Found February 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
ST. LOUIS (AP) Well past the halfway point of the season, the St. Louis Blues are in great shape. They return from the All-Star break with a record that is close to the NHL's best.
The rest of the way, they can't let up a bit.
The Blues are 21-3-4 at home, leading the league in victories and points, and can build on that Friday night against the Los Angeles Kings. After that, they hit the road, where they're a far less impressive at 8-10-3. Only 13 of their 32 remaining games will be at the Scottrade Center.
Coach Ken Hitchcock, who's presided over the franchise's sudden rise to prominence, is far from satisfied. Especially entering the break off a loss at Detroit and a shootout setback at home to the Penguins.
"I think the last two games are eye-openers," Hitchcock said. "We're as good or better than 22 teams, but there's eight out there, they're big-time teams. Big-time teams and we get em, and we gets lots of them and we get them in their building."
The Blues have four games left with the Blackhawks, three of them in Chicago, plus two in Nashville and one each in Vancouver and San Jose.
Thus far, they've thrived on defense and stingy goaltending. Brian Elliott was an unexpected All-Star, and armed with a multiyear extension after signing a two-way contract before training camp.
"It's definitely something you don't picture," Elliott said. "It's an honor to be selected. It's not something you put as a goal, but when it happens, it's pretty cool."
Elliott stepped up when Jaroslav Halak slumped at the start of the year and has turned the position into a job share by using his 6-3 frame to advantage.
"Brian was a talented guy that kind of got off the rails and put himself back on the rails," Hitchcock said. "Anybody in hockey's proud of it."
More production from an anemic power play is needed to invigorate a lineup that gets major points for being relentless but has often lacked the finishing touch. Hitchcock believes if the Blues could have capitalized more with the man advantage, they could have knocked off both Detroit and Pittsburgh.
The Blues also have only one shootout victory.
"That's an area of the game where if we're a little better we're probably in first place with some room below us," captain David Backes said. "We've improved game to game, week to week all season long. We just have to make sure we don't have any drop-off."
Among the positive signs: Patrik Berglund snapped a seven-game point drought with two goals against Pittsburgh. Forward Andy McDonald is edging closer to returning from a concussion.
"We're young, we've got young players playing prime minutes," Hitchcock said. "But boy, we're going to really have to amp it up here when we get back. That's what we told the players: Take a good break but, man, when we come back we're going to really have the temperature turned up to get better."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the second period Friday night to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Halak recorded his fifth shutout of the season and 21st of his career. He improved to 15-8-5, and has started six of the last seven games. Halak has four shutouts in his last seven starts. St. Louis has a league-best...
St. Louis Blues center Jason Arnott left Friday's game against the Los Angeles Kings with a shoulder injury.
Arnott was hurt in the third period, although coach Ken Hitchcock said the injury did not appear to be significant.
He has 12 goals and 12 assists in 49 games this season. The Blues play at Nashville on Saturday.
Recently, there have come rumors around the league that St. Louis Blues right winger Chris Stewart is on the market and futher rumors that the Avalanche are interested.
Adrian Dater even posted a blog yesterday saying the Avs should call and try to reacquire the struggling right winger.
The logic is understandable, Stewart did love playing with Paul Stastny where he scored...
The team with the best goals against in the NHL right now is the St Louis Blues. They have a low 1.92 goals against average. This is quite amazing from a team that fired its coach in early November. It wasn’t that Davis Payne was horribly failing as much as Ken Hitchcock is a top coach who brought in a strong defensive system. Hitchcock has been a strong reason why the...
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
Halak recorded his fifth shutout of the season and 21st of his career. He improved to 15-8-5 and has started six of the last seven games. Halak has four shutouts in his last seven starts. St. Louis...
Jaroslav Halak turned aside all 22 shots he faced for his fourth
shutout in seven games and veteran Jamie Langenbrunner scored midway
into the second period as the St. Louis Blues continued their dominance
at home with a 1-0 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday. St.
Louis, which improved to 22-3-4 at the Scottrade Center this season,
moved past the idle Nashville...
7:00 PM CT – Blues (30-13-7) @ Predators (31-17-4)Players to watch:STL- T.J. OshieThe Blues have scored four goals in three games against the Preds this season; Oshie has been in on three of those tallies, including two from him.NSH- Matt Halischuk‘Hally’ is currently on a four-game point streak, playing his best hockey of the season. His 12 goals this year is (a) a career...
Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
The St. Louis Blues have had plenty of time to reflect on how poorly they entered the All-Star break. Coach Ken Hitchcock hopes it served as a wake-up call.
Sporting one of the NHL's top home records, the Blues return to the ice Friday night to meet the Los Angeles Kings, who begin their longest road trip of the season.
St. Louis hasn't played since Jan. 24, the only team...
Fantastic play at home has rocketed the St. Louis Blues into the upper echelon of the Western Conference standings, but to stay there they'll need to play much better on the road.
They've had trouble against the Nashville Predators no matter where the game has taken place.
The Blues open a three-game trip Saturday night with a visit to Nashville, where they'll try to...
David Perron just hit the post, with 9:25 to play in first.
Still no score.
ST. LOUIS (AP) Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues
to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak makes 21 saves as the Kings fall to 10-6-6 on the road.ST. LOUIS — Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots and Jamie Langenbrunner scored in the second period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
Well past the halfway point of the season, the St. Louis Blues are in great shape. They return from the All-Star break with a record that's close to the NHL's best.