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Blue Jackets At Blues Morning Open Thread: Blues Defense At Full Strength

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The Blues will welcome back Carl Gunnarsson and Kevin Shattenkirk tonight.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

I would be remiss in beginning this post without thanking the Blue Jackets for their victory over the Chicago Blackhawks last night. The NHL's a league where everything evens up in the end, but taking three days off can see your team go from this:

West Standings 3/24

To this (as of 10:06 Central last night):

West Standings 3/27

No worries. A win tonight and a Nashville loss to the Capitals will help the Blues get back to the top slot in the Central, at the least. A Ducks loss to the Islanders this afternoon means that a win puts the Blues back atop the conference. Also helpful: the Blues' defense is back to normal. According to a chat that Ken Hitchcock had with Jeremy Rutherford, Kevin Shattenkirk will be getting third pairing minutes with Barret Jackman in his first game back since suffering a sports hernia at the beginning of February. The defense as a whole looks solid - Jay Bouwmeester will be with Zbynek Michalek, and Carl Gunnarsson will be with Pietrangelo in his first game back after missing a few.

This is your morning open thread. Make sure to check back later for some Memorabilia Memories, your preview with the pertinant afternoon results, and your GDT. While you're waiting, head to The Cannon to see how they're enjoying beating Chicago last night and what they're saying about tonight's game.