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Honored Numbers


Bob Plager #5
Position: Defense
Height: 5-11
Weight: 190
Shoots: Left
Born: Mar. 11, 1943, Kirkland Lake, Ont.


Bob Plager, along with his brother Barclay, had a profound impact on the birth of the St. Louis Blues. Rock solid on defense and among the fiercest competitors in all of hockey, Bob Plager became a local legend and a loyal ambassador of hockey in the community.

As a player, Bob lived for unity and team play. If someone tried to take advantage of a teammate, you could bet he’d have to answer to a Plager or two or three — brother Billy also played four seasons in St. Louis — before the game ended.

"Number 5 in your program, Number 1 in your hearts” was the self-proclaimed motto of Bob Plager. He came to the Blues from the New York Rangers in 1967 and spent 10 seasons on defense before turning to coaching and scouting. He started his 33rd season with the club in 2000, the longest continuous tenure of anyone in the organization.

Bob Plager was universally loved by the hockey-crazed fans who filled the St. Louis Arena in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His no-holds-barred play delighted fans, who sang "When the Blues Come Marching In" in those early years.

"We’d hear the fans singing and the hair on the back of your neck would stand up," recalled brother Barclay of the early days.

The Plager brothers were key elements to the Blues’ three consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup finals between 1967 and 1970 — the first three years of the franchise. Along with Hall of Famer Doug Harvey, tough guy Noel Picard and steady Al Arbour, the Blues were talented and deep on defense. They took great pride in keeping opposing offensive players at bay.

"We did anything to protect the goaltender," recalled Bob Plager. "The greatest time for us was the year we won the Vezina Trophy (in 1969). Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante were in goal and we only allowed 157 goals. That record will probably never be broken. Winning the Vezina was the finest reward anyone could get."

Bob was a savage hitter and fiery competitor. He was plagued by injuries early in his career and was the master of the hip check. He never took any lip from opponents during an era when tough players were the rule, rather than the exception.
Al Arbour, a close friend of the Plager brothers through the years, praised Bob’s ability to block shots.

"But he was also one of the best body checkers. It’s a lost art, the way he used to hit guys," recalls Arbour of Plager’s patented hip checks. "He’d throw his hip into someone and they’d go flying."

In 615 games with the Blues, Bob had 20 goals and 146 points. But aside from the legendary Bobby Orr, defensemen weren’t employed for their offensive prowess.

Bob was outgoing and loved to have fun off the ice and to this day is considered one of the all-time best quipsters in professional sports. But when it came time to play the games, no one wore the Bluenote with more pride and passion than Bob Plager.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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