The St. Louis Blues are forced to shuffle their forward lines around in light of the injury to Jamie Langenbrunner. Nursing a broken foot, the veteran winger is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.
While T.J. Hensick has been called up from Peoria, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Chris Porter will fill the vacancy in the lineup for Wednesday's tilt with the Boston Bruins. Plus Vladimir Sobotka would likely join a line with David Backes and T.J. Oshie; and David Perron will shift to right wing on a line with Patrik Berglund and Andy McDonald.
However, losing Langenbrunner as a team leader may hurt the Blues the most.
"His intangibles are off the charts," Backes told the Post-Dispatch. "His ability to come to the rink and sniff out the feelings and keep everyone level ... and his work ethic and ability to go on the ice and make different plays at certain times when they're critical is off the charts and out of this world. He's been instrumental in the success we've had here and my growth as a leader and as a captain."
Regardless, Langenbrunner's injury won't likely alter the Blues' pre-deadline trade strategy. The 36-year-old should be back in action (and well rested) once the playoffs roll around. And that's where his leadership qualities should come most handy.
As it stands, GM Doug Armstrong seems hesitant to alter the makeup of his thriving club.