|The Blues hope to have Alex Pietrangelo in the lineup tonight for Game 2 against the Kings. (David DeNoma/Reuters/Files)
ST. LOUIS - That's the problem with mystery ailments.
They're so mysterious.
St. Louis Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, who's out with what was initially diagnosed as an upper-body injury but has since been downgraded to "somewhere between middle and lower body," got everybody's hopes up in St. Louis when he took the morning skate Monday. But whatever's ailing him -- he was shoved face first into the boards in Game 1 -- flared up in the afternoon and he was a no go for Game 2.
His status for Game 3 is, you guessed it, a mystery.
It's a tough break for the Bluenotes, but Hitchcock's message to his hockey club is loud and clear: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.
"As you get older you understand about keeping the team's focus and moving ahead from tough times," he said. "It's tough watching your best player lying on the ice. It's tough getting the information that he's not coming back. But what's tougher is the impact it has on your team.
"As a leader, you find out ways to get your teams to move on. That's what you learn after a while. You talk about mental toughness, you have to have it sometimes and you have to show it sometimes. You have to get yourself to move on and you have to get your team to move on."