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The potential opening night lineup for the Blues is depressing

The St. Louis Blues have been bit by the injury bug repeatedly during the preseason, ruining any hope of having a predictable lineup on opening night. Even with the injuries, the grim reality of the situation may not be clear until you gaze at a potential opening night lineup.

When Jeremy Rutherford was asked about what kind of lineup the Blues will use in their first game, the answer was fairly depressing.

Jaskin on the second line is terrifying. Haven’t the Blues learned what Jaskin can do at the NHL level? At this stage, Jaskin has proven he’s a bottom-six depth player at best and is far from deserving a spot on the second line even in the most dire of injury situations. He did score a nice goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it’s going to take a lot to convince anyone that he’s suddenly a second-line forward.

Is it worth giving Kostin a look in some capacity if things are in such bad shape that Jaskin has to be on a top-six line? He’s young, but he’s given fans a lot to be excited about. Wade Megan may also be a potential candidate to earn some time, and Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas and Tage Thompson should all be in the discussion. The youngsters have been pretty impressive in the preseason, but JR believes the team will stick with a few of their more known, unexciting options.

With Steen, Fabbri and Bouwmeester set to be re-evaluated after training camp wraps, the Blues will have a better idea of what kind of help they need in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, it might be too late to make any significant changes before the opening night puck drops.

2 thoughts on “The potential opening night lineup for the Blues is depressing

  1. While we certainly can’t expect to get away with an all-kids lineup for an extended period of time, it does seem that there’s a lot of room here for Megan (not really a kid anymore, at 27, I suppose…) and Blais, especially, to make the opening night roster following all of the injuries.

    Kostin, from what I’ve gotten to see of the games so far, including the streams of the Traverse City tourney, seems like he’s going to need more time to adapt and grow in the NA game. Let’s not turn him from “exciting young prospect” into “the next rushed-to-the-NHL-Oilers-style prospect-bust” if we don’t have to, is my way of thinking on him.

    Unfortunately, in a lot of ways, this is just what a lineup is going to look like for any team that loses two of it’s top six forwards to injury at the same time. Speaking particularly to Jaskin, this is really going to be a make-or-break year for him (compared to the last couple of make-or-break years for him) because the team actually has this amount of skilled youth coming through the system now – if he doesn’t solidify his spot while he has the chance (if he indeed gets it as JR suspects), his days as a Blue are pretty much numbered. His one advantage, such as it is, is that he’s only an RFA after this season, so the team can keep him around as a relatively cheap option a-la Magnus Paajarvi (who will hit UFA after this season). Note, however, that Bennett and Sundqvist are also RFAs after the season, so the team is going to have options beyond just Jaskin, not all of whom may return depending on how the prospect crop develops over the course of the season.

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    1. As always, you make some good points. I think my hope to see a young prospect, as well as my frustration seeing Jaskin at such a high possible position, is screwing with my overall vision. Realistically, I think Megan will be given the shot based on a few quotes, but Jaskin figures to be in there too.

      And … one of these days I’ll be penciling you in for a guest post. Don’t forget!

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