Both Jordan Schmaltz and Petteri Lindbohm were together with the Chicago Wolves roughly 3-4 weeks ago, and on Sunday in arguably the most important game of the regular season to date, they formed the Blues' third defensive pair.
And both came through with flying colors.
Schmaltz played 13 minutes, 49 seconds in the game and Lindbohm played 13:57. Both would have received more minutes had it not been for the penalty-infested game in the first period with the Blues having to kill a pair of lengthy 5-on-3's.
"The first period or even like the first 15 minutes was weird with all those penalties and all those 5-on-3's so it was tough for us to get into the game," Schmaltz said. "Once we kind of got our feet wet, got playing a little more, especially in the third there, we finished strong. ... I don't think we did too much offensively, but I don't think we gave up much either. Being the third pair, you've got to be simple, you've got to be hard but at the same time, you've got to make plays. I felt we did a decent job of that."
Neither factored in the scoring but both were effective defensively.
"We did our job and we won the game," Lindbohm said. "That's the most important thing. We play a little bit in Chicago together. It's easy to play with him. He's a good player and we have fun."
The fact that Schmaltz and Lindbohm have played together with the Wolves was a plus, but Yeo felt comfortable playing them together regardless.
""It was nice, but that was not the reason," Yeo said. "We wanted to keep our top four the same, that was the biggest thing for us and that obviously gave those guys an opportunity to play together. I would say if they were struggling through the course of the game, then you probably would have seen more mixing and matching to protect them with a more veteran presence in player, but that wasn't the case. Those guys were doing a nice job for us, even saw some shifts 4-on-4 and had some key shifts against top lines. It certainly didn't feel like we had to hide them out there."
Lindbohm was recalled Saturday under emergency conditions with Bortuzzo, who did not skate Monday, on the shelf day-to-day.
"Yeah, it's always a good thing," Lindbohm said of the recall. "This is where I want to play.
"The team is doing really well. The guys are happy and they're doing well. For me it's easier to get in and just do my best out there to help the team."
By LOU KORAC "We've got a great opportunity here," said goalie "It certainly should be," Blues coach "I think it's been that way for a while," defenseman On the bus ride over to the morning skate, Blues rookies Jordan Schmaltz and Ivan Barbashev were given a crash course in kids' jokes and riddles by none other than The Blues will go with the same 18 skaters tonight, which means defenseman Avalanche center Jost will be the second player this week to make his NHL debut against the Blues after Swansea, Ill.