Thursday, November 18, 2021

(11-18-21) Sharks-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- The Blues will turn to Ville Husso to try and help them snap out of a funk.

Husso will make his first appearance since returning from the COVID-19 protocol and second start this season when the Blues (8-5-2) host the San Jose Sharks (8-6-1) at 7 p.m. today (BSMW, ESPN 101.1-FM).

Husso, who blanked the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in his only start this season Oct. 25, missed five games while in COVID protocol before returning Tuesday as the backup for Jordan Binnington. He comes into the game with two straight shutouts, including a 4-0 win against the Minnesota Wild back on May 12; he has a personal shutout streak of 134:46 heading into the game.

"It's been a couple weeks now. It's nice to be back with the team," Husso said. "Unfortunately I was out for two weeks and something that I couldn't do anything about, but it's nice to be back.

"I feel fine now and I only had just a couple days more like cold symptoms, but it's so nice to be back and play hockey again. Looking forward to tonight.

"I know that last game is good and I just need to keep playing like that and bring all the good stuff from that game and try to get a win tonight."

Husso has been on the practice ice for more than a week and the Blues, who are 0-3-1 their past four games -- all one-goal losses -- will need a premium start in net to help fuel the squad.

"He's had a number of practices, so he's good to go. He feels good, so he should be ready," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We need both our goalies; we know that. There's the schedule and a lot of games. His last outing was excellent. Hopefully again he can give us that outing tonight."

Husso, who is 10-6-1 with a 3.01 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in his NHL career, has been getting in all the necessary reps to be game-ready.

"All the tracking pucks, the speed and stuff, but we did a good job with the goalie coach Davey (Alexander) and got that back," Husso said. "I feel ready to go tonight. Tracking and the speed's probably the biggest things.

"There's been a good amount of practice for me. It's a little different for goalies than players. We can't get a shift off during the game so we wanted to make sure I'm ready to go and I'm in good shape whenever I'm ready to play. I feel tonight is the night."

- - - 

After a full practice on Wednesday, the Blues held an optional morning skate Thursday, and among the players was Brayden Schenn (upper-body injury), but he won't be available to play tonight and will miss his seventh straight game.

Among the veteran skaters on the ice included Ryan O'Reilly, David Perron, Justin Faulk, Robert Bortuzzo and Marco Scandella. Oskar Sundqvist skated briefly but left early; he will play again tonight and center what Berube called the identity line with Brandon Saad and Ivan Barbashev.

"When you're going through adversity, we've had four the last game and three losses (in regulation), but pretty good hockey," Berube said. "We defeated ourselves in a way a little bit in those three games, late goals and things like that. I felt like against Arizona though, we weren't  that team unit again. When things aren't going well, you tend to look inside to become individuals a little bit and that was a big conversation yesterday. We're trying to just get that team atmosphere back and that team-first mindset. 

"It is a fine line (in the NHL). You can't go into any game and take it lightly no matter what team, where they're at, the lineup, what lineup they have. All these teams will give you a fight and it's a very close league. You look at around the league, all these teams are bunched in there. It's tight. All the points matter. You're not going to get an easy game. It just doesn't happen."

Sundqvist, who played 9:45 in his first game back since March 19, will get more added responsibilities moving forward with each passing game.

"Yeah, and just go by how he feels too," Berube said. "He'll let us know. I think the ice time he got last game was probably suitable, but hopefully he just feels better and better and we start giving him more."

- - -

The Blues' projected lineup:

Jordan Kyrou-Ryan O'Reilly-David Perron

Pavel Buchnevich-Robert Thomas-Vladimir Tarasenko

Brandon Saad-Oskar Sundqvist-Ivan Barbashev

Klim Kostin-Tyler Bozak-James Neal

Torey Krug-Colton Parayko

Scott Perunovich-Justin Faulk

Marco Scandella-Robert Bortuzzo

Ville Husso will start in goal; Jordan Binnington will be the backup. 

Healthy scratches include Jake Walman and Niko Mikkola. Brayden Schenn (upper body) remains out.

- - -

The Sharks' projected lineup:

Timo Meier-Logan Couture-Jonathan Dahlen  

Alexander Barabanov-Tomas Hertl-Rudolfs Balcers

Andrew Cogliano-Nick Bonino-Matt Nieto 

Jonah Gadjovich-Jasper Weatherby-Kevin Labanc

Mario Ferraro-Brent Burns 

Erik Karlsson-Jacob Middleton

Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Santeri Hatakka

James Reimer will start in goal; Adin Hill will be the backup. 

Healthy scratches include Radim Simek and Nick Merkley. Nikolai Knyzhov (upper body), Lane Pederson (lower body) and Jeffrey Viel (finger) are out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment