The St. Louis Blues are having a great start to the season after winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in June. Many thought that they would have a Stanley Cup hangover of some sort, but it doesn’t look that way. They learned a few weeks ago that star Vladimir Tarasenko would be out at least five months due to a shoulder injury. Then, about a week later, they learned that forward Alexander Steen would miss a month or so with a high ankle sprain. Even with the Blues’ injuries, they still have found ways to win. On Wednesday, the Blues have more news on the injury front regarding forward Sammy Blais.
St. Louis Blues’ Injuries Starting To Pile Up
Two key guys to the Blues’ success was Tarasenko and Steen. Another player who has been great for the Blues is Sammy Blais. Well, we learned on Wednesday that he would miss at least 10 weeks with a wrist injury he suffered in a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Last year, Sammy showed what he could do on the ice and many wondered if last years’ success would translate and it has. In 20 games, Blais has eight points with five goals and three assists. More importantly, he is a great physical presence as he has 70 hits already. The Blues already missed having Tarasenko and Steen but they will also miss having Blais.
Who’s Gonna Step Up?
This past week, the Blues recalled their best prospect in Klim Kostin. He’s had a solid start to his career. He hasn’t posted any points but his puck movement and his decision making look promising. With the injury to Blais, many will look at Kostin as a guy to step up. He will have more pressure than he did before and he will need to prove why he is one of the best prospects in hockey.
Another candidate who needs to step up is last year’s Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly. He’s still been a great presence and is making plays but his scoring has gone missing for the better part of the season. He needs to get better on the five-on-five play as he points out. Half of his points have come on the power-play and while they put emphasis on how the power-play needed to get better, he needs to balance it out at even strength. He will figure it out as well as Kostin. These two are too talented not to figure it out.
The Blues brought in Jamie Mcginn and Troy Brouwer in for a professional workout. On Wednesday, they decided on both players. Mcginn has been let go from his tryout but they signed veteran forward and former Blue Troy Brouwer to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000. They probably knew they were going to sign Brouwer before the injury news but they wanted to act fast after they found out that Blais would miss time. He’s a big, physical forward who can help the Blues on the third or fourth line. Troy is familiar with the Blues as he had a big goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He fits perfectly with what the Blues are trying to do.
The Blues have incredible depth and have been able to get past adversity but they can’t afford another injury, especially to a key player. The Blues will miss Blais’ presence but it’s the next man up in St. Louis and it always will be as long as Craig Berube is behind the bench. It will be interesting to see how the Blues perform in the next few games with the Blues’ injuries starting to mount up.
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