St. Louis Blues Kevin Shattenkirk Injury Unrelated To Last Year’s

Jan 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) handles the puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues defensemen, Kevin Shattenkirk, has sustained a niggling injury which will keep him out of tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Shatty is one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL, and any injury news with his name connected is not a welcome sight. Shattenkirk noticed the injury in Monday’s practice ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Flames, according to STL Today. Last year, Shattenkirk had an abdominal injury which may have caused discomfort throughout the year, or at least more than he let on.

St. Louis Blues head coach, Ken Hitchcock, responded to the injury concern for his star defenseman. He said, “It’s not related to last year. It’s a different place.”

In his absence, Ken Hitchcock will be forced to shuffle his defensive pairings tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. While Shattenkirk isn’t expected to miss significant time, pulling him out of the game with 5 minutes to go certainly adds some concern to the St. Louis Blues.

This gives way to Colton Parayko to move into the 2nd pairing with Carl Gunnarsson. Parayko has impressed over 3 games of NHL action. He scored his first 2 goals of his young NHL career in Tuesday night’s win at Calgary.

Parayko is up to the challenge. He told STL Today of his excitement to move into the 2nd defensive pairing.

It’s a challenge, but (Gunnarsson) is an unbelievable player, so I’m lucky in a sense to play with a guy like that. I’ve been pretty lucky throughout camp who I’ve been with … I got to play with Jay and that was an unbelievable experience. And my first two games, playing with (Joel Edmundson) and (Bortuzzo), they’re also great defensemen. So it’s a challenge, but I’m playing with unbelievable players.

I would expect Shatty to take his place on the 2nd defensive pairing once he is healthy enough to get back onto the ice, but until then the Blues are in good hands with Parayko. I don’t expect Shattenkirk to miss more than 1-3 games. But, these lower body injuries can be enigmatic.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Blues who were not on last year’s roster have been some of the brighter stars through 3 games. Troy Brouwer, Colton Parayko, and Robby Fabbri have all contributed goals and been key pieces to the 2 wins out of 3 games for their new team. Fabbri has since picked up a concussion and is unavailable, but Brouwer’s presence as well as Parayko will be key parts of tonight’s game with the Oilers.

Jeremy Rutherford reported that Robert Bortuzzo will take Shattenkirk’s place in the lineup and be on the 3rd defensive pairing tonight.