Blues' Sobotka heats up after slow start to season
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 09: Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues celebrates after scoring his second of three goals against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on March 9, 2013 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 09: Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues skates down ice past Ryane Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion on March 9, 2013 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) By Ezra Shaw
(HockeyStL) -- After a slow start in the first 19 games, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka is starting to gain form since the calendar turned to March.
Sobotka posted only six points (one goal, five assists) with a minus-seven rating in the team’s first 19 games. The last five games played have been a different story for the Czech Republic native.
The 25-year-old has scored a goal in each of the team’s last three games and has six goals in the last five games played, including a hat trick against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
He gave the Blues an early lead against the Sharks when he capitalized on a rebound from a shot by Kevin Shattenkirk for the first score of the game. He followed it up with two third period goals, including a power play goal to tie it. He now has seven points in the last five games.
Sobotka’s recent play hasn’t gone unnoticed either.
He has played at least 16 minutes in five of his last six games, including a season-high 18:03 against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. He played more than 16 minutes in only three of the first 19 games this season.
The hat trick gives Sobotka seven goals this season which matches his career-high set in 2010-11.