Colaiacovo has mild hamstring strain; McDonald status quo
By LOUIE KORAC
HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo is listed as day-to-day after suffering a mild strain of his left hamstring in the first period of Thursday's 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
Hitchcock said Friday Colaiacovo will not make the trip to Minnesota for Saturday's game against the Wild and will be evaluated when the team returns. Ian Cole will return to the lineup Saturday.
"We'll further evaluate it the next couple days," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "... This is mild so that's good news there. It could have been a lot worse there, too. Got a break there."
Cole, a healthy scratch the last three games, be paired with Alex Pietrangelo when the Blues take on the Minnesota Wild Saturday night. The other defensive pairings will remain the same.
"Unfortunately, when I got in is when somebody got hurt," Cole said Friday. "Coco's a great guy. I love him to death, but now I have an opportunity to play. I'm thankful for that opportunity. Unfortunately, it happened because someone got hurt. I've just got to make the most of it."
* No punishment for Nichol -- The Blues also did not hear from the league office in regards to the five-minute spearing and game-misconduct penalty issued to center Scott Nichol Thursday.
Nichol was ejected on a marginal call at best for an infraction against Florida's Tomas Kopecky. Hitchcock said late Friday morning that he would have heard something by that time if the league was going to pursue it.
* Halak to start -- Hitchcock also indicated that Jaroslav Halak, who has been as sharp as backup Brian Elliott lately, will make the start against the Wild but that both goalies would split back-to-back games Tuesday at home against Los Angeles and Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Halak is 2-1-1 with a 1.23 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in his last four starts. It all began Nov. 5 in a 2-1 loss at Minnesota when Halak began his resurgence.
* McDonald update to come next week -- Winger Andy McDonald continues to sit out from a concussion received Oct. 13 in Dallas. Hitchcock said Friday he has yet to see McDonald and would have an update on his condition sometime next week.
"From what I understand, usually in these cases, the player stays away from the team to keep him from getting down and depressed because he can't be a part of the team," Hitchcock said. "I haven't seen him yet. I know Andy as a player but I haven't talked to him yet. I just know that it's best for him to stay isolated to keep from getting stressful about it."
* Probable lineup -- Tonight's lineup against the Minnesota Wild (7 p.m. on FSN, KMOX 1120-AM) will stay in tact aside from Cole in for Colaiacovo:
Alex Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Evgeny Grachev-Patrik Berglund-Matt D'Agostini
Vladimir Sobotka-Jason Arnott-Jamie Langenbrunner
Chris Porter-Scott Nichol-Ryan Reaves
Ian Cole-Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman-Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell-Roman Polak
Jaroslav Halak will start, Brian Elliott is the backup.