Fresh off a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks the Blues look to extend their six game win streak today against the Buffalo Sabres. The game begins at 12:00 CT and can be seen on FSMW or foxsportsgo.com.
It was announced Friday that the Blues would be getting at least one of their veteran centers back for today’s game. Kyle Brodziak will return to the lineup two weeks ahead of schedule and will slide back into his normal position centering the fourth line. Wade Megan has been reassigned to the Chicago Wolves.
"Guys have been working really hard and starting to see some results, which is a good thing. Hopefully I can come in and do my part, and hopefully we can keep this thing rolling. For me, I've got to focus on getting back to my game as quick as I can and getting up to speed as soon as I can," Brodziak added. "Whatever situation I'm put in, I have to make the best of it and just take it one shift at a time." [NHL.com]
While all four AHL call-ups have more than carried their fair share of the workload, amassing 5 goals and 10 points, the faster the Blues can get Paul Stastny and Brodziak back in the lineup the better.
The youngsters have made the best of their time in the NHL but it is only a matter of time before the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. I don’t think anyone was too hip on the idea of half the team’s centers being AHL recalls and the other half being Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund.
Another bright spot for the Blues has been the play of the special teams. Their penalty kill is now ranked third in the NHL and the power play is securely in the top ten.
Look for Doug Armstrong, along with ever other GM in the league, to be watching his team very closely these last four games heading up to the NHL trade deadline. If the Blues keep playing and winning like they have been this last month then Armstrong could have a very difficult decision to make. Trade Kevin Shattenkirk and risk messing with his team’s new found chemistry or keep the highly valued defensemen to facilitate his team’s run at a championship.
It will end up being a very tough decision to make and may mostly depend on what kind of returns are on the table. The Blues, as of right now, sit comfortable at third in the central division and have a five point lead over seventh place Nashville who is returning from its recent bye week. Although the Blues have played extremely well these last eight games one can’t help but wonder if this team will return to past form or be able to sustain their recent success all the way through April.
The Buffalo Sabres are another opponent who find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture. Although they are currently ranked 12th in the Eastern conference they are only three points behind the 8th place Toronto Maple Leafs.
Problem child Evander Kane currently leads the Sabres with 19 goals and has returned to the lineup after missing a few days due to illness.
Kyle Okposo is trailing Kane by one goal but leads the team with 38 points.
The Sabres are 3-2 in their last five games and are sporting the leagues number 1 ranked power play.