It wasn’t supposed to go this way for the St. Louis Blues.
After a stellar offseason in which they added Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera, Joakim Lindstrom and Carl Gunnarsson, the Blues looked loaded and ready to compete among the NHL’s elite — but health issues have gotten in the way.
On Thursday, that trend continued as St. Louis announced captain David Backes and alternate T.J. Oshie were out with concussions.
Backes was hurt in Tuesday’s OT win over Dallas after getting tangled with Trevor Daley and hitting his head on the ice. Oshie suffered his concussion in the same game, following a collision with the goal post.
Neither will be available for tonight’s game against Western Conference-leading Anaheim, the same Anaheim team that trounced St. Louis 3-0 back on Oct. 19.
The Backes and Oshie losses will no doubt frustrate head coach Ken Hitchcock, who was already flustered with his team’s 4-3-1 start to the year. Stastny hasn’t played since suffering a shoulder injury four games into the season, and a bacterial infection that’s made its way through the team has now hit Lindstrom, who may be out tonight as well.
“We have no idea what type of team we have,” Hitchcock told ESPN.com.
“This might be one of those years where we’re just going to have to scramble to stay afloat. You don’t know. We didn’t have any adversity last year until the last two weeks and then we just got bombed with it. But this one is different. We’ve had nothing but an unsettled roster both at practice and games since the second game of the season.”
With Oshie and Backes out of the lineup, Chris Porter and Magnus Paajarvi will play tonight against the Ducks.