Sunday, March 28, 2010


Berglund scratched for missing practice; Tkachuk's still got it

ST. LOUIS -- Settling an example, Blues coach Davis Payne stood firm on his decision to make an example out of forward Patrik Berglund.

The talented Swede missed Sunday's 2-1 victory over Edmonton because he missed Saturday's practice at Scottrade Center, as Payne said Berglund overslept.

The two met to discuss the matter, and it was decided that he would sit out Sunday's game, and further punishment would be forthcoming if deemed necessary.

"There's consequences to our actions," Payne said. "In that event, he broke a team rule and this was our decision to take him out of the lineup tonight. The rest of it will be internal, and that's all we're going to say out of it.

"We have standards. We have standards that apply on the ice, we have standards that apply off the ice, we have standards that apply in our locker room. We won't compromise those. We have to live up to them. This is part of what the message was today."

When asked if the message was delivered and put to rest, Payne said, "We're just getting done with today. We'll gather back here tomorrow and deal with tomorrow. We'll see where we sit from that point forward heading into (Tuesday's game with) Chicago."

* Still getting the job done -- Blues forward Keith Tkachuk, who turned 38 on Sunday, is the elder statesman in the Blues' locker room.

The wheels aren't what they used to be, but they still turn out critical plays -- and goals -- when the team needs him at his best.

'Big Walt' scored his 13th goal of the season and 538th of his career, which is 30th on the all-time goal-scoring list. He is just four goals shy of tying Chicago great Stan Mikita for 29th.

"You couldn't script it any better being his 38th birthday today and for him to get the game-winner ... obviously he's been around the league a long time," Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said. "I think it's a real special feeling for him and glad he got it done."

Tkachuk scored Sunday in typical style: with his back to the goal, using his stick for a redirection or taking a beating.

"Probably about 525," Tkachuk said when asked how many he's netted like Sunday's goal. "... You've got to teach these young guys how to go to the tough areas to score goals."

The players were razzing the 18-year veteran afterwards.

"He's the old man of the team. I don't know if he'll have to buy dinner for some of the guys because it's his birthday, but it's good to see him score," Blues defenseman Erik Johnson joked, who's 16 years younger at 22. "He's a big leader in our locker room and really helps us out. He's such a vocal guy who does so many things for our team. It's good to see him get rewarded."

When asked if Tkachuk's wheels were still motoring fast, Johnson laughed, "I don't want him to take the wrath out on me. He was flying out there."

Tkachuk, whose career began with the Winnipeg Jets in the 1991-92 season, recalled his days being a youngster watching the veterans of those teams.

"I was in awe of guys like Randy Carlyle and Mario Marois that they were playing hockey at that age, so now I'm that guy," Tkachuk said. "It's not too much fun."

Colaiacovo was asked if he sees himself playing when he's 38, to which he said, "I sure hope so. I'm hoping to chase down (Chris) Chelios (who's 48)."

* Cole shines -- Defenseman Ian Cole, the Blues' first round draft pick in 2007, is making quite the early impression with the team's AHL affiliate in Peoria.

After signing an amateur tryout contract last week to join the Rivermen, Cole has fit in quite nicely with one goal and three assists in three games.

* Fight king -- With teammate D.J. King standing next to him, Colaiacovo was asked about his fighting prowess.

Colaiacovo, not known to throw down the gloves, fought Edmonton's Marc Pouliot and gave the crowd something to cheer about with a clean right to the Oilers' center's jaw.

"Sometimes, you just get lucky when you're in that situation," Colaiacovo said. "And there's no better feeling when the fans respond the way they did."

King laughed when hearing Colaiacovo say he watches him and Cam Janssen duking it out in practice.

"I always get pointers from (King)," Colaiacovo said. "I always see him and Janz duking it out in at the end of practice. I'm in there listening to stuff."

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