CONSISTENCY COMING FROM THE 4TH LINE
33-year-old Kyle Brodziak has scored 9 goals and has registered 11 assists in 62 games this season. He holds a +11 rating which is good for 5th on the Blues’ roster. Now in his 13th season; The savvy veteran has competed in 828 career NHL games. Actually, only Jay Bouwmeester and Alexander Steen have more contests under their belts than Brodziak. Kyle is on pace to set a career high in the plus/minus category. Previously, he ended his 2008-2009 campaign in Edmonton with a +4. We’ll see what happens.
Each time we watch #28 play; We get the same show. He is a quality player that can be counted on to show up every night and do his job. In fact, I feel he is one of the most consistent players on this St. Louis Blues club. Kyle Brodziak and line-mate Scottie Upshall work so well together. They’re always on the same page and they both play smart hockey. The two are set in stone on that 4th line and I couldn’t agree more with Head Coach, Mike Yeo for keeping them there together.
Scottie Upshall plays to the left of Kyle Brodziak and he’s a perfect fit. He’s 34 years old and also works his tail off night in and night out, giving it everything he has. Upshall has scored 6 goals and has tallied 11 assists for 17 points in 58 games this season. Last year, Scottie registered 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 total points for the Blues in 73 contests. I’d say he’s on pace for his most productive season yet for the Blues. If you do the math, Brodziak and Upshall have combined for 37 points this season.
GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
These two players may go unnoticed to the average spectator because they lack star-power, but if you’re a true Blues fan, you see them hustling and you appreciate it. I’m used to seeing # 9 out there skating as fast as he can each shift, attacking the net every chance he gets, and he’s constantly in on the forecheck. He’s just a fundamentally sound competitor that plays like he wants to win every game. I’m very impressed with players that can jump off the bench and play so well. I consider Upshall to be very valuable to this team, and the Blues are fortunate to have ended up with him.
Kyle Brodziak has one heck of a shot, and he doesn’t hesitate to put the puck on goal. Sometimes I think the rest of the team could take some lessons from these guys. Don’t get me wrong. Brodziak and Upshall are not offensive-minded players by any means, but they’re always taking the necessary steps to create opportunities with the little ice-time that they’re given. Both play around 10-13 minutes per game.
I just wanted to appreciate these two adequate hockey players today because they don’t waste my time. Everyone has an off game here and there, but for the most part, you get your money’s worth with Upshall and Brodziak. It’s a work ethic that I’m hoping will rub off on the rest of the club. These younger players on this team are lucky to have Scottie and Kyle on their squad. In my opinion, they lead by example. I’m not saying they deserve letters. I’m just saying that they are both complete veterans.