(HockeyStL) -- Wednesday night St. Louis Blues Vladimir Sobotka returned to the line-up after missing six weeks and a spot on his native Czech Republic’s Olympic team. But the 5’10” centerman recorded three points, one goal and two assists, in their walloping 6-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
“It took me two or three shifts to get going,” Sobotka said, “I just kept it simple on the ice and tried to keep up with Vladdy [Vladimir Tarasenko] and Osh [TJ Oshie].”
Sobotka’s simple approach provided the game tying goal late in the first period. His goal seemed to spark the offense.
“He’s a big part of our team. He plays in all situations,” said teammate Jaden Schwartz, “He brings a lot of energy, so we’re glad to have him back. He had quite the homecoming. He worked hard to get back.”
Sobotka suffered a broken kneecap in the January 31 game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He was cleared to play Wednesday and said he was still in some pain, but that his kneecap had healed.
“I tried to push more every practice. I felt good,” Sobotka said, “It’s been a long break for me, it’s been a tough injury.”
Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was impressed with Sobotka’s ability to contribute immediately on the ice after missing so much time.
“I think it’s pretty impressive for a guy to miss six weeks and really has not practiced,” said Hitchcock, “The only time he skated with the guys is pregame skate.”
Sobotka logged 12:15 of ice time Wednesday night. His line, with Oshie and Tarasenko, was responsible for two of their six goals.
“He’s a guy that’s got good instincts and works hard,” said Schwartz, “You want to push yourself to the next level when you see guys like that.”