St. Louis Blues Lose Three Players to Injury Against Anaheim Ducks

January 8, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry (10) reacts after colliding with St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
January 8, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry (10) reacts after colliding with St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) during the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The injury gods, who had been nice to the St. Louis Blues for the past four games, were out in full force again during Friday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

Even casting aside the fact that they blew a two-goal lead in the third period and suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks, Friday was a rough night for the St. Louis Blues. The team, which has already been struck by a multitude of injuries during the 2015-16 season, lost center Paul Stastny, defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, and goaltender Jake Allen to injuries during Friday’s game.

Bouwmeester, who played 5:15, and Stastny, who played 4:26, left within a minute of each other during the first period and did not return after both sustained upper-body injuries. That caused major fatigue for the Blues, who were therefore left without a top pairing defenseman who averages 23:08 per game and a top line center who averages 19:18.

More from Arch Authority

It’d be another deflating blow for each skater if they were to miss time following these injuries. Stastny missed eight games with a shoulder injury last season that seemed to set him back even after he returned, and a broken foot cost him 16 games earlier this season. Bouwmeester, meanwhile, snapped a streak of 737 consecutive games played last season and missed 10 games with a lower-body injury and then an illness. It would be frustrating if his lack of superhuman durability was exposed again during 2015-16.

Allen exited the game midway through the second period after Ducks forward Corey Perry crashed into him in his own net. After initially looking like he would stay in the game, Allen exited the ice under his own power and gave way to Brian Elliott. Over the remaining 32:57 of regulation, Elliott gave up two goals on 27 shots, which sent the game to overtime and caused the Blues to lose their fifth straight game (and third straight that was decided beyond regulation). For what it’s worth, Elliott did remain steady during five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime and shut down two of Anaheim’s four contestants during the shootout.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Jeremy Rutherford relayed after the game, coach Ken Hitchcock didn’t provide much of an update on the injured players:

The Blues won’t be forced to call up any players for Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings, as forward Scottie Upshall and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo can step into the lineup if Stastny and Bouwmeester both remain out, with either Patrik Berglund or Dmitrij Jaskin sliding into a center position to fill Stastny’s spot in the middle.

More from St. Louis Blues

If the travel logistics aren’t too difficult, they may want to fly someone in from Austin, Texas, where their AHL affiliate is currently playing, to provide some extra depth. Jeremy Welsh and Jordan Caron, both of whom have had NHL stints this season, would be likely candidates for a recall at forward, while Chris Butler and Andre Benoit would be logical options on defense.

The only position that will need to be filled immediately, assuming that Allen is unavailable for Saturday’s game at Los Angeles, is the backup goalie spot behind Brian Elliott. The Blues’ two AHL goaltenders this season are 23-year-old Pheonix Copley, acquired this summer in the T.J. Oshie trade, and Jordan Binnington, a 22-year-old former third-rounder.

Next: Significant Investments: 12 Questionable Checks that Stan Kroenke has Written Since Buying the Rams

Both are in their respective second full AHL seasons, and the two have been virtually equal at Chicago this year, with Copley’s numbers just a touch better. Each has played 17 games; Copley has a 8-8 record with a 2.57 goals-against average, a .912 save percentage, and two shutouts, while Binnington is 8-6-2 with a 2.57 GAA, a .910 save percentage, and one shutout. Considering that Copley was cut from the NHL squad after Binnington during the preseason, it seems a bit more likely that he’d get the first opportunity to join the big club. For what it’s worth, though, Binnington did start for the Wolves in their Friday evening matchup with the Texas Stars, allowing three goals on 32 shots.