Found January 12, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
The St. Louis Blues have been tough to beat at home, helping them become one of the best teams in the Western Conference. The Vancouver Canucks have shown they can win on the road, propelling them to the top of those standings.
Owners of the most home points in the NHL, the Blues try to remain undefeated in regulation for the 11th straight game at the Scottrade Center on Thursday night when they take on a Canucks team that is tied for the most road wins in the league.
St. Louis (25-12-5) is tied with Chicago for first place in the Central Division, and those teams trail Vancouver (27-14-3) by two points for the top spot in the West.
Most of the Blues' success can be attributed to their play at home, where they've gone 17-3-2. St. Louis is 9-0-1 in its last 10 games on its own ice, winning three in a row by a combined 12-4 margin.
"That only lasts so long in the Western Conference unless you continue to play well and get points every night," captain David Backes said after a 4-0 home win over Colorado on Saturday. "That's our goal. We've got to establish our tough game on the road."
The Blues did just that Tuesday night, posting another shutout and scoring three more goals at Montreal. St. Louis hasn't blanked three straight opponents since Dec. 1-6, 1988.
Brian Elliott defeated the Avalanche by making just 15 saves, and Jaroslav Halak only had to stop 19 shots Tuesday as St. Louis extended its win streak to a season high-tying four.
Elliott has a West-leading 1.62 goals-against average in 21 games, while Halak's is at 2.19 in 22 contests. Elliott has started both times versus Vancouver this season, stopping 60 of 62 shots in a pair of wins.
Blues center T.J. Oshie has two goals and two assists in those victories, while Backes has contributed a goal and two assists.
"St. Louis has been rough on us so far this year, they're always a tough team to play against, they play really hard games, so we have to be on our A-game if we want to get anything out of there," right wing Jannik Hansen told the Canucks' official website.
The Blues are 4-1-1 in their last six at home against the Canucks, winning 3-2 on Nov. 4. St. Louis has taken four of six overall in the series since the start of last season.
Vancouver, however, enters this matchup having won five of seven on the road, and is tied with Philadelphia for the NHL's most victories away from home with 15.
The Canucks improved to 2-1-0 on their four-game trip with a 5-4 shootout win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. They escaped with two points after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period and allowing the tying score with 1:01 remaining.
"They came at us hard at certain moments in this game," coach Alain Vigneault said after the Canucks pushed their record to 21-0-0 when leading going into the third period. "They tied it up at the end, and we still found a way to win, so I'd say that's positive."
Roberto Luongo is expected to start Thursday after Cory Schneider beat the Lightning. Luongo - who has dropped three of his last four starts - lost the November matchup in St. Louis, where he's 5-7-0 with a 3.05 GAA lifetime.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Despite losing 3-2 in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night at Scottrade Center, the St. Louis Blues proved to themselves and likely the rest of the NHL that they aren't going anywhere.
The Blues played every bit as good and arguably better than the Western Conference's top team, missing a chance to take over the top spot on a questionable penalty late in regulation...
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...
Jaroslav Halak‘s triumphant return to Montreal was everything he could have hoped for. He got into town early so he could visit his favorite Montreal Establishment (to get all the poison out) before the game and it clearly showed. Yes the punchless Canadian’s only made him make 19 saves, but Halak had a little thing called Karma on his side… Or something… Your...
There’s a lot that can be said about the transition of the St. Louis Blues under bench boss Ken Hitchcock.
But maybe what says the most is his record since taking over in early November: 19-5-6.
Not many believed he’d be able to spin around a team battered with injuries under an unsuccessful coaching structure.
So, maybe we can all forget about the unsuccessful campaign...
As the seconds wound down at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night, the boo-birds sang loud and clear as the Canadiens failed to win at home for the 14th time this season, falling 3-0 to the St. Louis Blues. But as the Habs glided off the ice, those who had not left stood for a rousing ovation, saluting the man with the highest winning percentage in the history of the Bell Centre, Jaroslav...
Follow me on Twitter for random hockey talk, question and answer sessions, and the odd witty tweet
Of the teams in the west, only two teams really scare me going into the playoffs. One is the Chicago Blackhawks for obvious reasons. The other is the St. Louis Blues. The Blues have everything that cause nightmares for the Canucks. They have the best checking...
The St. Louis Blues may receive a shot in the arm on Thursday night as they prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks.
Forward Alex Steen, who has been nursing a concussion and has missed the Blues past six games, may return for Thursday night's game at the Scottrade Center, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Blues have won their last four with...
MONTREAL - The Blues made many fans forget about their recent road woes and also coach Ken Hitchcock's decision...
Well that was disappointing now wasn't it?
In what was one of, if not the most hyped game of the year, your Montreal Canadiens were completely flat.
The return of the "great" Jaroslav Halak to the Bell Centre was not enough to stir his Canadiens counter-parts to action. Or, more accurately, the Canadiens were just no match for the high-flying St. Louis Blues....
MONTREAL (AP) With a little push from his St. Louis Blues teammates, Jaroslav Halak once again basked in the glow of a first
star selection at the Bell Centre.
ST. LOUIS - A long time has passed since the St. Louis Blues had a piece of a conference lead. Without doing...
The St. Louis Blues had a four-game winning streak snapped their last time out. They'll need to improve their play against the Minnesota Wild if they want to avoid a second straight defeat.
The Blues look to bounce back as they seek their first win in three games this season against the slumping Wild on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center.
St. Louis (25-12-6) fell 3-2 in...
The Brian Elliott story added another incredible chapter
Thursday, one that will add drama to the 2012 NHL All-Star
With a little push from his St. Louis Blues teammates, Jaroslav Halak once again basked in the glow of a first star selection at the Bell Centre. Halak got the shutout in his first game back in Montreal and St. Louis extended its winning streak to four with a 3-0 victory over the Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Seemingly destined for the goaltending scrapheap, Brian Elliott surfaced as a savior in St. Louis. Michael Farber says the journeyman is the biggest surprise of the season's first half.