The Calgary Flames lost more than just their third game of the season. In the second period of their 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Ryan Reaves threw a hard hit on Lance Bouma that sent him awkwardly into the boards.
Bouma had trouble putting weight on his left foot in getting back to the bench, where he ran into a small puck battle - where Reaves once again hit him, throwing him down to the ice. He left the game after, having played just 7:36.
First off: What the hell, Reaves? Dude wasn't trying to get the puck. Dude wanted off the ice because you had just hurt him. That doesn't help.
Second off: Bouma suffered a broken fibula (fibula!) on the play that's expected to keep him out three months. He was, in fact, using crutches and a walking boot upon exiting the Saddledome after the game. It's a harsh blow to the 25-year-old, who was looking to build on his career season when he scored an unanticipated 34 points over 2014-15.
This leaves the Flames with just 12 healthy forwards on the roster, depending on how far along Joe Colborne is in healing from his broken thumb. A recall candidate from the Stockton Heat seems likely; potentially Markus Granlund or Garnet Hathaway, as they were two of the last forward cuts.
In the meantime, Bouma's injury means Josh Jooris should draw back in the lineup (potentially as Mikael Backlund's winger, as since about the start of the calendar year, Bouma has been on Backlund's wing when healthy).
It's unclear why Jooris was scratched, and unfortunate it may have taken an injury to get him back in a game, but the Flames are better with Jooris on the ice than without. For one thing, he provides an additional in-game option for centre; for another, he was the Flames' top possession forward in 2014-15 with a 5v5 CF of 47%.
Hopefully Bouma's injury isn't as bad as feared, and recovery goes well. As things currently stand, however, hopefully Jooris will be able to establish his own place in the lineup, whether he plays down the middle or on the right side, and the Flames will be all the stronger when fully healthy.