Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blues' Johnson out most of season

Blues defenseman Erik Johnson has a torn ACL in his right knee and will undergo surgery in a couple of weeks, a source has told the Post-Dispatch.

Johnson, 20, is expected to be sidelined six to nine months after injuring his knee in a golf-cart incident last week at the Lake of the Ozarks.
I had a feeling this might be coming.

A big, big loss for a team already expected to struggle this season. Johnson only played an average of 18 minutes a game last season, but was coddled a bit early on, and it's quite possible he would have played 23 or 24 minutes a night in his second season.

Now I'd be surprised to see him play at all.

St. Louis, which has some cap room to play with, instantly becomes a much bigger player in the Mathieu Schneider sweepstakes. Johnson was the team's only real option to quarterback the power play, and even then, this was a group that really struggled last season with the man advantage.

Unless the Blues acquire a real puck-mover on the back end, this team has zero chance of making the playoffs. And I've already been hearing the predictions that Andy Murray is the No. 1 name on the coaching hot seat heading into the season.

A six-month recovery would mean Johnson can come back by late March, but by then, what's the point? St. Louis has to be thinking long-term on this one, and with multiple tears involved, there's certainly the potential for knee problems down the line.

Ugly all around.

UPDATE This probably also increases the chances of youngster Alex Pietrangelo sticking with the big club. He's picked up two assists so far in the preseason game tonight.

Depth chart
Jackman - Pietrangelo
Brewer - McKee
Woywitka - Weaver
Wozniewski - Wagner

UPDATE And here's John Davidson's comments on Johnson's injury.

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At 8:28 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the over/under on what his blood-alcohol level was when this golf cart accident happened?

At 8:30 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger nhLOL said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:39 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

I don't think they would have been a playoff team, but I think the Blues could have surprised a few people this year. Overtime and shootouts were the difference between them and the Oilers last season. And before finishing the season 5-14-4, their record was 28-22-9, a 0.551 points percentage, just under the 0.555 that let Nashville squeak into the playoffs.

They were already the worst team in the league on the power play, and Johnson was already their best defenceman on the PP last year. If they don't pick up Schneider, how much worse can they get?

At 10:13 p.m., September 23, 2008, Blogger Brooklyn Hockey Boy said...

The Blues definitely need Schneider. He'd fill in for Johnson, and still be a key player once Johnson comes back. However, it would be interesting to see if the Blues try out Pietrangelo for more than a few games.

At 11:26 p.m., September 23, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't count the losses, the Blues were 33-0-13 last year.

They were horrible with Johnson and are going to be in the Stamkos Sweepstakes without him.

Only the presence of the tragically inept Blue Jackets in the same criminally weak division prevents punters from betting the farm on that proposition.

At 3:07 a.m., September 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to hear what microphone hog John Davidson will say.
What's wrong with St.Louis when they have fakes like Davidson, Kekalainen and Murray in their organisation?

At 3:07 a.m., September 24, 2008, Blogger bgkcasting said...

Schneider was the player that REFUSED Andy Murrays dumb assignment of writing down "I play my best hockey when..." when he was with the Kings.

I doubt HIGHLY Schneider is traded there.

At 3:43 a.m., September 24, 2008, Blogger Baroque said...

Stamkos Sweepstakes?

What is the over/under on what his blood alcohol level was when that comment happened? ;)

No alcohol needed, actually. twisting a knee or ankle is absurdly easy when sober. This is a big blow for the Blues, especially if his career is affected. If not Schneider, maybe they will go after Kyle Maclaren.

At 10:50 a.m., September 24, 2008, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

He would have been better off to be drunk, actually - that way your body is all loose and you sort of roll with the fall. :-)

I have always thought Andy Murray was a hell of a coach. He squeezed more out of an injury depleted Kings lineup than anyone ever thought was possible. Like Dave King, he knows the game inside and out, and no one will ever be better prepared than him. I hope for his sake that one day, he gets to coach a deep, talented squad that has a chance. Something tells me he would make the most of it.


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