GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 23: T.J. Oshie #74 of the St. Louis Blues skates with the puck past Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on December 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Blues defeated the Coyotes 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The St. Louis Blues will be fighting for their place in the Central Division.
The St. Louis Blues have rocketed up the Western Conference standings since hiring head coach Ken Hitchcock in early November, and this week they'll once again have a chance to prove that they're one of the West's elite teams. The Blues will play four games this week against three opponents, and all three are in the top eight of the West standings.
Dec. 26: vs Dallas Stars (6:30 p.m. CT, Versus)
With 41 points, the stars are currently the seventh best team in the West, and they've had a solid month, going 6-4 in December. The Stars are led in goals by veteran winger Michael Ryder (13), but Dallas wants to play low-scoring, defensive minded games.
Dec. 27: at Detroit Red Wings (6:30 p.m. CT, Versus)
This will be the first of two trips to Detroit this week for the Blues. St. Louis has won both games vs. the Red Wings this season, which is a major reason why the Blues currently top the Detroit in points by one. In the teams' last match up on Dec. 6, Patrik Berglund scored the game winning goal in the third period.
Dec. 30: vs Nashville Predators (7:00 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Midwest)
The Blues saw Nashville on Dec. 17, and they suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to the Predators. Nashville is currently eighth in the West, and will likely be fighting for playoff position for the rest of the year.
Dec. 31: at Detroit Red Wings (6:00 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Midwest)
If the Blues defeat the Red Wings earlier in the week, they'll be able to take a commanding 4-0 lead in the 2011 head-to-head series with a win here. But a loss on the 27th might mean that the Blues will be fighting for second place come New Year's Eve.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of the Blues, head over to St. Louis Game Time. And for more news and notes from around the NHL, check out SB Nation's NHL news hub.