(HockeyStL) - T.J. Oshie practiced with the team yesterday but was not on the ice today. Brendan Morrow and David Backes skated this morning. So did the Vladimirs, Sobotak and Tarasenko. So who will be ready for tomorrow night's playoff series opener against Chicago? Who knows?
"I don't think you should read anything into our roster today," said head coach Ken Hitchcock. "We are literally going to be day by day with our roster for the next few days. What you saw today, there's a good chance won't be what you see tomorrow."
Backes, who's nursing a foot injury, skated hard at practice but still hasn't been given the green light for Thursday's series opener.
"The adrenaline rush, modern medicine, all those things. You add them together and you're going to play through pain. New things will start to hurt. But you're playing for something you've dream about since you were a little kid," Backes said.
The Blues were without seven of their top forwards as they staggered to the regular season finish line. Hitchcock says he expects all of the walking wounded back at some point in this first round series but who, and when, is still an unknown. With his roster still in limbo, Hitchcock will focus on his own team rather than what the Blackhawks might throw at the Blues in this series.
"When you're up there in the rarefied air and gliding through the regular season you can look at all the other games and teams and look at their personnel," said Hitchcock. "Boy, when you're dug in with your own team and you're fighting and scratching and clawing like we are right now, all you look at is yourself.”