Blues’ D’Agostini and Russell return to practice

Blues’ D’Agostini and Russell return to practice

Credit: Getty Images

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 23: Matt D'Agostini #36 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on January 23, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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by Andrew Allsman, HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 8, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 1:06 AM

(HockeyStL) -- The Blues arrived at practice Wednesday after playing arguably their best game of the second half on Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. 

There has been a lot of buzz about the team around St. Louis of late, and Tuesday’s game was a testament as to why. The Blues once again outplayed their opponents and the Blues are becoming the hype of St. Louis. 

The Blues took the ice Wednesday to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, but Wednesday’s practice also revealed some exciting news.

Both Matt D’Agostini and Kris Russell were among Wednesday’s practice participants as they skated with the team, boasting their red no-contact jerseys.

Matt D’Agostini, who has been out since February 7, has reportedly been symptom free for the last four or five days. Obviously he has made significant progress and he is now able to participate in team practices. 

Kris Russell was also on the ice Wednesday for the first time since being diagnosed with a concussion. As mentioned earlier, they were both wearing the red no-contact jerseys, but head coach Ken Hitchcock was impressed with how long they were able to participate in Wednesday’s practice. 

The team will now monitor their progress, and will determine when they are able to shed the red jerseys but Hitchcock made it clear that it will ultimately be up to the players to decide when they are ready.

Matt D’Agostini would be a huge gift from the hockey gods as the Blues will begin a seven game road trip on Sunday. D’Agostini was one of the Blues’ top road players and the Blues are hoping he will be able to return in the coming weeks to assist them down the stretch. 

Kris Russell, who is perhaps the Blues’ fastest defenseman, often jumps into the play offensively as if he is an extra forward. His return would give head coach Ken Hitchcock options on the blues line depending on whether he wants more offense or defense.

Both of these players could play huge roles moving forward which makes Wednesday’s news that much more exciting.

Blue Notes:

• Langenbrunner skated again on Wednesday and has taken off “the boot”. Andy Strickland says a return next week is very possible.

• Jaroslav Halak will start in Thursday’s game against the Ducks, and Brian Elliott gets the nod on Saturday against the Blues Jackets.

• Alex Steen is still in California receiving treatment for his concussion. It Is unknown when he will return to St. Louis but there should be an update when he does.

• The Blues have killed off the last 32 penalties and their PK unit is now ninth in the league

• The Blues power play is 11-for-37 since Andy McDonald’s return to the lineup

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