It appears as though goaltender Brian Elliott is okay following a practice scare on Wednesday morning.
Elliott, who is expected to start Game 1 of the postseason next week, left Wednesday’s optional skate early after a teammate’s shot hit his right hand, missing the protective covering of the blocker.
“My understanding is that he got a warmup shot in the hand and we'll see how it unfolds,” said head coach Ken Hitchcock after practice. “It is what it is, you know. Just batten down the hatches and get 20 guys to play, and we'll see.“
The Blues are already without goaltender Jake Allen for at least the remaining two games of the regular season and possibly for a lengthier period of time. With home ice advantage and a top seed in the Western Conference on the line, losing Elliott for any period of time would be detrimental. As it appears now, the goaltender will not be forced to miss any games and is expected to start Thursday in Chicago.
Elliott did not speak to the media after the skate and the Blues were waiting to get an update on his status.
“I’m totally fine,” Elliott said in an update released by the team on Twitter. “It happens every day in practice. You’re always taking shots. With all the injuries, we have people get a little sensitive but I am all good and ready to go for tomorrow.”
Elliott has won 10 of his last 12 starts and has been one of the league's hottest goaltenders over the last month.
Fabbri and Bouwmeester could play Thursday:
Forward Robby Fabbri and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester were a part of the group skating Wednesday morning and both could return to the lineup Thursday in Chicago.
Neither player has been cleared to play as of Wednesday afternoon, but they could be given the green light before Thursday’s game.
“They look fine,” said Hitchcock. “They haven't been cleared yet so we're going to talk to Ray (Barile) and his staff, and then we'll talk to the players and see if they're cleared for tomorrow.”
Both players have been skating regularly of late. Fabbri has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury, while Bouwmeester has been out since Mar. 23 with an upper-body injury.
“It's probably the fourth day in a row where they've looked good but neither have been cleared for game time play right now so we'll have to wait on that,” said Hitchcock. “I would say we'll know by pregame skate, by even before pregame skate tomorrow, but both guys were full participation today.”
Fabbri said he is feeling better every day and has a Thursday return listed as "a goal". Bouwmeester declined to speak to the media on his status but without clearance, he won't be able to suit up.
News coming on Ott:
The Blues have indicated that news will be surfacing on injured forward Steve Ott within the next day.
Ott, who has been rehabbing from surgery on his hamstrings, has not been seen on the ice for practices of late, indicating that the news may not be positive.
“I think we should probably wait on Steve's situation,” said Hitchcock. “We'll get you something here in the next 24 hours on him.”
Ott was injured on Dec. 5 and was given a three-month timetable for a possible return. The injury, which was the first of its kind in the NHL left the team questioning the possibility of a return this season. It's unknown if the forthcoming news is related to the injury.
Recently, Ott said he was anticipating being in the lineup before the season ended. With just two games left, that seems unlikely.