(HockeyStL) -- It’s hard enough for teams at full health to beat the Blackhawks, but now the Blues may have to try without two key offensive weapons Thursday.
Forwards Alex Steen and Andy McDonald were shaken up on back-to-back drills during the late stages of practice Tuesday.
“We won’t know (the extent) until tomorrow,” Ken Hitchcock said. “It happens. It could happen anytime.”
It would be tough news for the Blues if they lost the two linemates for any extended period of time. The team is already without Vladimir Tarasenko, who began the year on the same line with Steen and McDonald.
For Hitchcock, it’s too early to tell if either player will be forced to miss a game.
“Let’s not get all wound up until we see what it is,” Hitchcock said. “It’s not the end of the world. Injuries are part of the game. Why don’t we evaluate (Wednesday) and see where these guys are at?”
Of the two injuries, McDonald’s injury appeared to be more severe. He was helped off the ice while putting no weight on his leg after getting tangled with Vladimir Sobotka. The good news is McDonald was able to walk, albeit with a limp, to the locker room on his own.
Steen, who is the only Blues player to have a shot in each game, appeared to be shaken up after losing his helmet during a battle.
The Blues were nearing the end of the practice with a drill suited for open-ice battles. The goals were placed near center ice roughly 25 feet apart with goalies in net. Two, sometimes more, players battled inside the condensed area marked by cones in an effort to score.
The teams were split into two teams for the friendly competition.
“We had a lot of fun and guys were working hard, really accomplishing a lot. Hopefully we can take a good lineup into the game on Thursday,” Hitchcock said.
For the sake of the Blues, hopefully that lineup on Thursday includes Steen and McDonald.