Sunday, September 20, 2015


Ott, Pietrangelo tangle; Schwartz, Fabbri trying new positions; Ewen mourned

ST. LOUIS -- Steve Ott could only joke about it. 

It's training camp and that's why some tempers get fully blown, but in this case with Ott and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, there was a little bit of heat but more in the playful manner.

During a scrimmage Sunday morning, Ott and Pietrangelo got involved in a bit of a tangle after Pietrangelo slashed the stick out of Ott's hands. 

Ott went to the Blues' defenseman and tried knocking his stick out of his hands to make it an even battle on the ice during the scrimmage.

"That's all fun," Ott said. "I'm going to play hard against him, he's going to play hard against me, especially training camp. He's the type of guy that can embarrass me pretty quickly with his good hands. I'm going to play him hard just like he would do to me."

Ott looked like he tried to playfully get his teammate to drop the gloves.

"We thought about having a friendly fight out there and then I figured if something happened, I'll tell you who the guy that's going to be getting in trouble, and it's not him," Ott joked. "So I thought it was a good idea to let's just hang out."

The play started before Pietrangelo knocked Ott's stick out of his hands.

Apparently, Ott laid a check on Pietrangelo, which prompted the next series of events.

"Yeah, I think you missed the play before when he was laying on the ice from a little body check," Ott joked. "It was all good. It's all fun, good stuff. Veteran on veteran stuff."

* Schwartz, Fabbri trying new roles -- Robby Fabbri is a center by trade, but when he came to training camp a season ago, he was experimenting playing on left wing.

Coach Ken Hitchcock is doing it again with the Blues' 2014 first-round pick this year, too.

But Hitchcock is also getting a look at Jaden Schwartz, a left wing by trade, but looking at him at center.

Schwartz has been centering a line with David Backes on right wing and Fabbri on the left and looking quite comfortable doing so.

"It's really good," Hitchcock said of Schwartz playing the middle. "It's quickness, speed, tempo through the middle of the ice, playmaking ability. Looking more and more comfortable every time he goes out on the ice."

As for Fabbri, the Blues are trying to simplify as much as they can for him.

"We prefer him on the wing right now," Hitchcock said of Fabbri. "There's less responsibility so he can just go out and play."

* Mourning loss of Todd Ewen -- Former Blue Todd Ewen, who played 124 games for the Blues from 1986-90, died Saturday. He was 49.

Ewen was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1984 but was traded to the Blues for Shawn Evans in 1986 before the Blues traded him to the Montreal Canadiens in 1990. He won a Stanley Cup in 1993 with the Canadiens.

Ewen, one of the tougher enforcers during his 11-year playing career, lived in St. Louis, coached and was a member of the Blues' alumni.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Blue Todd Ewen," Blues owner Tom Stillman said in a statement Sunday. "Todd was an outstanding individual who called St. Louis home and continued to devote much of his time to the game he loved. On behalf of the entire St. Louis Blues organization, our thoughts and prayers are with the Ewen family during this most difficult time."

* Injury update -- Goalie Jake Allen was back on the ice Sunday after experiencing back spasms Saturday and was removed for precautionary reasons.

Forwards Ryan Reaves and Yannick Veilleux, injured after a Veilleux hit on Reaves during Friday practice, did not skate for a second straight day.

"We expect Reaves and Veilleux to skate in some form tomorrow," Hitchcock said after Sunday skates. 

Robert Bortuzzo, who was limited Saturday, took part in practice but was removed for the scrimmage portion.

"I'm not sure," Hitchcock said of Bortuzzo's removal. "There was really a coaches call on that. He went through the whole day yesterday and I don't know if they just pulled him out for the scrimmage part. It's still kind of him working on it with (head trainer) Ray (Barile) right now."

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