The St. Louis Blues were rolling along just fine a year ago, but when winger Jaden Schwartz went down with an injury on Dec. 9th and missed six weeks with a lower-body injury, the team fell apart and had trouble finding its offense even after he came back as they found themselves outside a playoff spot.
Now, the team is in the exact same situation as Schwartz took a puck off the same leg he injured last year from his own teammate, Vladimir Tarasenko. While this injury is not considered to be as serious, the team feels more confident that they can survive without the winger this season with their improved depth, according to The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford.
The scribe points out that the team used Dmitrij Jaskin and Vladimir Sobotka in their top-six after last year’s Schwartz injury and the team’s third line featured Ivan Barbashev, Magnus Paajarvi and Patrik Berglund, which wasn’t a very deep team. Four of those players aren’t even with the team anymore.
This year, the team moves Sammy Blais into the top-six and still boast several key players on the third line, including Jordan Kyrou, Alex Steen and Tyler Bozak and that’s not including 19-year-old Robert Thomas. With the depth much deeper, the Schwartz injury shouldn’t have as significant effect as it did a year ago.
- Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson, currently sitting out 20 games for a preseason hit against St. Louis Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist pending appeal, was asked Sunday whether he intends to change the way he plays. “Yeah, for sure,” Wilson told The Athletic’s Chris Kuk. “The hitting aspect of the game is definitely changing a little bit and I have to be smart out there and I have to play within the rules.”
- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty took much of the blame as he said he “failed” in making a difference during the team’s 5-1 embarrassing loss to the Ottawa Senators Saturday as well as their 2-2-1 start. However, Fox Sports’ Jon Rosen writes that Doughty has hardly failed the team as no goals have been scored when Doughty has been on the ice this season and had a plus-1 rating in their loss to the Senators.
- The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro reports that the Texas Stars, the AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars, announced that defenseman Reece Scarlett will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL. The 25-year-old had a strong camp with Dallas and was expected to have a big season with the Texas Stars.