The St. Louis Blues are continuing to get healthier, as Patrik Berglund has been cleared by team doctors. Berglund missed the first 24 games this season due to a shoulder injury he suffered during training this last offseason. Berglund will make his season debut tonight against the Anaheim Ducks, as he is expected to center the third line for the Blues. Berglund was the Blues only player outside of Vladimir Tarasenko to score at least 20 goals last season, as he netted a career high 23. Berglund has also had a faceoff winning percentage of over 50% each of the last two seasons. Berglund’s presence should help improve the Blues’ scoring outside of the top two lines.
Berglund has been an integral player on the Blues roster for quite some time now, as he has been with the team since his rookie year, the 2008-09 season. The only players still on the Blues roster currently who were on the team then are Alex Pietrangelo and Alexander Steen. Berglund typically was the Blues second line center, but with Brayden Schenn and veteran Paul Stastny taking duties on the first two lines, this will push Berglund to the third line. This will add a veteran centerman on the third line, which should increase production on the wings as well. Berglund was paired on the third line with Dmitrij Jaskin on the left wing and Sammy Blais on the right wing during practice yesterday.
The Blues get most of their scoring from the first two lines, and have had trouble getting the third line to produce. The fourth line with Scottie Upshall, Kyle Brodziak, and Chris Thorburn has even been more productive offensively lately than the combinations made on the third line. Berglund is an experienced two-way center, and his addition to the roster while the Blues are already rolling will make the team even more dangerous than they already are.