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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:01 am 
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ST. LOUIS -- The start of this season could not have been more different for the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes.

While the Blues are off to the best start in their history, the Coyotes will carry the league's worst record into their game against St. Louis on Thursday night.

The Blues (12-3-1) set a franchise record with 12 wins in their first 16 games. Meanwhile, the Coyotes (2-13-2) are still looking for their first regulation victory, with their only wins coming in overtime and in a shootout.

The results of their head-to-head games in recent years also have been one-sided. The Blues have won their past 11 meetings with the Coyotes, with Arizona's most recent win coming Nov. 12, 2013.

First-year Arizona coach Rick Tocchet is trying to take a patient approach to the Coyotes' performance, looking for small ways that the team can improve.

"Been here a couple months and one thing I noticed, I don't want us to be a perimeter team," Tocchet told NHL.com after the Coyotes' most recent loss, 3-1 to the Penguins on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. "You have to go to the net. You have to be good along the walls. That's something that we as an organization, we have to get better at. I have to teach it better because you can't win in this league unless you have people that go to the net or you win battles along the wall."

The one positive for the Coyotes has been the play of 19-year-old rookie Clayton Keller, who has scored 11 goals and contributed six assists. Only one other player on the team has scored more than three goals.

Keller, a St. Louis-area native, and was the Coyotes' top pick in the 2016 draft. He made his NHL debut in his hometown March 27, 2016, but did not score. So far this season, he has at least one point in 12 of Arizona's 17 games.

The Blues' success has been built on contributions from every facet of the team -- getting scoring from their top lines as well as defensemen and solid goaltending from the combination of Jake Allen and backup Carter Hutton.

The top line of Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz has quickly developed into one of the top combinations in the league, with Schenn recording seven points in his past two games (one goal and six assists).

Schenn had a goal and two assists Tuesday night as the Blues won 3-1 at New Jersey, with Tarasenko and Schwartz scoring the other two goals.

"Each night, it's someone that's getting the job done for us," Schenn said. "We're working in five-man units, we're working as a team, and that results in winning hockey."

The Blues' success has only increased the players' desire to see those positive results continue.

"The guys in the room are really enjoying what we are doing and what we are accomplishing," St. Louis center Kyle Brodziak said. "Everybody feels like they are part of it. It's good when you see results like we are seeing. It gives guys confidence and motivation to keep doing what we are doing."

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:02 am 
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Keller is the by far leading candidate for the Calder right now. As bad as most of the Coyotes team is, he's really frickin' good.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:21 am 
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This is the type of game that really worries me. You expect a blowout victory with a lot of stat padding, and you end up getting a major embarrassment. Contain Keller and you'll be fine.

Blues 5
Coyotes 1

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:40 am 
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glen a richter wrote:
This is the type of game that really worries me. You expect a blowout victory with a lot of stat padding, and you end up getting a major embarrassment. Contain Keller and you'll be fine.

Blues 5
Coyotes 1


I said almost the exact same thing about the Flyers game last week, and look how that turned out.

Therefore, I will not say anything about this one. :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:35 pm 
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The Flyers understand how to work the middle of the ice and sometimes play above their talent level. At least the Flyers game wasn't really a "let-down" game in terms of effort. They were clearly trying, but couldn't get to the front of the net enough to make it harder on Neuvirth.

The Coyotes - as Tocchet mentions in the preview - play the perimeter way too much and that is exactly what allows the Blues to dominate games. So as long as the Blues don't have a "let-down" type effort, which I've only seen in that Tampa game at the end of a long road trip against one of the best teams in the league, not too worried about this one. So I said it. :) :banana:

:goblues: :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:22 pm 
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Both teams have come out hitting hard. I like it!

Blues go on the power play!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:26 pm 
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Not a well-executed power play. They got NO shots on goal.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:31 pm 
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Great block by Pietrangelo, keeping it scoreless!

And now a block by Dunn!

You'd think Arizona was on the power play!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Are The Blues "playing DOWN to the competition again, like they did for Coach Hitchcock? - OR are The 'Yotes just playing well? 0-0 after 1. Not a great showing for the team with the best record in The NHL playing at home against the team with the worst record.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Schenn hits the post, then Thorburn makes beautiful pass to the trailing Joel Edmundson!!! Blues lead 1-0!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Upshall almost puts it in from right in front!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:20 pm 
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The Yotes tie it up on a beauty by Perlini.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:36 pm 
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[QUOTE="Robb_K, post: 137727271, member: 53668"]The Blues need to score on this PP! But Schenn's high stick cancels that edge.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:43 pm 
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The Blues give up a very late goal at the end of The 2nd, and go into The 3rd trailing 2-1. Not good. They'll need to come out and dominate from the start.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:01 pm 
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The Blues aren't necessarily playing down given they have almost double the scoring chances, but the same thing as happened vs the Flyers - not getting to the front and staying there....

And now Panger just said the same thing...

So work harder in front of the net. Kind of odd the Blues being better at working the middle then not working the middle enough.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:07 pm 
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Pietrangelo with a quick wrister, whips it in!!!! 2-2 tie!!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Great drive on net by Tarasenko and Schenn is robbed on the follow-up.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:32 pm 
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If anyone expected a blowout, they aren't paying attention. In the Coyotes last 7 games - they are all basically one goal games - the two 2-goal losses each included an empty net goal.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Dunn just had to lift the puck and Blues would have won. Raanta and Hutton both make great saves. Lots of super chances for both teams.

But we go to a shootout.

Good OT. But I'm not happy.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:51 pm 
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OT! Schenn scores! Hutton stops Keller! Tarasenko misses.
Hutton stops the second! Steen wins it with a blast by Raanta!!!

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