A flood of injuries hits Blues at the worst time

A flood of injuries hits Blues at the worst time

Credit: UPI

St. Louis Blues Kevin Shattenkirk leaves the ice, bloody and holding his arm after an altercation in the third period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 5, 2014. Colorado won the game 4-0. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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by Andrew Allsman, HockeySTL

KMOV.com

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

(HockeySTL) -- Under the category of “when it rains, it pours”, the Blues’ situation has gone from controllable to looking very dire. Not only is the club likely without forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) and David Backes (foot) for the remainder of the regular season, but they are also looking at several other seemingly-significant injuries as they head into their final two games of the regular-season.

T.J. Oshie, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, and Vladimir Sobotka were all injured during the team’s one-day trip to Minnesota, and in the case of Morrow and Oshie, the injuries are worrisome.

Morrow’s injury is expected to sideline him for the remaining two regular-season games, and possibly for the playoffs. His injury occurred during Thursday’s morning skate in Minnesota, when he reportedly took a shot off of his foot. According to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Morrow seemed okay after the practice, but the forward later realized his injury was more severe than first assumed. He was wearing a boot on Friday.

The Blues are also trying to determine how long Oshie will be sidelined with his upper-body injury. The Blues’ second-best point producer left Thursday’s game after receiving a high hit from Mike Rupp during the second period. Oshie was later listed as day-to-day by Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.

As mandated by the NHL, Oshie underwent concussion tests off the ice by the team physician in-game, but was not able to return for the third period. The club is currently monitoring him for concussion symptoms.

Without Backes, Tarasenko, and now Morrow and Oshie, the Blues are missing a substantial amount of offense from their lineup. The four injured players have accounted for 34-percent of the Blues’ goals this season, and have combined for 185 points. But the bleeding doesn’t end there for the Blues.

Sobotka and Roy’s names were also scratched from the lineup on Friday due to unknown injuries the two players sustained in Thursday’s game. Hitchcock also indicated in his pregame interview that there is currently at least one other player who will be a game time decision.

The Blues called up Keith Aucoin, Adam Cracknell, and Ty Rattie from the Chicago Wolves Friday afternoon, after learning the full extent of the injuries. All three players are expected to play against Dallas.

“We’ve been able to, pretty much the whole year, stay healthy,” Hitchcock said in an interview posted on the Blues’ website. “We would have preferred better timing and it is what it is. Everybody goes through this, but we just got it at the end of the year. You’ve got to stay focused on the guys you have.”

For Rattie, it will be his first NHL game. The 21-year old has 29 goals, 46 points in 69 games with the Wolves this season. He is sixth in the AHL in scoring. Hitchcock told reporters that he would play in a top-six role with the Blues on Friday.

The Blues are hoping to have a vast majority of their injured players back by the beginning of the postseason, which is slated to start next Thursday for the team. They are currently trying to top Colorado in the Central Division.

“The playoffs start Thursday and I’d imagine we’re hopeful all or most of these guys are back for Thursday,” Hitchcock said.

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