St. Louis Blues left wing Mike Hoffman (68) hits the puck over San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Forward Mike Hoffman and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo stayed on the ice well after Wednesday’s morning skate at Centene Community Ice Center, something like 20-25 minutes.
Putting in extra work on game day is usually a sure sign that a player isn’t in the lineup that night. When asked about their status for tonight’s game with the Vegas Golden Knights, coach Craig Berube played it close to the vest.
“We’ll make some decisions tonight at game time,” Berube said.
Hoffman’s situation bears watching in particular with the NHL trade deadline looming on Monday. Following tonight’s game, the Blues play Minnesota at home on Friday and Saturday and that’s it prior to deadline day (they play at Minnesota that night, but after the 2 p.m. deadline).
It is routine for players who are being shopped to be held out of the lineup as the trade deadlines nears, to avoid risking injury.
As for Bortuzzo, he has played 26 consecutive games since returning from injured reserve (concussion, facial injuries) on Feb. 7. His performance Monday against Vegas wasn’t one for the scrapbook – he was minus-3 in 15:32 of ice time but had a team-best six hits. But he…