St. Louis Blues Lose Players But Gain a Future

Summer is in full swing, so most are thinking about swimming in the water rather than skating on it, but the NHL season is actually in the making right now, and the St. Louis Blues are hot with action.

After a season that concluded with two series wins in the Stanley Cup playoffs, coach Hitchcock’s skill managed a roster that had been ripe with injuries throughout the season. Team orthopedic doctors, the sports medicine specialists, and player determination salvaged what could have been a disastrous season. Instead the Blues dispatched the defending-champion Chicago Black Hawks in the first round and the pesky Dallas Stars in the second, to move into the conference finals for the first time since 2001. All in all, the Blues made St. Louis proud.

However, free agent departures of Scottie Upshall, Steve Ott, Kyle Brodziak, Troy Brouwer, and captain David Backes raise significant questions for the 2016-2017 campaign. According to The Hockey News, Backes’ time may have been up, given his contract expectations. Blues fans are sorry to see him go.

Not to worry. The young talent on the Blues is brimming, and every team goes through regenerative growth processes. Not only will Hitchcok remain behind the bench but also he will have young players such as Jaden Schwartz, Dmitrij Jaskin, and Robby Fabri to combine with veterans Alexander Steen and Patrik Berglund to buzz the net on offense.

On the blue line, Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo are moving into leadership roles, and, while the question about Kevin Shattenkirk remaining with the team hangs over our boys in blue, he still has his spot on the power play and the roster.

Perhaps most thrilling are the two prospects, center Ivan Barbashev and defenseman Jake Walman. Certainly, NHL scouts tout both as top-35 prospects from 2016, but Walman comes from the Providence Friars with an NCAA national championship under his belt. He looks to be one of the next super-special, forward-leaning defensemen, like the Philadelphia Flyer’s newest star Shayne Gotisbehere, who came from Union College after winning the NCAA championship in 2014.

In short, the 2016-2017 season promises to be as exciting as the weather is hot in St Louis this summer. Look for the seasoned veterans to mix with unbridled young talent, and if you need orthopedic care to stay healthy and fulfill your promise, contact us here at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine.

St. Louis Blue Playoffs Run

St. Louis hockey fans have reason to be excited as the St. Louis Blues continue an exciting playoff run. The Blues have made it to the second round of the NHL playoffs, now battling against the Dallas Stars after knocking off the 2015 Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blues are seeking their first ever Stanley Cup Championship.

The Blues won a thrilling 7-game series against the Blackhawks, winning game 7 of the series 3-2. The Blues were led by Vladimir Tarasenko with four goals in the series, and some outstanding play from goalkeeper Brian Elliot, who made 236 saves on 254 shots during the series.

The round two series against Dallas is proving to be an exciting one, with two games that have gone into overtime, and some big wins for the Blues on two occasions: 4-1 and 6-1.

The Blues have avoided injuries thus far in the playoffs, and will welcome back forward Steve Ott to the lineup for game six against the Stars. Ott ripped his hamstring after an awkward collision against the boards during a game back in December. The Blues were extremely supportive of Ott as he recovered, paying him visits and sending gifts. Just as Ott was ready to begin playing again in April, he was diagnosed with Colitis, an inflammation of the inner colon, and was unable to play for another two weeks. But now Ott is ready to go for this series against the Stars.

Join us in cheering on the Blues this playoff season! If you have suffered from a hockey injury or any other sports injury, contact us at Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine and let us help you get back in the game.

Cardinals Like What They See in Oh, Hazelbaker

The St. Louis Cardinals, with a record of 16-16 as of May 9, aren’t off to the most torrid start they’ve ever seen, but newcomers Seung Hwan Oh and Jeremy Hazelbaker are giving them plenty of reasons to feel optimistic. In the first few weeks of the season, the pair have already made a splash in the St. Louis sports news scene. With starts like theirs, Cardinal fans and players alike are asking, “Who are these guys, and are they for real?”

Meet Mr. Oh

Seung Whan, pronounced sewn-whan, is a native of South Korea. His calm demeanor on the mound earned him the nickname “Stone Buddha.” He signed with the Cards in the offseason after playing the last two seasons in Japan, where he established himself as a force in the bullpen. In 2015, he broke his own Japanese Central League saves record with 41 and made the All-Star team.

Despite such prowess, nobody around Cardinal land knew what to expect of Oh as a rookie in Major League Baseball. Success playing abroad is one thing, but how would he fare in the Major Leagues facing unfamiliar hitters? The early results are in, judge for yourself:

  • 20 strikeouts in 16 and 1/3 innings
  • Team-leading 1.65 ERA
  • No home runs allowed
  • .158 opponent’s batting average

Looks like he has the Cardinals’ brass singing, “Oh say, can you stay?”

Meet Mr. Hazelbaker

At 28, Jeremy Hazelbaker has finally arrived in the Big Show. Drafted by the Red Sox in 2009, he spent the last seven seasons bouncing around the Minors. The Cards selected his contract from AAA Memphis just before the season began, and he’s not wasting any time in confirming that their decision was a good one.

Thus far, the center-fielder has clubbed six home runs, knocked in 14 and is hitting an eyebrow-raising .297, significantly better than his career .264 average in the Minors. On April 11 against the Brewers, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, including a double and a triple.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” he replied when asked how he feels after making it to the Majors. “It’s been a long journey, quite a journey. It’s finally paid off.”

Congratulations Seung Hwan Oh and Jeremy Hazelbaker. Here’s to your continued health and success!

At Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine, your health and mobility is our priority. If you are suffering from an orthopedic or sports injury, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Will St. Louis be the “Soccer Capital of America?”

Soccer Capital of America, Soccer in St. Louis, Creve Couer Park, Stl Soccer Town

There are some big developments in St. Louis sports news lately for soccer fans. St. Louis County has announced plans for a state-of-the-art soccer tournament destination at Creve Couer park, and there’s also speculation that the MLS is searching for a stadium site in St. Louis.

First, let’s talk about the soccer complex at Creve Couer park. Plans call for 13 fields covered in artificial turf. County officials say the fields will draw youth tournaments from a multi-state region. The $14 million facility is expected to host its first games in 2017. After that, it’s expected to handle about 20 tournaments a year. In addition to the lighted fields, the facility will also include parking for 1,500 vehicles as well as a clubhouse.

Although it’s expected to generate millions of dollars from visitors to the region, no taxpayer funds are earmarked to build the facility. Funding will come from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. Although most people are supportive, some critics of the plan say that it will exceed projected costs.

In professional soccer news, Sports Illustrated recently reported that the MLS Commissioner Don Garber wants to expand to 28 teams. When asked about chances for MLS soccer in St. Louis, Garber said that our city has “a little more momentum” now that the Rams have departed.

St. Louis has always been a soccer town. Home to many national-recognized youth teams, as well as the indoor Ambush and the St. Louis F.C., soccer has a great fanbase here. An MLS team would benefit the city a great deal — let’s hope it all works out! Meanwhile, if you have an athlete in your family that is dealing with a soccer-related injury, contact us and we’ll do out best to ensure a speedy recovery.

Let’s Go Blues!

The opening home game for the St. Louis Blues is quickly approaching, and we could not be more excited! Thursday October 8, 2015 Blues face off to the Oilers at 7pm.

Will you be attending the game? Which player are you looking forward to watching the most?

Hokey skate , puck , and stick