When the Blues face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, it’s likely that the team’s top line, which has been by far its best combination of the season, will not be together.

Alexander Steen, David Backes and T.J. Oshie have totaled 43 points together through 12 games – albeit some on special teams – but the Blues aren’t getting much else from their other three lines.

So in Monday’s practice, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock did some re-arranging. He has moved Chris Stewart to the top line with Steen and Backes and moved Oshie onto the No. 2 line with Derek Roy and Vladimir Sobotka.

While Hitchcock warned reporters “don’t read too much into it,” it’s likely that those practice lines will turn into game lines when the puck drops at the Bell Centre at 6:30 p.m. (St. Louis time) Tuesday.

“I liked what I saw at practice, but I have to sleep on it … but I really liked it,” Hitchcock said. “I’m going to say it again, for us to get better, we need more participants. So sometimes it doesn’t matter how good you have one line, you need more participants. Possibly it’s the time that they use their impact to help other people play better. We need that. We need more people playing better.”

By playing better, Hitchcock doesn’t necessarily mean more scoring. He says that the goals will come if the offense properly executes the way he wants it to play.

“We need to create more tenacity on the puck, we need more (offensive) zone time, way more o-zone time,” Hitchcock said. “We don’t spend near enough time in the offensive zone … it’s not even close to what we need to do to be successful.

“When you don’t create enough o-zone play, it’s usually a case of you’re not stopping and competing enough. You don’t play good enough defensively because we spend too little time in the offensive zone. So all of our scoring chances come off the rush.”

Hitchcock believes the new lines offer a player who fits the "stop on the puck" description on each line: Steen, Oshie and Jaden Schwartz.

“Alex Steen is one of the best players in the world at stopping on the puck,” Hitchcock said. “Whoever plays with him, he influences that player to play like that. Whether it’s David Backes who needs to stop on more pucks, or Chris Stewart, who needs to stop on more pucks, he has that influence … as does T.J. Oshie. They stop on pucks, they compete, they don’t play on the move, and when they play like that, it has a real positive impact. That’s Jaden Schwartz. He has an impact wherever he goes because he stops and works.”