Roster Set and Jake Allen Update

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

With one more night before the puck drops on the NHL regular season, the answers to most of the questions surrounding the Blues for opening night have been answered. 

First and most important, Jake Allen participated fully in practice today and will start against the Blackhawks tomorrow night in Chicago. It's likely we see Carter Hutton against Minnesota Thursday with Allen still recovering from a lower body injury. The Blues avoided disaster as they don't have a ready made backup for Hutton if Allen would have been injured long term. 

The opening night roster wasn't much of a question mark until Jaden Schwartz got injured in practice. The injury threw off the top two lines and, if not for GM Doug Armstrong slipping former 1st rounder Nail Yakupov from the Oilers, Magnus Paajarvi may have been a regular starter. While the lines aren't ideal, the early return of Alex Steen means only one player will be forced to shift down upon Schwartz's return. 

The lines will be as followed tomorrow night:

Robby Fabbri - Paul Stastny - Alex Steen

David Perron - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - Patrik Berglund - Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves

On the defensive side things will stay relatively the same. Robert Bortuzzo will move into Joel Edmundson's spot early on after a strong camp and that's the only change from last year. Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester are coming off of a World Cup of Hockey title so the top pairing should be in mid-season form already. 

The pairings for tomorrow night will be:

Alex Pietrangelo - Jay Bouwmeester

Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Colton Parayko - Robert Bortuzzo

The Blues finally enter a season having made a decision on a number one goalie. Jake Allen will have the chance to justify his contract extension without being pushed for playing time by an equally talented teammate. 

Jake Allen will start against Chicago with Carter Hutton backing up. Joel Binnington was sent back to the minors today.

The final members on the roster, and tomorrow nights scratches barring injury, include Magnus Paajarvi, Ty Rattie and Joel Edmundson. Jaden Schwartz begins the year on the injured reserve. 

The final roster is set and it's time to get excited Blues fans! The puck drops tomorrow night in Chicago! Let's Go Blues!