St. Louis Blues’ Ryan Reaves to Miss Tuesday’s Game


The St. Louis Blues will be without forward Ryan Reaves for Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres as he deals with an ankle injury suffered in practice on Monday. Magnus Paajarvi, who has played in five games this season and has been a healthy scratch for the past three games, is expected to be inserted in the lineup in his place as the fourth line right wing.

Though the 27-year-old Reaves’ traditional role has been as an enforcer, he has expanded his repertoire this season and already has two goals, which matches his total over 63 games in 2013-14 and exceeds the season total for top-nine forwards like T.J. Oshie and Joakim Lindstrom. On the flip side, he’s only been in one fight this year and is definitely putting more of an emphasis on exerting his physicality through checking rather than dropping the gloves.

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If the Blues should need someone to do some in-game policing, they should be able to rely on Steve Ott, who has accumulated as many as 183 penalty minutes during a season over the course of his 12-year career. Ott might be extra motivated on Tuesday against the Sabres, his former team.

If Reaves is disabled for a prolonged period, it will further lengthen the time that the Blues have had to play with a depleted forward corps. They haven’t had their top 12 forwards healthy together for a game since the fourth game of the season in Arizona, when Paul Stastny went down with a shoulder injury just seconds into the contest. The Blues had hoped to get back to that complement of players sooner than later, as Oshie has significantly accelerated his recovery from a concussion by practicing the past two days.