Blues Gameday Preview: Arizona Coyotes – 1/26/23

With their 5-3 defeat at the hands of former-Blues great Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres, the St. Louis Blues wrapped up their season-longest, seven-game homestand with a record of 3-4-0. The Blues have been fairly disappointing on home ice, as that record now slips to 10-12-2. They surrendered three goals in the first and another less than two minutes into the second period before Ivan Barbashev (8) and Brayden Schenn (12) found the net to make it 4-2. A power-play goal by Jordan Kyrou (23) just 47 seconds into the third period made it a 4-3 game until an empty-net goal by Dylan Cozens sealed the game with one minute remaining.

St. Louis Blues' Gameday Robert Thomas, Jordan Kyrou, Justin Faulk and Jordan Binnington

After allowing four goals in the first, Jordan Binnington settled down and stopped 26 of 30 shots. There were a few he would like back, but he was often subjected to poor defensive positioning in front of him. Colton Parayko had maybe his worst game of the season. After being “demoted” to the third pairing by head coach Craig Berube, he was on the ice for four of the five Sabres’ goals and ended the night with a plus/minus of minus-4.

“Did not have a good game,” Blues coach Craig Berube said of Parayko. “Tentative. It seems like he’s a little bit tentative. Just not assertive enough with the puck… It’s not all the time, but he’s definitely not had the year that we expect him to have or he expects.”

Jeremy Rutherford (from ‘Blues’ Colton Parayko demoted to third pair: ‘He’s definitely not had the year that we expect’, The Athletic, Jan. 25, 2023)

Now 22-22-3, the Blues embark on a three-game road trip to close out January and head in to the All-Star break. The first stop will be in Tempe, AZ, to face the Arizona Coyotes (15-28-5) in their first trip to the friendly confines of Mullett Arena. This will be the first time the two teams have met this season. The Blues won the season series in 2021-22, going 3-1-0.

St. Louis Blues Projected Lineup


Brandon Saad – Robert Thomas – Jordan Kyrou

Ivan Barbashev – Brayden Schenn – Vladimir Tarasenko

Jake Neighbours – Logan Brown – Josh Leivo

Alexey Toropchenko – Noel Acciari – Tyler Piclick

Jordan Kyrou St. Louis Blues
Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)


Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko

Torey Krug – Justin Faulk

Calle Rosen – Niko Mikkola


Thomas Greiss

Tarasenko, Krug, Brown Made Their Return; Bortuzzo Activated

A few notable roster moves were made by the Blues prior to their Jan. 24 loss to Buffalo. Pavel Buchnevich will head to the injured reserve as he deals with an infection in his ankle (that has since been operated on), which will keep him out at least through the All-Star break. In 38 games this season, he’s scored 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) and leads the team in power-play points with 17 (seven goals, 10 assists).

Related: Coyotes Have Endless Options to Make Chychrun Trade Happen

With Buchnevich out, both Vladimir Tarasenko and Torey Krug were reinstated from the injured list and returned to the lineup for the Sabres game. Krug (lower body) had been out since Dec. 23, while Tarasenko (upper body) has been out since Dec. 31. In their returns, Krug picked up two assists and was a plus-1 in 21:15 of ice time while Tarasenko registered five shots on goal and was on the ice for 17:19.

Possibly forgotten about or just buried in the lede, Logan Brown also made his return to the team after being sidelined since Dec. 29 (upper body). He’s missed a lot of games this season, with the game against Buffalo only being his 10th of the season. He accounted for one shot, four penalty minutes (PIM), and no points in the contest.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo has been activated as well after missing the last two-plus weeks. He won’t be in the lineup tonight, but will be in there at some point before the end of the road trip.

Arizona Coyotes Projected Lineup


Clayton Keller – Barrett Hayton – Nick Schmaltz

Lawson Crouse – Nick Bjugstad – Dylan Guenther

Nick Ritchie – Travis Boyd – Christian Fischer

Matias Maccelli – Jack McBain – Zack Kassian

Dylan Guenther Arizona Coyotes
Dylan Guenther, Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)


Jakob Chychrun – Troy Stecher

Juuso Valimaki – Josh Brown

Patrik Nemeth – JJ Moser


Karel Vejmelka

Blues Eyeing Chychrun?

As the rumor mill continues to churn, Coyotes defender Jakob Chychrun continues to be linked to practically every team in the NHL. In her latest for The Athletic, Shayna Goldman lists the Blues as one of the seven teams that make the most sense for the young blueliner.

Chychrun’s contract situation is what makes him an option even if this team steps back from playoff contention this year. That could even give the Blues some leverage because they don’t have to make a move at the deadline if the right trade doesn’t materialize. So if the Coyotes can’t find a buyer, St. Louis could circle back at a later date. That’s the key here: Chychrun is only 24 and doesn’t have to go to a bonafide contender. Instead, he could be the ideal fit for a team that’s trying to improve their chances in the near future, but not this season. 

Shayna Goldman (from ‘Jakob Chychrun’s trade destinations: 7 teams that could (and should) be interested, The Athletic, Jan. 26, 2023)

The rumors of the Blues-Chychrun connection are nothing new. The Armstrong Connection of general managers Doug Armstrong of the Blues and Bill Armstrong of the Coyotes (no relation) helps keep the embers of this hot-stove rumor consistently warm, with Bill being Doug’s former assistant general manager and director of scouting before heading to Arizona. There’s an obvious tie between these two franchises, and a move could easily come together at some point without much information leaking beforehand thanks to their connection with one another.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

For Chychrun, he’s doing everything he can to prove his worth and up his trade value for the Coyotes. He’s missed some time, but still has 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 32 games this season. His cap hit of $4.6 million is manageable and comes with two more seasons of control after the 2022-23 season concludes. It’s likely he gets dealt at some point, as he’s stated he wants to play on a contender, but a move may not happen until the offseason.

Who to Watch

St. Louis Blues: Jordan Kyrou

Jordan Kyrou tied for the team lead with five shots in their loss to Buffalo. He’s continued to be a point-per-game player all season, as he now has 46 points in 46 games. He’s recorded 11 points in 11 January games as well, and has recorded a goal in three straight games. In those three games, he owns a shooting percentage (S%) of 18.75 percent.

Arizona Coyotes: Jakob Chychrun

Blues faithful should keep an eye on Chychrun during every one of his shifts. Not only is he one of the hottest players in the league right now (22 points in his last 27 games), but like I mentioned earlier, he’s going to be one of the more sought-after players as the trade deadline approaches. For his career versus the Blues, he’s logged four goals and seven assists in 19 games.

How to Catch the Game

The Blues and Coyotes will square off at Mullett Arena at 8:00 PM CST. The game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Midwest and Bally Sports+. The radio broadcast can be heard on 101 ESPN as well as the Blues App.