ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Jaden Schwartz is a go for the St. Louis Blues, he said after Thursday’s morning skate. Head coach Mike Yeo also announced that Carter Hutton will start in net for the Blues, coming off a 3-0 shutout on Tuesday night.
Schwartz has been a full participant at practice since Monday, and will return to the lineup with Brayden Schenn and Alex Steen on his line.
Yeo says the trickle-down effect of a getting a top-six forward back in the lineup will make them much more dangerous.
“You look at the game that (Vladimir Sobotka) had last game and he could play like that again tonight,” Yeo says, talking about Sobotka’s goal and 17 minutes of ice time Tuesday night. “Now he’s playing on your third line, that can do an awful lot for you.”
Schwartz hasn’t played since December 9, when he blocked a shot with his ankle in the game vs the Detroit Red Wings. The injury didn’t require surgery and Schwartz called it a “fluke injury” because it caught him in the perfect spot between padding.
Before the injury, Schwartz was the Blues hottest scorer and his 35 points is still third, behind only Brayden Schenn (49) and Vladimir Tarasenko (46). In the 20 games since, St. Louis has gone 9-10-1 after a 19-8-2 start to the 2017-18 season. The 5’10, 190-pound forward shared ninth overall in points, shared 12th in both goals and assists and ranked second in plus/minus.
To make room for Schwartz on the roster, St. Louis has placed forward Magnus Paajarvi on waivers.
Hutton being named tonight’s starter, means Allen won’t have started a game for St. Louis in at least three weeks. His last start was in the 7-4 loss to the Florida Panthers, when he surrendered five goals and was pulled for Hutton. His last game game action was in the last period and a half of the loss to the Arizona Coyotes last Saturday.
“It’s a hard decision in the sense that we definitely would like to get Jake in there,” Yeo says. “But easy decision in that Hutts- it’s typical of us to go back to a goalie after a shutout and obviously when a goalie is playing at that level.”
With this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game, Allen won’t get another chance to start until Tuesday, January 30 against Montreal.
St. Louis hosts Central Division opponent, Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m., Thursday. The Blues lead the Avalanche by four points, after Colorado has won 10 of its last 11 games.