(HockeyStL) -- The Blues players made their way back to practice Monday, or at least some of them did. Ken Hitchcock decided to hold an optional skate instead of the originally planned practice. It is obvious that the Blues could use some time off, so Ken Hitchcock was gracious enough to grant it to his players. About half of the team attended, but there were some unexpected visitors as well. Several injured players were seen wandering around today and of course, that means there are injury updates.
Kent Huskins: The Blues’ veteran defenseman is listed by the Blues as day to day with a bruised hand. Huskins may be able to play against the Blackhawks, but if he is unable to suit up, Ian Cole will take his spot.
Jamie Langenbrunner: Jamie Langenbrunner has been out of the lineup since February 19 when he fractured his ankle blocking an opponent’s shot. Langenbrunner skated on Monday before the team’s optional practice. The veteran forward is not projected to return to the lineup for at least another couple of weeks, but there is always a slight possibility that he progresses faster than projected.
Matt D’Agostini: Concussion symptoms have been bothering Matt D’Agostini since the February 7 game against Ottawa, D’Agostini was the recipient of several hits that appeared to be around or on his head. D’Agostini was one of two players to ride the exercise bike in Monday’s practice.
Kris Russell: Russell is also dealing with concussion symptoms, and was the other player to ride the exercise bike on Monday. Russell provides speed and offense when he is on the ice, and the Blues could really use him down the stretch.
John Kelly reported on Hockey tonight on KTRS (550AM) that both Matt D’Agostini and Kris Russell will “be on the ice” on Tuesday.
Alex Steen: Arguably the Blues’ most versatile player, Steen has only played in 36 of the Blues’ 66 games this season. Steen is confident that he will return this season, but there is no timetable. Steen is currently receiving treatment in California, so expect an update on his status in the coming weeks. Despite being out of the lineup for almost half of the season, Steen still remains fifth on the team in goals scored with 13 (7 on the road) and he has accumulated 24 total points. It’s safe to say he is a top player and the Blues no doubt could use him back in the lineup.
The Blues return to action Tuesday night at Scottrade Center where they will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks will be missing their Captain and top player in Jonathan Toews who is dealing with a concussion as well.
Ken Hitchcock has done a marvelous job coaching the Blues this season, but the players should receive the majority of the credit, as they have overcome obstacles all year. The Blues currently sit atop the Central Division, but it’s scary to think just how good they will be if/when they return to full health.