As if a potential injury to Vladimir Tarasenko wasn’t concerning enough for the St. Louis Blues, it was far from the only worrying thing about Monday’s 4-1 home loss to Vancouver.
Take it away, Zbynek Michalek.
“I don’t think there’s one good thing about our game right now,” the Blues’ defenseman said, per the Post-Dispatch. “We need to look in the mirror. Right now, it seems like everybody’s doing a different thing. They need to get on the same page. We’re not playing for one another.”
The Blues need to pull it together, and soon. The playoffs start in a couple of weeks and right now it looks like a first-round matchup with Chicago, the same team that eliminated St. Louis in last year’s first round.
With just one win in their last six, the Blues host Calgary on Thursday.
Here’s Michalek and Hitch:
The St. Louis Blues must wait at least another night to clinch a playoff spot, but that was far from the most troubling news from a 4-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks.
The severity of the injury is currently unclear, but fans are in high alert over the condition of Vladimir Tarasenko, who suffered a lower-body issue on Monday. We may not know more about the situation until Tuesday (or maybe later).
NHL.com’s Lou Korac noticed the Russian star walking with a limp:
Information from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford wasn’t much rosier:
It stands as a cause for concern, although walking with a limp is probably better than not walking at all.
All the latest from the blue paint…
Hiller back in for Calgary
The Flames will start Jonas Hiller for the second time in as many nights on Monday when they take on the Stars in Dallas.
Hiller went nearly two weeks without a start before Flames head coach Bob Hartley gave him the nod yesterday in Nashville, and Hartley’s decision proved a wise one; Hiller stopped 27 of 29 shots in a crucial 5-2 victory, pushing Calgary past L.A. for third place in the Pacific Division.
Prior to Hiller taking the net, Karri Ramo was the Flames’ goalie of record in five straight games, going 2-1-2 over that stretch.
For the Stars, Kari Lehtonen is likely to be back in goal after stopping 33 of 36 shots in an OT win over Vancouver on Saturday.
Bolts at Habs: Ben Bishop vs. Carey Price
Canucks at Blues: Eddie Lack vs. Brian Elliott
Kings at ‘Hawks: Jonathan Quick (probable) vs. (No Chicago starter yet)
Oilers at Avs: Richard Bachman vs. Semyon Varlamov
Sabres at Coyotes: (No Buffalo starter yet) vs. Mike Smith
A regulation or overtime win tonight over the visiting Vancouver Canucks will give the St. Louis Blues a spot in the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
And to help their chances, forward T.J. Oshie will return to the lineup after missing Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Columbus with the flu.
Alex Steen, however, is out after getting hurt versus the Jackets.
Even with just one win in their last five, the Blues still have a reasonable shot at catching Nashville and winning the Central Division. But per Sports Club Stats, their most likely first-round opponent is Chicago.
The Minnesota Wild moved into the third seed in the Central Division with a 4-1 victory over the L.A. Kings on Saturday night. The Wild, who trailed the Chicago Blackhawks by 16 points on Jan. 27, now lead the Blackhawks by a point.
Minny’s win moves Chicago into the second wild card seed in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks have a pair of games in hand on the Wild.
With the Kings losing earlier in the night, Vancouver was able to create a three-point cushion between themselves and L.A. with a single point in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars. The Canucks own the second seed in the Pacific Division.
The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators added to their respective division leads with wins on Saturday.
Nashville hung on for a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon in Washington. With the win, the Preds clinched a playoff berth and moved three points ahead of the St. Louis Blues atop the Central Division.
The Ducks edged the New York Islanders 3-2 punching their ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Anaheim now has a 12 point lead on the second place Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division.
The St. Louis Blues fell 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets failing to gain ground in the race for the Central Division crown.
Chicago and Winnipeg hold the two wild card seeds entering Sunday’s action while the Calgary Flames are three points back of a wild card position and just one point back of the L.A. Kings for the third seed in the Pacific Division.
All three teams play on Sunday.