St. Louis Blues Seek Much-Needed Win Against Last-Place Columbus Blue Jackets


After starting 11-3-1, the St. Louis Blues are just 3-3-2 since November 12. Will they be able to get a boost on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are in last place in the Metropolitan Division?

St. Louis Blues Game 24/82: Saturday, November 28, 7:00 PM vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

The St. Louis Blues host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at Scottrade Center, and since they’re a measly 3-3-2 in their last eight, there are few opponents that would be more desirable at the moment than the 10-14 Jackets, who currently sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division. The only possible issue is that the Blue Jackets match up quite well with the Blues, and they took a 3-1 win when the Blues visited Columbus on November 17. After starting off 0-8, the Blue Jackets have turned it around a bit. They’re 8-4 during November, and they’ll be looking to match a season-high three-game win streak on Saturday against the Blues.

The Blues, who are coming off a deflating 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night, really just need to get their offense going and stay responsible defensively within the same game, which has been surprisingly tough over the past couple weeks. Constant shuffling of the lineup, paired with a string of nine games in 15 days, have created obvious communication breakdowns at times. The Blues will have to hope that after a couple days off at home and a tough practice on Friday, they’ll be able to get back on the same page against Columbus.

The Blues’ forward group is up in the air after Wednesday’s loss in Pittsburgh. The healthy scratches on Wednesday were veterans Scott Gomez and Scottie Upshall, but both were back in the mix at Friday’s practice, with Upshall working on the Magnus Paajarvi/Jori Lehtera line and Gomez centering a more skillful fourth line that also included Steve Ott and Dmitrij Jaskin. Head coach Ken Hitchcock remarked after the practice, however, that he just wanted to get a look at the group, and that Kyle Brodziak, the usual fourth line center, would definitely remain in the lineup tomorrow. It remains unknown whether aggressor Ryan Reaves, who played at Pittsburgh after sitting for three straight games, will remain in the lineup against Columbus. It’s worth noting that Reaves was in the lineup and had one blocked shot, a hit, and an even rating in 7:02 of ice time in the Blues’ visit to Columbus 11 days ago.

Rookie defenseman Joel Edmundson also has an opportunity to get back in the lineup on Saturday. Edmundson, who has two assists this season, has been a healthy scratch for the past two games after dressing in 19 straight. It’s unknown who he would replace; veteran Carl Gunnarsson, who made an errant pass attempt that resulted in a Sidney Crosby goal on Wednesday at Pittsburgh, would be a logical candidate, especially since he and Edmundson are both left-handed shooters. However, it’s unlikely that head coach Ken Hitchcock will actually bench Gunnarsson until he has a prolonged streak of aggressively bad play, so Robert Bortuzzo seems like the most likely candidate to sit on Saturday if Edmundson plays.

Jake Allen will get his fifth straight start in net and his 10th in the Blues’ past 11 games on Saturday. Here’s a guess at how the whole lineup will end up looking:

Alexander Steen-Paul StastnyVladimir Tarasenko

Robby FabbriDavid BackesTroy Brouwer

Magnus PaajarviJori Lehtera-Scottie Upshall

Steve OttKyle Brodziak–Dmitrij Jaskin

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Carl GunnarssonKevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Next: What Does Chicago Fire's Veljko Paunovic Hiring Mean for St. Louis FC?

Head to our Blues page for previews of every game, team news, and editorials.