After two losses in Florida - one a bomb, one a narrow defeat - the Blues’ early fast start is starting to show some of the wear and tear that the team has suffered. The injured list is a who’s who of players who should probably be on the ice right now: Robby Fabbri, Jay Bouwmeester, Zach Sanford, Patrik Berglund, and Alexander Steen.
Thankfully, Alexander Steen’s hand injury hasn’t prevented him from skating and keeping in game shape. He practiced with the team yesterday, and he should be back in action soon. Would it be helpful if he returned for Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks? Yes. Will he? Let’s not get our hopes up that high just yet.
As Mike Yeo points out to the Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas, Steen’s return means that Magnus Paajarvi or Vladimir Sobotka will be playing against more appropriate competition.
“It would mean a lot,” Yeo said following Monday’s hour-long skate at the IceZone in Hazelwood. “What it does, No. 1, is it’s gonna strengthen you up top. But it also strengthens you lower in the lineup because now somebody who is — I don’t want to say they’re playing above where they should be — you move then down the lineup and now all of a sudden that player’s playing against third ‘D’ pairings, third lines, and I think it’s gonna strengthen the third and fourth lines as well.”
The Blues need some top six oomph. Despite doing well to start the season, the Blues’ firepower has wilted under the pressure placed on the top two lines to score - considering that the bottom two lines have not. The whole team can’t expect Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn to carry them, nor can they rely entirely on Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko. The Blues’ success last season came from balanced scoring; the Blues’ balanced scoring this season will have to wait on most of the rest of the team being healthy.