Paul Stastny is expected to miss his first game of the season on Thursday as he recovers from an upper-body injury sustained in Tuesday’s win over Dallas. This had been the healthiest stretch that Stastny had enjoyed to begin a season during his three-year run with the Blues; he’d sustained injuries during the past two Octobers that seemed to limit his production over the long haul.
One would guess that Stastny would be replaced by Nail Yakupov, who had played in four straight games before being scratched Tuesday, rather than Ty Rattie, who has played in just four games this season. Rattie participated in the team’s warmup rather than Yakupov prior to the Dallas game, though, so perhaps he’ll get a rare chance to contribute.
Defenseman Brad Hunt is also expected to stay in the lineup for a second straight game after sitting for two games as a healthy scratch. Hunt’s streak of of recording points in every game of his Blues career ended on Tuesday, as he failed to collect a point in Dallas after getting onto the scoresheet for his first four games in the Blue Note, but he still earned a plus-1 rating, played strong defense, and spent 1:11 on the power play, which tied him with Colton Parayko for the most minutes played by a Blues defenseman while the team had the man advantage.
Hunt will likely replace Carl Gunnarsson, who was expected to sit on Tuesday but ended up playing after Alex Pietrangelo came down with an illness.
With Stastny out Thursday, the team will have to make rather significant line shakeups. Here’s a guess at what the lineup might look like: