Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) makes a save against Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault (81). (Photo courtesy: Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images)
12/12: Blues/Knights, Enterprise Center, 7pm CT – FSMW, ESPN 101.1
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues (18-8-6) look to snap a 3-game losing skid against the Vegas Golden Knights (16-12-5) at Enterprise Center. The Blues dropped their third game in a row for the first time in over a year after a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Alex Pietrangelo scored his 100th career goal but it wasn’t enough to take the win, as St. Louis slid back to 2nd in the Central Division behind Colorado.
“I thought their goalie [Linus Ullmark] played well, made some great saves,” coach Craig Berube told NHL.com. “We hit three posts, you know, that’s the difference. In saying that, we’ve got to find a way to win. We’ve got to fight through this adversity. You’re going to get bumps in the road like this. You’ve got to grind through it and get through it.”
The Golden Knights laid a beatdown on the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-1, in a triumphant return for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury’s father passed away and he had not started for the Knights since November 23. He made 28 saves and nearly pitched a shutout bid until the Hawks scored in the final minute of play. As the game ended, Knights fans gave Fleury an extended standing ovation.
“I’ve got so much encouragement from my teammates, people on the team,” he said. “The fans in the game tonight, they were very nice to me. It’s always nice to get that feeling when you get back on the ice.”
The Blues and Golden Knights face off at Enterprise Center tonight at 7pm CT. It’s the first of three meetings between these two teams, after St. Louis swept the series last year. Follow all of tonight’s action on Fox Sports Midwest, streaming on Fox Sports GO, or on the radio side at ESPN 101.1.
Blues Trade Rumors
The Blues, not to sugarcoat it, need forwards. With five forwards down and scoring on the team slumping down to 14th in the league, the Blues need a solid forward that can supply the demand. After calling up Klim Kostin, Nathan Walker, Austin Poganski and Jordan Kyrou didn’t pan out to jaw-dropping results; and depth forwards like Troy Brouwer and Jacob de la Rose aren’t producing well, St. Louis may need to make a trade for a higher-end talent.
The hottest ticket on the market is currently Taylor Hall. The first overall pick back in 2010, Hall scored 39 goals in 2017-18 before an injury sidelined him for over half the 18-19 season. As the New Jersey Devils’ struggles continue, it’s become quite evident that the organization is hearing offers from teams for the 28-year-old left winger.
The Blues could go all-in on the rental, and some rumors have circulated they’re one of the best suitors, but Armstrong is rare to make moves for big-fish rentals. Additionally, Taylor Hall would require some big return to land him in St. Louis. Finally, the Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo has yet to negotiate a contract with the Blues, and they’ll be in a cap crunch next season if they let him walk.
Another more reasonable commodity has been New York Ranger Chris Kreider. At 30, Kreider has 7 goals and 8 assists through 30 games and an expiring contract worth $4 million. The former first-round pick has been producing about as expected this season (on pace for 19 goals), and a trade for him could elevate his game and playstyle in St. Louis.
Colton Parayko has four points in his last five games (1G, 3A).
Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz both have four points against the Knights in six career games.
The Blues kick off their four-game homestand tonight against the Knights, as well as their three-game season series. St. Louis went 3-0-0 against the Knights last year, and will host former Blues Paul Stastny and Ryan Reaves tonight.
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