with Cole as extra against Phoenix.
If this works, I could see them starting to think for next year in terms of a Cole-Shattenkirk pairing. Otherwise, found this nugget interesting in terms of summer discussions about what element Hitch wants to have in terms of perhaps acquiring a defenseman not currently on the roster:
"Kris allows you to exit the zone without having to make too many plays," Hitchcock said. "He's able to skate the puck out of trouble, he's able to skate by coverage. You don't have to talk about countering the puck and all that. He can skate right by the first forechecker, so he makes exits way easier. So for us, that dynamic on that side of the ice is needed. We've got that dynamic on the other side, the right, but we need that dynamic on the left."
Polak has been sent back to STL where the knee bruise was confirmed, which I take to mean they confirmed it's not something else worse.
Not a single player on the Blues' roster was wearing a red "no contact" jersey at today's practice. As reported Thursday, Alex Steen and Matt D'Agostini have been cleared for contact as they continue the comeback from their concussions. But also, Andy McDonald (shoulder) was in a regular jersey today.
"Another step," Hitchcock said. "We're getting closer, not further away, so we'll see. They're all probably in the day to day mode. I don't know exactly when any of them are going to play.
"Andy, it's really up to him, when he thinks he's ready to go ... whether it's Sunday, Tuesday, next week. Steen the same thing. D'Agostini the same thing. I think Steen and D'Agostini are conditioning phases for us. We have lots of decisions to make now."