Good morning Blues fans! The Blues are back at it again this evening with another semi-late start time. The puck drops on the action at 8 p.m.
It’s been so long since the St. Louis Blues took on the Arizona Coytoes, I almost forgot that Arizona even had a team. Oh wait, no. The Blues just played them two days ago and twice in the last two weeks.
The schedule makers really made this an odd little series. It would have been much more interesting had Arizona been a playoff team. Then you could talk about potential rivalries or playoff matchups and how the teams were going to see so much of each other.
Instead, it’s just a trick of the schedule. The Blues and Coyotes will face off for the third and final time tonight and the third time in 12 days.
To me, that’s a bit too much for any series that is not the playoffs. I understand when it is an Eastern Conference opponent and the two games are close so the travel is not as bad.
However, the glut of games at the end of the season against Arizona and Colorado is kind of tiring. Yes, the Blues should be able to and have racked up the wins against these opponents, but spread them out.
Nevertheless, St. Louis has a chance to get the series sweep tonight if they pull of another win. The Blues have won their previous two contests by a combined score of 7-1.
Perhaps more impressive, or more worrying depending on your view, is the team has not even played that well in those games. The games against the Coyotes have seen the Blues basically win because they are better, not because they played better.
St. Louis has taken too many silly penalties, relied on Jake Allen too much and not grabbed the game by the scruff. It was the type of performance that is more than enough to win against Arizona, but might end in a loss to one of the league’s more premier teams.
Until we are faced with that scenario though, it is hard to tell. The good thing is that the Blues are still winning those games.
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Outside of the awful powerplay production, they’ve played well enough to win at a time when points are critical. Cleaning up the rest is something to worry about when the opponent will demand those things be more spotless.
For now, winning will suffice. Winning is something St. Louis has gotten used to with the Coytoes too.
The last time the Blues lost a game to Arizona/Pheonix was way back in 2013 in overtime. The last time it came in regulation was April of 2012, almost five years ago.
The only real question now will be who is in net for the Blues. Allen has been playing as sharp as any goaltender in the league. Carter Hutton has not played since March 16, but you would figure St. Louis might want to get him some action in case he is called upon in the postseason.
Either way you go is a good thing. Hutton is 4-1 in his last five starts with two shutouts. Allen is 4-0-1 with a goose egg as well.
Here are your St. Louis Blues Morning Links to get your day started off right.
In case you missed the news, the Blues signed one of their defensive prospects to an entry-level contract yesterday. When we’ll see him in a blue note is up for debate, but he has already received high praise from the team’s general manager before the ink was even put to paper. (Arch Authority)
Injuries force other guys to step up and that’s what has happened with the Blues. Even with Paul Stastny and Robby Fabbri out, plus others, the Blues have found themselves with previously unthinkable line combinations. Nevertheless, it has managed to work out even for guys like Nail Yakupov that we had all given up on. (STLToday)
Speaking of line combinations, the Blues seem to be thriving without any true top center. The Blues top line combined for ten points against the Coyotes last time around and have been looking dangerous against anyone. (Post-Dispatch)
Way back in 2006 was the last time the Edmonton Oilers made the Stanley Cup playoffs. They made it all the way to the finals then. It has been a long time since they saw the postseason, but they clinched a spot last night and pretty much knocked the Kings out in the process. (NHL)
The Las Vegas Golden Knights might be the city’s first professional sports franchise, but they won’t be alone for long. The Knights say that’s fine and welcome their future neighbors. (NHL)
Critical mass was not reached and no big explosions occurred. So, no replacement players will be necessary as the US National Program and the Women’s National team came to an agreement. (ESPN)
Have a great day Blues fans!