The Calgary Flames and the St. Louis Blues meet for the first of two matchups this season at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Both teams have been trending in the right direction after a rough start to the season. They both remain incredibly inconsistent, but have played above .500 hockey in their last 10 matchups. Calgary and St. Louis will want this win to continue their momentum to start the new year off right.
The Blues are starting a seven-game homestand after going 3-1-0 on a four-game road trip, all without forwards Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) and Ryan O’Reilly (broken foot), who remains on long-term injured reserve. The Blues’ secondary scoring has stepped up big time in the absence of their star forwards. Brandon Saad has seven points, while Brayden Schenn (three goals, three assists) and Pavel Buchnevich (one goal, five assists) each have six points in the last four games. St. Louis is fifth in the Central Division, but four points behind the third-place Minnesota Wild. The Flames are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. They earned one point in a game that should have yielded them two, but the Flames are 6-2-2 in their past 10 games. Calgary holds the first wild-card spot in the West, but they are only three points ahead of St. Louis. Flames forward Nazem Kadri has goals in back-to-back games and five points (three goals, two assists) in his past five. Calgary forward Elias Lindholm needs two points for 300 with the Flames.
Players To Watch
For the Flames, Nazem Kadri is the player to watch. Kadri has climbed up the scoresheet with the Flames. He’s scored 31 points in 41 games, placing him third on the Flames’ scoring list for this season. The recent Stanley Cup champion has started to grow more comfortable in his role as the 2C for the Flames. His success will continue to remain an important part of the Flames getting back on track to make the playoffs.
For the Blues, Pavel Buchnevich is the player to watch. Buchnevich since being traded from the New York Rangers has become a key player for the Blues. He’s established himself as a major part of the Blues top six, as well as a big part of the Blues’ future. His 34 points in 32 games places him third on the scoring list for the Blues this season, behind Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas. Buchnevich, alongside Kyrou and Thomas, makes up the future forward trio for the Blues’ moving forward.