We got the news we expected today, but it certainly wasn’t the news we were hoping for. Blues forward Andy McDonald will be sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a concussion on Saturday night against Edmonton. This is a monster blow to the team, and it’s one I’m not sure they will be able to get over. McDonald is currently tied for the team lead in points with David Backes at 17, and he is the team leader with eight goals. He is also second on the team in shots. Those are the things we can see on the stat sheet. The fact of the matter is, McDonald has been the Blues best player thus far this season. It goes beyond the numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a Blues game an commented that “A-Mac is everywhere tonight” or “McDonald is the best player on the ice again tonight”.
So now the Blues are without three of their top six forwards with A-Mac, TJ Oshie and David Perron out with injury. I don’t know any team in the NHL that could lose that much offense and still compete in the rugged Western Conference night in and night out, especially in the Central Division. The good news is that I think this team can still win games, and we saw the formula Sunday night. We are going to need top-notch goaltending (even more than before), and we are going to need other guys to step up. Guys like Brad Boyes, Backes, Alex Steen, and Patrik Berglund are going to have to be more than good. They are going to have to be borderline great. Guys like Matt D’Agostini, Vlad Sobotka, and Brad Winchester are going to have to be semi-regulars on the score sheet. And guys like Erik Johnson, Alex Pietrangelo, Carlo Colaiacovo, and possibly even Ian Cole are going to have to give us offense.
It’s hard to say when McDonald and Perron will be back, but it’s safe to say we are going to find out plenty about some of the players mentioned above while they are out. Who has the stones to step up and take this thing over? Who will put it upon himself to keep this team from sinking? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I think they should become clear over the next few weeks.
Topics: Alex Pietrangelo, Alex Steen, Andy McDonald, Brad Boyes, Brad Winchester, Carlo Colaiacovo, Central Division, Concussion, David Backes, David Perron, Edmonton Oilers, Erik Johnson, Ian Cole, Matt D'Agostini, Patrik Berglund, St. Louis Blues, TJ Oshie, Vladimir Sobotka, Western Conference