Blues VS Coyotes Game 2. Preview
The Blues will face the Coyotes for the second of a two-game set. The Blues won the first game 4-3 despite Arizona’s fast start. The Yotes out-shot the Blues 10-1 while also out-scoring them 1-0 in the first ten minutes. Mike Hoffman pulled the Blues even with his second of the season. The shot was signature Hoffman all the way.
Holy Faulk!!!! Early in the second Justin Faulk went from a blueline sniper to a front-line magician. Gathering the puck from between the circles he deked past one defender, crossed in front of the crease, and flipped the puck into the back of the net five-hole.
Vince Dunn went from being benched to the first star with a goal and an assist. Ryan O’Reilly got the eventual game-winner on a great entry by Colton Parayko and a solid feed from Jordan Kyrou.
Arizona got 2 goals from Christian Dvorak and a late goal from Nick Schmaltz.
Arizona was 1/2 on the power play. St. Louis was 0/5.
The Yotes outshot the Blues 35 to 29.
The second match up could be more of the same for both teams. Arizona could use a fast start as they did in the first game to put St. Louis on their heels.
Antti Raanta will get his second start of the season. He is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .912 SV%. Raanta has started eight games against the Blues, he is 4-2-2 with a 1.85 GAA and a .947 SV%. Last season he compiled a 1-1-0 record stopping 83 of 85 shots. His 1.02 GAA and .976 SV% should make goals hard to come by for the Blues.
Jorden Binnington will get the start, his 9th in 11 games. Binnington is 3-1-1 against Arizona with 2 shut outs. Last season he posted a 1-0-1 record with a .944 SV% and a .096 GAA. Binnington on the season is 6-1-1 with a 2.55 GAA and a .918 SV%.
Even strength the Blues have scored 29 goals second in the league behind Vancouver. Arizona has scored 14 of their 26 goals at even strength.
Special teams the advantage goes to Arizona. The Yotes bring in the 17th best PP at 20.6% and the 11th best PK at 82.4%. The Blues special teams while they have been better of late, for the season they are underachieving. The Blues PP is a dismal 12.5% which is 25th in the league. The PK is even worse sitting at 69.8% for 28th league-wide.
The Blues are sticking with the same forward lines while making a small switch in the defense. Vince Dunn will move up to the second pairing along with Colton Parayko. Marco Scandella will be paired with Niko Mikkola.
D Ilya Lyubushkin will make his season debut after going thru immigration and COVID protocols.
Covid-19 Protocol changes.
The League in a press release announced new COVID-19 Protocols that go into effect today. The major changes include removing the plexiglass behind the player benches to increase airflow. Limiting the time in the Arena and in large groups and creating more physical distancing in the locker room.
Expect a tight game with brilliant performances by both Goaltenders. Arizona will try to use their speed to get a quick lead and hold off the Blues. I expect the Blues to counter with a tight neutral zone game and a solid push on goal.
Pick to Click, St. Louisan Clayton Keller.
Till next time Hockey FANS.
Guy “Hawaii Blues Fan” Bensing