By Patrick Kelly
Over the past two years, it seems as if the Blues have had different issues plague the first half of their season. Last year at this time, the team was still molding despite seeing spurts of what they were capable of.
This year, the Blues find themselves in a situation that is just as tough, not having a consistent lineup night in and night out. Because of how many players went down on Saturday, they consider themselves lucky that as of Monday, only one of them is on the injury report. In the span of 60 minutes, the Blues lost Colton Parayko, Zach Sanford, and Robert Thomas at some point in the game, but it’s Sanford who has been listed as doubtful with an upper-body injury that makes him doubtful for the matchup Tuesday night in Buffalo.
With Sanford down, the Blues are missing five regular forwards in their lineup heading into Tuesday. With the Blues once again finding themselves short up front they announced some call-ups. San Antonio Rampage forwards Jordan Kyrou and Austin Poganski have been summoned by the Blues and will be joining them in Buffalo.
This loss of manpower has led to two straight losses in regulation for the first time since they dropped games four and five to Dallas in the second round of the playoffs last season. Saturday was also two firsts for Jordan Binnington: He lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time in his career and he was also pulled for the first time in a regular-season game. Binnington was tested early, facing 11 shots in just under 13 minutes that he played. In that span, he managed to stop seven shots but was relieved by Jake Allen after Jason Spezza’s goal made it 4-1.
With the two losses in a row, the Blues now have a two-point lead in the division with the second-place Colorado Avalanche having two games in hand, on top of them having won eight or their last 10 games.
After the trip to Buffalo, the Blues are back home for four straight games, starting on Thursday against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, then a game on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks who the Blues defeated 4-0 last week. Starting off the following week, the Blues have a big Monday matchup against the Colorado Avalanche before finishing off their home stand next Thursday when the Edmonto Oilers come to town.
Patrick Kelly covers the Blues for 590thefan.com