When I heard St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny suffered a lower body (ankle) injury caused by a puck shot by a teammate midway through the first period in a game against the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night, my heart sank. I thought losing a top line center like Paul Stastny might diminish the team’s chance of making the playoffs. So far, I’ve been wrong with that thought. The Blues recently lost center Jori Lehtera to an injury as well, so the depth at that position was already somewhat thin. Stastny has had a great year in the faceoff circle, winning 57% of his total faceoff chances this season. He has also been a key component in the Blues offense with 18 goals and 22 assists in 66 games this season. Alex Steen took over at the center position on the first line for the rest of the game that night and the Blues went on to win 4-2, their third win in a row and eighth in nine games.
Head Coach Mike Yeo shuffled the lineup prior to Thursday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks, putting Patrik Berglund as the top line center which is Stastny’s usual spot but the Blues didn’t miss a beat getting two goals from Magnus Paajarvi, one from Kyle Brodziak and an empty net goal from Alex Pietrangelo goal to claim a 4-1 victory and make the Blues 9-1 in the last ten games.
The St. Louis Blues currently sit in 3rd place in the Central Division with a 40-28-5 record (85 points) with nine games remaining. Paul Stastny is listed as week to week and the team hopes to have him back before the playoffs that start in a few weeks.
Feature image credit: Billy Hurst/ USA TODAY SPORTS