Carolina Hurricanes @ St. Louis Blues: Match Preview

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

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

So if you’ve been fantasizing about Tarasenko being transferred somewhere else – somewhere where he might not be quite as dangerous with the puck – well, those hopes seem pretty dashed. The Blues’ general manager said that Tarasenko seems happy with the current situation and that there are no concerns at the moment.

So here we are with the Blues, who have won just three of their last ten games. They have underperformed against bad teams, most recently a 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. They’ve also lost to the Blue Jackets, Senators, Devils and Islanders in that span, and coach Craig Berube said their poor record against bad teams was due to “arrogance.”

Ouch.

Needless to say, the Blues will be motivated to get the ship in order and who could do better against than one of the top sides in the league? Let’s see how the teams perform before the puck drop:

vital statistics

category hurricanes blues
category hurricanes blues
vinyl record 42-15-7 35-19-9
goals/game 3.25 3.52
goals against/game 2.38 2.81
shots/game 33.97 30.65
Face Off Win % 53.2% 49.9%
Power Play % (Rank) 24.6% (7th) 26.4% (3rd place)
Penalty Shootout % (Rank) 89.5% (1st) 82.9% (7th)
ES Corsi for % 55.56% 47.65%
IT PDO 100.65 102.12
PIM/Game 09:06 08:21

Goalkeeper #1

category Frederick Anderson Jordan Binnington
category Frederick Anderson Jordan Binnington
vinyl record 31-10-3 13-13-4
Save on computer % .926 .901
GAA 2.07 3.14

Goalkeeper #2

category Anti Ranta Ville Huso
category Anti Ranta Ville Huso
vinyl record 10-4-3 16-5-4
Save on computer % .918 .925
GAA 2.32 2.33

game notes

  • The Hurricanes and Blues have met before this season. The Hurricanes earned a 3-2 win in November with goals from Brady Skjei, Sebastian Aho and Brendan Smith. Alex Lyon stopped the team to victory.
  • David Perron currently has an active eight-game points streak. During that time he has scored ten goals and four assists.
  • Tyler Bozak will be out for at least four weeks with a lower body injury. Torey Krug applies week in and week out with an upper body injury.
  • Many milestones lie ahead for the Hurricanes. New signing Max Domi is just one goal out of 100 career goals away. Jordan Staal is two points off 600 career points and Jaccob Slavin is two points off 200 career points.
  • Brady Skjei and Andrei Svechnikov are both celebrating their birthdays on Saturday. Fun!

About Mike Crayton

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