ST. LOUIS - Good play with the puck and even better play without it is leading to more ice-time for Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who has taken advantage of a big opportunity with defenseman Joel Edmundson out with an upper-body injury.
Bortuzzo played a season-high 19 minutes and 19 seconds in Saturday's 4-3 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild. In his last four games, he has posted a plus-3 rating and even scored his first goal of the season last week against the Bruins.
"I feel good. I'm obviously getting to my game," said Bortuzzo. "It's nice to get in consecutive games and get in a bit of a groove."
"It seems like the game has slowed down to him," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's always had tremendous character that his teammates love, and he's followed it up with real good play and he's earned the right to play more and more each night.
With Edmundson getting close to making a return, Hitchcock said he's going to have a tough decision to make soon.
"That's competition," Hitchcock said. "That's what happens. That's what we were hoping at the start of the year. We were hoping internal competition would make us better quick, and it's approaching that right now."