HAZELWOOD, MO - Following an eight-day NHL All-Star break, the Blues were back on the ice for a hard practice at 2 p.m. on Monday at the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall.
The team participated in two practice sessions, eventually wrapping up around 4 p.m.
“You’ve got to get moving quickly,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “You’re assuming the players will be excited to play, but there’s a difference between excited to play and excited to sacrifice. That’s where you want to get to… put it all out there as quick as you can so you can control the hockey game and not chase it.”
Vladimir Tarasenko, who was the Blues’ lone participant at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, was not on the ice. He remained in Nashville, where the Blues will travel later for a 7 p.m. game against the Predators on Tuesday.
Jake Allen also did not participate in the skate. He sustained a lower-body injury on Jan. 8 in Anaheim, and Sunday, the Blues recalled goalie Pheonix Copley from the Chicago Wolves. In 25 games with the Wolves this season, Copley is 11-11-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average, a .905 save-percentage and three shutouts.
Jaden Schwartz (ankle) and Magnus Paajarvi (upper-body) did practice Monday. Schwartz said he needs a few more practices to determine where he’s at, but Hitchcock said Paajarvi is good to go.
The Blues have 30 games remaining on the regular season schedule and currently rank third in the Western Conference.