The Blues’ top center will be out for an extended period with a lower-body injury.
In what could be a crushing blow to the strong run they’ve been on lately, the St. Louis Blues will be without their best center for an indefinite period. The team announced on Wednesday afternoon that Paul Stastny will be out on a week-to-week basis after suffering a lower-body injury in Tuesday night’s victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
This has been Stastny’s best season since he joined the Blues back in 2014-15. Through 66 games, Stastny was on pace to have his first 20-goal season since 2013-14, as he had collected 18 goals along with 22 assists. Perhaps most importantly, he leads Blues centers with a 55.74% face-off percentage.
With the Blues having just 10 games left to play over the next two-and-a-half weeks, it seems conceivable that Stastny might miss the rest of the regular season.
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
That’s frustrating for a Blues team that is 7-3 during the month of March for a Blues team that has a pretty firm grasp on a playoff spot, possessing an eight-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings with 10 games left to go for each team. The most important thing for the Blues at this point, though, will be getting Stastny healthy in time for the playoffs.
The team hasn’t provided any recent updates on center Jori Lehtera, who has had a very disappointing season but at least is a semi-competent faceoff guy. Lehtera has missed the Blues’ past six games after getting hit in the face with a puck on March 10. Seeing as he hasn’t participated in any practices or morning skates recently, one would think that he wouldn’t immediately be available to return to game action.
In that case, the most likely replacement for Stastny in Thursday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks would be Nail Yakupov, who has been a healthy scratch since last Wednesday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks, or Dmitrij Jaskin, who has been out with an injury for the past four games but has resumed on-ice activities. If head coach Mike Yeo wanted to get creative, though–as he did more than a few times as head coach of the Minnesota Wild–he could dress seventh defenseman Jordan Schmaltz as a power-play specialist and roll with 11 forwards.