Saturday, May 7, 2016

Edmundson glad to be back in lineup for Game 5

Defenseman didn't know what to expect after turnover in Game 4

DALLAS -- Joel Edmundson didn't know what would happen when he showed up for work Saturday morning.

The Blues' rookie defenseman, even though he played after a turnover that led to the Dallas Stars' first goal in Game 4 Thursday, wasn't sure if he'd see his name on the board for the game lineup for Game 5 Saturday afternoon.

When he saw it, it was a burden lifted off Edmundson's shoulders.

"I think that kind of gave me an actual boost," Edmundson said after the Blues' 4-1 win Saturday in Game 5. "When I came to the rink today, I wasn't sure whether I was in or not. Seeing my name up on the board kind of gave me a little boost and I knew the guys believed in me."

It was the right call for the Blues.

Edmundson has been instrumental for the blue line his first season, along with fellow rookie Colton Parayko, and one mistake won't define the player he is and can become.

That's the message that coaches, particularly associate coach Brad Shaw, and teammates tried conveying to Edmundson.

"I had all the support in the world from the coaches and the team," said Edmundson, who played 12:51. "I was still really hard on myself. I have high expectations of myself. I didn't really like my past two games, but I'm just glad the other guys came together tonight and we got the win.

"I felt a lot better today than I did last game. Still, I made way too many mistakes for my liking. If I get in the next game, I'm just hoping to play good and get the win."

Edmundson knows mistakes will happen, and he will learn from them. That's the key.

"All the guys said they've all had that in their career happen once in a while," Edmundson said. "Something I'll probably never forget, but I'm just glad we got the win today, go back and get the next win."

One of those players was linemate and fellow defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

"It was a play he's doing what our system asks for," Shattenkirk said. "We want to get pucks up quickly, especially when we seem to have a team that, in the second period, we can catch them on that change and we try to get pucks up to the forwards quickly so we can get back on the offense. It was one of those ones where, it happens, it was a mistake, it was a turnover. I'd like to see him get out there a little more after that and build that confidence up. We're there for him. I told him he's been playing great up until that point. You can't look at one play over the past four games and focus on that. He's made countless more good plays before that that have been the staple of his game. I think that's something he'll be able to erase out of his mind."

And as coach Ken Hitchcock said, a short memory is imperative.

"I try to have a short memory, but it's the NHL playoffs; it's kind of hard to forget that one," Edmundson said. "I had lots of angry tweets at and all that at me, but what can you do? That's just the hockey fans for you. I tried to have a short memory and that's the good thing about the playoffs, there's a game the next day."

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