As the Blues were playing some of their least-inspired hockey of the season against the Los Angeles Kings, many fans wondered the exact same4 thing: “God, I wonder how many of those guys are playing through injury?” People expected the news to trickle out after the playoffs, but the team talked to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about it and that’s a no go.
Other than an obvious injury to Alex Pietrangelo and whispers of an ear infection for Brian Elliott, minimal information has come out about the team’s bumps and bruises. Is it the team doctors that’re keeping it quiet? Coaching? No — it’s the captain David Backes and the rest of the team. From the Post-Dispatch:
“I hate that because it’s almost like, ‘Well, if we didn’t have injuries, we would have been a lot better,’” Backes said. “Well, if there’s injuries all year, you’ve got to find ways to play through it and find ways to overcome it. Those are the little hurdles that you overcome individually and you suck up some pain for the better of the team.”
Backes went as far as saying, “If a list of injuries comes out, I’m not going to be very happy because I just think whatever it is, we play through it. Or else you take yourself out of the lineup and let someone that is capable and willing and they’ll fight through it.”
That’s a very valid point. Much like you can’t necessarily blame an official for a loss, you can’t blame injuries either. You have to rise above it and play through it. Or, as Backes said, let someone else fresh play because you’re not at 100%.
I’m sure tidbits of information will leak out here and there, but what does it matter now? Injuries weren’t the only reason that the Blues were swept.