In one of the most costly of the Blues' many injuries this season, Jaden Schwartz took himself out of the line-up via a broken ankle suffered in practice way back on October 23rd. At the time, it was just another in a long string of unfortunate events and injuries for the Blues. Over the course of the season, it became more and more evident how much the Blues needed Schwartz in the lineup.
Schwartz was second on the Blues last season with 28 goals, and third on the team with 63 points. His being out of the lineup has exascerbated the Blues' offensive issues this season. The Blues are just 20th overall in goals scored with 133 and are averaging 2.38 goals a game. They'be scored 20 goals in their last ten games, but that number is inflated by January 14th's 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, a 4-3 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens on January 16th, their 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 18th, and their 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. In every other game during that stretch they have managed two goals or fewer.
Schwartz's return also brings consistency to the lines, especially the top two, on which we have seen offensive luminaries such as Scottie Upshall and Magnus Paajarvi. The Blues are not completely healthy with the activation of Schwartz, but this is as close as they will get for at least three weeks, until Alex Pietrangelo is expected to return from his knee injury that was sustained on Saturday night.
Schwartz should be ready to go against the Florida Panthers on Friday evening.