The St. Louis Blues have had an inconsistent December, and now, as they look to gain some steam coming out of the Christmas break, they appear to have lost some Steen.
Worst. Lede. Ever. But I digress. On Saturday, the Blues announced that they'll resume play after the break without Alex Steen, who has a concussion, and is out indefinitely. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I say indefinitely because it could be day to day or week to week," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "With a concussion, there's no set timetable. He's not going to be going on this road trip that is coming up, but he is exercising and we hope he has a speedy recovery. But concussions, I don't feel comfortable putting a timetable on."
Not only are the Blues uncertain just how long they'll be without Steen -- they're not sure when the concussion happened, either. Steen may have been playing through it for a little while.
"The initial contact was the hit to the head in the Ottawa game," Armstrong said, before rattling off another hit Steen felt from pretty much every game after that.
If it started in Ottawa, there's a good chance it was this hit from Jared Cowen, which looks like it might have been a little high.
Not feeling quite right during the break, Steen went to see some specialists on the 26th, and they confirmed that he was feeling "concussion-like symptoms", otherwise known as a concussion.
It's an unfortunate setback for Steen, who's right in the middle of the best season of his NHL career. The winger has been one of the best stories of the first leg of the 2013-14 NHL season.
He's always been a good player. But this year, he appears to have levelled up. Suddenly, Steen is hanging with the league's elite scorers, with 24 goals to his name, second only to Alex Ovechkin, and 38 points in 35 games, a top 10 pace.
Just 10 days ago, the Blues decided they'd seen enough of the new-and-improved Alex Steen, and signed him to a three-year extension.
"He's doing much better today," Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch. "I think he's very comfortable with what he heard from the specialist. He's very comfortable with the process of training and just waiting to see how he feels to get better. Obviously he's disappointed. He's having a storybook year and he wants to continue that."
The big concern is obviously Steen's health, but the run he's been on has seemed almost too good to be true, and you hate to see an injury take him out of the lineup and potentially bring it to an end. Here's hoping that, when he returns, he can open up to the bookmark and continue his storybook year right where he left off.
- - - - - - -