ST. LOUIS -- The Big Swede is on the cusp of rejoining the Blues lineup.
Center Patrik Berglund could rejoin the Blues' lineup, perhaps as early as Wednesday when the 17-6-1 Blues host the Anaheim Ducks.
Berglund, who dislocated his left shoulder while pulling a training sled in the off-season in his native Sweden, has been skating for weeks with the team, including morning skates. But on Monday, coach Mike Yeo finally put Berglund on a line, centering the third line flanked by wingers Dmitrij Jaskin and Sammy Blais.
When asked if he could play Wednesday, Berglund said: "We'll see. Yeah, maybe, maybe not. We'll see. I don't know yet what the plan is. I'm just trying to get in shape and work on my conditioning and strength and try to really get in there and get used to the competition again, so we'll see.
"It's just get used to competing again on a high level. I've been skating a whole lot for a long time. It's nothing like it to get out there and compete again. I've got to still work on that and see when I'm ready."
Berglund, who had a career-high 23 goals last season, would be a welcomed addition to a line that has sorely needed some offense.
"I thought that he had another good day," Yeo said of Berglund. "He's showing a lot of the qualities that we love to see in him, and that's obviously the big frame and the skating ability. It's going to take him a little time timing-wise, but what I like is that we had an opportunity to put him on a line to get full reps and to get involved.
"He's got to get out there and medically, we feel confident obviously to put him out there that the shoulder's ready. Now it's just a matter of building that confidence in it and building up the conditioning and the timing part of it so that he feels he can come in and contribute the way we want him to."
The initial time frame for Berglund was a re-evaluation in mid-December and go from there, but obviously, that's been moved up by the positive progress.
If Berglund doesn't play Wednesday, there was some talk last week that a target date could come on Dec. 1, which is Friday against the Los Angeles Kings.
"Yeah, I would say there's a chance," Yeo said. "The first step is we have to get through these first couple practices here first. Tomorrow, we'll put him on a line so that he's getting full reps and the linemates and the feel that he would need to feel confident coming into the game.
"He's a heck of a player. He was a real strong player for us last year, he's done it year after year for us. I think he contributes to the identity of our team, which makes us a hard team to play against. He does it on both sides of the puck. He's got a physical element to him. He's got size, but he's also got speed and ability to carry the puck through the middle of the ice, play in the offensive zone. He's the kind of player that helps you get to your game."
Berglund's teammates agree.
"It's always good to have a guy with that kind of impact back into the lineup," captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "He looks fresh, he looks excited, he's got a jump in his step and he's hard to handle, at least in practice. Any time you can have a centerman that can come in and play the way he does, it's going to be a good addition."
Getting Berglund in on a line combination was almost the final step of feeling like part of the group again, along with the contact drills to really test the shoulder.
"I feel like no one was going easy on me out there today and I don't want them to either," Berglund said. "I want to feel that competitive standard and see where I am at and how strong I am on the boards and so on. I think it's the last step right before you feel confident to go out there and play a game. It's moving along and it's all good so far."
In 637 NHL games over nine seasons, Berglund has 296 points (151 goals, 145 assists).
* NOTES -- Blues center Brayden Schenn was a noticeable absentee from practice today. Schenn was walking around the locker room Monday and appeared to be OK.
"'Schenner's going to be OK," Yeo said. "We just kept him off today."
In practice Monday, Oskar Sundqvist was skating in Schenn's spot between Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Also, wing Magnus Paajarvi, who took a puck off his foot in a 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday that forced him to miss Saturday's 6-3 win over the Minnesota Wild, was back on the ice Monday.