Thursday, March 31, 2011


Jackman, Steen timetable unknown; Janssen gets offensive in Detroit

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- T.J. Oshie wasn't the only one that got back on the ice. A pair of injured teammates continue to climb the trek towards a recovery.

It's still unknown if defenseman Barret Jackman (broken index finger) and winger Alex Steen (high ankle sprain) will see the ice in any of the remaining five games on the schedule, but the two continue to rehab in hopes of playing at some point this season.

Both players were injured on March 9 in Columbus and were initially diagnosed to be out 4-6 weeks.

"No timetable," Blues coach Davis Payne said of his two veteran players. "Obviously another good day for both of them. Faster progress than we thought.
"We take each day as it goes. ... I don't know what the timetable for either guy is right now."

* Janssen the point-producer -- Cam Janssen is known more to produce with his fists than with his stick. The Eureka, Mo. native is always looking to get the hometown fans revved up.

So when Janssen scored his first goal in 115 games -- his third career goal -- in Wednesday's record-setting 10-3 victory in Detroit, it was an eye-opener in many ways.

But not only did Janssen produce a goal, he added an assist for his first multi-point game of his career.

"I don't care if it went off my shin pad, my face or whatever the case," Janssen joked about his goal. "I just opened the floodgates."

Who would have ever imagined Janssen would be missing a fight to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick, which consists of a goal, assist and a fight in the same game.

Janssen was asked if the odds are better hitting the lottery than being a fight short for the Howe hatty.

"I am going to go to the gas station and pick up a lottery ticket just in case," Janssen kidded Thursday. "Just see what happens.

"I was definitely going to look for a fight there at the end, but I didn't get another shift."

The officials went to a review to see if Janssen didn't kick the puck into the net. It was obvious it went in off his shin pad, so what would have happened had the officials reversed the call?

"I probably would have jumped the boards and got suspended because I would have lost my mind," Janssen said. "I already got one point taken away from me this year, I don't want another one. The boys were calming me down on the bench, but until (the official) pointed to center ice, I was losing my mind."

* Role players step up -- A number of stats were revisited during the Blues' 10-3 win at Detroit, but a big reason why the Blues were able to score the most goals in franchise history at Joe Louis Arena: their third- and fourth-line players.

The Blues received 10 points from their role players, who include Chris Porter (two goals, assist), Janssen (goal, assist), Adam Cracknell (assist), B.J. Crombeen (goal, assist), Ryan Reaves (assist) and Philip McRae (assist).

It was indeed a rarity, something Payne said he'd never seen.

"Not to that level," Payne said. "I don't know what the odds were on the superfecta to that one.
"... You talk about the guys who did contribute that night, tough to predict, but in games, especially on the road, and as the season goes down into playoff situations, role guys have to contribute. This is where games are won and lost. We can pick up a lot of points in those situations when those guys are contributing."

It was probably the third period when Payne finally felt good about what was going on, considering the Red Wings' firepower.

"You never really feel like you're far enough away," Payne said. "It was important to us, like it has been, to continue to work within the structure, work with the right kind of effort. This is what will drive our success going forward.

"To win all three periods when it seemed like we had enough of a lead that you could throttle back a little bit, I think our guys stayed with it, stayed smart, stayed with decisions. You leave there with a good feeling. You don't get to do that too often against that hockey team."

* Blues host Flames -- The Blues (35-32-10) play host to the Calgary Flames (38-29-11) at 7 p.m. today and will be looking for their first win against Calgary this season.

Not only will the blues be looking to beat the Flames for the first time, they'll also be looking for their first goal against the Flames after being blanked in two previous meetings this season.

Calgary owns two shutout wins over the Blues, winning 1-0 in Calgary on Feb. 27 and embarrassing the Blues 6-0 here at Scottrade Center on March 1. They also beat them 4-1 Jan. 26.

Calgary is three points behind eighth-place Chicago in the race for the playoffs. The Blues will be officially eliminated with a regulation loss or a Chicago win or overtime/shootout point.

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