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Blues at Ducks preview: Ryan O’Reilly is back

The captain returns after a stay on the Covid-19 protocol list.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues won’t be getting any Covid cap relief measures any time soon - Bill Daly made that supremely clear in comments to the Post-Dispatch.

“There is not currently an intention to provide cap relief for Covid-related reasons,” Daly said via e-mail. “No different than having to deal with multiple short-term injuries. St. Louis is not at all unique in having to navigate these waters.”

No one’s asking for special help here, Bill. Teams would just like some common sense measures in place because no team has six or seven players injured at the same time like they have had six or seven players on the protocol list, but I guess that’s neither here nor there if the league isn’t doing anything to accommodate.

The Blues are getting one of their players back tonight off of the list. Captain Ryan O’Reilly is returning, and not a moment too soon.

Brayden Schenn returned to St. Lous after leaving during the first period of the team’s win against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, so O’Reilly is more than likely slotting in in his place between Brandon Saad and David Perron. To the captain’s credit, he sounds pretty excited to be back.

“Just watching was different. I didn’t like it,” O’Reilly said. “It was tough not being able to do anything, but it is what it is, these things happen. I’m excited to get back with the boys now. It’s going to be fun, the boys are playing well, they had some good wins there. I’m excited to join them.”

Unfortunately for the Blues, they still have to worry about Torey Krug (and Niko Mikkola) being on the Covid-19 protocol list. They’re at 20 players - four lines, six defensemen, and two goalies. Another player going down with coronavirus means that the Blues will have to get very creative with what team they ice.

Anaheim, to their credit, is on a three game winning streak. The team that the Blues were 5-1-2 against last season is in 4th place in the Pacific and is leading the Western Conference wild card race, as much as that can matter a month into the season. They’re scoring an average of 3.17 goals a game, just a smidge out of the top ten in the league.