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Coyotes At Blues Game Preview: Blues Must Carry On Without Backes

The Blues' captain has played every game this season.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ok, everyone, time for your headscratcher of the day: Magnus Paajarvi has three points in four games. Could it be he's not terrible?

No one has called him terrible, per se. Many, myself included, have consistently questioned his insertion into the line-up over Dmitrij Jaskin (who Hitchcock only felt the need to play after the Blues had run the score up on the Avalanche). It appears that as of late Paajarvi has not been useless. He's no Vladimir Tarasenko, but he pugs in on a line with Paul Stastny and Troy Brouwer tolerably ok. At this point in his career with the Blues, "tolerably ok" is probably his plateau.

The Blues have doubled up on the Coyotes this season in goals, winning both of their games by a combined 10-5 margin. They're also 10-0-1 against Arizone in the past four seasons. Adding to this dominance has been, unfortunately, the injured David Backes, who we won't see at the soonest until next week. Backes (along with Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen) has scored two goals against the Coyotes this season.

Arizona beat Dallas. They beat Washington. Blues fans would love it if they beat the Blackhawks tomorrow night. All season long, the Coyotes have been one of those teams that you underestimate at your own risk. Unfortunately for the Blues, they've underestimated teams and come up short within the past month - Edmonton and Calgary. Those are radar blips on a strong streak to close out the season, but tonight wouldn't be a good time for another blip to happen. The Blues are fighting off the Blackhawks beneath them and trying to pass the Stars above them. The season's not over yet, not by a long shot.