Nail Yakupov does not belong on the fourth line. The fourth line as a whole has been solid the past several games and probably shouldn’t be broken up.
That means, by process of elimination, that someone in the top nine will get sent to the pressbox tonight. Who will it be? Dmitrij Jaskin has a nameplate on his stool from last season. Could it be him?
Nope. It’s Robby Fabbri. Yakupov is getting his opportunity to return to the lineup tonight at #15’s expense:
"It's a numbers game. You've got to play your way in and play your way out," Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after an optional morning skate. "We're not disappointed in Yak, but he needs to come in and he's going to get a real opportunity with good players, so this is a good chance for him.
"With Robby, we're in a position where he's part of the group of 13 or 14 (forwards) - really 14 with (Ty) Rattie going down and getting time (for conditioning in Chicago)," Hitchcock added. "You have to make a decision whether you want to be in that group of 14 or if you want to stay in the Top 9 or 10. Unfortunately he's part of the mix now both ways."
Fabbri has been struggling to score (like the rest of the team) with just one goal and three assists in 14 games played.