Injured Pavel Buchnevich likely will miss Thursday's game against Rangers
ST. LOUIS – Former Rangers winger Pavel Buchnevich likely won’t be able to face his former team Thursday when the Rangers the St. Louis Blues at the Enterprise Center. Buchnevich was hit in the jaw on a body check by Ottawa Senators forward Austin Watson late in the third period of the Blues’ 4-1 loss to the Senators Tuesday.
Buchnevich did not skate at practice Wednesday and when St. Louis coach Craig Berube was asked how the 26-year-old Russian was doing, he said "not very good.’’ Asked if Buchnevich is likely to play against the Rangers, Berube said, "probably not.’’
Buchnevich, who was traded by the Rangers to the Blues over the summer, has 19 goals and 46 points this season.
Blais on road trip
Sammy Blais, who was traded to the Rangers for Buchnevich (along with a second-round pick in this summer’s NHL draft) is on the road trip. It’s the first time Blais has been seen by the team's beat reporters since he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Devils in November.
Rangers policy doesn’t allow reporters to interview players on injured reserve, but Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said it has been nice having Blais on the trip.
"His rehab's going well, and it's probably a good break for him,’’ Gallant said. "Because it's pretty lonely when you're hurt for a long time like that, and you're not around your teammates.’’
Forward Dryden Hunt said it is "awesome’’ having Blais around.
"I was hurt there for four games [in January], and it's tough just to be away,’’ Hunt said. "I couldn't imagine four or five months. So, to have him on the road is special. I think he has got a lot of good memories in this place. He's a great guy to have around. Super positive.’’
Reaves has fond memories
Another former Blues player, Ryan Reaves, was also enjoying his return to the city.
"This is where I started my career,’’ Reaves said. "I was drafted here, played seven years [for the Blues]. I love this city.’’
Reaves finished Tuesday’s 5-2 loss in Minnesota on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. But he said he didn’t intend to lobby Gallant for an extended stay on that line.
"Absolutely not,’’ he said. "No, that's too much skill for me.’’
Barron still 'developing'
Morgan Barron has been a healthy scratch the past two games, as Hartford call-ups Jonny Brodzinski and Tim Gettinger have jumped ahead of him to fill spots vacated by injuries to forwards Kevin Rooney and Greg McKegg.
"Morgan's a good kid,’’ Gallant said. "He's developing. He hasn't played many pro games. He's worked hard. He's in great shape. It's an NHL game. When he's in there, some shifts he's real good, and other shifts, he looks like he's a little in awe of it. So he's growing in the game, like all the young players do. And it takes time, and he'll get another opportunity sooner or later… But we're not disappointed in him, just because he's not playing games right now.’’