.

Sophomore Oliver Hamilton, who is new to high school hockey, has been an early standout and should be a critical piece in the offensive attack.

Rutland returns a defense with plenty of experience. Seniors Eren Cetin and Mattingly Colvin and juniors Owen Simpson and Brad Maniery will play a crucial role on that end.

Freshman Michael Schillinger has impressed and will find time in the defensive rotation as well. Schillinger could also see time at forward.

Schillinger is one of seven freshman on the Rutland roster this winter.

The Raiders have a pair of goaltenders with varsity experience in juniors Augie Louras and McGuire Baker. They’re joined in the goalie rotation by sophomore Camron Biathrow.

All three were solid in the net in Rutland’s scrimmage against Woodstock last Wednesday and Anderson likes the competitiveness of the position group.

“They’re pushing each other and creating good competition, making each other better,” Anderson said.

Anderson, who has was an assistant on the Raiders’ staff for a handful of years under former coach Chris Adams, is joined on the coaching staff by Tim McAuliffe, Tyler White and Glen Mandel. Mandel graduated from Rutland in 2018 and has been working with the trio of goalies.

“Tim McAuliffe has great hockey knowledge and is a good guy to have around,” Anderson said. “Tyler White has been the athletic trainer in the past, but he’s getting a little more involved in coaching. Glen has helped the goalies, which is a huge hand for us. We have a real good staff, so I’m hoping for a good year.”

Rutland opens regular season play with a pair of rivalry games, playing Brattleboro on Wednesday at home and Burr and Burton on Saturday night.

With start of the season on the horizon, the Raiders are ready for the challenge ahead of them.

“We had a good first couple weeks,” Anderson said. “We’ve gotten on the ice and guys are moving. Things are coming along.”