Brandon Saad remains on the NHL’s Covid-19 protocol list, despite being (presumably) fully vaccinated. Unfortunately with the delta variant’s propensity to tell the vaccines to buzz off, the NHL is going to have to deal with fully vaccinated players popping on and off of the list. The most the league can hope for is that the effects and symptoms of Covid-19 are mitigated by the vaccine for any players that test positive.
If one Blue has it, the bad thing is, other Blues run the risk of being exposed. Today, the Blues announced that Ryan O’Reilly will be missing his first game in St. Louis.
The silver lining here is that the call-up is fan favorite Dakota Joshua. Joshua impressed during camp and you could tell that the team was leaving the door wide open for him to be first on the call-up list. Joshua is a hard nosed, physical player who isn’t a liability and who busts his ass. Having him called up to the Blues is something many fans won’t be complaining about.
On the other hand, having Ryan O’Reilly out for an indeterminant number of games/amount of time is less than ideal. After just five games, O’Reilly has two goals and three assists; one of those goals was his first power play goal of the year. O’Reilly is a key part of the Blues’ offense and leadership, obviously, and the team has not had to cope with having him out of the lineup.
The Blues’ next game is Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche,
and right now O’Reilly and Saad are question marks and it looks like O’Reilly will miss it - and then some.