Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blues Suffer Huge Loss in Schwartz

The St. Louis Blues have been dealt a serious blow to their regular season on Saturday, as forward Jaden Schwartz blocked a shot off of his foot/ankle in the 1st period against the Detroit Red Wings and was forced from the game, not to return.  On Sunday morning, it was announced that the injury is indeed significant and that his lower-body injury would not be reassessed for another six weeks.

The Blues, who are in a good battle for top spot in the Western Conference, have been very offensively gifted in the early part of this season and a lot of that stems from the top line, where Schwartz has been great.  In 30 games played this season, the 25-year old has 14 goals and 35 points, which has been good enough for 14th overall in pool scoring.  He has also been very productive in the plus/minus among the league leaders at a +23 rating through Saturday night.

We're now not expecting to see Schwartz in the lineup until the New Year, closer to the middle of January, which is a tough pill to swallow.  Ivan Barbashev has been called up from the AHL to take his spot, who has already seen six games this season, but had no points before his demotion.

After Saturday night, it's a wonder that Brian's team is still holding onto 1st place in the pool, because his team has been decimated by injury and he's risked a fair bit on taking on another injured player, ahead of his possible return.  Schwartz's injury is now added to Ryan Johansen in Nashville, Mika Zibanejad in New York, both on the IR, while he now waits for Zach Parise to return for the Wild. 

Brian's team should finish the week in the money, but with only one projected game on Sunday to his rival's five games each for Jeremy and Wilton, it seems unlikely that his 1-point and 2-point leads are going to hold out for another day.

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