From The Ice

Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen Return to the Ice

Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen Return to the Ice
Cat Silverman

Despite losing two prominent members of their offensive roster, the St. Louis Blues have been on a hot streak lately.

Two consecutive 2-1 victories over the Chicago Blackhawks served as bookends for the only loss the Central Division franchise has earned in the five games they’ve spent without winger Vladimir Tarasenko, when they were defeated 1-0 by the Winnipeg Jets. The only other loss they’ve incurred in their last six contests, which they’ve played without forward Alex Steen, was a 4-1 dropped decision to the Vancouver Canucks — but they’re hoping that the return of both scoring phenoms to the lineup in the regular season finale will help them keep this hot streak alive.

The team confirmed that both Tarasenko and Steen will be back in the Blues’ final game on Saturday, in which they’ll host the Minnesota Wild at home in St. Louis.

Tarasenko was injured during the 4-1 loss to the Canucks on March 30th, while Steen has been missing in action since suffering an unspecified lower body injury prior to the game against Vancouver.

Although the win isn’t a must for St. Louis — their victory on Thursday over Chicago, plus Minnesota’s victory over Nashville, clinched the Central Division regular season championship for them. The Wild are also unable to climb out of the Wild Card spot, even if they want to — a win would put Minnesota and Chicago tied with 102 points apiece, and Chicago would win the ROW tiebreaker. After last spring’s iconic collapse to Chicago in the first round of the post-season, though, it’s likely the Blues want to go out on a high note — especially with Minnesota as everyone’s dark horse. Add in the inevitable meeting between the Blues and the Wild in the first round (Winnipeg would be one point short of taking the first Wild Card position even with a victory), and Saturday’s game seems even more crucial.

The Blues have also confirmed that Brian Elliot will start in net against Minnesota; with at least five consecutive games between the two teams coming up, it’s hard not to get excited about Saturday.

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From The Ice
Cat Silverman
@catacarryon

Catherine is the first American in a long line of Canadians, making her the black sheep before she even decided she wasn’t going to be a Leafs fan. Her cousins may never forgive her for the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, but they’re at least glad she’s a rink rat, too. She’s a pretty terrible goalie, but she’s got a good grasp on the game from her seat on the bench.

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