Patrik Berglund set to return for Blues vs. Maple Leafs

Patrik Berglund set to return for Blues vs. Maple Leafs

Patrik Berglund will return to the St. Louis’ Blues lineup on Saturday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It’s been nearly nine months since Berglund last played for the Blues, last taking the ice during their first-round series against the Minnesota Wild in April. The 27-year old forward reinjured his shoulder during an August skate and needed surgery.

Berglund’s return will force head coach Ken Hitchcock to switch up his lines, something he was apparently planning to “blow up” even if the forward wasn’t set to re-enter the lineup.

St. Louis has not been able to solve their scoring issues at even strength where they sit 15th in the NHL with 65 goals at 5-on-5, according to Hockey Analysis. The power play has been helpful, scoring at a 20.7-percent rate, but that number will settle a bit, so relying on goals with the man advantage isn’t a great plan.

“We just can’t keep living on the fine line that we’re living on right now, scoring one and two goals and still getting points,” Hitchcock said via the Post-Dispatch. “It’s hard living with one goal. I think that’s something we’ve got to have an honest look here in the next 24 hours and what we’re doing offensively and see if we can get some more juice by possibly blowing some of this up.”

Berglund, who skated on a line with David Backes and Magnus Paajarvi Saturday morning, won’t be a savior for their 5-on-5 scoring issues, but he’ll certainly provide a better option than what Scott Gomez and Martin Havlat brought during their stints in St. Louis.

“It’s going to be really hard to play in the beginning,” Berglund told the team’s website. “It’s been almost eight months since I last played a game, so I’ve got to be smart, have short shifts and all that, and really focus on those types of things so I don’t hurt my team.”

Jaden Schwartz, whose ankle injury has kept him out of the lineup since October, will be another helpful addition when he returns at the end of the month.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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