The Blues have been a bit flat since Brayden Schenn went down with injury - much of Tuesday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets had the energy of a bottle of Metamucil. How do you fix that against a team like the Nashville Predators, who are contending for a (very early in the season) playoff spot?
You put the Blues’ best forward line back together.
Ivan Barbashev is back on a line with Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko. All three players, but especially Tarasenko, have drawn energy from each other since training camp, and have really become an absolute bear to play against. The Blues need to send a line like that out against the Predators’ defense and Juuse Saros, because that back end is the nut that needs to be cracked if a team wants to score on Nashville.
Dakota Joshua’s centering the fourth line between Klim Kostin and James Neal. For many NHL team’s that’s at least a third line that they would take in a heartbeat.
Here’re tonight’s lines, from stlblues.com:
Saad - O’Reilly - Perron
Barbashev - Thomas - Tarasenko
Kyrou - Bozak - Buchnevich
Neal - Joshua - Kostin
Scandella - Parayko
Walman - Faulk
Rosen - Bortuzzo