Allen resume practicing, ready to play if called on; Fabbri, Gunnarsson,
Soshnikov activated off IR; Husso Jerabek assigned to an Antonio
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Jake Allen was back practicing on Wednesday with teammates at the Ice Zone, and is ready to resume action Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights if called upon when the Blues (3-4-3) resume their schedule after a second four-day break in October.
Allen, who left the Blues' 7-3 win against Chicago last Saturday after a collision with teammate Zach Sanford with 1:01 remaining in the second period with a head injury, got a bit of a scare when he left the ice but said after going through the league's concussion protocol, it was the right decision to remove him from the game.
Allen, who is 3-2-3 with a 3.99 goals-against average and .874 save percentage, took Sunday off before getting in some cardio on the bike Monday, got in a solo session with goalie coach David Alexander on Tuesday before a full workload on Wednesday with his teammates. He's declared himself ready.
"I'm feeling good. I'm ready to go for tomorrow," Allen said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow.
"It was a hard play to the net and I just made a save. It was no one on purpose; it was no one's fault or anything. A tough blow to the side of the head. Definitely really shaken up at the time. It was the right decision to take me out. I know it took me a little bit to gather myself, gather my eyesight. But after that, it was OK. It was the right thing to do at the time.
"It's one of those things where you're sort of not expecting something and something just takes the side of your head and going at that speed and that force definitely shakes you up a little bit. To be honest, I've been very fortunate in my career to now have any injuries related to my head or eyesight or anything like that. When I opened up my eyes and I got up, I know something wasn't right right away, so it was the right thing to do. I remember the time in Dallas where I had to come out of the game, come back in, and it sort of throws you off, you have to do the concussion testing and all the protocol. For me to come out and Chad to seal the job, it was the right thing at the time."
With Allen back at practice in full, the Blues assigned goalie Ville Husso back to San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Husso was recalled on Monday as a precaution.
"We were obviously hoping that it wasn't going to be anything long-term," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "Good to see him back that quickly.
"Good day and talked to him afterwards and he felt good, but we'll announce our starter tomorrow. ... We talked to him yesterday and he got through the first ice session and then talked to him again today and got through that really well. He looks good."
That first day waking up the next morning will on most occasions tell a player whether there are concussion symptoms or not, and Allen got through his fine and told him he'd be OK.
"That night I was definitely a little bit slow, but I actually got a great sleep," Allen said. "I didn't think I was going to. I woke up the next morning and felt pretty much back to myself again. I was just taking it a little bit slow. Took the day off Monday to make sure and got on the ice yesterday with Davey and worked my way back.
"I was fine. It was just the right thing to do at the time."
* Fabbri, Gunnarsson, Soshnikov activated, Jerabek assigned to San Antonio -- After a full day of practice Wednesday, the Blues declared forwards Robby Fabbri and Nikita Soshnikov and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson fit and ready to be activated off injured reserve.
Fabbri, who has not played in an NHL regular-season game since Feb. 4, 2017 following a torn left ACL that he re-injured again the following season in training camp before dealing with a sore back, sore hip and Grade 1 groin strain, Soshnikov (concussion) and Gunnarsson (torn left ACL, hip surgery) had taken conditioning assignments to San Antonio before returning to practice on Monday.
Fabbri was skating on the fourth line with Robert Thomas and Oskar Sundqvist but Yeo wouldn't tip his hand if Fabbri, a 2014 first-round pick, would mark his long-awaited return.
"I'm going to announce our lineup tomorrow, but he's shown me a lot though," Yeo said. "He's shown me a lot ability-wise, play-wise, but more importantly, just in how he's dealt with everything."
Soshnikov and Gunnarsson were extra skaters Wednesday but all have shown enough to be on the active roster.
"I think that they all look good," Yeo said. "I would expect that just given the medical clearance that all these guys are available to us tomorrow."
With the Blues coming off a win, Yeo will be hard-pressed to make many changes but had Fabbri skating in Barbashev's spot on left wing. Barbashev has played well this season.
"You have to judge that," Yeo said regarding making multiple lineup changes after a win. "There's uncertainly, there's some questions, but at the same time, you're not going to know until you get them in. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. I will say first off as a coach, I know that they're not going to be at the level that I remember them or the level I know they're capable of. It's just not fair to expect that. How quickly they can get back there depends on how quickly we can get them back into the lineup and get them acclimated and working with the group and get them playing NHL hockey again."
As far as Jerabek is concerned, the Blues had to put him on waivers Tuesday and he went unclaimed by Wednesday's 11 a.m. deadline.
Jerabek, who played one game (Oct. 11, a 5-3 win against Calgary), was acquired from Edmonton for depth purposes on Oct. 1 for a conditional 2020 sixth-round pick.
His only game, Jerabek was a minus-3 in 7:52 time on ice.
"It's tough because I don't know that he necessarily got a ton of opportunities obviously," Yeo said of Jerabek. "He got in for the one game and he was the first one to say that it wasn't great, and then we never really got another chance to get him back in. I would say I talked to him a couple times and it was close that he was going to get back in. I thought he was practicing well at the end of it. I'm hoping that he goes down there and get some confidence and stays ready because obviously thing can change in a hurry."