Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/19/13

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Jaden Schwartz, drafted 14th overall by the St. Louis Blues, poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Jaden Schwartz will not only be back in the Blues' lineup tonight against Montreal, he's returning on the team's top line. Schwartz is ready to play after missing two games with an undisclosed muscle injury. With David Backes still ailing, he will line up alongside Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie. "I'm excited to play with those two," Schwartz said. "I've played with them before, so I'm a little bit familiar. They work hard and I want to add to that and obviously be responsible defensively. But I want to create offense as much as I can, and read off of them. I'm excited and hopefully they are, too." Schwartz and Steen played together in last season's playoff series against Los Angeles. "I know how him and Steen play together," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This is the first time we've played them together since the playoffs, so I'm really curious and excited to see if they've got that chemistry they had in the series against L.A. "They're going to have a big task playing against the line we hope we get to match them up against. If we keep those two guys (Schwartz and Steen) playing together, and we'd like to, I think we're going to see great tempo." Meanwhile, Backes and Vladimir Sobotka are not ready to return — just yet. Backes skated before the rest of the Blues took the ice for Thursday morning's practice. Blues general manager Doug Armstrong called it a positive development. "I’m going to wait and talk to the training staff and Ken (Hitchcock) after, but it’s always a good sign," Armstrong said. "This was how we saw it moving forward because we didn’t put him on IR. I’m not surprised to see him skating and we hope to see him back in there soon. Hopefully he’s a player in the very near future." Sobotka, meanwhile, skated with the Blues on Thursday, but he's still dealing with an undisclosed upper-body injury and not ready to play. "He's probably 50 percent of where he needs to be," Hitchcock said.
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