It has been a rough stretch for St. Louis defensemen lately with Torey Krug and Nick Leddy both being injured recently. Those two join Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich (both haven’t played this season) on injured reserve. Last night, another defender went down in veteran Robert Bortuzzo who sustained a lower-body injury. Speaking to reporters today, Blues head coach Craig Berube told reporters including Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic (Twitter link) that the veteran is currently listed as day-to-day although he’s still being evaluated. Bortuzzo has played in 30 games this season on the third pairing and now their defensive depth will be tested a little more for the time being.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Prior to tonight’s game, the Wild announced (Twitter link) that winger Jordan Greenway wouldn’t play. No, it’s not another recurrence of the upper-body injury that has plagued him all season. Instead, he’s out with a non-COVID illness. Meanwhile, Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune relays (Twitter link) that winger Mats Zuccarello will accompany the team on their upcoming road trip after missing both Saturday’s game and tonight’s. Between his injury and Greenway’s illness, Minnesota only has 11 healthy forwards on their roster and as a result, had to dress seven blueliners against St. Louis.
- There are teams that will need to move first-round picks over the next couple of months to add a missing piece or two. While the Oilers typically haven’t been one of those lately, Allan Mitchell of The Athletic argues (subscription link) that they should be much more willing to do so this time around. Whoever they get with that selection if they were to keep it likely wouldn’t be ready to play in Edmonton before the contracts of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl expire. Accordingly, with the team in win-now mode, acquiring someone with that pick that can help the current core might be the better way for them to go.
- The big trades in the CHL continue as Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports (Twitter link) that Senators prospect Zack Ostapchuk is being traded to WHL Winnipeg. The 2021 second-rounder played for Canada at the World Juniors and has 10 goals and 19 assists in 21 games this season. The full trade package is unknown but it’s believed to involve three first-round picks.
Don’t break down this team just yet.. they have life in them. Sometimes (like 2019) it takes till the stretch but this team (pending injuries) is still stacked. They will have to “retool” over the next couple years so why not try and make a run. Go get a d man in a trade if you have too. Blues have cap space now.