Mar 15, 2012, 11:24 PM EST
Stingy defense and stout goaltending are what make the St. Louis Blues a dominant team, but opponents shouldn’t dismiss their diverse offense. That group took a hit – literally and figuratively – when Tuomo Ruutu sent Andy McDonald into the boards during the Blues’ 2-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The one bit of potentially decent news is that it appears that McDonald’s “upper-body injury” is related to his right shoulder rather than more concussion issues, at least from Jeremy Rutherford’s initial reports.
Speaking of which, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock didn’t quite call the hit suspension-worthy, but felt that Ruutu’s check provided another example of the NHL’s collective moral dilemma.
“I didn’t like the hit,” Hitchcock said. “I thought the hit was certainly a penalty, whether it’s a suspension or not, who knows? But that’s what’s wrong with our game? The player was in a vulnerable position. He knocked his stick to knock him off balance and then pushed him hard into the boards. It’s a real tough play in hockey.”
Losing McDonald – again
While the Blues are accustomed to playing without McDonald these days, he was a real difference-maker in his scarce appearances this season. In just 21 games, McDonald has nine goals and 19 points. He carried a six-game points streak (four goals, five assists) and had points in nine of 10 contests before tonight’s loss.
Hitchcock gave a matter-of-fact response to possibly losing McDonald, who will be re-evaluated on Friday:
“We’ve got some adversity,” Hitchcock said. “Every team has it this time of year, we’ll just have to deal with it. We’ve dealt with it all year long.”
Punishment for Ruutu?
You’ve heard Hitchcock’s take and had a chance to review the video, so share your perspective. Does Ruutu deserve a fine, suspension or nothing at all for that hit on McDonald?
Either way, it’s the kind of loss that could make the Blues’ playoff bandwagon a little bit lighter.
- Wild coach accuses Sharks of embellishment 24
- Lundqvist hooked after three first-period goals as Rangers’ woes continue 23
- Burke wants the Flames to be — yep, you guessed it — more ‘truculent’ 42
- Flames fire GM Jay Feaster 36
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 19
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 37
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 83
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 33
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (184)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)