The St. Louis Blues’ attempt at earning a postseason berth will be even tougher now that Robby Fabbri is out for the season.
It’s safe to say this has been a tough week for the St. Louis Blues. After a deflating loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, head coach got the ax on Wednesday morning and was replaced by associate coach Mike Yeo. While Thursday’s Bob Plager jersey retirement ceremony and subsequent win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was a nice break from the turmoil, things were back to normal on Saturday night, as the Blues fell 4-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The worst news yet, though, came on Sunday morning, as the team announced that winger Robby Fabbri will miss the rest of the season after suffering a left ACL injury in the loss to Pittsburgh. Fabbri was hit by Pittsburgh’s Carter Rowney midway through the first period and fell in front of the bench. He required assistance to leave the ice and did not return.
Fabbri was arguably the Blues’ fastest forward and one of the key members of their young core. While playing in 51 of the team’s first 52 games, he ranked sixth on the club with 29 points (11 goals and 18 assists).
More from Arch Authority
- St. Louis Cardinals: Randal Grichuk to begin Double-A rehab stint
- John Brebbia deserves a shot as the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer
- St. Louis Cardinals place Randal Grichuk on DL, recall José Martínez
- St. Louis Cardinals release RHP Corey Baker from organization
- St. Louis Cardinals activate Kolten Wong and Kevin Siegrist from DL, option Luke Weaver and Alex Mejia to Triple-A
It’s worth noting, however, that he had gone ice cold as of late. Since collecting two assists in the Blues’ January 2 Winter Classic win over the Chicago Blackhawks, Fabbri had just four assists and no goals over his past 14 games. Fabbri also had a minus-9 rating over that period, which contributed significantly to his minus-16 rating for the season, one that’s tied with Kevin Shattenkirk‘s for worst on the team.
With Fabbri out of the lineup, the Blues will likely give more opportunities to Dmitrij Jaskin, who has been a healthy scratch for the past three games, but they also recalled forwards Kenny Agostino and Magnus Paajarvi from the AHL Chicago Wolves on Sunday morning. If anyone is going to soak up some of the production that the Blues will lose without Fabbri, it will likely be Agostino, who leads the AHL in points by a colossal margin.
More from St. Louis Blues
- An early projection of the St. Louis Blues’ opening-night roster
- St. Louis Blues sign Klim Kostin to three-year, entry-level contract
- St. Louis Blues: Nail Yakupov signs with Colorado Avalanche
- St. Louis Blues: An homage to Chris Butler
- St. Louis Blues agree to one-year contract with Oskar Sundqvist
Through 48 games, the 24-year-old Yale product has 18 goals and 42 assists, while the next closest AHL player (Lehigh Valley center Jordan Weal) has 45 points. He also racked up points with the Blues during training camp, and while there’s debate over whether his skills will translate to the NHL level, it can’t hurt to take a look at him now since the Blues are severely lacking offensively and just lost one of their most important playmakers.
Paajarvi will return for his second stint of the season with the Blues. While it seems pretty clear that he’ll never be the difference-making offensive player that he continually proves to be at the AHL level, he’s a quick, versatile player who could provide benefit as a “glue guy” on a team that seems to be somewhat shaken right now. He’ll probably start off as a healthy scratch, but whenever he’s needed, he’ll be ready to jump into the lineup and provide some speed and tenacity.
While Fabbri’s injury is another extremely frustrating event during a tough season, it shouldn’t cause him to miss much if any of the 2017-18 season. NHL.com’s Lou Korac tweeted Sunday that Fabbri is looking at a 6-8 month recovery time depending on a variety of different factors, which would put his return anywhere from early August to October. At the worst, that would cause him to miss the first few games of the regular season.