Originally posted on Fox - The Hockey Guy  |  Last updated 1/11/12
Here is a disturbing thought for the immediate rivals of the St. Louis Blues: This team is only now beginning to play to its full ability.Never mind all those one-goal victories Ken Hitchcock racked up after taking over as coach. That was just the warm-up act.This team – the one that skated over the Canadiens 3-0 in Montreal Tuesday night – is the one the rest of the National Hockey League should fear.Much has been written about this team’s impressive depth. But now we’re finally starting to see its high skill level emerge as well.Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has made it all the way back from his October swoon. With the whole league watching closely, he shrugged off enormous homecoming pressure and blanked the Habs.A few months ago Blue fans were giving up on Halak. Even few weeks ago he still seemed like to fall into a No. 2 role behind the surprising Brian Elliott, who remained amazingly reliable through the first half of the season.Now? Halak is playing with obvious confidence again, giving this team a legitimate 1-2 punch in goal.Winger Chris Stewart is getting back to full speed among too. After scoring 15 goals in 26 games for the Blues late last season, he scored just four times in his first 29 games this season. Earlier this season he appeared to be skating in oatmeal. The big fellow was in a nasty rut.But in his last 10 games he has scored six goals, five at even strength. Moving next to David Backes has reminded him how power forwards are supposed to play the game.Top offensive defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored just two points in 14 December games. Such poor productivity was puzzling, given last season’s 43-point breakout.But Pietrangelo has regained his 2010-11 form this month, scoring seven points in four games. Rather than merely jumping into plays, he is creating plays and sometimes finishing them, too. For more on the Blues, check out my story at STLToday,com.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarcus Cousins traded to Pelicans for players, picks

West teammates hilariously celebrate Durant and Westbrook oop

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Trout talks about 'frustrating' struggles of Angels

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker