Pietrangelo day to day with possible concussion
Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo did not practice with the team today after leaving Saturday’s 3-1 loss against Los Angeles with a head injury.
Pietrangelo was evaluated for a possible concussion and did not return to the game. His status for Game 2 Monday is uncertain.
“He’s day to day, upper body … we’ll see (Monday),” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said.
Pietrangelo was injured after being pushed into the boards by LA’s Dwight King, who received a two-minute penalty for boarding. Pietrangelo went head-first into the boards and lay on the ice briefly. He rose to his feet and took the next face-off, which led to a King’s shorthanded goal, and then left for the locker room.
After the game, Kay Whitmore, the NHL’s supervisor of officials for the Blues-Kings series, told a pool reporter: “(The referees) see the whole play unfold and they didn’t deem in this instance obviously that King drove (Pietrangelo) into the boards. It was a hit, he was in a vulnerable position, but they didn’t deem it violent enough to call a major.”
According to a source, there is not a hearing scheduled regarding supplemental discipline for King. That doesn’t mean a hearing couldn’t be scheduled later today, but at this point, it doesn’t appear likely.
“Why don’t we leave that for the league,” Hitchcock said. “I’m more worried about ‘Petro’ and our group. Everybody has made their comments, we’ve all seen the written stuff … let’s just let (the NHL) comment … let’s move onto Game 2.”
Game 2 is Monday, and if Pietrangelo can’t play, the Blues will insert defenseman Ian Cole, who has not played in the team’s last 13 games, including six in the playoffs. Cole is a lefthanded shooting defenseman, but he practiced today, partnered with Carlo Colaiacovo, on the right side.
“We just think Cole has gotten really better in the last month since he’s been practicing,” Hitchcock said. “He’s also a guy that can play the right side, plays it well. So we’ve had him practice over there alot, and he’s looked very good … actually he’s looked better on the right sometimes than the left, so that’s good for us. It’s just an easy switch. (Cole and Colaiacovo) practiced together when Carlo was coming back from injury. They practiced together and they looked good as a tandem.”
Hitchcock also indicated that the Blues could decide to dress seven defensemen, suiting up Cole and Kent Huskins. Pietrangelo averaged 3 minutes, 12 seconds of ice time on the penalty kill in the regular season and Huskins could help in that department.
“Whether we go to seven (defensemen) and 11 (forwards) or not, we’ll see,” Hitchcock said. ”One of the thing, if ‘Petro’ doesn’t play, we’ve got to look at the penalty-kill minutes. Husky is really good at killing PK. So, whether we do seven and 11 or six and 12, we’ve got to decide that hear in the next 24 hours or so.”
Colaiacovo, who is close friends with Pietrangelo, said that he was sore late Saturday night.
“I haven’t seen him today,” Colaiacovo said. “I talked to him last night and he seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. Hopefully he woke up this morning and felt a lot better. Hopefully he’s good enough to go tomorrow. We’ll wait for tomorrow. He’s still got 24 hours to get himself ready. If it happens, great, we obviously need him in our lineup. He’s a big part of our team. If he’s not, then hopefully he’ll be back soon. In the meantime, we have guys in here that are capable of stepping up. We’re a team in here and that’s got to be our focus.”
Said Hitch: “Just don’t be writing him off yet.”