Arnott to be sidelined up to seven days; Langenbrunner moves up
By LOUIE KORAC
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues should be used to this, right?
It's been a dreaded word around here. But one that is pretty commonplace.
However, Jason Arnott's eye injury is not considered something that should keep the veteran out any more than seven days after having a minor procedure to remove a cataract. The Blues announced later on Wednesday that the surgery was a success.
Arnott's only played in one game this preseason but is expected to be ready to play by the season-opener here against Nashville.
"It's a procedure that he's got to have to get comfortable and to have all his vision clear out there on the ice," Blues coach Davis Payne said of Arnott. "It's a procedure, then it's some time and he should be good to go in the timelines we hope work out for our opener."
Not much has been made of Arnott's play this preseason, simply because there hasn't been much to gauge off of other than practice sessions.
"Great-conditioned, moving well, practicing well," Payne said. "When we talked to him, there's just that last little bit that you're uncomfortable going all the way into situations going at game speed. In the game (last week against Minnesota), he looked a little uncomfortable with what we know is going on, so we've got to get that corrected. (He's) moving well, handling pucks well, playing the game intelligently. It was a good start, but he'll get this figured out."
* Langenbrunner getting top-line ice -- When the Blues break camp next week, don't be shocked if veteran Jamie Langenbrunner continues his acquaintance with fellow linemates Andy McDonald and David Backes.
Langenbrunner, McDonald and Backes played together in Tuesday's 4-3 win in Minnesota and have been playing together for a couple days. It's a unit Payne is fond of.
"As the pace goes up, we want to continue to look at it," Payne said. "Langs plays such a smart game. He's positionally sound, the 1-on-1 battle and coming out with the puck ... those extra possessions is something Jamie's very, very good at. We feel like that compliments David and Andy.
"There's been a definite connection there early on. As a coach, you see it, and you try and ride it. We'll adjust when necessary. We like what we see."
* Bishop gets the nod against Avs -- If Ben Bishop is to leave one last impression on Blues coaches before they make a decision on who will back up Jaroslav Halak this season, Thursday's exhibition game will be the final time.
Bishop gets the start when the Blues (4-2-0) host the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m. on KMOX 1120-AM if there is no Cardinals home game against Atlanta; plus it will be streamed on stlouisblues.com and foxsportsmidwest.com).
Bishop, who won his only start this preseason in a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay, stopped 21 shots in that game and is trying to beat out Brian Elliott for the backup job.
"Very big start," Payne said. "Both guys have worked their tails off. Credit to them recognizing the competition that's in front of them and the effort they've put into it.
"We're going to have to make a decision. It's not going to be an easy one. Bish has got a last-game opportunity here to make that as difficult as possible on us. It's his game to prepare, just like any goalie would ... prepare like he's got to play well."
* Blues improve to 4-2 on preseason -- Carlo Colaiacovo's goal with 1:09 remaining lifted the Blues to their 4-3 win at Minnesota, a game Payne was pleased with.
"I thought it was a good hockey game," he said. "I thought both teams played with a decent amount of pace. I thought we got off to a little bit of a slow start that we created ourselves. A couple pucks that we didn't get to the right depth in the offensive zone. As a result, we ended up having to defend a three-quarter ice situation. They get the jump with the first power play goal, we answer back and then give one up."
Also, the Blues got goals from Scott Nichol -- his first game with the Blues since signing over the summer, Patrik Berglund and Matt D'Agostini.
"If you look at our game from start to finish, it was a very consistent performance," Payne said. "I thought our guys skated and moved and used last night as a step to making sure that we're preparing at a high level knowing where we've got to be 10 days from now."