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Blues at Kings Preview: Bozak’s back

The Blues look like they’re recovering piece by piece.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings
Not pictured: the guy coming back
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Blues fans might be overly happy about a third-line center returning from injury for tonight’s game against the Kings, but give us a moment.

Tyler Bozak’s a good guy, a key veteran voice, and was concussed on a nasty hit to the head that the league shrugged at. It added insult to injury when the team allowed Mark Stone to score multiple times as Vegas took two from the Blues this weekend.

Getting regulars back is always a good thing, regardless of if it’s Vladimir Tarasenko or Tyler Bozak - and it’s an even better thing when your IR looks like this:

Currently not on the IR is Jaden Schwartz. There has been speculation that he could return tonight, and he’s been skating with the team during practice, but it’s starting to look like he’ll be back Friday night against San Jose.

Jacob de la Rose being close to returning is also something to keep your eyes on, but right now I highly doubt Dakota Joshua is going anywhere.

The last time the Blues played the Kings in a series, the Blues took game one in overtime, and dropped game two, Tarasenko’s return, in extra time. They’ve gotten five points in six games against Los Angeles, who currently sits just five points behind the Blues for fourth place in the West. The Kings are on a two-game losing streak, while the Blues technically are on a one-game regulation losing streak but have lost their last four games. They still have tacked together three points in those four games, but as the division starts to catch up in games played, the Blues’ struggles with so many missing players are becoming more evident. With Tarasenko’s return, Bozak’s return tonight, and Schwartz’s return Friday, maybe it will become easier for the Blues to move back up the standings before Vegas runs away with the division.