The Blues didn’t practice on Sunday, so we won’t have any idea what their lineup against Edmonton is going to look like until Monday morning at the earliest. Ken Hitchcock historically likes to make lineup changes after tough losses, and we already know there will be one adjustment, as Carter Hutton will spell Jake Allen in net against the Oilers.
Hitchcock threatened to make changes on the fourth line last week, but he backed off and has consequently seen that line provide a strong offensive presence over the past week. If he’s looking for a spot to make change for the sake of change, though, it’s possible that we could see Dmitrij Jaskin draw in for Scottie Upshall, who was a minus-2 with no points on Saturday.
Nail Yakupov, who was a minus-1 with no points in just 9:30 of ice time, could also be a candidate to be replaced by Jaskin or Ty Rattie. Those guys both fit better as top-nine forwards, anyway, so perhaps that’d be the more logical change.
Hitchcock might also want to get Brad Hunt, who had points in his first four games with the Blues before he was inexplicably designated as a healthy scratch on Saturday, back into the lineup, particularly since he’ll be facing his former team. The logical player to come out would seem to be Carl Gunnarsson, who was a minus-1 in 10:35 of even-strength ice time on Saturday.
One bold, unexpected move would be to sit Colton Parayko, who is a minus-5 in his past four games and still doesn’t have a goal this season. While it might be nice for Parayko to hit the reset button, he’s still pretty clearly one of the team’s best two or three defensive defensemen, and sitting him would necessitate a double-lefthanded pair.
Here’s a guess at what Monday’s lineup might look like:
Carl Gunnarsson–Kevin Shattenkirk
UPDATE, 11:30 AM: It appears as if Carl Gunnarsson will remain in the lineup tonight, with Brad Hunt sitting for a second straight game. Ryan Reaves didn’t participate in the morning skate and could be out Monday, though he’s been dealing with a nagging injury lately.