Brodziak returned to the lineup Sunday after being a healthy scratch the previous game and scored a goal on three shots over 13:04 of ice time in a 3-0 blanking of the Avalanche. When Brodziak popped up as a healthy scratch for the first time this season last Friday, we wondered whether the decision was fueled by a desire to evaluate the team's younger talent over the final five weeks of the season. Apparently not. Ivan Barbashev and Zach Sanford were scratched Sunday in favor of Brodziak and Nail Yakupov. Ultimately, these are third and fourth-liners, so there's little fantasy value to be gleaned from these players, but we are curious about the direction of the organization. St. Louis currently sits in eighth place in the Western Conference and is one losing streak away from irrelevance.
Brodziak was a healthy scratch for Friday's 3-0 loss to the Jets. There wasn't much said about the decision, and St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong told the St. Louis Post-Disatch that the organization isn't "throwing in the towel," but the Blues have the whiff of a team that's playing out the string. Coach Mike Yeo had Ivan Barbashev centering the fourth line in place of the veteran Brodziak and newcomer Zach Sanford was active. Throw in youngster Magnus Paajarvi and it sure looks like Brodziak's playing time could take a hit while the organization pivots toward next season.
Brodziak had one shot and won nine of 14 faceoffs over 12 minutes of ice time in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Sabres. Brodziak returned a couple of weeks early from a foot injury and was back centering the fourth line. He was also back on the penalty-kill unit, a group that got plenty of work Saturday as nearly five minutes of Brodziak's ice time came with the Blues a man down.
Brodziak (foot) was activated from injured reserve Friday and is ready to return to the lineup starting on Saturday in Buffalo. Brodziak's speedy recovery gets him back into the St. Louis lineup two weeks earlier than originally expected. The injury kept the 32-year-old out of action for 10 games and in that time, the Blues have won seven games including the last six in a row. Maybe this uptick in productivity for the team as whole will help Brodziak's individual productivity when he returns to the lineup.
Brodziak is likely to miss at least five weeks with an injury to his right foot, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. A trip to IR for Brodziak seems inevitable; meanwhile, the versatile and industrious pivot will be replaced by Russian prospect Ivan Barbashev, who has been recalled from AHL Chicago. While Brodziak hadn't jumped off the page in any category, he managed 10 points in 47 games to complement 39 hits and 27 blocked shots, in spite of averaging a mere 10:11 of ice time -- that's efficient production for someone who was playing so sparingly.
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Last 7 Games
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