Marco Scandella returned on Friday night, but the absences of Nick Leddy and Robert Bortuzzo plus a suddenly anemic offense proved the Blues’ undoing. Losing 5-1 at home is bad enough, but losing 5-1 and losing Torey Krug to a lower body injury is a recipe for disaster for the Blues.
Krug left the ice with 8:58 left on the clock in the first period, and by that time the Wild were already up 2-0. Things continued to go downhill from there, as an already exhausted defense began to pull more time than they needed - especially Calle Rosen, whose 17:42 TOI is probably not necessarily something that you want to see in a playoff game. Justin Faulk especially has looked exhausted over the last two games, finishing a -4 last night and a -1 on Wednesday.
There’s no word on if Krug will be available for tomorrow afternoon’s game.
It appears that since winning the Stanley Cup, a different opponent has taken the Blues out - in 2020, it was Covid, as many players skating had just recently recovered from a team breakout. Last year, it was the absence of David Perron and general malaise - or believing that they were a better team than who they were. Take your pick. This season it’s looking like an absent offense is being helped out by broken defensemen.
Hold on to your mask, Ville Husso (or Jordan Binnington). Sunday’s going to be a bumpy ride. The offense absolutely needs to get back to compensating for the defense, or else this series is done Tuesday night.