Blues Weekly: COVID List Expansion, Kyrou, Thomas & More

The St. Louis Blues split their two games last week with a win over the Seattle Kraken and a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their loss to the Leafs ended a 13-game point streak at the Enterprise Center for the Blues, their first regulation loss at home since they fell to the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 16.

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

The Blues are now 22-11-5 through 38 games with 49 points, which is ninth overall in the league. They are in third place in the Central Division, with a game in hand behind the Nashville Predators.

Four Players Added to COVID List

Last week, the Blues lost Scott Perunovich and Vladimir Tarasenko to COVID-19 protocols. This week, they added four more players to the list: Pavel Buchnevich, David Perron, Colton Parayko, and Brayden Schenn. The good news is that they won’t be tested for 90 days, per the NHL’s testing protocols. The bad news is that they are all likely to miss multiple games unless they can test out.

They got Perunovich back for the Maple Leafs game, and Tarasenko was skating on the day of that game so those two are in the clear. As for the other four, it’s possible that they miss the early portion of this week and return later in the week. It’s unfortunate for a player like Buchnevich, who has been a tremendous two-way scoring forward for this team.

Parayko was one of two players to play the entire slate of games before going on the COVID list, Marco Scandella is the only one left now. Perron goes on the list for the second time in less than nine months as he missed the playoffs last season due to a positive test. Schenn’s season continues to be derailed by injuries and now COVID, he’s played in only 22 of 39 games.

Colton Parayko St. Louis Blues
Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Almost the entirety of the Blues’ active roster has been in COVID protocols at one point or another this season, so hopefully, that means they can stay away from COVID issues as the weather warms up in a couple of months. Warmer weather means hope for a slowing of the spread when it comes to this virus, but there are no guarantees.

Kyrou Named to All-Star Team

What a tremendous honor for 23-year-old Jordan Kyrou, as he was named to the NHL All-Star team. He’ll join the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Kirill Kaprizov on the Central Division squad in Las Vegas on Feb. 5.

In 34 games this season, Kyrou has posted 14 goals and 25 assists for 39 points, outright leading the Blues in two of those three categories. He already has four more points than he did last season in 55 games, his breakout season has arrived.

Related: 3 Blues Forwards Having Career-Best Years

Combining his speed and skill with the chemistry he has gained with Robert Thomas, they are a lethal duo that the Blues must keep around for years to come. He is a game-breaking player that has been a part of the Blues’ transformed offense. They are sixth in the NHL in goals for, they haven’t finished top 10 in that category since the 2014-15 season, where they went 51-24-9 and won the division.

First Game Against the Kraken

The Blues played their first game in franchise history with the expansion Kraken on Jan. 13. They looked lost in the first period, being heavily outplayed by them, but they were able to weather the storm thanks to Ville Husso. Husso is emerging as a starting goaltender in the NHL, his numbers have been incredible, he has a .935 save percentage (SV%) in nine games played.

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

A future trivia question could be asked about who scored the Blues’ first goal against the Kraken, the answer would be Robert Thomas, who scored from Brandon Saad and Torey Krug early in the third period. The Blues weren’t skating well and struggled despite many power-play chances in this game, the expansion team chemistry issues for Seattle loomed large in this game.

The Blues honored Vince Dunn during the game as he is now a member of the Kraken. He got a standing ovation from the fans, rightfully so, he was a big part of the 2019 Stanley Cup win. Unfortunately, Jaden Schwartz is hurt, so the Blues likely won’t play against him until next season. Either way, the Enterprise Center will be loud for Schwartz, who spent a decade in the organization.

The Blues will travel to Seattle this week and play their first-ever game at Climate Pledge Arena, which should be fun to watch.

Thomas’ All-Star Candidacy

As they do every season, the NHL has their “Last Men In” portion of All-Star voting, where fans can vote one player from each division to make the team. The Blues player to vote for is Thomas, who is a very deserving candidate.

As you can see in the tweet above, the Blues have teamed up with Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators to get fans of those two teams on their side, voting for Thomas alongside St. Louis natives Matthew Tkachuk and Brady Tkachuk. You can vote for them 10 times each per 24 hours until Jan. 17, which happens to be today.

In 31 games this season, Thomas has five goals and 25 assists for 30 points, nearing a point per game. He’s a young, skilled playmaker who can help grow the game with his skill set, something that the league would love to have at the All-Star game. Blues fans were able to get this done for Perron for the 2020 All-Star game in St. Louis, he was the divisions’ last man in. Thomas has some tough players to overcome in the vote, but he should have a chance to make it.

The Week Ahead

  • Monday: vs. Nashville Predators, 7 PM
  • Friday: at Seattle Kraken, 9 PM
  • Sunday: at Vancouver Canucks, 9 PM

A normal slate for the Blues this week with one home game and two west coast road games to begin a road trip. They’ll try to down a division rival ahead of them, the Predators. As mentioned earlier, they will play their first game in Seattle and get their first look at the new version of the Vancouver Canucks, with Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. This will be the Blues’ first game against the Canucks since losing to them in the 2020 bubble playoffs, a fun week is ahead.

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