The St. Louis Blues have managed to overcome plenty of obstacles thrown at them in 2021. There is no reward for that fact, but more tribulation.
While the Blues managed to defeat the San Jose Sharks on February 18, they suffered another setback. Ivan Barbashev left the ice in the second period and never returned.
The replay showed a shot hit his left foot or ankle while jumping in the air to dodge it. Barbashev landed, took one stride and crumpled to the ice.
Initially, there was hope. Brent Burns stick was in between his legs and Barbashev made it to the bench under his own power. The hope was it was a bruise and the fall was from Burns’ partial trip.
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The Blues were not that lucky. In fact, they have had no luck at all regarding injuries.
Barbashev will now miss at least the next six weeks. That’s the low end of the timetable too, since it’s just a re-evaluation in six weeks, not he will be ready in six weeks.
The Blues are already beset by injury problems. Robert Thomas, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko are already out.
Colton Parayko just missed the team’s last game. The Blues were getting a little healthier with the return of Sammy Blais, Torey Krug and Marco Scandella, but that relief was short lived.
This latest injury might change some timelines too. The broadcast crew has stated that Schwartz could have been playing if this was a playoff series. Perhaps Schwartz will be put back into the lineup, whether he is 100% or not.
Nothing was stated regarding that and will not be until gametime on February 20. For now, the only roster move was recalling Nathan Walker from the AHL and putting him on the taxi squad.
If Walker is on the taxi squad, he will either be placed on the NHL roster prior to the next game, Schwartz will return or the Blues are going with 11 forwards. We should all hope for Schwartz or Walker, given the circumstances.
Having seven defenders is always the worst choice unless it is the absolute only choice.