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Coyotes at Blues Preview: End of the homestand brings new challenges

No Robert Thomas means that the Blues will have to be creative in order to win.

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

About two-thirds of the way through writing my piece yesterday on why the Blues are having (as predicted) problems with the Arizona Coyotes, the Blues announced very unwelcome news: Robert Thomas will be out for at least four weeks with a broken thumb. This means that the Blues will be short both Thomas and Tyler Bozak for the foreseeable future. Jacob de la Rose has been recalled from the taxi squad to play the part of fourth-line center, so Ivan Barbashev may be getting the bump up to the fourth line.

Never mind:

Robert Bortuzzo is available for tonight’s game, coming off of a ten game stay on the IR. He was injured in game two against the Colorado Avalanche; Carl Gunnarsson has gotten his fair share of play time in Bortuzzo’s absence, as has Niko Mikkola.

It remains to be seen if the return of Bortuzzo will help the Blues snap their two game losing streak. It’s the first that the Blues have lost two games in a row all season, and while that really isn’t cause for alarm, the fact that they’ve looked disinterested, slow, and blase at best plays into a pattern in the Blues’ worst losses.

Tonight is the conclusion of the homestand and the four game series against Arizona. As of right now, the Blues will get a break from the Coyotes on Thursday night, as they play the Minnesota Wild (if that game isn’t postponed). Then it’s off to Arizona for a two game series there.