I don’t really know what to say about tonight’s game. If you could imagine a worst-case scenario game, it came pretty darn close to happening tonight. The Blues were embarrassed by the Columbus Blue Jackets in Ohio 8-1, and leading point-scorer TJ Oshie was lost indefinitely with a broken ankle. First off, I’m not going to talk much about the game, because what can you really say about an 8-1 loss? We were really bad, and the Jackets were really, really good. My concern here is Oshie.
This is a bad deal. Ankle injuries to hockey players are significantly worse that other sports, because the ankle is obviously vital to skating. Best-case scenario is that he misses several months, I would guess. It sounds as if Oshie will be evaluated again on Thursday to decide if he needs surgery or not, and my guess is that he will. If he does go under the knife, it seems like a realistic possibility that he could miss most or all of the regular season. Oshie isn’t just the team’s leader in points, he is also the heart and soul of the squad. He is one of the better two-way forwards on the roster, and the energy he brings to the ice is second to none. I’m worried that the short-term effect of this injury could be to deflate the players, and if this team isn’t playing up-tempo and aggressively, they aren’t going to win consistently. Long-term, I’m not convinced that there is enough depth on the squad to cover for this injury. This team is already short a big-time goal scorer, and now a talent like Oshie is gone. Now more than ever, the Blues need a few guys to really step up their offensive production. If that doesn’t happen, the days of the seeing the team that started 9-1-2 might be gone. Only time will tell.