The Blues are mired in a three game streak of uninspired play, flat-footedness, and shoddy defense. There are multiple causes for these tendencies that have appeared here and there this season, but it’s questionable if the fourth line is really the root of all problems.
Unfortunately for them, the fourth line is getting the brunt of it. The Blues announced today that Dakota Joshua and Klim Kostin have been assigned to the KHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. The team has recalled MacKenzie MacEachern and Alexei Toropchenko as replacements.
Kostin had a particularly rough game on Saturday in Long Island. His failure to control a pass from Torey Krug led directly to the Islanders’ first goal of the game, though his mid-game scrap made up for it a bit. Kostin’s ice time has been dwindling since his mistake - he has gone from 10:17 played against the Blackhawks last weekend to 6:42 on Saturday to just 4:03 on Sunday against the Devils. He was on ice for both of New Jersey’s goals.
Joshua was a -1 in Sunday’s overtime loss, but picked up 7:24 of ice time to Kostin’s 4:03.
MacEachern has played well for Springfield this season, putting up 25 points (12G, 13A) in 47 games played. Toropchenko has also had a good first half, scoring 10 goals and 10 assists in 40 games played for the Thunderbirds.