WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg native and the son of a former Jets' star, Blues forward Alex Steen had the game Saturday at MTS Center circled on his calendar. But still suffering from concussion symptoms, Steen watched his 26th consecutive game in a suit.
"It's hard," Steen said. "The whole process has been really, really hard on me, not being able to play. Tonight has been really emotional. This one hurts, not being able to play."
Steen, who suffered the concussion against Dallas on Dec. 26, recently had been practicing with the Blues, but stopped last week. He acknowledged Saturday that skating has led to vision problems.
A variety of treatments hasn't stopped Steen's symptoms, so he's planning to travel to California where he'll spend at least two weeks receiving therapy in a hyperbaric chamber, similar to the treatment used by Blues forward Andy McDonald and former Blue Paul Kariya.
"I'm trying to get myself back on track here," Steen said. "It's hard to explain what I'm going through. I ... don't want to get into too many details about it, but it's been on and off. I've tried everything in my power to get back on the ice.
"So, I'll be heading (to California) and (be) leaving the team and leaving St. Louis for a couple of weeks."
Steen, who is the son of former Winnipeg player Thomas Steen, had 13 goals, 24 points and a plus-20 rating when he left the lineup. He believes he will return this season, but with 20 regular-season games remaining admitted, "It's tough. There's no real timeline. As soon as I feel like I can play, I'll be out there."
HALAK'S HEAVY LOAD
Jaroslav Halak stopped 39 of 41 shots Saturday in the Blues' 3-2 shoot-out win over Winnipeg, improving Halak's career mark to 15-2-1 when he faces 40-plus shots in a game. The Jets outshot the Blues 16-6 in the first period and led 33-10 after two periods.
"It's always good when I get more shots early in a game," Halak said. "That's what happened. They got me in the game. That second period, we got sloppy like last night, and they scored two goals. We just need to make sure we play our game and try to keep the shots down."
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock mentioned fatigue as a possible factor in the team's sluggishness Saturday, when it played its third game in four days. The Blues have four more games on the trip, starting Monday in Calgary, but Hitchcock said the players should be fine after the day off Sunday.
"This is just the start of tough travel for us," he said. "Any points we get on the road are really gratifying, and nobody is going to worry. We all know we've got to play better, but we'll play better if we just get some rest. I think we're going to play our best road game in Calgary because it's going to be almost like a full day and a half off."
Forward T.J. Hensick and defenseman Ian Cole were healthy scratches Saturday. ... The game Saturday was the Blues' first in Winnipeg since Jan. 24, 1996.