ST. PAUL - Without Paul Stastny in the lineup due to a deal at the trade deadline, Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo will give some big opportunities to younger players for tonight's game in Minnesota (7 p.m., NBCSN, KMOX).
"Obviously (losing Stastny) is a big void," Yeo said. "It's a penalty killer, it's a power-play guy, it's a key face-off guy… offensively, defensively, against top lines. What I can tell you is that not one player is just going to step up and fill in his role and do what he does. We're going to need a real committee effort, but certainly, we still believe we're capable of that."
For tonight's game, Ivan Barbashev is expected to take Stastny's spot in between Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko, and newcomer Nikita Soshnikov is going to get a look on the right side of Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn.
"(Barbashev) played center for us last year against a really good team that we're playing here tonight, and he did it at the highest level in the playoffs," Yeo said. "His competitiveness, his defensive game was solid and good enough, and when you've got a player like Vladi out there, you've got to make sure he's surrounded with guys that can do the right things defensively and work ethic-wise to help get him the puck… When you lose a player like (Stastny), there is an opportunity for somebody and Barbie is one of those guys."
Video: Blues comment on opportunity ahead
Yeo said he felt impressed enough with Soshnikov after his Blues debut in Nashville to give him a chance to move up the lineup tonight.
"I was impressed with him in his speed and competitiveness," Yoe said. "I feel it could add to two guys that work very hard in skilled players like Schwartzy and Schenner."
Here is the rest of the projected lineup for Tuesday's game against the Wild:
Alexander Steen - Ivan Barbashev - Vladimir Tarasenko
Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Nikita Soshnikov
Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Sobotka - Tage Thompson
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Dmitrij Jaskin
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Vince Dunn - Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson - Jordan Schmaltz