In case you need reminding, the Blues are the walking wounded right now. Vladimir Tarasenko is the team’s most notable loss at five months. Alexander Steen was placed on the IR on November 7th for four weeks, so he should be due for an injury evaluation soon and hopefully will return by mid-December. Sammy Blais, who was having a hell of a start to his season, underwent wrist surgery after the Blues first victory over the Lightning, and was put on the ten-week IR, at the very least.
If Blues fans were going to be thankful for the team being able to continue playing well despite injuries to three key players, perhaps they should share a little bit of their gratitude with the team doctors.
Prospect Klim Kostin went down with a shoulder injury a couple of nights ago in his first game back in San Antonio after being called up by the Blues:
Kostin Injury during the @sarampage game tonight, Scored his First NHL Goal just 3 days ago and was sent down to make room for Brouwer on the #stlblues roster. pic.twitter.com/bVRuv2G14W— (@InternMatty) November 27, 2019
Kostin’s shoulder has been injured before - the surgery he had in March 2017 is what made him drop to 31st overall at that entry draft despite being ranked the top international skater at that draft. It was a fortuitous moment for the Blues, because they dealt Ryan Reaves to the Penguins for their first round pick, which just so happened to be at number 31.
The Blues also acquired Oskar Sundqvist in that deal for Reaves. Sundqvist has scored two goals twice in his last five games and could’ve added a third one last night had it not been for him awkwardly avoiding Luke Schenn’s hit into the boards. Sundqvist left in the second period after scoring his two goals, and the team hasn’t released an update on his condition past it being a “lower body injury” and this from Craig Berube.
Berube says Sundqvist will be out “a while.” But additional testing/examination needed back in St. Louis to get a better idea on full nature of injury. (Sundqvist is on crutches and has right foot in walking boot.)— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) November 28, 2019
Losing Kostin means that the Blues are going to be short a ket talent to call up for the future, and if the Russian forward had not gotten injured, he could’ve been given a ring to slot into Sundqvist’s spot. Losing Sundqvist, however, is the bigger blow. He’s one of the most effective and consistent forwards on the team. Right now, he’s being used where needed, but as a fourth liner, he has eight goals on the season already.
He’s the perfect poster boy of the Blues forward depth, and other than Tarasenko, may be the most difficult player to replace. Steen should be coming back soon, but if Sundqvist’s injury is a serious one, his skates will be a tough pair to fill.