As the Blues continue to shuffle forwards, Robby Fabbri will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career.
As the St. Louis Blues continue to struggle with scoring consistently, yet another player will serve as a scapegoat for the offensive woes on Thursday night as the Blues take on the Nashville Predators. Winger Robby Fabbri, who has quite possibly been the team’s most underperforming forward through the first month of the season, will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career as Nail Yakupov re-enters the lineup after a three-game stint in the press box.
The 20-year-old Fabbri missed 10 games due to injury last season, but he played in all 72 games for which he was available, scoring 18 goals while adding 19 assists. He also had four goals and 11 assists in 20 postseason games.
He’s dealt with a noticeable sophomore slump this season, as he has just one goal and three assists through 14 games. That first goal didn’t come until Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, when–with all due respect to Fabbri–everyone was getting in on the scoring action. Most notably, Fabbri has struggled in his own end and has posted a minus-3 rating thus far.
When asked about the reason for scratching Fabbri on Thursday, coach Ken Hitchcock said that it wasn’t a matter of offense, but instead the second-year forward’s tenacity:
Yakupov, who had two goals and two assists through his first 11 games, will get back into the mix after three games as a healthy scratch. If he acquits himself well, it should be interesting to see who ends up being the odd man out long-term, as the Blues’ fourth line of Scottie Upshall, Kyle Brodziak, and Ryan Reaves has performed well lately, and they obviously seem to have a desire to give Dmitrij Jaskin an extended look.
With today’s news, the Blues will now have sat Upshall, Reaves, Jaskin, Yakupov, and Fabbri–as well as the scratches on opening night, Magnus Paajarvi and Ty Rattie, who are currently at AHL Chicago–through the season’s first 15 games.