Blues Weekly: COVID List Additions, Husso, Trade Target & More

The St. Louis Blues had a record of 2-1-0 this week, and they’re 21-10-5 on the season. As of right now, they sit at second in the Central Division with 47 points through 36 games.

St. Louis Blues Weekly Ryan O'Reilly David Perron
Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron (The Hockey Writers)

After a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins to start the week, the Blues were able to bounce back with two home wins over the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars.

Three Additions to the COVID List

Following their loss to the Penguins, the Blues placed Vladimir Tarasenko, Scott Perunovich, and Jake Walman on the COVID list. It was reported that Tarasenko was asymptomatic, meaning that he could return this week after five days of being on the list.

With Tarasenko missing two games, there are now only two players on this team to have not missed a game. Colton Parayko and Marco Scandella have played all 36 games this season, which is impressive given their style and minutes played.

Related: 5 Players That May Not Return to the Blues for the 2022-23 Season

The Blues are certainly better with Tarasenko in the lineup, he had 34 points in 34 games prior to his absence. Perunovich has been steady and solid, with Walman likely being an odd man out when he returns to active status.

Dominant Win over Capitals

After being ambushed in the first half of the first period, the Blues overcame that to beat the Capitals 5-1. They were able to overwhelm the Capitals with forechecking and dominating in the faceoff dot after a rough start. Ville Husso continues his tremendous play, he kept them afloat after a rough start in this game.

Ville Husso St. Louis Blues
Ville Husso, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

Pavel Buchnevich showcased his value in this game, brilliance as a two-way forward with two goals and an assist. This was also a game where it seemed like Ryan O’Reilly is starting to find his game, he tallied two assists and played valuable minutes.

We don’t talk about Husso’s play this season, he saved 26 of 27 shots in this game, including some five-star saves early in the game. In eight starts, he has four wins and a save percentage (SV%) of .931, which is miles ahead of where he was last season. He’s become a legitimate NHL backup and could even be a starter someday if he can play like this.

Improbable Win over Stars

This was one of the most insane games of the season for the Blues, especially with the way they played through two periods. They were able to sleepwalk through the first and second periods, with a deficit of just 1-0. That says a lot about the Stars, and a lot about Jordan Binnington, who was fantastic.

Jordan Kyrou had another multi-point game versus the Stars, with two points, including the game-winning goal with just 29 seconds left. The Blues scored both of their goals in the final 47 seconds of the game, they made history with their first regulation win where they trailed in the final minute of the third period.

This is now back-to-back games where Torey Krug and Justin Faulk contributed on both ends of the ice. They have been the most consistent blueline pair for this team, and it’s not close. Two risky moves from general manager Doug Armstrong that seemed to have worked out, as the defensive unit has turned over a lot since the 2019 Stanley Cup win.

Possible Trade Target in Montreal

The Blues only need at the trade deadline is defensive help, as their depth at forward and between the pipes is good. One target that could make sense is Ben Chiarot, who is playing with the Montreal Canadiens.

Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens
Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Even though the Blues have about eight defensemen who are capable of playing for them in any given game, Chiarot could be a quality and dependable piece in their top-six. He’s not going to produce points, but he will play heavy minutes and could be a solid partner for Robert Bortuzzo or Scott Perunovich.

This move would not make as much sense if Marco Scandella stays in the picture, he likely needs to be moved for this to happen, especially due to the salary cap. I assume the Blues could get Chiarot for a mid-round pick, as his contract is up after this season. Either way, I believe that he is their number one option when it comes to defensive help for this deadline.

The Week Ahead

  • Thursday: vs. Seattle Kraken, 7 PM
  • Saturday: vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 6 PM

The Blues will have just two games this week, both against opponents they haven’t seen this season. They’ve obviously never played the Seattle Kraken, who have struggled this season. The Toronto Maple Leafs are still one of the best teams in the league, the Blues will need to bring it on a Saturday night in St. Louis.

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