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Avalanche at Blues Preview: Not So Bad

The Colorado Avalanche have improved a bit.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This season’s Colorado Avalanche are not last season’s Colorado Avalanche. At 27-17-3, they’re in the second wild card spot and are just four points behind the Blues in the standings - with three fewer games played. They’ve gone on an ungodly tear, winning 10 of their last 11 games.

The Blues, despite a clunker Saturday night, have been playing better as of late. They’re 6-3-1 in their last ten, thanks to some improved defense and stellar goaltending from Carter Hutton. Mike Yeo is riding the hot hand, and after a 3-0 shutout of the Senators on Tuesday night, expect to see that hand ridden just a little bit more.

Tonight is Star Wars Night at Scottrade, though Spaceballs Night might be more appropriate. It’s starting to look like the Schwartz will be with us, because Yeo didn’t rule out Jaden Schwartz for return tonight, saying:

“I would say we have a spot in our lineup when he says he’s ready to go,” Yeo said. “Medically he’s definitely been cleared. Physically, in our eyes, we feel confident that he’s ready to go and obviously the caliber of player he is, we’re anxious to have him back. Now it’s just a matter of him saying he feels right. We don’t want to put him in a bad spot, we don’t want to pressure him into it. It’s got to be something he feels he’s ready for, but again, we definitely wouldn’t put him into a bad position.”

Schwartz, to his credit, said that he “doesn’t want to tiptoe into games,” but after missing twenty games - and the Blues’ 9-10-1 record in those 20 games - Schwartz even tiptoing if he feels ready to would be welcome.

The Blues 16-10-0 home record may be on the upswing with Schwartz returning - whether it’s tonight or after the All-Star Game.