Lyon Hockey

Carolina Hurricanes @ St. Louis Blues: Game Preview

One of the biggest question marks for the St. Louis Blues this season was Vladimir Tarasenko, who made a trade request during the offseason. The star striker was unhappy with the way his injuries were handled. The Blues went so far as to leave him unprotected in the expansion draft — and imagine that alternate universe where Seattle actually selected Tarasenko.

However, no trade ever materialized, and speculation that Tarasenko would sit out and force the Blues’ hand never came to fruition. Instead, Tarasenko came to training camp ready to work and is having a stellar season. Tarasenko is second on the team in points (55) and trails only Jordan Kyrou and David Perron in goals (21). Not bad for someone who hasn’t played even nearly a full season of hockey since the 2018-19 season (76 games).

So if you’re fantasizing about Tarasenko being offloaded somewhere else — somewhere where he might not be as dangerous with the puck, maybe — well, those hopes seem pretty dashed. The Blues general manager said Tarasenko seemed happy with the current situation and there were no concerns at the moment.

It is then that we meet the Blues, winners of only three of their last ten games. They have underperformed against bad teams, most recently recording a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. They also lost to the Blue Jackets, Senators, Devils and Islanders during this span, and coach Craig Berube said their poor record against bad teams was down to “arrogance”.

Ouch.

Needless to say, the Blues will be motivated to turn things around and what better team to do that than one of the best teams in the league? Let’s see how the teams compare before the face-off:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blues
Category Hurricanes Blues
Disk 42-15-7 35-19-9
Goals/Match 3.25 3.52
Goals Conceded/Match 2.38 2.81
Shots/Game 33.97 30.65
% head to head wins 53.2% 49.9%
Power Play % (Rank) 24.6% (7th) 26.4% (3rd)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 89.5% (1st) 82.9% (7th)
ES Corsi For % 55.56% 47.65%
ES PDO 100.65 102.12
IMP/Game 09:06 08:21

Guardian #1

Category Frederic Andersen Jordan Binington
Category Frederic Andersen Jordan Binington
Disk 31-10-3 13-13-4
To safeguard % .926 .901
GAA 2.07 3.14

Guardian #2

Category Antti Raanta City Husso
Category Antti Raanta City Husso
Disk 10-4-3 16-5-4
To safeguard % .918 .925
GAA 2.32 2.33

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes and Blues have met once this season. The Hurricanes cruised to a 3-2 victory in November thanks to goals from Brady Skjei, Sebastian Aho and Brendan Smith. Alex Lyon backed the team to victory.
  • David Perron currently has an active eight-game point streak. Meanwhile, he has ten goals and four assists.
  • Tyler Bozak will miss at least four weeks with a lower body injury. Torey Krug is seen week in and week out with an upper body injury.
  • Lots of milestones ahead for the Hurricanes. Newcomer Max Domi is one goal away from 100 career goals. Jordan Staal is two points away from 600 career points and Jaccob Slavin is two points away from 200 career points.
  • Both Brady Skjei and Andrei Svechnikov celebrate their birthdays on Saturday. Amusing!