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Defensive changes, Scott Perunovich skating, the role of Pavel Buchnevich and more – The Athletic

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When I watch rookie Blues defenseman Scott Perunovich at training camp, I think back to something general manager Doug Armstrong has said a few times this summer. I’m paraphrasing, but he pointed out that the team may have to give their young defensive prospects the same opportunity they gave forwards like Jordan Kyrou.

Perunovich, 23, could be assigned to the American Hockey League ahead of the Blues’ regular season opener on Oct. 16. But I don’t know how he could have scripted a better start to the camp.

He played in two of the team’s three preseason games, totaling 20 minutes of ice time in each game, and had two assists and a plus-2 rating.

I asked Perunovich from start to finish if he could have imagined that.

“Yeah, I guess I’m pretty happy with my game right now,” he said. “I am getting more and more comfortable and confident with each game and with each passing day. It is really very fast. I don’t think I have it all figured out yet, (but) with every game I feel more comfortable.

Perunovich was not in the Blues‘ lineup against Columbus on Wednesday, a 5-2 loss. That dropped their record to 2-1 in the eight-game exhibition schedule, which resumes Friday in Chicago.

Perunovich could be back in the lineup, and anyone can guess who he’ll be playing with. He looked solid with Justin Faulk in a 2-1 overtime win over Dallas on Monday and with


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