Wednesday, May 19, 2021

(5-19-21) Blues-Avalanche Game 2 Gameday Lineup

DENVER -- It wasn't exactly the ideal situation for the Blues on Wednesday.

UPDATE -- it got better, though.

Not only were they faced with having to find a way to pick themselves up after a 4-1 loss in Game 1 on Monday, but there could be more revealing developments regarding COVID-19 testing.

Already without David Perron, Jake Walman and Nathan Walker, who are in the league's COVID-19 protocol, goalie Jordan Binnington, forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz along with defenseman Marco Scandella each missed the morning skate. 

This came on the heels of the Blues releasing a statement by general manager Doug Armstrong saying, "We have discovered discrepancies in Covid test results relating to multiple players. We have been in touch with and are working with the league to address these discrepancies with additional testing and expect to have further information later this afternoon. The League will provide a further update when we have more information.  Head Coach Craig Berube and our players will not be available to the media until after tonight’s game."

Initially, the statement could have been meant to refer to the players already in protocol and their test results could have been compromised and perhaps available to play, but with the aforementioned players missing the morning skate, the concern elevated itself to potentially more players being affected.

As of 1 p.m. (MT), those players are not considered out of the lineup until the league addresses this issue and says they are out.

* UPDATE -- At 3:16 p.m. (CT), the NHL released the following statement: 

"This morning, we became aware of certain test results involving multiple Players on two Clubs (the St. Louis Blues and the Vegas Golden Knights) that had indicated positive results for the COVID-19 virus. Because those reported results emanated from the same laboratory, and due to other peculiarities and similarities as among the test results themselves, an investigation was initiated into the possibility that the initial test results reported may have been in error. All affected Players were immediately isolated and further testing was done involving collected samples. Those tests have returned uniformly negative results, therefore confirming that the initial reported test results were in error. As a result, all affected Players will be eligible to play in their team’s next game."

So unless it was injury-related as to why they missed the morning skate today, Binnington, Tarasenko, Schwartz and Scandella are good to go for tonight.

The Blues had their allotment of players on the ice, including taxi squad members, and ran the following power-play units:

Torey Krug, Ryan O'Reilly, Brayden Schenn, Mike Hoffman and Tyler Bozak on one unit, and Justin Faulk, Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Ivan Barbashev and Zach Sanford on another. 

Without knowing until the pregame warmup, here is the best guess-timate as to what the Blues will put out for a lineup:

The Blues' projected lineup:

Jaden Schwartz-Ryan O’Reilly-Brayden Schenn

Ivan Barbashev-Tyler Bozak-Vladimir Tarasenko

Mike Hoffman-Robert Thomas-Jordan Kyrou

Kyle Clifford-Zach Sanford-Sammy Blais

Torey Krug-Justin Faulk

Marco Scandella-Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn-Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington will start in goal; Ville Husso will be the backup. Healthy scratches include Niko Mikkola, Klim Kostin, Dakota Joshua, Mackenzie MacEachern, Jacob de la Rose, Steven Santini, Mitch Reinke, Austin Poganski, Dakota Joshua, Joel Hofer and Jon Gillies. David Perron, Jake Walman and Nathan Walker are in COVID-19 protocol.

* Dunn could return after missing the past 12 games with an upper-body injury, and Kostin could make his NHL postseason debut. He was taking rushes with Clifford and Sanford on the fourth line, with Blais moving up in Schwartz's spot while he was missing this afternoon.

- - -

The Avalanche's projected lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen

Brandon Saad-Nazem Kadri-Andre Burakovsky

Valeri Nichushkin-Tyson Jost-Joonas Donskoi

Alex Newhook-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-J.T. Compher

Devon Toews-Cale Makar

Ryan Graves-Samuel Girard

Patrik Nemeth-Conor Timmins

Philipp Grubauer will start in goal; Jonas Johansson will be the backup. Healthy scratches include Devan Dubnyk, Jacob MacDonald, Liam O’Brien, Jayson Megna, Dan Renouf, Kiefer Sherwood and Carl Soderberg. Bowen Byram (upper body), Matt Calvert (upper body) and Logan O’Connor (lower body) are out.

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