By Patrick Kelly
Just when it seemed like the St. Louis Blues were on their way to being 100 percent healthy, the injury bug had other news for them. On Saturday, it was announced that forward Oscar Sundqvist will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The Blues also announced that Tyler Bozak is day-to-day after recovering from a concussion and that this injury is completely unrelated.
While the Blues are now without a pivotal part of their bottom six, they are looking to get some relief with Robert Thomas being questionable for Monday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights, but with a positive outlook for him. If they can get Thomas back and slowly work back Colton Parayko, who is skating, then the Blues should be as healthy as they can be for the stretch run.
Even with the injuries still persisting, the Blues are finding ways to win games, something that head coach Craig Berube has stressed all season. On Friday night, despite losing Sundqvist for the game, the Blues were able to buckle down and got a big win in the shootout that carried over momentum into Saturday.
Even with the Blues coming back healthy, they will have to get back into the swing of things quickly because including Monday night, the Blues play the Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche a combined eight times. The Blues haven’t met the Avs since they were romped 8-0 in the second game of the season. Vegas also swept the Blues in their last meetings and while Vegas still leads the division, they will be without former Blue Alex Pietrangelo and forward Max Pacioretty. While these will be two big blows, the Blues have seen the Knights without Pietrangelo and they didn’t seem to have a problem dealing with the Blues.
As the season goes down to crunch time, the Blues have to start recognizing that one of these teams could be their first-round opponent and if they can’t build up some kind of momentum against either team it will be a long seven-game series. Or, maybe a short one.