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Takeaways from Blues’ Salute to Military Night vs. Predators

The Blues returned home to host the Predators on Veterans’ Day.

NHL: Nashville Predators at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues returned home to the Nashville Predators on Veterans Day. The Blues lost to the the Predators in overtime 4-3 at the Enterprise Center on Thursday night.

Before St. Louis announced their starting lineup, they paid tribute to the veterans. During the ceremonial puck drop the Blues honored Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, who was one of 13 military members killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26. Schmitz was a St. Charles, Mo. native and a 2019 graduate of Fort Zumwalt High School.

Thank you all for your service!

Here are my two takeaways from the Blues’ Salute to Military Night versus the Predators.

The Blues’ second line was questionable.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Blues’ second line was questionable. I’ve noticed that Blues head coach Craig Berube switches up his lines sometimes, but I didn’t understand the line of Ivan Barbashev, Robert Thomas, and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Jordan Kyrou was the better choice on the left instead of Barbashev. Kyrou would’ve lit the second line on fire. After all, he was just short of a hat trick. He scored two goals, one of which was on the power play, to give the Blues a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. With the goals, he recorded his fourth and fifth goals on the season, respectively.

Robert Thomas collected two assists, one on Kyrou’s power-play goal and the other on Vladimir Tarasenko’s game-tying goal. With the assists, Thomas recorded his eighth and ninth assists on the season, respectively.

As mentioned, Vladimir Tarasenko scored the game-tying goal in the third period. With the goal, Tarasenko recorded his fifth goal on the season.

Perhaps Coach Berube will stick with the previous second line for Saturday’s road game. Kyrou, Thomas, and Tarasenko have been offensive, multi-point players.

The Blues’ defense has room for improvement.
The Blues were exposed defensively on Thursday.

The Blues need to tighten up their defensive pairings. Hopefully, Torey Krug will return from COVID-19 protocol soon. Krug has to submit two negative COVID-19 tests and pass a cardiac screening before rejoining the Blues.

So, it’s safe to say Krug won’t rejoin the team in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday. Calle Rosen will likely remain in the third defensive pair alongside Robert Bortuzzo.

The Blues take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night at 6:30 pm Central.