Word out out of the Blues camp today came in that BJ Crombeen is back from his shoulder injury that has sidelined him since preseason. The reports inside the locker room are saying Ryan Reaves is the odd man out. With Reaves, he kind of made himself an easy choice to be the healthy scratch after taking the bait from Vernon Fiddler last night and taking one of the worst penalties I have seen this year.
The good thing about seeing BJ back besides the amount of jokes that you can make with his name is the work ethic he brings to this team. Known mainly as a grinder, he does have a fairly complete set of skills. He can score, fight, and play solid defense. I think he immediately gets plugged into the 4th line tonight as to get limited action. but with a line like Porter, Nichol, and Crombeen it does possess a good chance of putting up points while shutting down other teams scoring lines.
As I have posted previously as the Blues get healthier there will be some tough decisions to be made. Oshie is expected back this weekend, and Sobotka soon after. Andy Mcdonald is skating again as well, but still considered to be a few weeks out minimum. The major question is who will the Blues send down? Even on the defensive side Ian Cole remains a Healthy scratch with the current line up and Kent Huskins has been cleared to start walking with the boot and crutches. Cole still has a two way contract and honestly I think if he isn’t getting into the line up on a regular basis needs to go back to Peoria. Reaves and Porter at this point, say something if I am wrong need to pass through waivers before being sent back down, and Porter I believe would not go unclaimed. Grachev still has a two way contract and most certainly would be sent down as well as Adam Cracknell who was an emergency call up. The issue of course is aside from Reaves, these players have been playing great.
Hitch has some major decisions to make coming into the new year. With the Blues playing their best hockey since their president trophy run in 2000, is it in the cards that a trade will happen, maybe. GM Doug Armstrong has shown he is not afraid to pull the trigger, or will he test the waiver wire by sending down the NHL ready depth the Blues have accrued.
The Blues take on their on and off again so called rival Red Wings in Detroit. The Blues have won their first two meetings and have been red hot and playing as good if not better then their rivals. You have to believe Wings coach Mike Babcock will game plan this time and not take this team lightly anymore, along with other teams and coaches in the NHL. Brian Elliott is in net for the Notes, and Oshie is still out. Stewart looks to continue his streak after scoring two goals last night. It seems whoever steps into the Steen and Backes line really starts getting going.
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