Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tarasenko doubtful for game Wednesday

Right wing has upper-body injury and is expected to miss second straight 
game; Hutton getting closer to returning, Bortuzzo takes maintenance day

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Vladimir Tarasenko is doubtful to play Wednesday against the Boston Bruins after the Blues right wing was unable to practice on Tuesday.

Tarasenko, who sustained an upper-body injury and missed Sunday's 5-4 overtime win at Chicago, was at the rink on Tuesday but was unable to get on the ice. He was also with the team in Chicago but missed his first regular season game since Dec. 31, 2015.

"We were hopeful that he was going to be able to come to the rink and practice today and once we determined that wasn't going to happen, then I would say that he's doubtful for tomorrow," Yeo said.

Tarasenko leads the Blues with 27 goals and second in points with 58, is a regular on the Blues' top unit power-play. But since his departure from the lineup in the past five periods, defenseman Vince Dunn has stepped into the role with the man-advantage and the Blues have scored in three of their past four opportunities.

Alexander Steen moved up into the role with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn on the top line, a move Yeo made in the game against the Blackhawks after Ivan Barbashev started there.

"That's what we did last game," Yeo said. "We started the game one way. After the first period, we shifted some things around and liked the way things looked after that.

"Obviously we'd love to have [Tarasenko] in the lineup. We know what he is and what he means for our team and so no question, it's a significant loss, but we don't have the opportunity or even the possibility for our team to sit around and think about what could be right now. Obviously we have to look at the group that we have and we believe that we still have a capable group."

When asked if he's dealing with some sort of concussion symptoms or simply an upper-body injury, Yeo said, "Upper body." However, concussion was not ruled out.

Tarasenko took an elbow to the mouth/jaw area from New York Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk during the first shift of the game Saturday night. He finished the period but did not play the final 40 minutes.

* Hutton getting closer, Bortuzzo takes maintenance day -- Blues goalie Carter Hutton (neck) is a step closer to returning to action, and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who's battled a knee ailment for several weeks, was not on the ice Tuesday for practice.

Hutton, who was injured during the morning skate in San Jose on March 9, did not skate with the team but did on his own Tuesday.

"He's getting closer," Yeo said. "He skated earlier on his own with our goalie coach 'Davey' [David Alexander], so I would say that he's getting closer."

Bortuzzo was injured Feb. 16 at Dallas and missed five games before returning against the Stars on March 3; he's taken maintenance days off and on since to manage the injury bug a little better.

* To challenge or not -- When the Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead with 1.4 seconds remaining in the second period, literally two minutes after the Blues thought they had taken a 3-2 lead when a Brayden Schenn goal was called a goal on the ice but later overturned by video review, there was a question of whether the Blackhawks' David Kampf somehow influenced the puck by kicking the skate of Jake Allen and thrusting the puck into the net.

But upon a look of overhead views as well as other angles, the Blues felt there wasn't enough there to issue a challenge for goaltender interference.

"No. We didn't think that there was ... we were pretty clear," Yeo said. "First off, the puck was in the net before his skate got involved with it. So we had a pretty clear view of it. We were fully confident that that wouldn't have been overturned.

"I'm kind of glad we had that timeout, too, at the end of the game. I'll throw that one out there."

The Blues used that timeout late in the game down 4-3 and drew up a play that moments later saw Alex Pietrangelo score the tying goal with 1:22 remaining.

"First off, it gave rest to those guys," Yeo said of the time out. "Those guys were out there, so we put them out there for 30-40 seconds. Tough to score goals if you're tired. So it gave them rest. Gave us the opportunity to get a guy like 'Brodzy' [Kyle Brodziak] out there. For him to win that faceoff, for us to be in the zone quickly, and obviously that led to the goal." 

No comments:

Post a Comment