As the Blackhawks prepare for life without Brent Seabrook, the Blues have their own adjustments to make with captain David Backes out of the lineup for Game 3.
Backes joined his teammates on the trip to Chicago but did not participate in the Blues' morning skate and has been ruled out of Monday night's game after taking a big hit from Seabrook in Game 2.
Just how do the Blues plan on filling that void?
"I don't know if you make up for that, he's obviously a key member of our team," forward Alexander Steen said following the Blues' morning skate. "He's our captain, our leader, it's tough not playing with him, especially for me, I've played all season with Backs. But the goal is to win the games, we have to move forward and hopefully get some new bodies in."
Count Patrik Berglund as one of those new bodies. After missing the first two games of the series with an injury, head coach Ken Hitchcock said Berglund will return to the lineup in Game 3.
While Berglund's return will help the Blues, it won't make up for the loss of Backes; Hitchcock said that no one player can make up for that loss.
"He's our No. 1 center, he plays the most minutes on the hockey club," Hitchcock said of the injured captain. "He plays in every situation, it has to be shared. Not one person is going to be able to take his slot — we don't have that. We don't have somebody that can come in and say, 'OK, you have to take his minutes.' Somebody's going to have to do extra work killing penalties, other people have to be added, we're going to have to do a big job on faceoffs. Other people are going to have to step up and take faceoffs, especially on the right side."
Hitchcock wouldn't elaborate on the extent of Backes' injury and did not say whether he'll return for Game 4 on Wednesday in Chicago.
For now the Blues are worried about Monday night and Monday night only. They have a big void to fill, and they're making adjustments accordingly. The addition of Berglund will be a good start.
"What would Chicago be like with losing (Jonathan) Toews? For us, Backes is Toews," Hitchcock continued. "So it's a big hole, but I think we're more equipped with Berglund in our lineup — we're more equipped to handle this than we would be without Bergy."