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Coyotes at Blues Preview: Deja vu

The Coyotes aren’t going anywhere, at least not until Monday night.

Arizona Coyotes v St Louis Blues Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

Necessity is the mother of invention. Necessity is also the mother of scheduling changes, it seems. With the Colorado Avalanche being shut down due to COVID-19 concerns through at least February 11th, the Blues potentially could’ve gone from Thursday night’s game through February 9th without playing. They had games scheduled for tonight and tomorrow night against the Avalanche that would’ve been canceled. The Coyotes’ two games against Colorado, which followed the Blues’ two games against the Avs, were also postponed.

The Arizona Coyotes were scheduled to play the Blues later on in February. All of this worked out with a leval of serendipity that hasn’t been seen often - the NHL decided to move the Blues’ Colorado dates back to the Coyotes’ dates, and move those games up until now. Instead of a 7 PM start, today’s game starts at 2 this afternoon, and instead of a game competing with the Super Bowl, the Blues and Coyotes will play Monday night. Problem solved.

The Blues had more problems than the scheduling, though. After a rough game on Thursday night, one that took the team 56 minutes to wake up, the Blues need to make some tweaks going into tonight. Arizona goaltender Antti Raanta had an outstanding game, but for the Blues, it was about more than coming up against a hot goalie. It was about mistakes layer-caking on top of each other. By the end of the game, head coach Craig Berube was mixing up the forward lines, and landed on putting Mike Hoffman on a line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron.

Hoffman had two of the Blues’ three goals and O’Reilly had the third. Perron assisted on Hoffman’s last tally of the night.

Yesterday, it became apparent that line was going to stick:

Other shifts in lines haven’t leaked out yet, nor has word on what Thursday’s last-minute scratch of Marco Scandella was about.

By the end of these four games, the Blues and Coyotes will have played half of their season series. They should be very well acquainted - and if Thursday night’s game against the Wild is postponed, the Blues will be flying to Arizona to play two more games against the ‘Yotes. This could be the start of an accidental rivalry for the teams. It’s a shame there’s so few matchups between them left.