The Blues were so close to having a fully healthy lineup after last night’s 5-3 loss to the Penguins. Only defenseman Robert Bortuzzo remained out due to COVID-19.
The Blues announced today that they have added three players to the COVID-19 protocol, and of course, one of them is Vladimir Tarasenko. Rookie defenseman Scott Perunovich, and Jake Walman have also been placed in the league’s protocols.
On the upside, Bort was skating with the team today, so he can slot in with Cale Makar on the defense. You, loyal readers, can debate what that does to the quality of the team’s defense.
Tarasenko has been rejuvenated this season after a third successful shoulder surgery. None of the three players out due to protocols is ideal, but Tarasenko is the biggest issue. He’s a point per game player, and until now, was the only Blue to play in every game this season. His numbers are impressive - 14G and 20A, with five goals and three assists in his last five games. He and Jordan Kyrou have been, with the addition of Robert Thomas, the best line the Blues have iced this month.
The Blues get to square off against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tomorrow night, with a depleted defense that already wasn’t the strongest, and without their best scorer. This comes after the Blues allowed four unanswered goals in a loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins that saw the team sit on a lead and play questionable defense.