Kris Russell Heads to the IR
The St. Louis Blues announced today that defenseman Kris Russell will be placed on the IR with an injured right groin muscle. The team didn't release any additional information aside from the fact Russell will be evaluated again in three weeks. As a big fan of Russell's play since he joined the Blues in the trade that sent Nikita Nikitin to Columbus, this news of his injury is extremely disappointing. Russell has played exceptionally well in Hitchcock's scheme, pinching in and using his speed to generate offensive chances while locking the opponent in their own end. He has formed a partnership with Roman Polak that has been effective, combining Russell's offensive talents with Polak's tenacious defensive talents. Together they are a great pair and have played some outstanding hockey during the team's ascent up the standings. Bright side - Russell won't require any surgery at this time. Negative side - We are looking at a minimum of three weeks until we see him back on the ice. I say at a minimum as with the upcoming All-Star break, the Blues may choose to not have him return until after the break to give him a bit of additional rest. Ian Cole will take Russell's spot in the lineup and was seen practicing with Kevin Shattenkirk in practice. This moved Roman Polak to a pairing with Barret Jackman, while Carlo Colaiacovo remains with his partner Alex Pietrangelo.