McDonald Heads to the IR
If you read my work over at The Hockey Writers, you're probably already familiar with my opinion on Andy McDonald's injury. Today, the Blues confirmed my original fears of a concussion and have placed McDonald on the IR. These injuries never take time off, do they? As if the Blues are picking up right where they left off in 2010-11, the injuries just keep on coming. McDonald heads to the IR with a diagnosed concussion. Like all concussions, his timetable is up in the air until his symptoms begin to fade and even then it will all come down to how McDonald responds to training and exercise once he is cleared. With the Blues playing some pretty uninspired hockey and the special teams units looking anything but special, where's the bright side in all of this? Can we put a bright spin on three (four if you count Perron) regulars (Carlo, Crombeen, McDonald) missing time already in 2011-12? I'll certainly try. First, there's no sense jumping ship already. The Blues have only played five games, and while they've looked pretty unmotivated in a majority of them, there's plenty of time to right the ship. Last year proved that even the best, or worst, start in October may not carry much significance at the end of the year. Second, while the early string of injuries is beyond disappointing, the Blues prepared for such an event this summer by bringing in additional depth at both the NHL and AHL level. The best "bright spin" I can offer on this particular situation is that it should allow us to see a healthy amount of Evgeny Grachev - something plenty of fans were hoping for, though not as a result of injury. Grachev was an extremely exciting skater this preseason and should get playing time while the Blues tend to their wounded. So far in 2011-12, Grachev has appeared in two games and if you look at his numbers, doesn't have much to show for it (0 points, one shot, two hits). Still, Grachev has shown glimpses of why Blues fans are excited about him - glimpses that give merit to the idea that he should be skating on a line higher than the fourth. No matter how you slice it, the McDonald news adds to the disappointing start to the year. Hopefully, this concussion doesn't sideline McDonald quite as long as his last one did - 24 games in 2010-11.