Blues Find 3rd Period Success in San Jose
Getting timely saves can sure go a long way in the NHL. Goaltender Brian Elliott came up large in his first career start for the Blues preserving a 4-2 road win in San Jose.
Late in the third period Sharks D-man Dan Boyle took a nice cross ice feed from Joe Thornton and had Elliott scrambling to slide over. Boyle had plenty of open net to shoot at but was denied by Elliott’s glove.
Personally I thought Boyle took too much time in getting his shot off but after the game he felt he shot the puck too quickly. Regardless it was the save the Blues needed to rebound from a 3-2 loss two nights earlier in Dallas.
Elliott has earned the right to start again tonight in Anaheim. The Blues like to call Jaroslav Halak their number one goaltender but that title only goes so far when you struggle winning hockey games. Regardless, Davis Payne needs to go with the hot hand and it’s obvious Halak’s confidence isn’t where it needs to be.
Goaltending is no different than any other position, you have to earn your ice time and Elliott performed when given the opportunity.
The Blues need to get their special teams corrected. The team practiced with three separate PP units prior to Saturday’s game. A lot of this has to do with injuries to Andy McDonald and Carlo Colaiacovo, two guys who regularly play the PP. I know it’s only four games in but the Blues rank near the bottom of the league in PP% at just over 6% and last in the league in PK% at 64%.
This has to improve.
St. Louis played the grind it out game you have to play if you want to have success on the road. They allowed 36 shots but they also blocked 26. Barett Jackman led the way in this department with seven blocks.
Injuries have certainly opened the door for Vladimir Sobotka to see more ice time. He played 18 minutes Saturday night, his most so far this season. Drawing a fourth line assignment didn’t necessarily sit too well with him in camp and it was only a matter of time before he found a way to earn more responsibility. He brings too much to the table to sit at the end of the bench.
The Blues struggled in the face-off department winning only 39% of their draws and only 43% of face-offs on the PP.
Davis Payne and his club should feel good about getting this win. Finding ways to win in third period is what good hockey teams do.
The Blues could easily be 4-0 right now.
Congrats to Pat Maroon!
St. Louis native Pat Maroon has been called up and will likely play his first career NHL game tonight when the Blues face the Anaheim Ducks. Maroon is a product of the AAA Amateur Blues as well as the Tier II St. Louis Bandits. He played in the OHL with the London Knights before being selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round. He was traded to Anaheim last season.
The Blues have yet to say anything official but I’m told it looks like McDonald will miss some time which means a trip to the IR is a decent possibility.
Carlo Colaiacovo is eligible to come off IR today but that seems very unlikely.
Forward B.J. Crombeen will not need surgery to repair a fractured shouler. Still has a ways to go before he returns.
Davidson meets with Hulsizer….
Blues President John Davidson met with potential Owner Matt Hulsizer last Thursday in Chicago.
Word is Hulsizer is bringing at least one person on board who’s expected to be involved on the hockey side.
More to come,