By Patrick Kelly
Less than a month into the NHL season, there have been several teams affected by differing COVID-19 issues. While it has yet to affected the St. Louis Blues directly, it will lead to the postponement of more games. The Colorado Avalanche have had to close their facility due to the coronavirus and have canceled all games until February 11. This includes their games against the Blues this weekend.
The Minnesota Wild are also having problems of their own and they were scheduled to play the Arizona Coyotes next weekend. Due to these problems the NHL decided that the Blues and Coyotes will play an additional two games against each other, one being on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 pm and Monday, Feb. 9 at 7 pm. Both of those games will replace the two-game series that was scheduled to take place on March 29 and 31.
With the season going on during a pandemic, this is about as much luck as these two teams can ask for. Although the Blues once again find themselves with a game postponed, at least they won’t have to take increased time off and can play against a team where they can make some adjustments.
The Blues fell to the Coyotes 4-3 Thursday and although the score looked close, the Blues scored three unanswered late with the goalie pulled to almost complete the comeback. While the Blues offense played well, throwing 43 shots at Arizona goalie Antti Raanta, they couldn’t quite figure him out until too late in the game. While the offense had it’s chances, the defense completely hung goalie Jordan Binnington out to dry, with him making a great save on more than one occasion only to not be bailed out by his defense.
Although the Blues split the first two games against the Coyotes, they still sit second in the Honda West behind Colorado even though they are tied in points at 15. Colorado now has to wait for a bit, which helps them in getting star player Nathan Mackinnon back on the ice. The Blues have a chance to gain some momentum in the division in the month of February with two series against the San Jose Sharks and one against the Los Angeles Kings.