The St. Louis Blues are finally addressing their third line issues. The team has sent down Tage Thompson to San Antonio of the AHL and called up Samuel Blais.
Thompson hasn’t looked too strong in his first four NHL games, tallying just three shots while maintaining a (-3). The Blues have struggled to find any sort of punch on their third line. Thompson, along with Magnus Paajarvi and Oskar Sundqvist (who should be benched), haven’t been too threatening and have allowed the opposition to dictate the play. A change was needed.
Now, the Blues have now called on Blais to help out. Blais nearly won a spot on the NHL roster out of camp, but narrowly missed out as the Blues went with Thompson. In two AHL games, Blais already has three goals and one assist. There’s no guarantee that production will transfer to the NHL, but it’s encouraging that his strong play in the preseason has continued into the AHL.
Though Thompson didn’t do much offensively, the Blues are still pleased with his play and hope he’ll benefit with an expanded role down in the minors.
Mike Yeo on Thompson, via STLToday:
“There’s nothing but positives for Tage right now. He’s had a tremendous camp, did a real great job. It’s hard to play in your first couple games in the NHL and he came in and helped contribute to some wins. There’s nothing but positives from our side. Obviously when he was in the lineup for us he wasn’t getting the big minutes and he was not playing in the top two lines. We’re not looking to develop a third or fourth liner with Tage. We want to make sure he gets the reps in the offensive situations that he needs.”
Thompson can still be an outstanding NHL player, but he may need some more time to adjust. There’s no guarantee that Blais will be any better, but it’s encouraging to see the Blues switch things up without waiting too long.