On a night on which the Blues could claim their first Central Division title in 11 seasons, it's the end of another streak that will probably have more of an effect on the team in the playoffs.
For the first time since March 30, 2010, a span of 160 games, the Blues will have everyone on their roster healthy tonight when they face Columbus at Scottrade Center.
And in a sign of the positive chemistry in the locker room, left winger Alex Steen voiced more happiness for the players who have been out with injuries than the benefits their returns will bring the team.
"Just knowing that guys have their health is a big thing," Steen said. "Everybody in here is friends, we feel like family together and you never want to see a teammate get hurt. You hope that guys get healthy, and when they are, you're happy."
Understandably so, but the Blues aren't oblivious to the significance of having all of their parts in place 12 days before the start of the Western Conference playoffs, and the coincidence of it happening on the evening the club could clinch its first division title since 1999-2000.
Forwards Andy McDonald and Matt D'Agostini, along with defenseman Roman Polak, will be the final pieces added to the puzzle tonight when the Blues meet the Blue Jackets at 7 p.m.
"We've come a long way," Blues forward T.J. Oshie said. "We've had unlucky bounces (injurywise), but guys in the last two summers have really worked hard to get into good shape, so that by this part of the season we would be our strongest. With everyone being healthy, I think that shows a little bit."
The logjam — 16 forwards and eight defensemen — has finally created multiple options for Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. And in Friday's 50-minute up-tempo practice, fans had their first glimpse of what the lineup will look like without walking boots, crutches, casts and ice packs.
The forward combinations will feature a top line of Steen, David Backes and Oshie, which had noticeable chemistry earlier in the season.
"It seemed pretty good out there in practice (Friday), too," Steen said. "We were finding each other again, so that was good."
On the second line, McDonald will team up with Patrik Berglund and David Perron, another group that clicked for a brief stint recently.
"We had some real good plays, and there's more to our game," Perron said. "The three of us, we talked about that this morning. We want to make sure we're one of the best lines every single night. I think we've got the potential to do that."
Vladimir Sobotka, Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner will make up the third line, while D'Agostini, Scott Nichol and Chris Stewart will play on the fourth line.
"I don't really view it as a third or fourth line," Hitchcock said. "When you play the way we play right now, I think we're hoping we end up with two third lines."
Hitchcock, who plans to soon work B.J. Crombeen into the lineup, said the combinations are based on pairs, not threesomes. He expects to keep Oshie-Backes, McDonald-Berglund and Langenbrunner-Arnott together.
"We will switch certain individuals and make it more flexible for us," Hitchcock said. "For whatever reason, we have certain combinations that work at home, but the same combinations do not work on the road. When we switch up, it seems to work, so we're getting prepared to do that."
Defensively, it appears that Polak will replace Kent Huskins in the lineup tonight. Polak will reunite with Kris Russell, while the pairs of Alex Pietrangelo and Carlo Colaiacovo, along with Barret Jackman and Kevin Shattenkirk, will remain the same.
Meanwhile, despite Brian Elliott's shutout streak of 186 minutes, 33 seconds, Jaroslav Halak will start in goal against Columbus. Halak gave up three goals on 40 shots in Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to Chicago.
"I just feel like, (that game) is on the players," Hitchcock said. "(Halak) played really good. I mean, sure he wants the first goal back, but he played good."
Hitchcock admitted that with an opportunity to win the Central Division on Thursday, the Blues crumbled.
"It was like, 'Hey, we've got a chance to win the division,' and everybody went, 'Gulp!'" he said. "Everything we've worked for was sitting right in front of us, and we gulped. But I think it's good that we did that without" it happening in the playoffs.
Oshie said: "In the end, this might have been something we needed. We've been squeaking by with wins on our goalies alone. I think (Thursday) night was a bit of a reality check for everyone."
Everyone will find out how much the Blues learned tonight when they have a second chance in three nights to lay claim to the division title.