The summer trudges on for those of us waiting for St. Louis Blues hockey. At least the preparations for the World Cup are beginning to hold us over.
The St. Louis Blues are very close to beginning that we can all taste it. Like a pack of hungry family members salivating over Thanksgiving dinner, we’re forced to stick our fingers into the not quite ready World Cup exhibitions to get our taste of hockey for now.
So far, it’s been a mixed bag but mostly pretty decent stuff from the St. Louis Blues players. Injury worries are still there, but other than that it has been fun.
Of course, in terms of worry, those that still care about him won’t be happy with Vladimir Sobotka‘s current status. He injured his shoulder – other reports say clavicle, but it’s harder to decipher when you’re dealing with things coming over from Europe.
Regardless, it does not seem to be as bad as originally feared. The original reports were he may have a broken the clavicle, but then there were statements he may be ready for this past Saturday’s game against Russia.
That did not happen. However, even Sobotka knew it was nothing overly serious.
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“I could move my arm instantly after [the hit], so I knew it wasn’t broken or dislocated,” Sobotka said.
“It’s getting better every day,” Sobotka said after practice, during which he did not take contact. “It should be OK. We’ll see how it looks after some harder contact.”
So, the latest is basically we are in a wait and see period with him. Blues fans should be used to that since the “official” announcement of his return to the team is still pending. All people know is he would have to get on a long flight back if he does not stay in North America.
What is worrying, going on the assumption he plays for St. Louis, is a shoulder injury. While Alexander Steen seemed to suffer no ill effects, it can’t not affect someone’s play a little to deal with pain in a joint that constantly gets hit.
At this point a trade seems unlikely. So, Blues fans need to hope he is healthy going into the season.
On a brighter note, Colton Parayko got his first action of the exhibition games. It was a bit worrying when he was not in the lineup earlier in the week, but coach Todd McLellan seems to be giving everyone a look.
Parayko did not figure into the result much. Still, Team North America defeated Team Europe for the second time in a row on Sunday.
Flipping back to a name that many have soured on, Jay Bouwmeester got his first goal for Team Canada. After being a ghost for much of Team Canada’s earlier loss to the U.S., Bouwmeester was much more impactful in their victory.
Much of the work was clearly done by Ryan Getzlaf, but it was still a good wrist shot. Even better than the shot was the positioning by Bouwmeester.
Sliding up to join the backside of the attack was something he did much more in Calgary and his first year in St. Louis. If he gets comfortable doing that again, we could see somewhat of a return to offensive form.
Understandably, people have not been pleased with Bouwmeester’s play the last season and a half or so. If he has finally shaken off the injury that caused him to miss the first action of his NHL career though, the Blues could be in for a treat.
Perhaps I’m being foolish, but I still hold out hope that Bouwmeester will be a quality top-two defenseman for the Blues. He still has skating and stick handling ability. His issues have mostly been between the ears of late.
A nice run with a few points with Team Canada will be good for his confidence.
The actual World Cup begins on September 17. There are still a handful of exhibition games remaining this week before everyone converges for the tournament in Toronto.