Last night, the Arizona Coyotes got clobbered 7-1 by the Chicago Blackhawks. This is just a hiccup in a trend that’s seen Arizona go 8-2-0. They’re just a point behind the Minnesota Wild for the last wild card spot. The West isn’t super good this season, and the Coyotes are working on exploiting that.
They’re going to come rolling into the Enterprise Center tonight looking to take two points from a Blues team that is short Vladimir Tarasenko and, if his leg is still sore from a practice injury yesterday, Pat Maroon. The Blues have missed other players throughout this season, and Maroon’s absence can be overcome. Tarasenko’s, however, is harder to get around. Robert Thomas, who has been playing really well recently, will be slotted into Tarasenko’s spot on the top line along side Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn. Thomas has two goals (both in the Blues’ win against Anaheim) and three assists in his last five and this season he has seven goals and 18 assists while averaging third line minutes. A stint on the top line could be a catalyst for some increased production while Tarsenko sits.
Tarasenko will be out at least four more games. Other players are going to have to step up in his absence, and the team’s been able to find people to chug on without key players this year.
Despite two very good games from Jake Allen, Jordan Binnington will be back in goal tonight to try to bounce back from the gong show of a game in Anaheim. Allen has been awful at home this season, though, with a 3.65 GAA and an .878 SV%. Maybe the Blues just need to go with a road/home duo for the rest of the season. Whatever works.