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Predators at Blues preview: Home again

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After an exhausting Western Canadian road trip, the Blues return to Scottrade.

NHL: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the current Central Division standings heading into tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators:

To say that this is a tight division is a massive understatement. The Central Division and the Metropolitan Division are the only two in the league where all of the teams are over the .500 mark, which means one good extended winning streak for one team and a losing streak for another can change the picture.

The Blues, unfortunately, have not had the best run recently. With their 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on December 23rd, the Blues are 5-5-0 in their last ten. It’s been an inauspicious December and a rough go after the loss of Jaden Schwartz. They’re 3-5 since his injury. Somehow or another, the Nashville Predators still sit behind the Blues by a point despite a 6-2-2 run, the best record in the Central over a team’s last ten games played.

Tonight’s game should have a playoff feel, and as long as it’s not the 2017 playoffs, that’s fine. The last time the Preds were in town, they beat the Blues 2-0 the day after Thanksgiving.

Without Schwartz, the Blues aren’t shooting, and they’re not scoring. Despite the resurgence of the penalty kill, the Blues aren’t winning much. That could be a problem if the team can’t find a way to build on their victory against the Canucks, where they looked (for all intents and purposes) as close to back to normal as they could expect to be right now.