By Lou Korac
If it wasn’t bad enough, now comes a plethora of injuries.
More of them.
The Blues season through 25 games at 9-13-3, the worst start since starting 7-15-3 in 2006-07, was already going from bad to poor, and that was with minimal news on the injury front.
Then came the weekend, and the Blues announced on Monday that Alex Pietrangelo was one of three players put on injured reserve.
Pietrangelo (hand), Robby Fabbri (shoulder) and Carl Gunnarsson (upper body) were all put on IR. Alexander Steen (concussion) is day to day.
Pietrangelo was hurt Friday in a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche when he was checked by Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog midway through the third period and is likely to have surgery.
“Alex Pietrangelo sustained a hand injury, he’s been placed on long-term (injured reserve), so he’ll be reevaluated around Christmas,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Monday afternoon before practice. “He’s talking to the doctors now. There’s the likelihood that he’ll have some surgery, yes.”
Pietrangelo leads the Blues in ice time per game at 24:37.
“He’s a huge loss,” Blues interim coach Craig Berube said. “Logs a lot of minutes, plays in a lot of situations, captain of your team. It’s tough, but there are other players who are going to get an opportunities here, and they have to step up. We all have to play well. The team has to play well. When you have injuries, it’s very important that we stick together as a team and play well as a team.”
Fabbri, who’s missed 122 of the past 137 games with two torn left ACL’s and sore back, sore hip and sore groin, was injured Saturday late in the first period of a 6-1 loss at Arizona.
“Robby Fabbri separated his shoulder. He’s been put on IR and will be evaluated around Christmas,” Armstrong said. “His is a shoulder injury; I don’t think it’s a surgical candidate. I’m actually sure it’s not or else we’d be a lot longer than Christmas.”
With the recent rash of injuries, which includes Jaden Schwartz (hand) being out since Nov. 14, the Blues recalled forwards Jordan Nolan and Jordan Kyrou and defenseman Chris Butler from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
“With those five players out, we’ve recalled three guys from the American Hockey League’s San Antonio, Nolan, Kyrou and Butler,” Armstrong said. “They should all be here and ready for practice tomorrow.”
Berube had 19 skaters on the ice Monday afternoon for practice at Enterprise Center.
“It gives other guys opportunities that are going to be presented to them now,” Berube said. “Everybody’s got to step their game up. Injuries happen in this league, that’s part of it all. Every team goes through it.”