Jackman scratched; ‘I’m sure he’s not pleased,’ says Backes

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A potentially interesting development in St. Louis, where Barret Jackman — one of only three Blues to have played all 69 games this year — will be parked in the press box for tonight’s tilt against Calgary.

Nobody’s really sure why this is happening. It could be nothing more than a rest opportunity as Jackman, who just turned 34, is the second-oldest player on the team. It could also allow head coach Ken Hitchcock to see some of his newer d-men, specifically deadline acquisitions Robert Bortuzzo and Zbynek Michalek, in larger, more expanded roles.

Thing is, Hitchcock wouldn’t say why he scratched Jackman — “I’m not going back and forth on who we’re sitting out everyday,” he told the Post-Dispatch — and Jackman wasn’t made available to the media following today’s skate.

That left the talking to captain David Backes.

“I’m sure he’s not pleased by any means,” Backes said of Jackman. “It’s extremely tough to see a guy that puts it all on the line every night to be sitting out.

“If he’s not playing tonight, he’ll be ready for the next one.”

If feathers do end up ruffled here, it won’t be the first time. Two weeks ago, Hitchcock rattled the cage of goalie Brian Elliott by putting him in after Vancouver scored four times on Jake Allen, only to quickly go back to Allen after Elliott allowed one goal on six shots.

Hitchcock later said Elliott was “mad” about having to come out, and that he had to tell veteran goalie to relax.