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POSTED ON Monday, 01.05.2015 / 5:21 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

This week’s DraftKings Fantasy Report is a bit unusual.

Rather than recommending one Blue to boost your fantasy team, we’re going to recommend three.

More specifically, T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen and David Backes, who have combined for 20 points over their last five games.

Oshie, who was named the NHL’s No. 1 Star for the week ending Jan. 4, led all NHL players with five goals. He also shared the League lead with seven points. On Saturday, he recorded his second career hat trick and second career four-point game in a 7-2 win against San Jose.

Steen also had seven points last week. After being held off the scoresheet on Dec. 29 in Colorado, Steen registered an assist Dec. 30 against Nashville, a goal and an assist on Jan. 2 in Anaheim and then tallied his third career four-point game on Saturday in San Jose.

Backes had three assists over the last week but has been receiving all of the credit from his linemates.

“He’s creating so much space for us, it’s unbelievable,” Steen said. “He’s been great. He does a lot of stuff that doesn’t really get a lot of credit, but us boys, we know what he does.”

Added Oshie, “He’s occupying the front of the net and he’s taking the goalies’ eyes away. Without Backs doing his job, me and Steener aren’t on the scoresheet.”

If you can nab any of these three for your fantasy team, now’s the time to do it. The line is red hot entering this week’s action.

SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Jan. 6 at Arizona Coyotes
Jan. 8 vs. San Jose Sharks
Jan. 10 vs. Carolina Hurricanes

DraftKings offers free or paid fantasy hockey options and gives players the opportunity to win real money! Participate in daily hockey leagues with no season-long commitment! To date, over $20 million has been paid out to thousands of fantasy sports winners! Go to draftkings.com to sign up today!

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 1:58 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

SAN JOSE - The Blues will get Jaden Schwartz back in the lineup tonight in San Jose, where his club meets the Sharks at 9:30 p.m. at SAP Center (FSMW, KMOX 1120 AM).

Schwartz has missed seven games with a right foot injury. He was injured blocking a shot in the third period of a 5-2 win vs. Los Angeles on Dec. 16.

“I’m really excited (to be back),” Schwartz said. “No one likes sitting out and it’s tough to watch games. I haven’t had too many hard skates, but hopefully I find it early in the game and get my feet moving. It might take a couple shifts, but I’m really excited to get into the game.”

Schwartz joined the team in practice Thursday. As far as tonight, at least for the early going, he’s just planning on keeping it simple.

“Just managing my shifts. I don’t want to get caught out there too long. I think that could affect me for the shifts after,” he said. “Keep it simple early and as the game goes on, when I get time and space, I can make plays. But right off the bat, I don’t want to do too much. Just keep it simple, keep the shifts short and try to set the tone with my feet moving and my speed.

Prior to the injury to Schwartz, the Blues had won five consecutive games. He currently ranks third on the team in points (27), while his 11 goals are second only to Vladimir Tarasenko (22).

“(We’re in) a little bit of a slump here, but hopefully I can try and contribute,” Schwartz said. “Once we get the first one, guys will get a little more confidence back.”

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.02.2015 / 3:25 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ANAHEIM - Paul Stastny could be centering Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko tonight when the Blues meet the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (9 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).

The Lehtera-Stastny-Tarasenko combination is something Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock tried Thursday in practice and was still sticking to during the morning skate Friday in Anaheim.

“This is the first time we’ve ever played them together,” Hitchcock said Thursday. “They looked good. We’re probably a few days away from Jaden (Schwartz) joining on a full-time basis, so it might give an opportunity for a game or two for us to look at that. It gives us a very very big third line. We’re certainly intrigued by what we saw.”

Stastny, whose linemates have varied throughout the season, said he’s excited if this line gets a good look.

“You try different things. Some things are working and you’ve got to leave those, and sometimes when things aren’t going well, you switch things up,” Stastny said. “Like I’ve said in the past before, it’s always a long year and by the end of the year, we’re going to find the best solution for everything for the team to be where we want it to be when the end of the season comes.

“I think, just from practice, we have that little tic-tac-toe kind of play,” Stastny added. “They’re really easy to read, so we’re all excited.”

In this scenario, Lehtera shifts to left wing, a position he played at the World Championships and several times for Finland in the Olympics last season.

“A couple practices went well, we had some good passes, good things in practice. It’s going to be good today,” Lehtera said about playing with Stastny and Tarasenko. “I’m pumped up today for sure. You’re going to see me working hard and playing as good as I can.”

The line would debut against a Ducks team that currently sits first in the Pacific Division and first overall in the Western Conference with 54 points (24-9-6). On Wednesday, Anaheim suffered only their fourth regulation loss on home-ice to snap a five-game home winning streak.

The Blues lost their last game at Honda Center, falling 3-0 on Oct. 19. However, in the last meeting between the teams, Jake Allen recorded a 24-save shutout in a 2-0 victory on Oct. 30 at Scottrade Center.

Tonight’s game is the last meeting between the teams in the regular season, and Hitchcock said the start will be the key to the game.

“These teams, especially the three California teams, they get off to great starts. They try to get you on your heels,” Hitchcock said. “We’ve had success when we’ve matched their level on the ice, especially in LA and in San Jose, where we’ve really matched that level early in the game. It’s given us a chance to win, but the last time we played here, we were on our heels and it took us a long time to get off our heels. We’ve got to be ready for that. “

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 1:10 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - Brian Elliott will start tonight when the Blues meet the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena (FSMW, KMOX 1120).

Elliott returns after missing 14 games with a lower-body injury sustained in the Nov. 25 game vs. Ottawa. The Blues goaltender had been practicing with the team and participated in a full practice Sunday at Scottrade Center.

“(I feel) good,” Elliott said after the skate. “I’m just trying to get up to game speed and following pucks. I think when you’re off for a little bit, even for a three-day break like Christmas, some of the hardest things are just following the puck with your eyes and tracking pucks well. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been back on the ice and today is another step forward.”

Before getting injured, Elliott had played in 14 games this season, posting a 8-4-1 record. His 1.82 goals-against average ranked first in the league while his .931 save-percentage ranked fourth.

“You never know how you’re going to feel confidence-wise,” Elliott said Sunday about returning. “But just being within yourself, feeling good about the saves you’re making, your save selection, following pucks, controlling rebounds. It’s all the little things. If you feel comfortable doing that in practice, you’re definitely ready to go in a game.”

“(Tonight) is a game that Brian has to get into to get back into some type of playing rhythm,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after Tuesday’s optional morning skate.

Elliott’s return leaves the Blues with three goaltenders. Jake Allen started the majority of the games in Elliott’s absence and Martin Brodeur recorded his 125th career shutout (and first with the Blues) in Monday’s 3-0 win vs. Colorado.

For the time being, it appears the Blues will carry three goalies on the roster. All three skated on Tuesday morning, and Hitchcock said Brodeur will start in one of the next two games.

Allen will back up tonight.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.29.2014 / 3:42 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

In this week’s DraftKings Fantasy Report, we’re getting defensive.

Let’s start with Alex Pietrangelo.

Offensively, Pietrangelo is heating up. In his last nine games, the Blues defenseman has scored two goals and six assists. If your league has blocked shots as a category, Pietrangelo ranks eighth overall in the League with 83, which is fifth among all defensemen.

Kevin Shattenkirk has 11 points (three goals and eight assists) in the month of December, which is good for second among all blueliners. In addition, Shattenkirk has 19 power-play points, which is the best in the League overall.

And if that’s not enough, Shattenkirk also shares the team lead with Barret Jackman with a plus-5 rating in December.

These two Blues defenseman are some of the best fantasy options in the League on the blue line and definitely represent a great place to start when it comes to offensive defensemen in your DraftKings Fantasy League.

HONORABLE MENTION

Vladimir Tarasenko has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his last 10 games. Overall in the NHL, he’s third in goals (21), tied for seventh in points (38) and is tied for second in game-winning goals (4). It sounds like a broken record each week, but we can’t stress enough how valuable this guy can be for your fantasy team.

SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Dec. 29 vs. Colorado Avalanche
Dec. 30 at Nashville Predators
Jan. 2 at Anaheim Ducks
Jan. 3 at San Jose Sharks

DraftKings offers free or paid fantasy hockey options and gives players the opportunity to win real money! Participate in daily hockey leagues with no season-long commitment! To date, over $20 million has been paid out to thousands of fantasy sports winners! Go to draftkings.com to sign up today!

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.29.2014 / 12:42 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - As Brian Elliott inches closer to returning from a lower-body injury, the opportunities in goal would appear to be more limited for Martin Brodeur.

So as he prepares to start tonight against the Avalanche (7 p.m., FSMW, KMOX), Brodeur says he’s going to enjoy every minute of it.

“I try to enjoy it every single time I’m out here,” Brodeur said after the morning skate. “The future, at the end of the day, is not going to be in my hands. Somebody else will decide. I try to make the best out of the situation that we’re in right now, and I’m glad that (Elliott) is coming back. As a team, putting the best product out there is the most important thing. Him coming back will be a big lift.”

Brodeur last played Dec. 23 at Pepsi Center, where he made 10 saves in the third period in relief of Blues goalie Jake Allen.

Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong could decide to keep three goalies on the roster, and that’s something Brodeur said he’d be open to.

“I’m open to any kind of situation,” Brodeur said. “I’m just happy that I’m on the roster of an NHL team and the great one that (the Blues are) with a fun atmosphere. Regardless of what it takes for me to help the team one way or another, I’m ready for it.”

Brodeur gets the opportunity to help the Blues tonight as they meet Colorado for the third time in 17 days. In the last meeting, Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves in a 5-0 shutout at Pepsi Center. Previously, the Blues beat the Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout on Nov. 1 and 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 23.

“We’ve played two of the three really really well, as good as we’ve played all year. That’s the game we want to bring,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “There’s some games where you just turn the page. (The 5-0 loss) is a game for us where we’ve turned the page. But we really focused on the things we did well in the two games we did beat them. That’s going to be the game plan we put forward.”

Colorado had points in six consecutive games (4-0-2) before losing 5-2 to Chicago on Saturday night.

“The last three games we’ve played against them, even going into last year, have always been intense games,” said Blues forward Ryan Reaves. “They play physical like we do and we’ve got to respond. We’ve got to respond to last game and we’ve got to respond to this four-game losing skid.”

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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 12:52 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - After three days away from the rink, the Blues get back to work tonight at 7 p.m. against the Dallas Stars (FSMW, KMOX 1120 AM).

The Blues are looking to snap a three-game winless streak after going 0-2-1 on a three-game road trip before the holiday break.

“Good morning skate today,” said Blues goalie Jake Allen, who will start tonight. “Get right back in the swing of things. No waiting around, no three or four days of practice…right back into a game. This is what you want to do. We let it slip a little bit the last road trip, and we have a great opportunity in front of us right now.

“It’s good to be back, though. After a few days you don’t know what to do with yourself.”

It’s rare to have three days away from the rink, so Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said the Blues need to get to their game early.

“I find these games, quite frankly, are loose. Very fast and very loose, and that’s not to our advantage,” Hitchcock said. “We have to get the bruise-on-bruise feeling going quickly. That’s going to be important for us.

“One of the things, when you take three days off, your body kind of mellows out. Getting engaged, getting alert again is going to be important. If we’re not alert against Dallas, they’re going to be blowing right by us. We’ve got to get to our game early. If we get to our game early, I really like our chances. But if we’re chasing the game, it’s going to be advantage Dallas.”

The last time the Blues and Stars met, Vladimir Tarasenko had a hat trick and Jori Lehtera had a goal and two assists, helping the Blues to a 4-3 overtime win on Oct. 28 at American Airlines Center. Tarasenko and Lehtera combined for seven points in the game.

The Stars are coming off a 4-0 loss to Toronto on Tuesday at American Airlines Center. Before that game, the Stars had a four-game win streak.

“We seem to have a really tough time with them,” T.J. Oshie said of Dallas. “If our game slips at all, they usually take advantage of it. We’ve got to be smart tonight, we’ve got to be patient and play a full 60 minutes.”

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 12:49 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

DENVER - With three meetings over a 17-day span, there’s a good chance the temperature gets cranked up between the Blues and Avalanche, who will play for the second time in 11 days tonight at Pepsi Center (7 p.m., NBCSN, KMOX).

“You start to remember some of the little things that happen during a game,” Blues captain David Backes said. “Not that vengeance is the first thing on your list, but it adds to your emotions and how much fire you’ve got in your soul to get going. It’s going to be a furious start at elevation. They play as fast as anyone and we’ve got to keep pace.”

Last week, T.J. Oshie scored the game-winning goal just over a minute into overtime, helping the Blues to a 3-2 win and their third straight victory against the Avalanche. The Blues have won six of the last seven meetings between the teams, which will meet again Monday in St. Louis.

“(They’re) a fast, exciting team. We had a real close game in here last time,” Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. “We expect a close checking game and we need a full 60 minutes out of our squad. When we get the lead, we need to put our foot on their throat and finish it.”

“When you play a team five times a year, you have a great rivalry that seems to be heating up,” Backes added. “Those are the kinds of games that we need to thrive in. We’ve got a great test before Christmas and we’ll see how it all pans out.”

The Blues will stick with the same lineup they had in San Jose, which includes Jake Allen in goal.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 11:33 AM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

DENVER - When you’re halfway across the country and away from friends and family as the holidays approach, it can be hard to get into the holiday spirit.

Flights, hotels, practices, games - sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.

The Blues will wrap up a three-game road trip when they arrive home early in the morning on Christmas Eve, and upon returning, a lot of them might take in a good movie with their families to quickly get into the holiday spirit. As a result, we took a random poll of players in the locker room to find out what their favorite holiday movies are.

So we made a list (and checked it twice). Click "Full Story" to see what the team is watching during the holiday break.
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POSTED ON Monday, 12.22.2014 / 8:06 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

After scoring his second hat trick of the season last Tuesday against the Kings, Vladimir Tarasenko remains a go-to-guy when it comes to fantasy hockey.

Tarasenko is now tied for second in the NHL with 20 goals and one of just three players to already have two hat tricks this season (others are Dallas’ Tyler Seguin and Anaheim’s Corey Perry).

Until Saturday’s game in San Jose, Tarasenko had a seven-game point streak (six goals, five assists), which was the second longest active streak in the League.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, let’s make it crystal clear: get Tarasenko in your DraftKings fantasy hockey league.

SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Dec. 23 at Colorado Avalanche
Dec. 27 vs. Dallas Stars

DraftKings offers free or paid fantasy hockey options and gives players the opportunity to win real money! Participate in daily hockey leagues with no season-long commitment! To date, over $20 million has been paid out to thousands of fantasy sports winners! Go to draftkings.com to sign up today!

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 49 32 11 6 149 115 70
2 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
3 STL 49 32 13 4 160 120 68
4 CHI 50 31 17 2 155 115 64
5 SJS 50 27 17 6 139 135 60
6 WPG 51 26 17 8 142 132 60
7 VAN 48 27 18 3 131 124 57
8 CGY 50 27 20 3 144 129 57
9 LAK 49 21 16 12 134 132 54
10 DAL 49 23 19 7 157 159 53
11 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
12 MIN 49 23 20 6 135 140 52
13 ARI 50 18 26 6 116 170 42
14 EDM 50 13 28 9 115 166 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 49 25 25 23 50
A. Steen 47 17 26 9 43
J. Schwartz 42 17 23 14 40
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
D. Backes 48 17 18 6 35
T. Oshie 41 14 19 14 33
J. Lehtera 46 9 21 15 30
A. Pietrangelo 49 4 24 0 28
P. Stastny 41 9 18 7 27
P. Berglund 46 6 10 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 15 5 2 .927 1.99
J. Allen 14 5 2 .902 2.61

 
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