Currently in his 10th NHL season, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has
never appeared in a postseason game.
That will change when the St. Louis Blues open the playoffs next
week, thanks to a trade prior to the deadline that ended his days
with the struggling Calgary Flames.
Bouwmeester will face his former team for the first time since
the deal as St. Louis seeks a season-best, five-game home winning
streak Thursday night.
The Blues sought defensive depth as they clung to eighth place
in the Western Conference when they sent a conditional first-round
pick and two prospects to the Flames for Bouwmeester on April
St. Louis (27-17-2) has won nine of 12 with Bouwmeester in the
lineup and guaranteed the veteran his first postseason experience
with a 3-1 win over Colorado on Tuesday.
“It’s one little item checked off our list,” captain David
Backes said of clinching a playoff berth. “We’ve had a pretty good
run to get to where we need to get.”
The Blues, who conclude their regular season Saturday at home
against NHL-best Chicago, are battling Los Angeles and San Jose for
home-ice advantage in the first round.
Bouwmeester, who leads active players with 633 consecutive games
played, spent six seasons with Florida before signing a five-year
contract with Calgary in 2009, never making the postseason.
“You want to have success,” said Bouwmeester, who recorded his
fifth assist with the Blues on Patrik Berglund’s power-play goal
Tuesday. “It’s fun winning. We’ve had a pretty good stretch
His former team, eliminated from the playoffs for a fourth
straight year, also has excelled lately despite making multiple
trades earlier this month.
Calgary (19-23-4) had won five of six and three straight before
falling to Nashville 4-3 on Tuesday. Rookie Roman Cervenka scored
twice to give him three goals and an assist during a season-best,
three-game point streak.
The Flames have been playing with plenty of new faces with eyes
on the future after trading Bouwmeester as well as franchise
cornerstone Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh and Blake Comeau to
“There’s a lot of new guys playing,” said 36-year-old goaltender
Miikka Kiprusoff, who reportedly is considering retirement after
the season. “You know, it’s not fun to lose but it’s good to see
our young guys. They played well again (Tuesday) and good to see
them getting chances to play.”
Kiprusoff has a career-worst 3.44 goals-against average this
season, but he made 36 saves and Cervenka scored twice as the
Flames beat St. Louis 3-2 in the last meeting March 24 to end a
three-game skid in the series.
Both matchups this season have been in Calgary, including the
Blues’ 5-2 victory Feb. 15 as David Perron scored twice and
Alexander Steen had a goal and two assists.
St. Louis has held opponents to one goal in four consecutive
home games – all victories. Brian Elliott started each of those
contests after going 1-4-1 with a 4.31 GAA in his first six home
Elliott is 7-2-0 with a 1.14 GAA in his last nine starts overall
and has a 1.83 GAA in five career starts versus the Flames.
Kiprusoff is 7-3-1 with a 1.36 GAA in his last 11 versus St.
Louis, which may be without defenseman Barret Jackman after he was
injured blocking a shot Tuesday.