The St. Louis Blues seem have been riddled with injuries to their top players in 2018-19. Their only saving grace has been how spread out the bug has bitten.
The St. Louis Blues seem to be snake bitten when it comes to the injury bug this year, and as a franchise in general. That is not a tongue-in-cheek reference to Jake Allen‘s abilities either.
Re-evaluated might be some of the worst words in professional sports. When it comes to the Blues, it feels like re-evaluation just means they will tell us how much longer it will be. It seems like they never actually return within that window.
Now, just when it seemed like Tarasenko was going to get back into his grove and drive for 40 goals, he is on the sidelines with a mysterious injury. All we know is that it is listed as upper-body and not believed to be a concussion.
That is what is so frustrating about the NHL injury list. While we should all try to respect the privacy of these players it is maddening to get vague terms and be told it is not believed to be this or that only to find out, at some random later date, that it probably was the very injury we were told it was not.
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Even if you take that part out of the equation, the Blues seem to find ways to get hurt when nobody even notices. The last string of injuries have all happened after the game was over.
Tarasenko finished his last game, or at the very least played most of it. He ended the game against the Los Angeles Kings with over 16 minutes played, a goal and two points.
There was no mention of him missing shifts late in that game, if it did happen. So, when would this injury have occurred? The Post-Dispatch article discussed an elbow injury, but it just seems odd that a player could play through the pain in one game and then need to miss at least four after that.
The same could be said of the injury to Brayden Schenn and Carl Gunnarsson before him. Both of them either finished the game or there was no mention of them missing any shifts. Then, suddenly, they are listed on the injury report for the next day.
In the case of concussions, you can slightly understand. At times, there are no symptoms until the day after.
If a player does not have a concussion, it just feels odd they play most of a game and then get taken out of the lineup afterward.
None of this is trying to place blame on the team or player. There is just frustration at the luck of this team when it comes to keeping guys healthy.
Every team has injuries and we would be foolish to think the Blues are the only team that deals with this. It just feels like other teams do not have their biggest scorers all go down.
The Blues have currently played 68 games. Only two players have played all those games and only Ryan O’Reilly is a significant scorer in that group.
Until now, Tarasenko has only missed two games due to illness, but his injury comes at one of the worst times. Schenn has already missed 10 games and is the team’s third leading scorer. David Perron has only played 45 games and is the team’s fourth leading scorer. Imagine how well this team could be playing if they had players only go down for a game or two at a time instead of double-digit games.
The Blues have done a great job of having a next-man-up mentality. The timing just could not be worse.
St. Louis is 13-0 when they have had O’Reilly, Schenn and Tarasenko on the same line and healthy. Just as they get Schenn back, Tarasenko goes down.
Hopefully, the Blues will be able to withstand it. The wolves are scratching at the door and this team needs a healthy, stable lineup to keep them at bay.