In their last game of the 2013-14 NHL season, the St. Louis Blues were shutout by the Detroit Red Wings. While the victory gave Detroit fans reason to celebrate, the fact is that the Blues were without a whopping eight regulars on the final day of the campaign.
Six of those injuries occurred over the last two weeks, giving St. Louis plenty of reason to worry heading into their First Round date with the Chicago Blackhawks. Head coach Ken Hitchcock won’t name names, but he seems confident that he’ll have a majority of his lineup in place in time for Game One.
As per Andrew Allsman of KMOV.com:
We’ll have a lot different lineup (in the playoffs) than what played (Sunday). A lot of guys are going to be back in (on Thursday). They couldn’t play (Sunday), but we have five days before we have to play again so we have lots of time.
The Blues were missing eight players against Detroit, so it’s certainly good news that the team won’t be that depleted against the defending champions. Not only does Hitchcock expect to have players back on Thursday, he also seems to believe that his lineup will be fully intact by the end of the series.
I can guarantee you right now that everybody that was out (Sunday), at some period of time, they’re going to be in… The one difference the last ten days has made for us, the only difference, is that we have to adjust our schedule. We may need more rest than work to get back focused again. That part is what it is.
Vladimir Tarasenko still isn’t able to shoot consistently and Patrik Berglund might not be able to go either. David Backes could get back into the lineup, and T.J. Oshie appears on track to return as well. At least that’s two-thirds of St. Louis’ vaunted top line, right?