Goodbye Mr. Wellwood
Who knew there would be such a high demand for NHL castoffs who become KHL castoffs?
First Marek Svatos packed up his game and crossed the Atlantic to play for the St. Louis Blues. He didn’t survive the waiver wire as the Nashville Predators claimed the former 30 goal scorer. With the San Jose Sharks claiming Kyle Wellwood the Blues are now 0-for-2 bringing in support for their injury depleted roster.
While Wellwood is far from the Blues saving grace, the loss still stings.
Over $6 million in payroll is sitting on IR due to concussions instead of on the ice scoring goals. The need is great and all options are worth exploring. Wellwood’s abilities in the circle and potential to bolster a sluggish power play could have been effective gap filling production.
Instead Doug Armstrong is left continuing his season long searching for offensive assistance.
Hopefully the waiver rules get a healthy review and update in the next CBA. The consequences of the current cap system stifling the trade market for “haves” and “have nots” alike appears to be adversely affecting the waiver system.
Welcome Back TJ Oshie
One SMALL bit of good news today was that TJ Oshie has been activated from IR and will play tonight against the LA Kings. Since fracturing his ankle in a scrum against Columbus on November 10th he has missed 31 games.
Virtually the undisputed spark plug of the lineup, Oshie has been sorely missed. His ability to come out of traffic with the puck in tow and make a play is the main catalyst missing from the Blues attack. He may be a bit rusty in his first game back, but his compete level will be contagious.
Look for Oshie to play right wing on a line with Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund.
Quick Hits vs LA
Blues Lines should will likely look like very similar with a few tweaks.
Alex Steen – David Backes – Matt D’Agostini
Vladimir Sobotka – Patrik Berglund – T.J. Oshie
Brad Winchester – Jay McClement- Ryan Reaves
B.J. Crombeen – Phi McRae – Brad Boyes
Barret Jackman – Roman Polak
Eric Brewer – Erik Johnson
Carlo Colaiacovo – Alex Pietrangelo
Jaroslav Halak will start in net.
- Look for the Jackman – Polak pairing to see a lot of Anze Kopitar. He leads the Kings with 16 goals and 47 points in 43 games.
- One area of game play to keep an eye on, crashing the crease. Can the Blues keep the Kings out and can they get inside on the Kings?
- Jonathan Quick will go for the Kings. He did not have a solid game against the Blues last Thursday in LA. Allowing three goals on 21 shots. Halak bested the US Olympian by stopping 24 of 25 shots.
Ryan Smyth – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Marco Sturm – Jarret Stoll – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Brad Richardson – Trevor Lewis
Alexei Ponikarovsky – Michal Handzus – Kevin Westgarth
Rob Scuderi – Drew Doughty
Jack Johnson – Willie Mitchell
Alec Martinez – Matt Greene
As always, you are invited to follow @618_STLBlues and @BlueNoteZone on Twitter and on the BlueNoteZone Facebook Fan Page for in game updates and Blues news. Please also check out the St. Louis Blues Blogs Facebook Fan Page for links to Blues blogs all over the Internet.
About the Author: Bleeding Blue from the IL side of the Mississippi, I've been a Blues fan since I can remember seeing the Blues take on the Oilers at the Arena when I was about 5. All I remember is that Brett Hull scored and I was hooked. Now I cheer on the likes of David Backes and TJ Oshie. It's a great time to be a Blues fan as this team rebuilds itself.