After Jori Lehtera was pulled from the St. Louis Blues game on Saturday night, did not return, and has not played since with little word about his injury, it was only a matter of time before he landed on IR. Suffering from an undisclosed “upper body injury”, Lehtera will join line mate Jaden Schwartz on the injured reserve and it could be a while before he’s back on the ice. An exact time frame for his return is still unknown.
Lehtera left the game against the New York Rangers in the first period on Saturday, though it is unclear when the injury specifically occurred. He did not return, and was later joined in the locker room by defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and grinder Kyle Brodziak, both of whom went down with injuries as well. While Gunnarsson and Brodziak joined the Blues on the team’s western Canada road trip, Lehtera stayed home, presumably because the team planned to place him on IR.
The Blues now find themselves thin down the middle with Lehtera and Brodziak on the shelf. The losses have forced wingers Alex Steen and Dmitrij Jaskin to move to center, but a long-term absence for Lehtera may cause further roster shake-ups. Look for Patrik Berglund to step up, as well as a call-up for free agent addition Landon Ferraro. St. Louis is off to a strong 3-0-1 start, and they will look to beat the injury bug with continued success in the absence of Lehtera and others.