Jay Bouwmeester will play his first game of the season with the St. Louis Blues tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. Bouwmeester fractured his ankle after taking a puck to it during training camp. He missed 21 games.
Jay Bouwmeester’s Impact
While the Blues have been winning without Bouwmeester, they have been struggling on the penalty kill. The Blues penalty kill percentage is currently 22nd in the league at 78.3 percent. Last season when Bouwmeester was healthy, the Blues penalty kill percentage was third in the league at 84.8 percent.
Head coach Mike Yeo had this to say about his return, “A veteran presence, defender, skating ability, definitely have missed him on the penalty kill, looking forward to getting him back.”
Fitting Bouwmeester In
With the return of Bouwmeester, the defensive pairings will look like this:
Jay Bouwmeester and Colton Parayko
For now, Bouwmeester is replacing Carl Gunnarsson in the lineup. Once Bouwmeester gets back into the swing of things and feels more comfortable, he could switch places with Joel Edmundson and be part of the top pairing with Alex Pietrangelo. It will probably take a few games before this is even considered. Rookie Vince Dunn gets to keep his spot in the lineup for now.
Bouwmeester was drafted third overall in 2002 by the Florida Panthers. He has played 1071 career games over 14 seasons with the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, and St. Louis Blues. In those 1071 career games, he has 391 points. Between 2004 and 2014, he appeared in 737 consecutive NHL games, which is one of the longest iron-man streaks in NHL history. Throughout his career, he has averaged 24:38 minutes of ice time per game.
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