Excuses are common in the NHL when a team is struggling and falling in the standings. A tough schedule and fatigue are two of the most common, but injuries are inevitably the most popular excuse a team can use to explain a poor record. In the case of the St. Louis Blues and their recent free fall, injuries aren’t a viable explanation.
The Blues have the second-fewest man-games due to injury in the NHL. To date, they have had a total of 69 games missed by their roster due to injury.
Here are the five teams with the best health so far in 2016-17:
In other words, the Blues have been at full strength – excluding some minor hiccups here and there – for the bulk of the season. They’ve been healthy compared to many of their rivals who sit above them in the standings.
That’s a very different story from the Blues of old who had to endure significant injuries and missed time while battling to stay near the top of the Central. This year’s team has been extremely fortunate to remain mostly healthy. Instead of capitalizing on that luck, they’ve spiraled out of control and resemble more of a Cup pretender than a contender.
There’s still a lot of season left for the Blues to turn things around, but there’s also lots of time for the injury bug to bite and really throw things out of control.