Steve Ott to Return to St. Louis Blues’ Lineup Thursday vs. Buffalo Sabres


After missing the St. Louis Blues’ past six games due to an upper-body injury that he suffered in the Blues’ November 4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, forward Steve Ott will return to the lineup tonight. Ott participated in the team’s morning skate on Thursday and will jump right back in to face the Buffalo Sabres, the team for which he was the captain from 2013 to 2014.

For a fourth-line forward that has just two points this season through 13 games, Ott’s presence in the lineup has had a surprisingly strong correlation with the Blues’ success. During the six games that Ott missed, the Blues played to a mediocre 3-3 record, while they’re 9-3-1 with Ott in the lineup this season. While Ott obviously is not a very strong offensive player, the immense energy that he provides to the lineup clearly boosts the play of others around him.

Ott’s return will bump Ryan Reaves from the lineup once again, as the Blues will operate with a fourth line of Ott, Kyle Brodziak, and Jeremy Welsh on Thursday. Reaves, who had the best season of his career in 2014-15, playing 81 games and collecting 12 points (six goals, six assists), has struggled to get back to form following a preseason leg injury, and he’s been a healthy scratch in four of the Blues’ past seven games. Coach Ken Hitchcock suggested earlier this week that Reaves’ inactivity has been part of a calculated plan to get him fully back up to speed as the schedule becomes more leveraged, but as he continues to sit so frequently, one must wonder if he’ll be a candidate for a trade or demotion once players like Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz, and Patrik Berglund return.

Next: Injury-Riddled Blues Look to Hold Off Sabres Thursday

Head to our Blues page for more coverage leading up to and following tonight’s game against Buffalo.