St. Louis Blues in Search of Offense Against Division Rival Chicago Blackhawks


St. Louis Blues Game 13/82: Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 PM at Chicago Blackhawks

After a fantastic 8-2-1 start to the season, the St. Louis Blues looked much more like a team that’s missing three of its top nine forwards and arguably its top defenseman on Wednesday night in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. It was only the second time that the Blues have been shut out this season, with the first being to the Montreal Canadiens, who are currently dominating the NHL with 23 points, compared to the Dallas Stars’ next-best 20. This shutout loss was particularly embarrassing considering that the Kings’ backup goalie, Jhonas Enroth, was in net and making just his second appearance of the season in place of Jonathan Quick.

The Blues will have just about the toughest scenario possible in which to rebound, heading to Chicago overnight to play the latter end of a back-to-back against the rival Blackhawks. Chicago has gotten off to a rather pedestrian 7-5 start and sits in sixth place in the Central Division. The Blues always seem to have trouble with Chicago, though, especially at United Center, so it will still be tough for the offensively-challenged Blues to take the win. One thing’s for sure: the Blues will need to find alternative sources of offense with playmakers Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko both still looking a bit limited by the lower-body injuries that sidelined them last week, and the offense already being limited by the absence of Paul Stastny and Jaden Schwartz. It’s about time that young forwards like Robby Fabbri and Dmitrij Jaskin started making some plays, or otherwise the Blues may have to get more deeply involved in trade discussions for a forward in order to bridge the gap until Stastny and Schwartz come back.

The Blues’ lineup will certainly have some changes on Wednesday, as Brian Elliott will make his first start in goal since October 24 and try to continue his streak without a regular season loss, as he’s 4-0-1 to begin the year. In addition, center Scott Gomez is expected to play against Chicago after being a healthy scratch on Tuesday. Gomez could theoretically replace anyone among Robby Fabbri, Scottie Upshall, Dmitrij Jaskin, and Ty Rattie in the lineup, but considering Rattie’s lack of NHL production thus far, he seems most likely to yield his spot to Gomez, an established veteran who matches up well against the Blackhawks’ high-skill style of play.

Here’s a guess at what the Blues’ lineup will look like on Wednesday night at United Center:

Alexander Steen-Jori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Robby FabbriDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Scottie UpshallScott GomezDmitrij Jaskin

Steve OttKyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Alex PietrangeloJay Bouwmeester

Carl GunnarssonColton Parayko

Joel EdmundsonRobert Bortuzzo

Brian Elliott

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