The hits just keep on coming for the St. Louis Blues and we don’t mean the golden oldies. The Blues just lost another another player to the dreaded injured reserve list.
Someone needs to be checking the St. Louis Blues players’ travel logs. It’s starting to look like players might be getting themselves put onto the injured reserve list just so they can go on vacation.
Of course, that is merely a joke. However, what is not a joke is the amount of players that are spending significant time on the IR list.
Now, you can add Samuel Blais to that list. Blais last played for the Blues in their home game against the Winnipeg Jets on December 16.
He only got five shifts for a grand total of three minutes, 21 seconds of ice time. Blais’ ice time has been limited in the past, but he’s never had fewer than 12 shifts in the last five games played.
For those that did not see the game, Blais left the contest in the first period with the initial injury. He attempted to come back out in the second, but could not even complete a full shift.
Right now, it’s just being listed as a lower body injury. That seems to be a reoccurring theme with the Blues as the vast majority of their injuries lately involve feet/ankles or legs.
On the one hand, we might see the return of Tage Thompson. He has been called up from the AHL, but whether he sees any ice time or not remains to be seen.
The issue is not so much that Blais is gone. Don’t get me wrong, I root for the guy and think he can be a solid player going forward.
However, he’s only had a goal and three points in 10 games. The bigger issue is the Blues seem to be dropping like flies.
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What is more, they seem to always have the injury end up being worse than originally hoped. It is understandable that maybe you can’t tell until swelling goes down or until they have a day to let it rest, etc. It still just seems like being listed as day-to-day ends up being a death sentence and they are always going to end up on IR.
The Blues currently have five players on IR, with as many as four possibly on the list for lower body injuries. Not counting Robby Fabbri, who has missed the entire season, the Blues have missed as many as 45 games due to injury. That is a lot of man power lost.
These things happen over the course of a season. It just seems like it’s all coming crashing down like a wave for St. Louis right now.
Every team goes through injury problems. It’s highly unlikely there has been any team in the history of the NHL that had their entire roster go through a season without any bump or bruise.
The thing the Blues have going for them is they are playing right around .500 hockey or better during this difficult time. That doesn’t sound too appealing, but given the importance of the players they’ve lost, going 5-4-1 in their last 10 games is pretty good.
What is better is the experience the role players are getting. There is no need to overly sugar coat things. Those players are not stepping up to the plate the way you’d like. However, when the team gets fully healthy, they’ll have the experience of playing important minutes in big moments.
That is invaluable come playoff time. For now, the team just needs to keep attempting to overcome.
Clearly the Blues can do that. They beat the Winnipeg Jets, a team clicking quite well, before getting clobbered when the Blues were exhausted.
The other fortunate thing is none of these injuries – save for Jaden Schwartz – seem long term. These players will all be back sooner rather than later.
For Blais, it stinks to have his opportunity ruined in this fashion. It seemed as though he was going to get another solid NHL run and then it was taken away from him.
Now, fans can only hope that he gets well soon and the team gets well also. We all have our fingers crossed that this season will not be derailed by constant injury.