Jaden Schwartz

Blues’ Schwartz says getting the ‘bounces’ helping his offense

St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz is entering his second full season in the NHL and he’s turned into quite the offensive producer for them.

Schwartz already has a career-high 17 points this season (he had 15 in 48 games last year) and has been getting rave reviews from coach Ken Hitchcock all year. Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch finds out from Schwartz he’s not really doing anything different.

“Sometimes you get some bounces and sometimes you don’t,” Schwartz said. “But I think I’ve been working hard to contribute in the O-zone and I’ve been able to get some pucks through traffic.”

Hitchcock says Schwartz “plays a complete game” and that will help him stay in the lineup regardless. With six goals, he’s one away from his career-high there. His improved game should have the Blues feeling even better about drafting him 14th overall in 2010.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?