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Bad News Blues: Bouwmeester’s season is done; Upshall to be re-evaluated in four weeks

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Jay Bouwmeester‘s injury-plagued season is officially over.

The St. Louis Blues announced Monday that the veteran defenseman would miss the rest of the season with a hip injury he picked up in a game on Saturday against the Dallas Stars. The Blues said that Bouwmeester will miss four-to-six months.

The veteran defenseman missed the first 21 games due to injury to start the season after sustaining a fractured ankle in training camp. He returned in late November and went on to play 35 games with the team, notching two goals and adding five assists.

Bouwmeester’s ailments this season had limited him to just one practice per week, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

It’s been a terrible season for the Blues as far as their infirmary goes. The aforementioned Bouwmeester began the season on the shelf, Robby Fabbri torn ACL rendered his season over before it began. Patrik Berglund missed nearly two months with a shoulder injury and Alex Steen missed six games after picking up a hand injury in preseason action. The team also lost Jaden Schwartz midseason with an ankle injury.

And then Saturday came.

The Blues, still fighting for a playoff spot despite trading away Paul Stastny at the trade deadline, lost both Boumeester and Scottie Upshall in their 3-2 overtime loss to the Stars.

Upshall, the Blues announced on Monday, is out for at least four weeks with an MCL sprain. He will be re-evaluated in a month.

The Blues sit two points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. They play next on Thursday away against the San Jose Sharks.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

NHL on NBCSN: Wednesday Night Rivalry pits Red Wings against Blues

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2017-18 NHL season continues with Wednesday Night Rivalry as the St. Louis Blues play host to the Detroit Red Wings at 8 p.m. ET. To watch the game online, click here’

Given Tuesday’s 8-3 shellacking at the hands of the Minnesota Wild, it’s probably safe to assume St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong saw the writing on the wall.

While his former center Paul Stastny was debuting for the Winnipeg Jets, scoring a goal and adding an assist, Armstrong’s Blues were getting decimated for the third consecutive game. The Blues got shutout twice on the weekend, two 4-0 losses to the Jets and the Nashville Predators. Then Tuesday happened. And tonight, they’ll have to figure out a way to bounce back in the second half of a back-to-back against a Red Wings team that’s picked up a little bit of steam lately.

“You know what? It’s a matter of pride as far as I’m concerned,” Yeo told the St. Louis Dispatch, calling out a number of his players after the game. “You give up eight goals, c’mon. We’ve given up 16 in the last three games. We’ve always been one of the top defensive teams. The turnovers that we have and the lack of respect that we have for our goaltenders and for the game of hockey — that’s ridiculous.”

A loss to Detroit on Wednesday could turn the slump into a full-blown implosion. The Blues head off on a four-game road swing that will take them to Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles and Anaheim following their game with Detroit.

The Blues are still just two points out of a playoff spot, despite trading one of their top centers and plummeting over the past week. But that ship needs to be turned around now if they have any hope.

The Red Wings’ hopes of making the playoffs sit comfortably between impossible and not going to happen. They’re seven points adrift of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who’ve found their winning ways once again and bolstered their lineup at the trade deadline. Detroit, meanwhile, traded away one of their best players in Tomas Tatar and goaltender Petr Mrazek.

“That’s a message to everyone,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall told the Detroit Free Press. “Had we played up to our potential, (Tatar would) still be here and we’d in a completely different (mode). We’d be buyers instead.”

But the Red Wings have strung together back-to-back wins and should be heading into St. Louis licking their collective chops given recent results in the Midwest. It may be their last good chance to get a win given an upcoming schedule that includes Winnipeg, Minnesota, Boston, Vegas and Columbus, just to name a few.

“We’ve just got to keep plugging away here,” Kronwall said. “We’ve been playing some decent hockey but it’s about winning. We’ve been on and off. We can’t be on and off. We’ve got to be on every game.”


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Winnipeg Jets fill need with Paul Stastny acquisition from Blues

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This is what six losses in a row and contract talks going nowhere gets you. St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is shaking things up and hoping this is a soft retooling.

The trade: Winnipeg Jets acquire Paul Stastny* from the St. Louis Blues for a conditional 2018 first-round pick, a conditional 2020 fourth-round pick and Erik Foley. (*St. Louis retains 50 percent of Stastny’s salary. If the Blues fail to sign Foley before Aug. 16, 2019 they will get the Jets’ fourth-round pick in 2020. Should Winnipeg somehow end up with one of the top three picks in the 2018 draft, St. Louis gets Winnipeg’s first-round pick in 2019. If not, they will get that pick in 2018.)

Why the Blues are making this trade: Stastny had to waive his no-move clause in order to make the deal happen. Like Armstrong did last year at the deadline with Kevin Shattenkirk, Stastny probably wasn’t going to re-sign, and considering the Blues’ recent slide, it’s better to get something for an asset now than let him walk for nothing in the summer. St. Louis still made the playoffs last season and are only a point out of the wild card in the Western Conference right now. If Jake Allen and Carter Hutton can get their games straightened out, a similar situation could play out again this spring.

Let’s check in on how the deal is going over in the room:

Per Cap Friendly, this move means the Blues have just under $4 million in cap space to play with, so Armstrong could ideally add if there’s a deal out there to be made.

Why the Jets are making this trade: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff tried to sign Stastny four years ago when the 32-year-old forward was an unrestricted free agent. It didn’t pan out then, but now he gets his man, who’s set to become a UFA this summer.

Stastny is still a fancy stats darling with a 55 percent Corsi and 5.29 percent Corsi Relative, per Corsica. He has 40 points in 63 games this season. He’s the center Cheveldayoff was looking for and is a nice addition for the Jets’ playoff run. He also played with Blake Wheeler in Germany for a short time during the lockout, so there’s some familiarity there.

Who won this trade: The Jets missed out on several players over the weekend and finally land a center they’ve been searching for. Stastny won’t need to be the main attraction in their lineup, which should suit him well. He’s also a big-time setup man, so having him center Patrik Laine and dishing out one-timers to the young Finn will be a delight to watch. Tough to definitively say that the Blues are sellers right now, but it’s clear that Winnipeg sees an opportunity out West this season and are going for it.

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Rinne, Predators hand Blues their sixth straight loss in 4-0 win

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The thought of the St. Louis Blues missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs a couple months ago would have been brushed fiercely, and with good reason.

Even with a packed infirmary, the Blues managed to hang with the big boys atop the Central Division, a testament to their depth. Everything was pretty much status quo, what we’ve come to expect from the Blues as a perennial playoff team with lots of talent.

And then the wheels fell off.

The Blues lost their sixth straight game on Sunday, a 4-0 defeat to a Nashville Predators team that they previously shared a table with in the NHL’s toughest division.

Now, the Blues are now fighting for a playoff spot. They sit a point behind the Anaheim Ducks for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference and two points back of the Minnesota Wild for third in the Central Division.

The Blues are now 0-5-1 in their past six and have scored two goals or fewer in seven of their past 10 games, including being shutout twice. The once-reliable scoring well has dried up. St. Louis was shutout 4-0 on Friday night against Winnipeg in an embarrassing effort. Sunday’s wasn’t much different.

Nashville, meanwhile, continues to cruise and regained sole possession of top spot in the Central Division, two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets with a game in hand.

The win also put the Predators a point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for tops in the Western Conference and two points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning at the summit in the NHL.

Along with Sissons’ goal, Kevin Fiala notched his 20th to five the Preds a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

Everything went right for the Preds, even when they were shorthanded.

Watson’s shorty made it 4-0 after Scott Hartnell gave Nashville a 3-0 lead 1:20 into the second period.

That nice orange-red circle in front of Jake Allen is pretty telling.

Pekka Rinne, meanwhile, was solid in the crease for the Predators, picking up his sixth shutout of the season and 49th of career in a 27-save performance.

The Predators, who have now won four straight, get their stiffest challenge yet against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. On the line is first place in the division, a spot both teams will likely duke out for heading down the home stretch.

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

WATCH LIVE: St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators

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WATCH LIVE on NBC – 12 PM ET

PROJECTED LINES

St. Louis Blues

Forwards

Ivan BarbashevPaul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennVladimir Sobotka

Alexander SteenPatrik BerglundNikita Soshnikov

Scottie UpshallKyle BrodziakDmitrij Jaskin

Defenseman

Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo

Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko

Vince DunnJordan Schmaltz

Starting goalie: Jake Allen

Nashville Predators

Forwards

Filip ForsbergRyan JohansenViktor Arvidsson

Kevin FialaKyle TurrisCraig Smith

Scott HartnellNick BoninoCalle Jarnkrok

Miikka SalomakiColton SissonsAustin Watson

Defenseman

Roman JosiRyan Ellis

Mattias EkholmP.K. Subban

Alexei EmelinYannick Weber

Starting goalie: Pekka Rinne

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk 2018 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck