GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Coyotes were left feeling a little blue Tuesday after St. Louis snapped Arizona’s season-high four-game home win streak.
The Coyotes fell by a score of 6-0 at Gila River Arena.
Things started rough for the Coyotes, who lost star center Antoine Vermette just seconds into the game after he took a puck to the face. The refs had to call for a cleanup in aisle four, as he was dripping blood all the way to the bench.
He did return later in the first.
The Blues pushed hard in the first and were rewarded at 7:57, when Paul Stastny was left all alone in front of Mike Smith. It probably wasn’t the best idea, as he buried a rebound to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.
The visitors didn’t let up. The Blues poured an additional 16 shots on Smith throughout the period, but Smith was up to the task. His play kept the Coyotes, who didn’t generate much in the Blues’ end, in the game.
Despite starting the second on a power play, the Coyotes struggled to generate offense. A disciplined and deeper Blues team kept them away from Brian Elliott’s net. Taking three penalties certainly didn’t help things. By the end of 40 minutes of hockey, Arizona trailed 4-0 and 32-14 in shots.
Despite falling behind, head coach Dave Tippett said he didn’t want to pull Smith. After all, it wasn’t really Smith’s fault.
“To take the goaltender out in that situation, you’re letting a lot of guys off the hook, and we need more guys on the hook,” Tippett said after the game.
It was over from there, but the Blues’ David Backes decided he wasn’t done scoring. He put his fourth of the night past Smith at 3:15 of the third. Jaden Schwartz rubbed more salt in the wound when he made it 6-0.
At least we live in Phoenix. The forecast for St. Louis on Wednesday is 21 degrees.
In the desert? 80! We win!
I believe the phrase “men against boys” is applicable. The Coyotes were beat in every facet of the game on Tuesday.
Early in the first, it seemed they would keep enough discipline to at least keep the game close and maybe, just maybe, sneak out a win.
That quickly dissolved, as guys began chasing the puck and missing assignments. As the Coyotes’ team play crumbled — especially on the defensive end of the ice — the Blues took the game by the throat and didn’t let go.
Despite showing flashes of confidence that could have led to a goal, the Coyotes’ lack of offensive talent and depth was laid bare by a more talented and more cohesive St. Louis team.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Blues really like scoring on the power play against the Coyotes. In two meetings this season, the Blues have been on a total of nine power plays. They’ve scored on seven of those. Lethal.
HE SAID IT
“We weren’t even close in that game. Let’s be honest. That’s not a goaltending issue. That’s a look-in-the-mirror issue.” – Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett
“You can’t play like that. That’s garbage.” – Tippett
– The Coyotes haven’t beaten the Blues in Glendale since March 22, 2011.
– The Blues have scored back-to-back hat tricks against the Coyotes. Jaden Schwartz notched one back in October and David Backes tallied one on Tuesday.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 7, 2015
– The Coyotes were without the services of center Martin Hanzal, who is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He tied a career-high Saturday against Columbus for points in a single game, going 1-3-4.
– Arizona’s Joe Vitale notched his 200th career NHL game on Tuesday.
The Coyotes’ home stand continues Thursday at 7 p.m. when they welcome the Winnipeg Jets. If you can’t make it to Gila River Arena, the action can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.