ST. LOUIS BLUES
at PHOENIX COYOTES
March 7th, 2013
8:00 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
Season Series is 0-0
Tonight marks the first time this season that the St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes will faceoff and the only meeting which will occur at Jobing.com Arena. With both the Blues and Coyotes coming into tonight fresh off a loss in regulation, both team will be looking to pick up an elusive two points in the tightly contested Western Conference. While these two teams are matched evenly looking at the standings, the Blues are bringing a slump into Phoenix and will have to play a full 60 minutes in order to get the win.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
(11-9-2, 3rd in Central)
The St. Louis Blues have allowed 10 goals in the first two games of their road trip and were forced to call up Jake Allen from Peoria to help the team regain their form. The Blues will need more than goaltending to win games though and will be looking to their defense to regain their form from last season. After an impressive start in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the Blues fell apart in the third period, but will have to keep their legs moving to outskate the Coyotes.
Jake Allen will be back in net for the St. Louis Blues and it will mark his fourth start in just six days. With Allen starting in net the Blues are 3-1-0 and will hope to prove themselves tonight. For some reason the defense of the Blues seems to have more confidence when Allen is in net for the Blues and he could be the presence on the ice to push the team to winning once again. Watch him closely tonight as goaltending may make or break this game.
Others to watch
David Perron has three points in his last two games and seems to be on a bit of a streak. While Perron has been called out by many fans and some are wondering if he should be traded, Perron’s value is much higher than many recognize. If Perron can build chemistry with his new linemates he could be a force to be reckoned with. Playing with Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart on the second line seems to motivate Perron so let’s hope that his impressive play continues tonight for the Blues.
(11-9-3, 4th in Pacific)
The Phoenix Coyotes come into tonight’s game after facing the Anaheim Ducks for three games in a row. When playing at Jobing.com Arena, the Yotes took the first two games by a score of 5-4 in a pair of shootout wins. Last night the Coyotes lost 2-0 in Anaheim, but a return to home could mean a return to their winning ways. Jason LaBarbera was impressive in the loss to Anaheim, but the Coyotes could not manage to beat Jonas Hiller.
Shane Doan is always a threat on the ice, and the Captain of the Phoenix Coyotes is going to look to take advantage of a struggling Blues defense tonight. Doan is known for playing a physical game as well which could be of advantage against a St. Louis team that looks more lethargic than usual. In Los Angeles the Blues seemed to find their physical game, so Doan will have to be on his game to keep up with the Blues.
Others to watch
Antoine Vermette could be a threat against the Blues as he has seemed to have success as of late. With four points in his last five games, Vermette could also be looking for holes in the Blues defense to take advantage of. Keep an eye on Vermette trying to sneak one past Allen tonight.
Tonight marks Alex Pietrangelo‘s 200th NHL game, but the Blues don’t have time to celebrate. In order to prove that they are still able to contend for a playoff spot and potentially make a run for the Stanley Cup, the Blues need to show that they can come out and regain their form. The Phoenix Coyotes have a hard time finding goals most nights so if the Blues can get on the board early they might have a shot at taking the two points. It will be a physical game tonight in the desert and should be a good matchup between two teams fighting for a playoff spot.
The St. Louis Blues are struggling on the ice, but it may be due in part to the status of their second line. Vladimir Tarasenko (concussion), Andy McDonald (knee), and Alex Steen (shoulder) all remain out of the lineup for the Blues with no timetable for return. Jamie Langenbrunner will be watching from the sidelines like he has since his season ending hip surgery. The Phoenix Coyotes will be without David Schlemko (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body).
Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight. LET’S GO BLUES!