Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notebook: Blues' Schmaltz to Face Brother on Blackhawks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notebook: Blues' Schmaltz to Face Brother on Blackhawks

Article excerpt

There has been close call after close call in the converging career paths of Blues defenseman Jordan Schmaltz and his younger brother, Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz, but it looks like the two will finally meet on the ice for an NHL game on Saturday in Chicago.

Blues coach Mike Yeo said Jordan, the Blues' seventh (or eighth, depending) defenseman would play Saturday for the Blues, and since Nick is a regular for the Blackhawks, it appears the Schmaltzfest is on. "Now let's just go play hockey, baby," Jordan said.

Jordan, the older brother, was on the Blues' roster for three of the four meetings between the teams last season. He was hurt for two of them and a healthy scratch in the third. When the teams met a week ago at Enterprise Center, Jordan was a healthy scratch for that one, too.

But Jordan is healthy now and his turn has come up in the Blues' defensive rotation, creating a perfect storm of Schmaltzes. Jordan and Nick's parents, who have dutifully attended all these close calls, are expected to be at the ready once again.

"If I could draw in tomorrow, that would be awesome," said Schmaltz, speaking about 15 minutes before Yeo confirmed Schmaltz was in (something Yeo seldom does). "I don't think we could have ever really dreamed of playing each other in the NHL, especially two kids just playing in the basement growing up in Wisconsin. It would be awesome."

The two have played together on assorted youth teams over the years and for one season the University of North Dakota. They have played against each other before in the AHL, when Jordan was at the Blues' farm team in Chicago and Nick was at the Hawks' team in Rockford, Ill.

"We matched lines when we were against them," Jordan said. "It's funny, but at the same time, it's still a hockey game, you still have to do your job. But when you're lined up against your brother, you cannot almost help yourself but laugh or give him a smile and once the puck drops, it's game on and hopefully I get the better half of him."

The two communicate by phone almost every day, Jordan figures, and they've kept close. …

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