Blackhawks vs. Blues: David Perron Finally Laces Up the Skates Again

Ryan Bothmann@tripleCfanSenior Analyst IIDecember 4, 2011

On November 4th, 2010, David Perron was hit on a cheap shot from the San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton.

Now after missing 97 games due to a concussion, the Blues' star forward is ready to take the ice in front of a sellout crowd at the Scottrade Center as the Blues host the division rival Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's been a long road obviously," Perron said on Friday. "I didn't expect it to be that long obviously. I'm really excited to get back to the lineup tomorrow. Everyone has been really kind and helpful. I'm just glad to be back to 100 percent healthy now, and ready to go."

Concussions have not been taken lightly in hockey in recent years.

Star forward Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, like Perron, had his season ended with a concussion last year. Crosby returned to the Pittsburgh lineup just 12 days ago.

Another star player, Marc Savard of the Boston Bruins, had his season ended last year with a concussion. Savard will sit out all of this year as well, and could be done with his hockey career.

Perron's return for Saint Louis will be huge, as the Blues have quickly climbed the Western Conference standings under new coach Ken Hitchcock. A win tonight would propel the Blues into a three-way tie for the Central Division lead, along with rivals Detroit and Chicago.

"It's going to be awesome. The guys are playing really well," Perron said. "Our goaltending has been really good. I'll just get in there, play my game and work as hard as I can, and I think for me it's going to be to keep it simple and just take the excitement of the game and bring two points to the team."

The scene at Scottrade will be electric tonight. The Blues are quickly becoming a power in the NHL, and the addition of Perron will certainly have the team and fans fired up.

"Over the last 13 months, I went through all kinds of emotions," said Perron. "I'm ready to be turning the page obviously."

The Blues are also ready to turn the page, and the fans are hungry for a playoff contender. Perron might just be the key to taking the next step towards Saint Louis' first Stanley Cup.

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