This post was originally published at TheHockeyWriters.com.
Despite having the 4th-best record in the NHL through Sunday, the St. Louis Blues have just one representative headed to the All-Star Game on Sunday, January 29. Some feel that the Blues have been left out of the festivities.
The Blues finally got it done after the extra overtime period.
Before Saturday’s contest, the Blues were 0-5 in the shootout this season, scoring only one goal in that time. It was a different story at Scottrade Center tonight.
The Blues converted on one of their three shootout attempts tonight, coming off the stick of Kevin Shattenkirk in the second round. Jaroslav Halak backstopped the rest of the shootout, giving them a 3-2 victory in the game over the Minnesota Wild.
“It felt like I had lost about 20 pounds when I came back to the bench,” Shattenkirk said about scoring in the shootout. “It was unbelievable. Even just getting one goal and getting the win is huge for us.”
“Our confidence was really low [heading into the shootout] because we lost every one of them,” Halak said. “It feels great to win the first one of the season. Hopefully there are many to come.”
The Blues are once again in first place in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference.
The shootout was not the only story in this game. The referees handed out 65 minutes in penalties, including six fighting majors and three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
This post was originally published at TheHockeyWriters.com
It has been a long time since Jaroslav Halak has suited up in the Bell Centre in Montreal. He will be doing it again Tuesday night.
The only difference is that this time he will be a member of the St. Louis Blues.
The Slovakian netminder has not played in Montreal since being traded to St. Louis in June of 2010. That trade came just over a month after leading the Canadiens on a miracle run in the2010 NHL playoffs. Halak, who’s contract was ending on July 1 that season, was moved instead of fellow split-starter Carey Price, much to the dismay of Canadiens fans and media.
In that playoff run, Halak posted a 2.55 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 18 games played against the Penguins, Capitals and Flyers. This included some highlight-reel saves coming against perennial goal-scorers Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green and Evgeni Malkin.
When you work hard, you will be rewarded. The St. Louis Blues are a testament to that.
After playing in what was possibly the best team win of the season, the Blues find themselves atop the Central Division with 53 points exactly halfway through the 2011-12 campaign.
This happened on a night that the Blues dominated play, winning the game 4-0 over the Colorado Avalanche.
“That was a very complete game,” Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “A lot of really good things[happened]. We caught a team on a back-to-back and [I give] full marks. We took advantage of it and I thought we had a lot of good players. I thought that our transition game was as good as it’s been.”
Brian Elliott played in goal for the Blues, making just 15 saves to earn his fifth shutout of the season, placing him in second place in the NHL for the statistic.
“It was pretty fun to watch the guys do their jobs out there,” said Elliott with a grin. “I got to touch the puck a couple times behind the net and it was awesome just [having] the guys play the way that they did.”
Jean-Sebastien Giguere got the start for Colorado, making 35 saves on 39 St. Louis shots.
This post was originally published at The Hockey Writers.