Injury bug bites again, Blues drop fifth straight
Another day, another loss and more bad news for the St. Louis Blues.
The injury-depleted Blues’ late-season losing skid has now reached five games after a 3-0 loss against the Stars on Friday night in Dallas.
St. Louis (52-22-7, 111 points in 81 games) has now lost six of its last seven games and eight of its last 13. The Blues have also lost three consecutive games against the Stars (40-30-11), who clinched a playoff spot with the victory, just in the past month.
Coach Ken Hitchcock’s club has one regular-season game remaining, against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, and one more chance to salvage some positive momentum going into the start of the playoffs next week.
There has to be someone sticking needles into Blues voodoo dolls, right? Is there any other logical explanation for the recent rash of injuries St. Louis has suffered lately?
The Blues’ list of scratches Friday night was quite lengthy: forwards David Backes (lower body), T.J. Oshie (upper body), Vladimir Tarasenko (hand), Vladimir Sobotka (undisclosed injury), Brenden Morrow (foot) and Derek Roy (undisclosed injury), defensemen Jordan Leopold (ankle) and Ian Cole (healthy scratch) and goalie Niklas Lundstrom (healthy scratch).
There might be another name on that list by Sunday.
Forward Patrik Berglund left the game late in the third period with a possible right elbow injury after he was shoved into the boards.
With six of the Blues’ top 12 forwards already out with various problems, St. Louis simply cannot afford to lose a player of Berglund’s stature. But with the way he left the game Friday — slowly making his way to the bench and then holding his elbow on the way to the locker room — it’s possible the big forward from Team Sweden could miss Sunday’s game.
RATTIE MAKES NHL DEBUT
The Blues announced Friday morning that they had recalled forwards Adam Cracknell and Keith Aucoin from their American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago. But before long a more-heralded Wolves teammate would be joining them en route to Dallas.
Ty Rattie, a 21-year-old forward, would also get the call and be pressed into action immediately upon arrival after a successful season in Chicago that included 29 goals and a team-high 46 points in 69 games.
Rattie fared well in his first taste of NHL action. He recorded a plus-minus rating of minus-two in 11:20 of ice time, but he did register a team-high-tying three shots on goal and gave Blues fans a glimpse of the future.
MORE SECOND-PERIOD STRUGGLES
The second period has been a rough time for the Blues lately.
Dallas scored twice in the second stanza, with goals from Trevor Daley and Tyler Seguin, which continued a bad trend during the losing streak.
Those goals were the 10th and 11th St. Louis has allowed in the second period over the past five games.
How many goals have the Blues scored in the second period during this skid? Three.
St. Louis was outscored 3-0 in the second period against the Avalanche, 2-0 vs. the Blackhawks, 2-1 against the Capitals, 2-2 against the Wild on Thursday and 2-0 vs. the Stars on Friday.