Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo (27) follows the puck after Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) makes a save. (Photo courtesy: Billy Hurst, USA TODAY Sports)
11/1: Blues/Blue Jackets, 7pm CT, Enterprise Center – FSMW, ESPN 101.1
ST. LOUIS, MO – The St. Louis Blues (7-3-3) begin the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign tonight on home ice against the Columbus Blue Jackets (5-5-2). The Blues round up the homestand after shutting the door on the division rival Minnesota Wild on Wednesday in a 2-1 win. It is the Blues fourth win in five games, and it came from a team that played just a day before.
“A team coming off back-to-back, I think we had moments where we controlled the game, but I think we can be a little more aggressive when he have teams that come in late and play”, captain Alex Pietrangelo told NHL.com. “We know what it’s like playing those back-to-backs. It’s not easy. I said it to you guys in Detroit [on Sunday], this is a couple games in a row, we just found a way to win, but I think it’s time for us to start stringing things together here.”
Columbus has lost two straight to Philadelphia and Edmonton – getting outscored 11-5 in those contests and falling to 5-5-2. “A lot of things in there are disappointing,” captain Nick Foligno told NHL.com after the loss to Edmonton. “That’s two games in a row where we probably haven’t played our best. It has to be nipped in the bud here pretty soon.”
The Blues and Blue Jackets kick off November at Enterprise Center tonight at 7pm CT. Jake Allen, who has been recovering from the flu the past week, could likely get the start in net tonight or Saturday against Minnesota. The game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Midwest, streaming on Fox Sports GO, or on the radio at ESPN 101.1 FM.
Quality Over Quantity
As reported by the STL Post-Dispatch, the Blues are 26th overall in the shots on goal category, contrary to the last half of the season where they outshot their opponents in 23 of 25 games. Coach Craig Berube, however, doesn’t feel the need to panic.
“It’s quality shots for me more than anything,” coach Berube told Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch. “Just wasting shots, I find that’s not the answer most times. I think quality shots are key. There’s maybe times when we’re passing up good, quality shots, but puck possession and keeping the puck is just as important. A shot from the outside that the goalie freezes – I’d rather keep the puck and control it in the offensive zone more.”
Pietrangelo Rumors Heat Up
The talk of the NHL (or maybe just the Blues) has been the contract situation with Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo, 29, has been captain of the Blues for the last three seasons and hoisted the franchises’ first ever Stanley Cup this past season. Now, as he becomes a UFA after this season, a lot of clamor has been brought up on whether he’ll re-sign with St. Louis, and if they have the cap room to do it.
With Nashville’s captain Roman Josi similarly signing a 8-year, $9 million-dollar contract days ago, the analysis of Josi setting precedent comes into play and if that will factor in with Petro. Jeremy Rutherford of the Athletic recently gave his opinion on the matter, and we’ll break down more of his thoughts in another article:
“Pietrangelo does have a lot of miles on him, and he’s not going to be near the player he is today in six or seven years. But to me, Pietrangelo is playing some of the best hockey of his career now, and if you can keep the AAV reasonable, I don’t see a reason not to give him eight years and deal with that down the road. The Blues have a championship window now and he’s a big part of it.”
Pietrangelo recently played in his 700th career NHL game in his 12th professional season, all with St. Louis. He ranks second among all franchise Blues defenseman in games played (Barrett Jackman) and second in assists and points (Al MacInnis).
The Blues are 9-3-0 in their last 12 meetings against the Blue Jackets. The road teams traded wins last season.
Alex Pietrangelo has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games.
David Perron is one assist short of his 300th career helper.
Jay Bouwmeester will play his 1200th NHL contest on Tuesday against the Canucks.
The Blues and Blue Jackets drop the puck at Enterprise Center tonight at 8pm ET. To follow the action, tune in to Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports GO, or ESPN 101.1.
For local St. Louis Blues stories, recaps, insights and more, visit bluesrants.com!