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Blues Vs. Coyotes Open Thread

Emmanuel in the desert Sunday night

By Brad Lee

Here's an excerpt from the cover story for St. Louis Game Time. If you're going tonight and planning on buying a copy, don't ruin the surprise and just go back to surfing for pictures of Alexander Ovechkin's girlfriend. And if you are going tonight and NOT planning on buying a copy, go back to surfing for pictures of Gary Bettman, you cheap bastard.

Feel free to fill up the comments before, during and after the game.

Coyotes Come Howling

For the hell of it, let’s check out the standings and do a little math. As of today, the Blues and Blackhawks are tied with 66 points apiece, tied for 12th in the Western Conference. Columbus is just ahead with 67 points, Phoenix (tonight’s opponent in case you weren’t aware) has 69 and Nashville (who is in ninth place because of the tiebreakers) is tied with Colorado with 72 points. So that’s three wins behind the last playoff spot – if the Blues held any of the tiebreakers which we’d seriously doubt. That tight bunching, six teams within six points for that last playoff spot, is what makes getting into the playoffs from back in the pack so damn difficult.

An educated guess says 94 points will qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference. It could be higher, but it’s doubtful a team with less than 94 will make the postseason. For the Blues to finish the season with 94 points, they have to go 14-5-0 over their last 19 games. A quick look at the Blues’ schedule so far this season shows that the team hasn’t played at that kind of pace all season. The closest they even came was a stretch form mid-October into November where the Blues were 12-7-0 which would still fall short of that 94-point goal.

Phoenix is 1-2-1 over the team’s last four games with that lone win coming against the Blues out in Glendale, Ariz. on Sunday night. The Coyotes did play on the road last night in Chicago and probably didn’t get a lot of rest before arriving in the middle of the night here in St. Louis. The Coyotes had some tough luck against the Hawks losing 1-0. Chicago’s Patrick Lalime (yes, that Patrick Lalime) stopped all 32 Phoenix shots in the shutout victory. That was Lalime’s first shutout since Feb. 7, 2007. Frankly, we’re surprised that date wasn't a lot longer ago, but whatever. The only goal Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov allowed was a pinball-type shot that was a quick cross-ice feed that Jason Williams deflected toward the general area of the net. The puck bounced in off Phoenix forward Joel Perrault’s skate. In the replay it was difficult to see if Williams’ shot was even going to be on net or go just wide, but Perrault made sure it found the back of the net. Perfect.