The St. Louis Blues and all NHL teams are a little hesitant to let their stars go to international tournaments for fear of injury. That fear has played out with a possibly significant injury.
The St. Louis Blues and their players knew the risks when they released several guys to play in the 2018 IIHF World Championships. Unfortunately, it came back to bite them slightly as the tournament is coming toward a close.
Jaden Schwartz picked up an assist in Team Canada’s tight victory over Russia by a score of 5-4. Unfortunately, Schwartz left the game in the third period with the dreaded upper-body injury.
There has been no word as to the severity and an upper-body injury can mean anything. We always assume the worst, if it involves the head, but it could be shoulder related or arm or even hand.
Regardless, the Blues had enough problems with Schwartz this past season in 2017-18. They absolutely do not need him to miss any time to start 2018-19.
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Schwartz missed 20 games this past season and the Blues were a far worse team without him. You can say that a team should not be a one-man show all we want and that should be true. However, you cannot deny the fact that the team’s winter swoon coincided perfectly with Schwartz’ December 9 injury against Detroit.
The issue could be durability at this point. Schwartz does not seem injury prone, but he’s had some bad luck. The injury against the Red Wings was a simple blocked shot that hit in the perfect wrong spot.
Could it be similar luck with this particular injury? Time will tell. Blues fans can do nothing but wait and hold their breath.
Hopefully it will be nothing serious. Fortunately, time is on the side of the Blues with it coming so often in the offseason. The major downside would be if there is a head injury, it becomes much easier to pick up a second.
Elsewhere in the tournament, things are a little more rosy. Team USA knocked off the Czech Republic by a score of 3-2. The Americans had to come back from 2-0 deficit.
Sadly for Blues fans, the comeback effort involved two goals from Patrick Kane, but we’ll overlook that since he’s wearing the red, white and blue.
Team USA will now play against Sweden in the semifinals. Team Canada will still have three other Blues to play against Switzerland in their semifinal game after the Swiss upset team Finland.
Colton Parayko scored the Canadian’s opening goal in their win over Russia. Ville Husso was on the bench for Finland’s disappointing loss.
Nikita Soshnikov got some surprising playing time for Russia in their game. He even registered an assist before the Russians were sent packing. Now, he will wait to see if he receives an offer sheet from the Blues or hits free agency in July.
Right now, the injury to Schwartz takes center stage for the Blues and their fans. Schwartz has quickly become one of, if not the best player on the team. The Blues need him healthy.