The St. Louis Blues knew they were losing a very good player when Jaden Schwartz went down with injury. Perhaps nobody knew how much it would actually affect the team.
When the St. Louis Blues lost Jaden Schwartz to injury, nobody expected it to affect things this much. Perhaps it was because nobody expected the injury to be that serious.
Things started off alright. Schwartz took a puck to the ankle in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on December 9.
It happened on a wrist shot, so many fans assumed it would be a day to day thing at worst. Many of us figured he would eventually return in that game. Neither would turn out to be true.
The Blues won that game 6-1, so his loss did not seem to affect the offense in the immediate time after. The team went on a bit of a nose dive after that.
They won their next game, but it took overtime to defeat the lowly Buffalo Sabres. They have gone 2-6 since that Buffalo game (3-6 since the injury).
Clearly, the Blues were dependent on Schwartz’ game for much of their offense. His ability to score this season was lifting up everyone else, but their ability to score has been snuffed out without that extra scoring threat for defenses to worry about.
It is no wonder the team was doing so well with him in the lineup. He was on pace to set new personal records this season.
Through 30 games played, Schwartz had 14 goals and 35 points. So, he was scoring more than a point per game and scoring a goal pretty much every other game.
Schenn and Tarasenko have gone ice cold since that injury came about. Much of that can be attributed to the defenses being allowed to key on them.
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It should come as no surprise that the team needs Schwartz so much. He’s been an integral part of this team for many years.
The last time the team was without Schwartz for an extended time, they did make the Western Conference Finals and finished second in the division.
All three of those guys are gone now, so despite Schenn’s addition, there is much less of a lineup to aid the offense. Schwartz still made a big impact in that year.
He was the team’s fourth leading scorer in the playoffs. He almost finished in the top 10 in team scoring that season as well, despite missing 60% of the season.
Right now, the Blues seem to be just trying to tread water without him. They need to find a way to do more than that, because he still has a good amount of time on injured reserve.
Schwartz has missed nine games so far (10 if you count that Detroit game, since he went out so early). Based on the original projections, he might not be back until the team’s game against Ottawa on January 23.
Of course, he could improve and come back the week before, but with ankle injuries, he has not been able to skate. He will have to regain his cardiovascular shape.
The sooner the better apparently though. The Blues don’t seem to be able to cope with this injury the way they had shrugged off all the others.
We all knew Schwartz was an important part of this team. This injury has shown us just how important.
The team has struggled to win. They have had even bigger struggles to score.
At this point, it might be too much to ask for them to figure it out. They need him to get healthy and even then, it might not have the immediate impact to get this team back on track right away.