Thanks to their recent rough patch, Blues are skating on thin ice. They slipped to fourth in the division, relegating them to one of the two wild card spots in the Western Conference playoff race. With inconsistent play and unreliable goaltending cropping up regularly, St. Louis has enough to worry about without adding injuries to the list.
The Blues will need to adjust accordingly, though, as the team announced Thursday that fourth line center Kyle Brodziak was placed on injured reserve with a right-foot injury expected to keep him out of commission for five weeks. It's a tough blow to the Blues, as Brodziak’s line has been one of the stronger elements of the team, even during its recent slide.
His injury forges an opportunity for a young Blues prospect. 21-year-old Ivan Barbashev got the call to the big club after ranking second in points (37) for the AHL Chicago Wolves this season. Originally drafted by the Blues in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft, Barbashev will make his NHL debut Thursday night in Minnesota. He will center Ryan Reaves and Scottie Upshall, both of whom scored a goal in the Blues 3-0 win at Pittsburgh Tuesday.
"I know Scottie and Reavo and the way they've been playing. I'm just going to play the same way, play hard," Barbashev said. "If we play hard, it's going to be good."
Contrary to statements made by Ken Hitchcock prior to Tuesday’s shutout win, Carter Hutton will be in net for St. Louis Thursday against the Wild. Hutton has fared well on the road of late, having won three consecutive road starts while posting a 0.33 goals-against average and a .988 save-percentage.
Though Jake Allen was originally slated to start in Minnesota, Hutton will now be the man for that job in the final game before the All-Star break.
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