The good times are about to get better for the St. Louis Blues.
Sitting in third place overall and boasting the league’s best home record, the Blues will get some reinforcements tomorrow when Alex Steen and Kris Russell rejoin the lineup to face Edmonton.
Steen is the more prominent of the two returnees — prior to suffering a concussion, he was third on the team in scoring (still is, actually) with 13G-11A-24pts in 36 games. He also led the Blues in plus-minus (+20) and was second only to David Backes in terms of ice-time for forwards. According to Andy Strickland of St. Louis Fan 590 sports radio, Steen will be reunited with Backes and Chris Stewart, meaning the “kid line” of Patrik Berglund, TJ Oshie and David Perron will be back together as well.
The other returnee is Russell, a quality depth defenseman that has been out since Dec. 27 with a groin strain. Strickland reports that Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock thinks Russell is among the NHL’s best defensemen at evading the first forechecker — the shifty 5-foot-10, 172-pound blueliner has quick feet and is a good puck mover (he’s also third among all Blues defensemen in power-play time.)
These returns are big steps towards the overall health of the Blues organization. Once Steen and Russell return to the lineup, the only significant roster player missing will be center Andy McDonald, who has missed all but three games this year with a concussion.
It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.
Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.
(You can see that goal in the video above.)
Again, there were three fast goals overall, with Boston getting two of them. Here’s the Red Wings goal, which narrowly survived a review:
Things didn’t really slow down that much after that, as Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 for the Bruins.
Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.
When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.
The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.
You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.
Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).
We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.
People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.
You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.