Friday, February 17, 2017


Brodziak activated, Megan assigned to Wolves; no 
update on Stastny; Blues look to keep rolling in Buffalo

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues on Friday activated center Kyle Brodziak from injured-reserve and assigned center Wade Megan to the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.

The news comes as a bit of surprise since when Brodziak sustained a right foot injury Jan. 24 blocking a shot against the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was announced that he would be reevaluated in five weeks, which would have roughly put his timeline around March 1.

Brodziak missed 10 games and will return to his customary position of centering the fourth line between Scottie Upshall and Ryan Reaves; the Blues (31-22-5), who are currently on a season-high six-game winning streak, went 7-3-0 in Brodziak's absence.

Brodziak, who likely returns Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres, has 10 points (six goals and four assists) in 47 games this season.

Megan, who centered the fourth line in victories Wednesday over Detroit and Thursday over Vancouver, has played in three games and scored his first NHL goal in his first game Dec. 22 at Tampa Bay.

The Blues departed for Buffalo Friday afternoon and there was no word on whether Paul Stastny, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury, will rejoin the lineup.

* A perfect six-pack (of wins) -- The Blues will look for a lucky seven when they go back on the road for a quick trip Saturday to face the Sabres (25-23-10) at noon (FS-MW, KMOX 1120-AM).

And in this six-game winning streak, their longest since winning six straight from Feb. 28-March 12, 2016 in search of their first seven-game winning streak since Jan. 17-Feb. 5, 2015, they've been able to win in different ways.

Besides the goaltending, which has been fantastic since Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 1, the Blues have stiffened up defensively and outscored the opposition 20-6 in this 6-0-0 run.

And they continue to take each and every opponent with respect and of the utmost importance.

"Yeah, you don't win six games in a row without that happening," Yeo said. "What's really important for me is I know that that's going to be another hard game. The way that I've seen Buffalo play lately, it's going to be a challenge for us. The biggest part of that challenge is that we don't start feeling too good about ourselves about what we've done and that we recognize all the little things, whether it's the blocked shots, the little plays and the little things and the sacrifice and the committment to the game that we're playing, and that's why we're having success."

* Shot blocking experts -- The Blues blocked 20 or more shots in the first four of six games under Yeo. The past two, they went for 16 in Detroit Wednesday and 19 against Vancouver on Thursday.

It still averages out to be 18.5 blocks per game and included a season-high 24 against Montreal on Feb. 11.

"Desperation," Yeo said. "I think recognizing that every play could be the difference in the hockey game and that's what we continue to try and build. It could be a blocked shot one shift, it could be the mentality and the focus that you go in with a faceoff at a certain time of the game, too. 

"Every play matters and every play ... all those little plays ad up to be the difference in the game. What I like about it right now is we keep talking about it night after night and it's a different guy. Every night, it's been somebody different. (Thursday night), Bergy and Parayko, two guys sacrifice their bodies and we can kkeep going back over the games and it's somebody every night. That's what happens. I've said this before, if you see somebody doing that for you, you feel like you owe it to them."

"We're just so much more compact, it's making it easier to block shots than it was before," sid goalie Jake Allen, who is 4-0-0 his past four starts and 5-1-0 in February after going 1-4-0 in January. "I think before we were spread out a lot more and it was tougher to get in lanes. Now we're right there. We have big bodies in the backend and a lot of times pucks just hit our big guys there."

And for Yeo who is off to the best start in franchise history for a coaching career, he won't take any of the credit.

"It's the players," he said. "Their focus, their commitment. For me, I've always been a big believer in you can't just flip a switch once the game starts. I think that the mentality that we've had day in and day out ... we come to the rink, we try to get better. Whatever the result was the day before, if we win, we lose, whatever, we want to come back the next day and we want to start preparing. We want to start getting ready for the next one and when you do that, the puck drops, more often than not you're ready to go."

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