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Blues plan to keep Barbashev and Blais in the AHL for the foreseeable future

If you were hoping to see Sammy Blais or Ivan Barbashev skating with the Blues, you’re out of luck for the foreseeable future. The Blues sent the duo down to the AHL this weekend, making it clear that their play up at the NHL level simply wasn’t good enough.

When asked about the roster change, head coach Mike Yeo said he plans to keep the duo in the AHL for the immediate future.

The decision to move Blais and Barbashev down is the correct one.

Coming off of a really strong 30-game, 12-point rookie season, Barbashev has faded into obscurity. In six games in 2017-18, Barbashev has zero points and just three shots. He has looked lost on the ice, struggling to make any kind of impact on the overall play. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Barbashev of this season was a totally different player than the Barbashev from last season. It’s been pretty disappointing to watch his game fall of so sharply.

Meanwhile, Blais might have been a touch better than Barbashev, but he too has struggled to get his footing in the NHL. In four games, he had one point and three shots.

When looking at their play as a whole, both players would benefit from building up their game down in the AHL. Both could have strong NHL careers, but it may take some more time before either player is ready to come back up.

3 thoughts on “Blues plan to keep Barbashev and Blais in the AHL for the foreseeable future

  1. Barbashev seemed to be doing his best Year 2 Fabbri impression, adjusted for the ratio of his own year one stats, of course. It’s a shame, yes, though it’s a common enough occurrence. Hopefully he gets the fire back and puts the work in to come back, because he obviously has the raw ability that let him make it in the first place.

    Blais, meanwhile, simply needs to round out his game. With the puck, he’s NHL level already. It’s his play without the puck that really needs to progress. Hopefully he can go get a lot of minutes in San Antonio to get that squared away, because the upside is plain to see already.

    Bennett, well… The needle’s not really moving here, for me. If he can come in and solidify the bottom six, all well and good. If not, then it’s not really a huge issue if he joins the pressbox rotation.

    But, really, is it Wednesday yet? The weird gaps in this schedule combined with all of the early back-to-back games is already getting to me.

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    1. The schedule gaps are really bizarre, especially knowing that the schedule is more challenging down the road where things could have been spread out some.

      I like Bennett, personally. Nothing flashy, but seems like he’s more consistent with his overall play.

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      1. Agreed. It’s a totally reasonable move, bringing up a guy who should be more consistent, while letting the youngsters work out their issues with time in the minors, where the errors won’t directly impact the Blues directly.

        Now, that said, if Blais isn’t the answer at the moment on the right wing of the Schwartz/Schenn line… who is? I know a lot of people are down on Jaskin, and he does have that irritating ability to play really well and then totally vanish. Despite that, he’s still holding the crown for best Blues player at even strength Corsi For%. Does that get him another shot? And if not, what’s the next option, pray that Kostin is ready to come up and make the impact that Blais couldn’t? Given that he missed a substantial chunk of time last season due to injury, that’s not one that I’d be counting on, personally (though I’d love to be proved wrong). Steen seems to be solidifying the first line from a possession perspective, so I’d be hesitant to move him there – again, who fills the top line hole you create with that move? Top Liner Vladimir Sobotka? Gag me…

        Regarding the scheduling, I feel like part of it was the need to institute the bye weeks. It’s just one more hurdle to add to all of the others required to get a schedule done for the entire league. Add to the Blues, specifically, trying to avoid October home dates (though the Cardinals have been obliging them by bowing out earlier and earlier lately…), and the result looks an awful lot like madness.

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