Left wing Jaden Schwartz practiced with the Blues and looked ready to return to the lineup on Wednesday in Montreal, though he was noncommital on being back in the lineup after missing two games after taking a puck to the leg.
“Better,” he said. “It's doing better than it did a few days ago. Still trying to take it day by day but it feels a lot better than it did Friday.”
Schwartz took full part in practice, skating on a line with Brayden Schenn and David Perron and taking part in the second power play unit. Both of those are good signs the team is expecting him to play.
“We'll see how it feels in the morning,” he said. “Probably skate in the morning and see how it feels.”
“Obviously we know the impact Schwartzie has on our team and how important he is to our group,” coach Mike Yeo said, “so one step closer to coming back in. Hopefully, we can have him available for us tomorrow.”
Schwartz took a puck to the boot on a shot by Vladimir Tarasenko in the Calgary game, and while he finished that game, he sat out both games over the weekend, against Chicago and Anaheim. The Blues' fates last season took a turn for the worse when Schwartz got hurt and missed 20 games.
“It's frustrating,” Schwartz said. “A lot of it is bad luck. Pucks seem to hit different areas of you. It's unlucky but hopefully but there's better luck moving forward.”
Also back on the ice for practice on Tuesday was defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, who missed most of the final two periods on Sunday vs. Anaheim with a lower-body injury. He skated on a fourth pairing with Jakub Jerabek, with Vince Dunn and Jordan Schmaltz looking to be the third pair.
And the search for line combinations led to a promotion for Jordan Kyrou, who has moved up to the top line alongside Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O'Reilly. Pat Maroon moved to the third line alongside Alexander Steen and Tyler Bozak. Sammy Blais is on the fourth line with Ivan Barbashev and Robert Thomas. Zach Sanford, just up from San Antonio, was an extra.
Yeo said they were looking at Sanford as a center. Sanford, who played center in his brief time at San Antonio, indicated that he would play anywhere the team wanted him to.
Robby Fabbri, Nikita Soshnikov and Oskar Sundqvist all skated wearing yellow no-contact jerseys, but Yeo said all three would accompany them on the weeklong trip to Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg as they get closer to returning the lineup.