Seeing the turnaround the St. Louis Blues have made since firing Davis Payne and bringing Ken Hitchcock on board is proof that sometimes a coaching change is just what a team needs to get fixed. Tonight when they face off against the Red Wings in St. Louis (7:30 p.m. ET) it’ll be a match-up of tacticians between Hitchcock and Mike Babcock.
The Blues have gotten better as a team defensively and their starting goalie tonight, Brian Elliott, is a prime example why that’s been great for the team. Elliott is in the middle of the best season of his career and getting to square off against Jimmy Howard for Detroit presents an unexpected face-off between top goalies in the league.
Of course, there’s still a ton of scoring talent between these two teams as well, it’ll just be hard to see them punching through and making it all count against these goalies and defenses. You already know what Detroit brings to the table in Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg. They will be without Valtteri Filppula, however, as he suffered a cut to his leg against Colorado on Sunday.
St. Louis brings their own version of thunder with Dan Carcillo’s new best friend in David Backes as well as T.J. Oshie, Alex Steen, and Kevin Shattenkirk. The Blues aren’t big on scoring, but they’ll beat you best by keeping you off the board – just the way Ken Hitchcock likes it.