UPDATE: Aside from Kostin, Neal, and David Perron, the Blues will also be missing center Tyler Bozak tonight.
Tyler Bozak has been placed in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols. https://t.co/qXJ68Lxbhq— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) November 30, 2021
With James Neal on injured reserve and Klim Kostin on LTIR, the Blues have called up a familiar face and a new guy. Dakota Joshua is back, and Logan Brown is going to make his regular-season Blues debut tonight. Brown, who you may remember is the son of former Blues defenseman Jeff Brown, has been playing very well for the Springfield Thunderbirds so far this season. Head coach Craig Berube seems very excited about what he will bring to the fourth line.
Berube on Logan Brown: "He looked more confident to me, and he looked stronger than he did at training camp. He looked quicker, more direct with the puck. It was good stuff. He's played really well down there, so I'm looking forward to seeing him." #stlblues— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 29, 2021
“Excited” is a relative term, clearly. But that’s high praise coming from the Blues’ coach. Brown is, of course, thrilled to be skating for his hometown team. He’s not the only St. Louisan on the ice tonight, though - noted Hometown Hero Pat Maroon will be out on Enterprise Center ice for the first time since his 2019 return, when he was given his Stanley Cup ring. He’s gotten two more with the Lightning since then.
The Bolts are finally playing like a team looking for a three-peat of their own. After starting the season slowly, they’ve gone on a 10-2-2 tear and are very close behind the Leafs and Panthers in the Atlantic Division. The Blues, despite recent stumbles (Saturday night’s Russian-centric win against the Jackets notwithstanding), are still in second place behind the MInnesota Wild in the Central. A Blues win tonight and Thursday night in Tampa could be enough to bump them back into first and give the Atlantic Division a reason to sign with relief.
Blues fans, especially those who are very keyed in to paying attention to the defense, may be sighing their own relief tonight depending on Berube’s decision regarding Marco Scandella.
Berube on the possibility of Scandella being a healthy scratch Tuesday: "That's a decision I'll make tomorrow. It's possible." #stlblues— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) November 29, 2021
Scandella’s play this season has noticeably declined, and he’s been shunted around the defensive pairings. More often than not, he’s wound up paired with Colton Parayko, much to Parayko’s detriment. If Scandella just needs to step back and hit a reset button, tonight may be his best chance to do so.