Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The kids will return for an encore

Perron, Oshie, Berglund set to play together again Thursday vs. Edmonton

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- When they last had extensive time together, T.J. Oshie, David Perron and Patrik Berglund were helping the Blues surge into the playoffs three seasons ago.

Whether one wants to call them the 'Kid Line' or the 'BOP' Line, Blues fans in a sense have been clamoring for the trio to hit the ice together again.

Judging by the way coach Ken Hitchcock ran practice Wednesday at St. Louis Mills, the threesome appear poised to represent the Blues' second forward combination when the Blues host the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night.

"It's always fun playing with Osh and Bergy, but anyone on our team is fun to play with," Perron said.
(Getty Images)
T.J. Oshie (middle) and Patrik Berglund (right) will make up two-thirds of
the 'Kid Line' against Edmonton Thursday.

The three first-round picks of 2005 (Oshie), 2006 (Berglund) and 2007 (Perron), they were part of a wave of players dubbed the future when the Blues (27-12-6) were making critical decisions last decade that would decide their future.

And when they were introduced three years ago, there was instant magic between them.

"We do have chemistry, but I think it's more working hard and kind of getting in there and making plays," said Perron, who has 15 points in 20 games this season. "To me, we're just working hard and making it happen for each other out there. If someone's not playing as good, we pick him up and bring him along. It was like that two, three years ago when we played together. Hopefully, it comes right back to where it was."

With the imminent return of Alex Steen to the lineup against the Oilers (17-24-4), the Blues have some shuffling to do with their lines, particularly the top six forwards.

Hitchcock has some choices to make and wants to see what they can do together.

"I don't know that combination that well," Hitchcock admitted. "I just know that Oshie and Perron are good together. I'd like to reserve judgment until I see it. I've seen it two or three times at practice. It's looked good, but every time we seem to get to a game, something different happens. And then when we put Osh with (David) Backes, it was a good combination with Steen there. So I don't know that combination yet, but I know Oshie and Perron have tremendous chemistry together. That's a good sign."

Perron had his best season point-wise in 2008-09 with 50, Berglund broke into the league his rookie season with 21 goals and 47 points, while Oshie, who has 30 points in 43 games this season, had 39 points in 57 games that season.

"Over the years, I've played a lot with Bergy and it's about finding him in the slot and he's got that big shot," Perron said. "Me and Osh can make a lot of plays happen for him, too. It'll be good."

Just don't expect too much, too soon according to Berglund. They have to find that chemistry again.

"It would be fun, but it takes time to play with each other and to get to know each other again," said Berglund, who has 10 goals and 18 points in 45 games this season. "It was such a long time ago. It's not going to happen overnight for us to be unbelievable. We need some time to build on it, but obviously it would be exciting.

"We like playing with each other and it's a lot of skill on the line. I think we work hard for each other and help each other out."

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