[Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports]

David Backes Not On The Ice to Practice Prior to Game Four

St. Louis Blues fans have been on David Backes watch all morning. Rumors have been swirling since yesterday, but head coach Ken Hitchcock has been reluctant to make a commitment either way in terms of his Captain’s availability. We may have our first indication now that Blues have taken the ice in Chicago to practice.

With an 8:30 start time, St. Louis is getting out on the ice for an afternoon skate. All eyes were on the lookout for Backes, who apparently had better than a 50/50 shot to play in Game Four. He didn’t play in Game Three, so it seems unlikely that the Blues would be trying to rest him at this juncture.

That’s speculation on our part. The only fact we know right now is that Backes is not on the ice for this afternoon’s practice. Whether that’s a blow to his availability or not depends on how you view the situation. It’s obvious that he took a severe blow to the head, and it’d be irresponsible of St. Louis’ doctors to allow him to play with a swollen brain.

Stranger things have happened, but Backes still needs to pass the NHL’s baseline testing before returning. To some degree, a player can control that. Team doctors and Hitchcock have a say in the matter as well, however.

We’ll let you know as soon as more information is available as Backes watch continues heading into Game Four. It’s worth noting that Backes could very well play despite not practicing. St. Louis appears to be prepared to move on without him once again, however.

 UPDATE: If you were expecting Hitchcock to tip his hand on Backes following this afternoon’s skate, you’ll be disappointed by this. No confirmation or denial from the coach about Backes playing. We probably won’t know for sure until just prior to the contest.

Gotta’ love the playoffs.

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Tags: David Backes St. Louis Blues

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