The Blues didn’t like the crunching punch Zdeno Chara delivered to Jordan Kyrou in Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders. David Perron in particular.
When asked on Monday whether the goal bothered him, Perron replied: “Of course. Obviously it was a penalty. But we’re lucky that ‘Rousie’ (Kyrou) came back from it. It could have been worse. Much worse.
“He was one of our top players this year. They’re just pointing out the team aspect and trying to pop up for it. We all know no one is going to fight Chara, but I was trying to get that back for sure.”
Just five minutes into the game, Chara – all 6ft 9, 256lbs from him – knocked the 196lb Kyrou off balance with a punch, causing Kyrou to slam against the boards and his head to hit the wall.
It took Kyrou a while to collect himself and leave the ice. He spent the remainder of the first third in the dressing room and was apparently checked for a concussion, but was able to return for the second third and finish the game.
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At 202 pounds, Perron isn’t the biggest blue one. He is very competitive and plays a lively, engaging style. But he’s also not the most physical player when it comes to laying down hits on opponents. Still, he felt something had to be done, although Chara got two minutes for interference.
Just 2½ minutes after Chara left the box, Perron slammed into Chara – throwing him onto the ice and drawing an interference penalty himself.
“I got on the scales today, I’m a bit lighter now, which is surprising,” Perron said after Monday’s practice session. “I don’t know, (Charas) has 50-60 pounds on me. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.”
The Blues have featured a variety of players as teammates this season, from Brayden Schenn to Robert Bortuzzo to Justin Faulk. It’s part of the unofficial code of hockey and a mark of team chemistry.
“It doesn’t have to be ‘Schenner’ or ‘Bob-o’ or ‘Faulker’ every time to do something,” Perron said. “I think we played a lot against (Chara) early in the game and kind of had an opportunity to end my goal there.
“He’s a big boy so you have to go full throttle anyway but I think it’s fair to say I was delighted to get the penalty and a great save from (Jordan Binnington) there. I kind of feel like we spun the momentum from there.
Less than three minutes after Perron’s penalty, the Blues scored the first of their six goals in a 6-1 win.
Bolduc risesForward Zachary Bolduc, the Blues’ first-round draft pick of 2021, notched his fourth hat-trick of the season for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts on Saturday.
After a brief but impressive stint at training camp for Bolduc with the Blues last fall, Perron said he needed to tear up the Quebec League.
“I have friends who train in the Quebec League and they say good things about him,” Perron said. “I feel like the organization wanted to send him down and go down there and have a great year, dominate and keep growing as a player.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
In 56 games, Bolduc has 44 goals and 40 assists for 84 points. He is second in goals and sixth in points in the 18-team Québec League. The Remparts have nine regular-season games left before the playoffs, giving Bolduc a chance to finish with 50 goals.
How does his season compare to other blues who have appeared in junior hockey recently?
Kyrou and Robert Thomas both played their final seasons at juniors in 2017-18. Kyrou had 109 points, 39 goals and 70 assists in 56 games this season playing in the Ontario Hockey League. Thomas had 75 points, 24 goals and 51 assists in 49 games and also played in the OHL.
MacEachern stays at homeBlues forward Mackenzie MacEachern, who missed the Islanders game with an upper-body injury, did not practice Monday and did not accompany the team on their trip to Boston and Buffalo.