The Blues’ preseason slate of games begins tonight at 7:00 in... Wichita, Kansas?
As the new arena that the Arizona Coyotes will share with ASU gets its finishing touches put on it. the citizens of Wichita get to experience NHL hockey. Tonight’s game is the first NHL game played at INTRUST Bank Arena, which seats 13,000 - 8,000 more than ASU’s arena will sit.
A bulk of those in the seats tonight will be Blues fans aiming to take a look at the team’s newest arrivals and prospects. A six and a half hour drive down I-70 to I-35 is all it would take for a fan with some time to kill on a weekend to make it to downtown Wichita.
Fans won’t be able to see a full NHL lineup, of course, but they’re in for a couple treats:.
#stlblues projected lineup vs. Arizona in Wichita Saturday …— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) September 23, 2022
F: Alexandrov, Bolduc, Brown, Frk, Highmore, Kostin, Leivo, Neighbours, Pitlick, Sim, Todd, Washkurak.
D: Buchinger, Kessel, Lyle, Perunovich, Rosen, Witkowski.
G: Binnington, Hofer.
Surprisingly, the Blues are going with Jordan Binnington right off of the bat. Binnington, who spent his season recovering from a knee injury sustained in the playoffs, is focused on showing that his postseason performance was a return to form and not a fluke. A half game in against the Coyotes’ prospects is a good start for him.
Scott Perunovich is the only defenseman being iced that Blues fans are probably used to seeing. Perunovich will be fighting for a regular roster spot with the absence of Marco Scandella for at least the next six months.
Tyler Pitlick, who is here on a professional tryout, will be playing along with two notable young forwards: Jake Neighbours and Zachary Bolduc. Neighbours has been skating with Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou during training camp; Bolduc has been with Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko. Clearly, Craig Berube wants to put them in the best situation to succeed, and the best scenarios to take a long look at heir abilities in a game setting.
Landon Sim will also be getting a chance to show off. This year’s sixth round pick was the Blues’ top scorer and a consistent player through Traverse City and could be one of the preseason surprises for the team.
Tonight’s game will be streamed live on 101 ESPN or the Blues’ app.