The Blues have been involved in an impromptu mini-series against the Arizona Coyotes since February 2nd and it all comes to and end tonight. With COVID-19 sidelining Colorado and Minnesota last week, we have begun to see these series are going to be big in terms of division standings with each game essentially being a 4 point swing. While we have seen some glaring holes in the Blues’ game over the course of the series with the Desert Dogs, they have a chance to take this seven game series 4-3 tonight. Justin Faulk has easily been the leader through the series, posting a 2 goal night on Friday and being the steady hand on the blueline. Right behind Faulk we see a new Blue seeming to come into his own in Mike Hoffman, who has notched 4 goals thus far in the series. Hoffman is a key piece brought in to replace the scoring prowess of injured winger Vladimir Tarasenko, and so far we are seeing the potential he has to do just that.
With the series ending after tonight, The boys in blue need to clean up a few parts of their game to ensure they take a series win here, none more important than shoring up the goaltending. Whether it’s Jordan Binnington or Ville Husso, neither have been consistent enough to instill confidence in fans’ minds. Husso did have some ten-bell saves on Saturday night but allowing 4 goals on 36 shots will not get the job done over a 56 game season. Binnington will come around and be able to win you some games on his own some nights, but we need him to just play his game and stick to what got him to be the starter here in the first place, make the easy saves, and rely on your D men to help you when possible.
To wrap it all up, the boys need to pepper the Arizona Coyotes with a solid forecheck, shoot whenever possible and clean up the goaltending and they can go to sleep tonight in sole possession of first place in the Honda West Division with a win tonight. I expect big things from Hoffman, Binnington and some lower line guys to get them over the hump tonight by grinding down the ‘Yotes. Let’s Go Blues!
(Photo Credit Bleedin Blue)