After the St. Louis Blues’ morning skate on Monday morning, coach Ken Hitchcock confirmed that the lines used during that workout would be the same ones used for Game 3 of the team’s series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
The most significant change is the removal of David Backes from the lineup as he recovers from an injury caused by Chicago’s Brent Seabrook illegally hitting him during Game 2 on Saturday. On a positive note, Backes flew to Chicago with the team, but there’s no definite timetable for his return.
On a much more positive note, the Blues will get center Patrik Berglund back on Monday. While Berglund did not have the greatest season statistically, registering only 32 points, his 6-foot-3, 217-pound body provides a major presence. Additionally, Beglund has experienced a fair amount of success against the Blackhawks this year, namely when he notched a goal and assist in the Blues’ thrilling 6-5 defeat of Chicago on December 28.
As a consequence of Berglund’s return, center Derek Roy comes out of the lineup. The 5-foot-9, 184-pound Roy has largely been a disappointment this season, and while he did make a few positive contributions in Game 2, Berglund’s size and defensive ability should provide a definite upgrade to the Blues’ lineup.
In addition, veteran forward Brenden Morrow will return to the lineup after sitting out Game 2 due to a foot injury. Because of the short time in between Game 1 and Game 2 for the Blues, it was not completely clear whether Morrow had sat out purely because of the injury or whether performance issues factored into the decision as well. But while he has not been the dominant scoring threat that he was in years past, Morrow’s grittiness and playoff experience will make him a valuable part of the lineup going forward, especially in the hectic road environment of Chicago’s United Center. So while Backes’s absence will undoubtedly be a detriment to the Blues, the return of Morrow and Berglund should be a positive on Monday night.
Tags: St. Louis Blues