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POSTED ON Monday, 01.12.2015 / 6:04 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / DraftKings Fantasy Report

Any fantasy blog being written should probably be highlighting Blues captain David Backes right about now.

Backes has posted multiple points in three consecutive games for the second time in his career and the first time since March 6-10, 2009.

Last week, Backes scored a League-leading five goals and eight points, including his second career four-goal effort on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.

The increased production can probably be attributed to reuniting Backes with Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie. The combo has been on fire and there’s no sign of it stopping.


Vladimir Tarasenko went five games without scoring a goal before beating Cam Ward with a real beauty in Saturday’s 5-4 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Tarasenko hasn’t gone six games without a goal this season, and when he scores one, he’s always hungry for more. The 23-year-old Yaroslavl, Russia native leads the Blues with 23 goals and 44 points and was named to the 2015 NHL All-Star team on Saturday.


Jan. 13 vs. Edmonton Oilers
Jan. 15 vs. Detroit Red Wings
Jan. 17 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.10.2015 / 12:36 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - It may sound clichè, but there’s really no other way say it: the Blues’ power play is firing on all cylinders.

The Blues have power-play goals in four consecutive games, converting on eight of their last 17 chances.

A big reason for that success is Assistant Coach Kirk Muller, who spent 19 seasons in the NHL as a player. Muller scored 357 goals and 602 assists (959 points) in 1,349 career games, and 310 of those points were scored on the power play.

“He’s a coach you can really relate to,” Blues forward Alexander Steen said. “Obviously with the amount of games and experience he has in the League, he’s extremely easy to talk to, whether it’s coming back from injury, the wear and tear of the season, travel, he’s been through it all.

“On the power play, he has good dialogue and good communication,” Steen added. “We talk and discuss everything from breakouts to end zone plays and what we want to do. The biggest thing is he stuck with the same guys, same units and we’ve been able to build a lot of chemistry…(We) read off each other and give a little nod and everybody knows what play we’re going to run. It’s been a big help.”

Muller served as the Head Coach of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2011-14 and will be behind the bench against them for the first time tonight (7 p.m., FSMW, KMOX).

“I approach tonight just like another game,” Muller said. “I look at (my time in Carolina) as a great opportunity for me to start my head coaching… Jim Rutherford gave me that opportunity and I learned a lot and it was a great experience. Now I’m here in St. Louis and learning from one of the best with Hitch.”

But back to that power play, which is the best in the League at 26.4 percent. Muller said the success is a collaborative effort.

“We really work it all together (as a coaching staff). It’s a group effort,” Muller said. “Secondly, it’s the players. You can have a group of talented guys, but if they just go out and think it’s going to happen, it doesn’t. They really have a lot of pride in it, they execute and get better at it and have fun with it.

“I approach it like a two-way street. Throw ideas at me, and I’ll throw ideas at you,” Muller said. “(The players) are the ones that are playing and they know what plays (they) like to make and what (they) feel comfortable with. We just have a good communication about it and walk through it, talk about it and go out and try to execute.”

POSTED ON Thursday, 01.08.2015 / 12:48 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

ST. LOUIS - Home sweet home.

That’s where the Blues will be for the next 22 days as the team begins a season-long seven-game home stand.

And it’s most welcome, too. Of the last 23 games, 16 have been on the road.

“It’s great sleeping in your own bed and being in your own house, your own rink,” T.J. Oshie said. “It’s a different element. It’s really nice to be back.”

“It’s nice - we love playing at home in front of our fans,” Jaden Schwartz added. “It gives us a lot of energy and we’re home for a few weeks now, so we’ll settle in and make sure it starts tonight with a good heavy team in San Jose. We don’t want to look too far ahead, but at the same time, we know we have a seven-game home stand, but we’ll focus on tonight and we’ll look at the other games later.”

Tonight brings the San Jose Sharks to town, a team that will be hungry for a win after getting beat by the Blues 7-2 last Saturday at SAP Center. In that game, Oshie scored his second career hat trick and a four-point night, while Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored four points.

Oshie said there’s plenty to take away from that game.

“I think (we take) what we did good - getting pucks deep, trying to wear their ‘D’ down and try to do it again tonight, but we expect a real big push from them,” he said. “We got the best of them that game. We always have great games, the score is rarely like that when we play San Jose.

“It’s going to be a good game tonight, it’s going to be tough, and we’ve got to be ready to drop the puck.”

Added Shattenkirk, “How successful we are at home, how well we play in this building - we look at it as a very exciting opportunity for us to make a little push here and catch some of these teams that are ahead of us. It’s such a tight division and such a tight conference, you have to use your home games to your advantage.

“We’re a team that plays well in Scottrade Center, and for us to let this slip away would be a real shame.”

POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 2:31 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blues Overtime Blog

GLENDALE - As the Blues get set to meet the Arizona Coyotes tonight (8 p.m., FSMW, KMOX), it’ll be Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie leading the way.

The Blues’ top line has contributed 20 points in their last five games. And while it’s Oshie and Steen showing up most on the score sheet, both are crediting Backes for making it happen.

“He’s creating so much space for us, it’s unbelievable,” Steen said of the Blues’ captain. “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 score sheet.”

Last week alone, Oshie led all NHL players with five goals and shared the League lead in points with seven. Saturday against San Jose, he netted his second career hat trick and his second career four-point game.

Steen also tallied seven points last week, recording an assist on Dec. 30 against Nashville, a goal and an assist Jan. 2 in Anaheim and a four-point game Saturday in San Jose.

“They play the game the right way. There’s no other way to describe it,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said of the Steen-Backes-Oshie line. “Between ‘pucks deep’ and ‘puck support’ and ‘second-man quick’, all of the terminology that we use, they do it. They’re a perfect example of the way we need to play to win, and I can trot them out all the time.

“It’s a good feeling from a coaching standpoint, knowing you’ve got your top players playing the right way every night, it really gives you something to follow.”

Added Oshie, “I think when we play together, we all seem to play the same way. It’s good. I think we compliment each other really well, and when all three guys are working, it just makes the game that much easier.”

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.


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

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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.”

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. “

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.

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.


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.


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 to sign up today!

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.”





1 NSH 64 41 16 7 192 155 89
2 ANA 64 40 17 7 189 177 87
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 64 32 20 12 179 172 76
6 VAN 62 36 23 3 180 167 75
7 MIN 62 33 22 7 176 161 73
8 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
9 LAK 62 29 21 12 166 162 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 63 27 26 10 196 210 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46


V. Tarasenko 63 31 30 27 61
A. Steen 61 19 32 6 51
J. Schwartz 56 20 27 13 47
T. Oshie 55 17 27 11 44
D. Backes 62 21 22 4 43
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 55 12 25 11 37
J. Lehtera 56 9 24 13 33
A. Pietrangelo 63 6 27 -2 33
P. Berglund 59 8 12 -2 20
B. Elliott 20 9 2 .921 2.20
J. Allen 17 6 3 .903 2.55

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