Tuesday afternoon, I joined Brandon Kelly and Matt Michaels on The KTGR Big Show, an ESPN show in Columbia, MO and I was asked which player separates this Blues teams from last year's team. My answer was Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko, two difference making rookies.
Fabbri has been unreal for the Blues in March, anchoring a line with Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer. Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche, Fabbri suffered an awkward and quite ugly injury. He was cross checked and his collapse was anti-graceful and he left the game. Here is the hit.
doesn't look good for Fabbri's left leg pic.twitter.com/azmj0njOEe— Stephanie (@myregularface) March 30, 2016
Bad, right? Let's hope now. The Blues need Fabbri, the 20 year old phenom who had an average to fair chance of making the team in September and has produced an 18 goal/37 point rookie season, including 8 power play goals. Losing him would be like losing your secret sauce right before the chili cookout. That would be like forgetting dip to go with the chips at a party. A beer without the good times. No one is anointing Robby the king of all things wicked shit and he is no Tarasenko(yet), but he has been a man apart during this scoring splurge.
Losing him before the playoffs would be brutal. Kyle Reis, one of the most underrated St. Louis sports follows on Twitter, feels me.
Been wrong before, but losing Fabbri entering the playoffs is about the same as the Cardinals entering the '15 postseason without C Martinez— Kyle Reis (@kyler416) March 30, 2016
That's exactly right Kyle. Fabbri puts the Blues over the top. Same as El Gallo did for the Cards rotation. Take it away and the machine isn't useless yet a little less powerful. Sure, the Blues survived without Jaden Schwartz and Alex Steen for long stretches this year as well as many others, but the timing of losing Fabbri stings like a tub of salt over a bad knee scrape.
This is why the last few games are so hard to watch. They matter because the #1 seed would lock the Blues up with the Minnesota Wild for a rematch of last year's tormenting loss but it also produces opportunities for key players to get hurt. I wrote just last week that Fabbri treats his body like a human slinky by putting himself in awkward positions. He wasn't in a bad spot here but he was trying to carry the puck with his body slightly off balance. Recipe for disaster.
The extent of Fabbri's injury will be known in a matter of days. Ken Hitchcock said he was day to day, which means he will wake up Wednesday morning breathing normal. Thursday could be a time where real knowledge is unleashed about the lower body injury and how long it keeps him out. Please don't let it be long.
I once watched Albert Pujols (two baseball mentions in a hockey article, so sue me!) slide into second base and completely turn his ankle. Did he collapse in pain before being dragged off the field? No, he stayed in the game, rounded third on a hit and scored. He was a freak. Let's hope Fabbri channels his inner Jose Alberto Pujols today.
The Blues need special talents like him in the playoffs. Fabbri has 4 goals and 13 points in his last 13 games, spanning all the way back to that win in Carolina that started this rapid team scoring spree. Losing him would rupture that great Brouwer/Stastny line and invite Hitch the opportunity to lace up Magnus Paajarvi or Dmitrj Jaskin (instead of the more deserving Ty Rattie) which would be a mistake.
Let's not go there, boys. Robby Fabbri, please be okay.
This describes how I feel right now waiting for news about this injury.....