Berglund back on ice, apologizes for missing
practice; Blackhawks in town tonight
By LOUIE KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- Patrik Berglund was back on the ice for the Blues on Monday morning and he most certainly has learned a hard lesson.
Berglund was scratched for Sunday's 2-1 win over Edmonton by Blues coach Davis Payne because he missed Saturday's practice. Berglund and Payne both said the 21-year-old overslept.
Berglund, who has 13 goals and 11 assists in 67 games this season, apologized to his teammates for the transgression.
"Obviously, I let down my teammates, didn't show up to practice. I overslept, so ... it's team rules and team fines," Berglund said. "Whatever they decided they're going to do, we'll move on from there. It's my responsibility and I accept the consequences obviously."
Berglund participated in today's practice and took in some tough love from Payne and teammates. His intensity level was high in many instances, and it shows a sign that he's ready to get back on par with his teammates.
"It's nothing you want to have on your record," Berglund said. "I'm very disappointed in myself. It's going to take a long time for me to get over what happened. But I have good teammates and this is a really good organization and I know I will be fine."
Berglund has gotten the support from his teammates and everyone is ready to move forward.
"The situation has been dealt with," Blues captain Eric Brewer said. "It's certainly not a situation that he likes. We're just really, to be honest, moving forward. He's good, we're all good, and we'll just carry on."
Payne said Monday that a decision as to whether Berglund will return for tonight's game against Chicago has not been made, but the anticipation is he will be back.
"We've had our talks and we'll move on from here," Berglund said.
* Polak update -- Blues defenseman Roman Polak was the only player not to skate at today's practice at Scottrade Center, as he's still nursing a sore right shoulder sustained at New Jersey on March 20 that caused him to miss two games.
Polak, 23, did return to play in the last two games but was dinged up a bit again in Sunday's win over Edmonton.
"Upper-body, but it's more of a maintenance thing so we can have him ready to go tomorrow," Payne said.
When asked if he expects Polak to play tonight, Payne said, "That's what we're anticipating."
* Scouting the Blackhawks -- The Blues and Blackhawks will renew their I-55 rivalry when the puck drops at 7 p.m. today (Versus, KMOX 1120-AM) at Scottrade Center.
The Hawks, who have cooled off a bit after playing among the upper echelon teams in the league, are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games but still have 99 points on the season at 46-21-7 and have secured a playoff berth.
The Hawks lead the season series with the Blues 3-1-0, including 2-0-0 in St. Louis.
"They've obviously got a lot of talent up front," said Payne, whose first game as coach of the Blues was against Chicago Jan. 2. "They have four lines that can score and contribute at any given moment. We have to be disciplined in that regard. They also play with a real good transition game. But I think part of the thing that is most impressive when we watch Chicago is how hard they pressure from behind. It gives their D a real strong ability to play tight gaps and if we're not disciplined with our puck possessions and making sure we're going forward, it kind of feeds their transition game."
Chicago, which comes in off back-to-back losses against Columbus, seem to be heading down the stretch with goaltending issues with both Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi.
"I know when we watch them, we still consider them a very dangerous team, a quality team, a very skilled, a very fast team," Payne said. "Even if they haven't had the results they've wanted, right now they're still a 100-point hockey club that's still in the playoffs and have Stanley Cup aspirations. We've got to make sure that we're ready."
* Ending tidbits -- The Blues, who come into tonight's game with a mark of 36-30-9, good for 81 points, have the same record they had a season ago at this time. But last season, the Blues were tied for eighth in the Western Conference with Edmonton. This year, they trail eighth-place Colorado by eight points and are currently 10th. ... Blues goalie Ty Conklin turns 34 today. ... After tonight's game, the Blues will have six games left, three at home (Saturday vs. Dallas, April 5 vs. Columbus and April 9 vs. Anaheim) and three on the road (Thursday at Nashville, April 7 at Chicago and April 10 at Nashville).