With the Blues having placed Jori Lehtera on injured reserve Wednesday–thus freeing up a roster spot–it seems likely that Jaden Schwartz will make his season debut on Thursday. Though the Blues will be unable to reunite the “STL line” with Lehtera on IR right now, Schwartz will probably go back with Vladimir Tarasenko, therefore bumping David Perron off that line.
The Blues have two more injured players who could return to the lineup on Thursday: center Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. If he’s healthy, Brodziak could come back and free up Dmitrij Jaskin to move up to the third line, a group with which he practiced on Wednesday. Otherwise, Ty Rattie or Magnus Paajarvi would likely play with that line.
Gunnarsson, meanwhile, has been battling with Robert Bortuzzo for playing time, and even if he’s healthy, it’s not a guarantee that he’ll suit up tomorrow. It will definitely be interesting to see what decision Ken Hitchcock makes on Thursday.
One would think Jake Allen would be back in net Thursday after a strong performance against Vancouver, but Hitchcock seems to be somewhat enamored with Carter Hutton–who was very impressive in his Blues debut on Saturday–so it’s not an absolute certainty that Allen is between the pipes against Edmonton.
Here’s how the Blues’ lineup is expected to look:
Robby Fabbri-Paul Stastny-Nail Yakupov
Jaden Schwartz-Alexander Steen-Vladimir Tarasenko
David Perron-Patrik Berglund-Dmitrij Jaskin
Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo
Robert Bortuzzo-Kevin Shattenkirk
Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko