The St. Louis Blues did the expected thing in bringing back a few players coming out of their week long break. It seems to have been time well spent.
Prior to the team’s bye week, the Blues sent Barbashev and Dunn to the Chicago Wolves. They also sent Thompson to the San Antonio Rampage.
As with any roster movement, there were a few people that were worried at the “demotion” for fear the team might keep them in the AHL. We discussed that and made it clear that these moves were simply to keep their legs in shape and minds sharp.
That was proven true as the Blues recalled all three back to the NHL roster. It was time well spent for at least two guys.
Barbashev was the biggest issue for sending down. He had settled into a nice streak of play prior to the break and you always worry that getting used to new teammates would throw that off.
Barbashev shrugged those worries aside and kept performing. Though the Wolves lost all three games he came down for, Barbashev scored a goal in the team’s 4-2 loss to the Ontario Reign.
Thompson was also a bit of a question mark by sending down. He had also been hot prior to the break, but he lost no steps either.
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The San Antonio Rampage did better as a team than Chicago, but Thompson was a bright spot. The Rampage split two games with the Milwaukee Admirals and Thompson was the lone bright spot by scoring a goal in a 4-1 loss. Blues properties Klim Kostin and Chris Butler scored in the Rampage’s win, but that’s a different story.
Dunn was not about to be left out of the party. He had a goal and an assist in his two games with the Wolves. His goal tied things up at 2-2 in what would eventually be a 4-3 win.
As with anyone, you cannot translate all minor league stats over to the NHL. We cannot expect these guys to hit the ground running and score a bunch of goals as soon as the Blues resume their season.
What it does tell us is these guys are still in form. It tells us that they did not see their demotion as anything but a training exercise to keep them in hockey shape and playing games.
It also shows that they are capable of taking what they learned at the highest level and put it to work in the AHL as well.
We should not expect these guys to lead the team suddenly. The Blues still need their big names to step up and take the bull by the horns, so to speak.
However, if these guys can bring the same energy, perhaps they give the rest of their teammates a boost.
We will wait and see until tomorrow whether they get reinserted into the starting lineup. This little break shows these guys are ready to take full time roles, for me.