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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 9:20 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues' Backes out for Game 4 vs. Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- St. Louis Blues center David Backes was not in the lineup for Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 1:06 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Jackman returns, Steen doubtful for weekend

ST. LOUIS -- Two days appears to be enough down time for St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman.

After sitting out a 2-1 victory Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres with a lower-body injury, Jackman will come back into the lineup Saturday for the Blues (52-17-7) against the Colorado Avalanche (49-21-6).

Jackman was among those to skate Friday in an optional practice and deemed himself fit.

"Other guys got in the lineup and we're rested and ready to go [Saturday]," Jackman said. "Two days off. It felt good so we're ready to go [Saturday]. … Every game's a grind from here on out. I got two days' rest, which is only going to be beneficial down the stretch."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars' Seguin a game-time decision against Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The Dallas Stars are in a furious fight to the finish as far as a Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In that mad dash, there will be a couple of players who are questionable for Saturday night against the conference-leading St. Louis Blues.

The Stars (35-27-11) held an optional skate Saturday and could be without one of their most important players in their clash with the Central Division-rival Blues (50-16-7).

Center Tyler Seguin, who leads the Stars in goals (32), assists (44) and points (76) in 71 games, is dealing with what coach Lindy Ruff termed soreness. The Stars recalled left wing Chris Mueller from the American Hockey League's Texas Stars on Saturday morning because a couple of players are dealing with bumps and bruises as well as sickness.

"We've got a couple of question marks," Ruff said. "[Seguin's] one of them. We'll wait and see tonight."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.06.2014 / 2:44 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Warsofsky not worried about replacing Chara

ST. LOUIS -- When David Warsofsky takes the ice Thursday for the Boston Bruins, he only can hope to help alleviate the void left by Zdeno Chara's absence.

Warsofsky will play in his fifth NHL game when the Bruins (36-16-3) face the St. Louis Blues (37-12-6) at Scottrade Center.

The Bruins will be without Chara for the final two games leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics because the Bruins captain and 2009 Norris Trophy winner has left for Russia and will be the flag bearer for Slovakia at the opening ceremony Friday.

"I don't think I can play that high, how many minutes he usually plays," Warsofsky said of Chara, who averages 24:57 of ice time per game. "I just want to play my game. The whole [defense] corps will have to step up. I'm looking forward to it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 8:08 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Sobotka out vs. Coyotes due to flu

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues center Vladimir Sobotka was scratched from the lineup Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes with the flu.

Sobotka was not part of the morning skate earlier in the day, but coach Ken Hitchcock was hopeful Sobotka, who has nine points in the past seven games, could play.

Dmitrij Jaskin, recalled earlier Tuesday from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, suited up in Sobotka's place.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 1:38 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues place Steen on injured reserve with concussion

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have been hit by the injury bug in recent weeks, but none bigger than the recent news regarding forward Alexander Steen, their leading scorer.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong made it official Saturday that Steen was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 21 with a concussion, the second of his career with the Blues.

Steen, who leads the Blues with 24 goals and 38 points, missed the game against the Calgary Flames on Monday and is out indefinitely.

"I say indefinitely because it could be day-to-day or week-to-week with a concussion," Armstrong said during the Blues' morning skate Saturday prior to facing the Chicago Blackhawks. "There's no set timetable.

"He's not going to be going on this road trip coming up [Sunday against the Dallas Stars and Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild], but he is exercising and we hope he has a speedy recovery. (With) concussions, I don't feel comfortable putting a timetable on (them)."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 6:29 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues dealing with key injuries as they host Sharks

ST. LOUIS -- The San Jose Sharks won't have any sympathy for the banged up, battered St. Louis Blues when the two Western Conference titans meet for the third time Tuesday night.

The Blues, coming off a 3-2 overtime defeat against the Ottawa Senators on Monday, arrived in St. Louis in the early hours of Tuesday morning and did so without three top forwards at their disposal.

Second-line forwards Vladimir Sobotka and Jaden Schwartz did not play Monday because of upper-body injuries, and the Blues (22-6-4) lost captain David Backes in the third period with an upper-body injury after a head-on-head collision with the Senators' Colin Greening.

The Sharks (20-7-6) are in the middle of one of their toughest stretches of the season at 1-4-1, but they have given the Blues two of their six regulation losses, outscoring St. Louis 12-5.


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Posted On Friday, 10.25.2013 / 1:46 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues hope team-bonding trip pays off

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues have gone a full week without playing a game while the rest of the NHL is flying past them in games played.

Other than the New York Rangers (eight games), everyone else in the League has played at least two more games than the seven by the Blues, who got an unusual early quirk in the schedule.

So instead of practicing and lounging around St. Louis and having some training camp-type practices, the team was able to get away for a few days for some rest, relaxation and a few workouts on the eastern coast of Charleston, S.C.

A little bit of everything was involved, from golfing to fishing, guys getting away to see a movie, shopping at some of Charleston's finest stores and good old-fashioned team bonding.

As the Blues (5-1-1) get set to play in back-to-back games this weekend (Friday against the Vancouver Canucks and Saturday at the Nashville Predators), players said the time spent together was beneficial.


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Posted On Wednesday, 10.09.2013 / 2:15 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Sharp remains ready to face Blues

ST. LOUIS -- The availability of Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp is status quo: The veteran left wing is still in a holding pattern.

Sharp, whose wife Abby is due to give birth of the couple's second daughter soon, was awaiting word from the Blackhawks' public-relations staff. But as of early Wednesday afternoon, there was no indication whether Sharp would have to fly back to Chicago or not.

Sharp has indicated that if he had to miss a game, he would. Skipping the game Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) was a possibility, but Sharp is with the team and skated in the morning.

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Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 4:36 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Kings series blog

Hitchcock understands road Blues must travel

LOS ANGELES -- As coach of the Dallas Stars in 1999, when he led his team to the Stanley Cup, Ken Hitchcock was in this familiar position: down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and facing elimination on the road.

Not only did Hitchcock's Stars go into Denver and defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 in the Western Conference Finals, they won Game 7 at home, and that run was culminated with a victory over the Buffalo Sabres in six games to win the Stanley Cup.

Fast forward 14 years, when Hitchcock's St. Louis Blues are down 3-2 against the defending champion Los Angeles Kings, on the road, in a tough building, needing a win to keep their season alive.

So what can these Blues draw from their veteran coach that they must apply against a Kings team that has won three straight in the series?

"You have to outplay the team," Hitchcock said after Friday's morning skate. "You can't expect to play at the same level and win the hockey game. It doesn't happen. I've been in this situation a number of times and come through, and it's been the same similar landscape. We have to outplay them today. If we play at the same level, it's not going to be good enough"

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Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice