ST. LOUIS – After missing at least 20 games due to injury in three of his first five seasons with the Blues, defenseman Eric Brewer is quietly putting together a healthy and productive season.
And with the Blues suffering several injuries to defenseman this season, it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Brewer is one of just eight Blues who have played in all 40 games this season but he is the only defenseman yet to miss a game due to injury.
That’s a welcomed surprise to the Blues, who have seen Brewer deal with injuries to his back, shoulder and knee among other areas that caused him to miss 23 games last year and 54 games two years ago.
“It’s been talked about a time or two and probably flown under the radar a little bit,” said Blues coach Davis Payne. “He’s been a pretty solid foundation piece for us back there.
"We knew he was going to be healthy coming in and we knew he was going to be a guy that led that group and led our team and he’s done a great job of it.”
Brewer faced plenty of unwarranted criticism since he arrived in St. Louis in a trade that sent fan-favorite Chris Pronger to Edmonton. But finally healthy, the Blues captain appears to be playing some of his best hockey since arriving in town.
The defenseman has six goals and four assists and is second on the team with a +9 rating.
He scored a career-high eight goals in 59 games last season but appears well on his way to surpassing that number if he remains healthy.
“He’s voiced the right concerns, he’s sent the right message and he communicates well on the ice,” Payne said. “I don’t know how many partners he’s played with but it’s probably been seven or eight. He’s been a guy that has been a staple back there that you can play in defensive situations and we’re using him on the second power play unit.
“I think it’s not unnoticed in our room, but certainly the contributions of what he’s doing to stabilize that group has been extremely valuable for us.”