Blues defenseman Colton Parayko (55) forechecks the puck with Coyotes forward Brad Richardson (15). (Photo courtesy: Norm Hall, Getty Images)
12/31: Blues/Coyotes, Gila River Arena, 8pm CT – FSMW, ESPN 101.1
GLENDALE – The St. Louis Blues (26-8-6) can finish the decade with a 9-game winning streak in tonight’s matchup against the Arizona Coyotes (21-16-4). The Blues took both games of a home-at-home against the division rival Winnipeg Jets, most recently winning 4-1 on Monday. Forward Jaden Schwartz tallied five points in the two wins, extending his streak to seven games.
“We’re just finding different ways to win,” said Jaden Schwartz per NHL.com. “Our special teams has been good. I think we’re just aggressive. You look at our forwards backchecking, our D have such tight gaps. We’re just frustrating other teams and making it hard on their top players and we’re spending some time in the O-zone and kind of wearing teams down. We’re playing tight, aggressive and together, and it looks pretty quick and fast that way.”
The Coyotes made the biggest splash of the regular season in mid-December, acquiring New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall in a massive trade. Since then, Hall has two goals and two assists in six games, but the club has been struggling of late: three straight regulation losses and losses in 4 of their last 5. Their most recent loss came at the hands of the Stars, where Dallas scored four unanswered in the third period.
“I thought we played well. We were in control most of the game,” said head coach Rick Tocchet. “We got up, I thought [Oliver Ekman-Larsson] was really good physically. I thought Hall and Garland added some juice out there. Overall, I liked our game, three plays under pressure we made the wrong play, that’s what I saw.”
The Coyotes and Blues drop the puck tonight in Glendale for the second of three meetings. The Coyotes edged out the Blues last November in the shootout, 3-2. Tonight’s game can be watched on Fox Sports Midwest and listened to on ESPN 101.1 at 8pm CT.
Three Blues to All-Star Game
The official rosters for the All-Star Game, to be hosted in St. Louis, were announced yesterday by all 31 NHL teams. St. Louis fans had plenty of reason to be excited – a league-high three players would represent the club on their home turf: Jordan Binnington, Alex Pietrangelo, and Ryan O’Reilly all were selected. “It’s special, especially to have that opportunity with (the game) being in St. Louis,” Pietrangelo told stlouisblues.com. “It’s a pretty special deal to be able to do this at home, and it’s going to be more fun sharing the opportunity with my family.”
Of the three Blues, many fans noticed one player absent from the selection: leading points scorer David Perron. With 16 goals and 40 points on the season, Perron is having a career season, scoring an average of a point per game. There’s still hope for the 31-year-old left winger: fans can vote for the “Last Man In” ballot, where one final player can get a golden ticket into the All-Star weekend. To vote for David Perron, head to NHL.com/vote from January 1-11.
Jaden Schwartz has points in seven straight games (4-7-10)… David Perron has points in six straight games (4-6-10)… Blues are 10-2-0 in their last 12 games in Arizona
For local Blues stories, recaps, insights and more, visit bluesrants.com!