The St. Louis Blues will get a huge lift Saturday night when LW David Perron rejoins the lineup to face the Chicago Blackhawks. Perron has been out of action since Nov. 4, 2010, after sustaining a concussion on this hit from San Jose’s Joe Thornton:
Similarities have been drawn between Perron and Sidney Crosby — who recently returned from a concussion-related absence himself — with the main issue being premature returns. After getting nailed by David Steckel in the 2011 Winter Classic, Crosby not only returned to the game, but played the following contest against Tampa Bay (it would be his final game of the season after taking a hit from Victor Hedman.)
Perron, meanwhile, left the game after getting nailed by Thornton — but only momentarily. He returned to the ice (and scored a goal) 10 minutes after getting hit, a decision that has since been questioned.
That said, both recovery processes displayed much more patience, and that patience seems to have paid off. Perron now must be chomping at the bit to rejoin a Blues team that’s found new life – they’re 8-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock and have jumped from 14th to fifth in the Western Conference.
The Blues should be just as excited to get Perron back. They’re ranked 30th in the NHL on the power play (8.8 percent), 21st in goals per game (2.46) and could definitely use his offensive spark.
Given St. Louis’ depth down the middle, there’s no shortage of places for Perron to play. Hitch likely won’t break up the Alex Steen-David Backes-TJ Oshie line (his only constant scoring unit) but could skate Perron with Matt D’Agostini and Patrik Berglund, or Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner.