Robert Bortuzzo suffered a lower body injury October 29, and forced the St. Louis Blues to find another defenceman to put in his spot. He wasn’t activated off injured reserve until November 17, and didn’t play until November 19.
Seven games since then, he is said to have suffered another lower body injury. The Blues are doing what they do best, and keeping quiet about the injury; but it’s said they have classified him as week to week. It is believed that this injury is related to the one that sidelined him for a month.
Robert Bortuzzo Out with Another Lower Body Injury
Bortuzzo had started seeing more ice time with the Blues. After a few strong outings, paired with Colton Parayko, the two both saw a spike in minutes; over 19 to be exact. An article on NHL.com pointed out Bortuzzo’s strong play with and without the puck, but didn’t go into much detail otherwise. In reality, his play without the puck has been very important to the Blues winning so far. He’s done a good job of closing gaps and using his body more, and has had a good eye for the ice so far. However, he’s also been moving the puck very well, also showing good senses. His play has definitely not reflected in his stats, considering he only has two points in 11 games played.
A timely injury is what gave Bortuzzo a spot, and he’s ran with the opportunity. Joel Edmundson was placed on the injured reserve ten days before Bortuzzo came back. Ironically, Edmundson is now cleared to play, and will take the now-injured Bortuzzo’s spot on defence. Parayko shouldn’t expect the same minutes as he got with Bortuzzo, but Edmundson could easily work his way up to them with the impressive play he showed off before injury.
Coach Ken Hitchcock said the decision between Bortuzzo and Edmundson was going to be a hard one, but with Bortuzzo getting sidelined for at least a few games, Edmundson will have plenty of time to prove his worth too; making the deal even harder. It’s likely that, if either of them can stay healthy long enough, the Blues go with the younger Edmundson, but incorporate Bortuzzo every now-and-then.
It’s unsure when Bortuzzo will return, when he’ll be re-evaluated, or what his injury is; but this gives the Blues a golden opportunity for the Blues to see the depth of their defense.