ANAHEIM, Calif. — Almost lost in all the action, and the Jordan Binnington theatrics, of Saturday’s 7-6 Blues victory over San Jose was a first-period lower-body injury sustained by center Jacob de la Rose. The Blues will now be without de la Rose for a while; he was placed on the injured reserve list Sunday by the team.
De la Rose got tangled up with Sharks defenseman Radim Simek in the right faceoff circle in the San Jose zone. After the collision, de la Rose fell hard to the ice, appearing to land on his hip. That came just a couple of seconds before Marco Scandella’s first-period goal just six minutes eight seconds into the game.
That ended de la Rose’s night after only two shifts and 1:16 of ice time.
De la Rose began the season on the taxi squad before injuries resulted in his call-up to the main roster. The 25-year-old native of Arvika, Sweden, subsequently appeared in nine games centering the fourth line. Not much of an offensive threat, de la Rose had only one assist in those games, but is solid defensively, kills penalties, and can be physical.
His early exit Saturday was one of the reasons Oskar Sundqvist registered a career-high 21:08 of ice time _ partly a result of double-shifting as center on the fourth line.
De la Rose joins Ivan Barbashev (ankle), Tyler Bozak (upper-body injury) and Robert Thomas (thumb) on injured reserve. In addition, Carl Gunnarsson (knee) and Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) remain on long-term injured reserve (LTIR), although Tarasenko is close to a return.
The question now becomes: Who centers the fourth line? Once regarded as the team’s deepest positions, the Blues no longer have anyone on the roster whose primary position is center besides Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn and Sundqvist.
That’s because Barbashev, Bozak, Thomas and now de la Rose are all on IR and all are centers.
Mike Hoffman and Jordan Kyrou are listed by the NHL as centers, but they have been wingers with the Blues.