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Blues enjoying success, won't look overlook Coyotes

Brayden Schenn faces brother Luke, and two Coyotes with St. Louis ties expected to play

by Chris Pinkert / Notes by Dan O'Neill

ST. LOUIS - No. 1 overall in the West.

Twelve wins in the first 16 games for the first-time ever in the 50-year history of the franchise.

One regulation loss in their last 10 games.

A home record of 6-1-0.

Yes, it's good to be a Blue right now (and even better to be a Blues fan).

"It's special," Blues forward Kyle Brodziak said of the team's record start. "Guys in the room right now are really enjoying what we're doing and what we're accomplishing. You look around the room and everybody feels like they're part of it. You can see the way guys come to the rink and prepare themselves, whether it's in the gym or on the ice - that part of it, our group has taken it up to another level. It's good when you see results like we're seeing, and it gives guys the confidence and motivation to keep doing the same things."

The Coyotes are in last place in the League with a record of 2-13-2 (6 points), but Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said it would be an insult to expect Thursday's 7 p.m. game at Scottrade Center (FSMW, FSGO, KMOX) to be easy.

Video: Brodziak on Blues winning 12 of first 16

"It's an NHL team… They've got speed, they've got skill. They've got quality NHL players and it's going to be a really tough test," Yeo said. "There's no question they're playing better hockey (lately). I've said this before - our greatest strength up to this point has been our detail, our work ethic and our willingness to stay with it for 60 minutes. If we think that we can't bring those three ingredients into the game and (still) come away with a win, we're going to be mistaken.

"I've said it a number of times - not much separates us from the team that's across from us on a nightly basis," Yeo added. "It doesn't matter who we're playing, where we're playing - we have to be ready to play our game."

The Blues have won 11 straight games against Arizona and have earned at least one point in their last 15 meetings (14-0-1). Over that 11-game win streak, the Blues' power play has gone 14 for 36 (38.9 percent), while they've killed 25 of the Coyotes' 28 power play opportunities.


Tonight's matchup with the Coyotes pits Brayden Schenn against his brother, Luke.

The Schenns played together with the Philadelphia Flyers, but both have moved elsewhere. Luke now plays for the Coyotes.

Video: Schenn on trade to STL and how he's fitting in

"We were pretty fortunate and lucky to play with each other for just over three years in Philadelphia," Brayden said in an exclusive interview for for In Their Shoes, presented by Famous Footwear. "To be honest, I don't like playing against him at all. You compete hard, but at the same time, he's your brother… It's a different feeling. If I had to pick and choose, I'd rather play with him than against him."


Don't be too surprised if you hear a few cheers if a Coyote or two scores in Thursday's game. Those cheers will be for Clayton Keller or Dakota Mermis, who will have plenty of friends and family in the stands for the game.

Keller is a 19-year-old forward from Chesterfield, MO that is an early favorite for the NHL's Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year. In just 17 games this season, Keller has 11 goals, which ranks fourth overall in the League behind only Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov, Washington's Alex Ovechkin and the Islanders' John Tavares. He spent one season with Boston University before turning pro late last season. Keller was drafted in the first round (No. 7 overall) by the Coyotes in 2016 - the year that saw six St. Louis-born players selected.

Mermis, a 23-year-old defenseman, was called up from the AHL last week and has played in four NHL games since. The Alton, IL native played for the U.S. National Development program, the University of Denver and the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights and Oshawa Generals before getting an opportunity in the NHL.


- Vladimir Tarasenko has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last six games against the Coyotes.

- Alexander Steen has 27 points (7 goals, 20 assists) in 27 career games against Arizona.

Video: Blues Gameday Live for Nov. 9

- Alex Pietrangelo has points in four straight against the Coyotes, recording two goals and three assists.

- Jake Allen is 7-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .961 save-percentage and two shutouts in seven career starts against the Coyotes.


- Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists Tuesday against the Devils, giving him seven points in his last four games (three goals, four assists). Tarasenko is tied for first in the League with a plus-14 rating.

- Brayden Schenn has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his last two games, giving him back-to-back games of three points or more for the first time in his career.

- Alex Pietrangelo leads all defenseman with six goals this season and shares second overall among defensemen with 15 points. Since Yeo took over as the Blues' head coach, Pietrangelo has 12 goals, which leads all defensemen in that span.

- Jaden Schwartz has 21 points (9 goals, 12 assists) through the team's first 16 games, which shares third overall in the League in points. He has 18 points at even strength, which is the best mark in the League this season, and his plus-13 rating ranks third in the NHL.

- The Blues have 17 goals from defensemen, which ranks first in the NHL.

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