Brian Elliott received a well-deserved All-Star nod and contract extension, but he might not even be the St. Louis Blues’ No. 1 goalie for much longer.
Jaroslav Halak is red-hot right now, although you’d be silly to ignore the suffocating St. Louis system when lauding his work. He’s now working on a two-game shutout streak after blanking the Dallas Stars (22 saves) on Monday and handing the Edmonton Oilers a 1-0 goose egg (15 stops) tonight.
That’s impressive work and it only gets better when you consider the fact that Halak has three shutouts in his last four games. Halak hasn’t lost a regulation game since Nov. 22, going 10-0-3 since that defeat.
Yup, he’s on a roll, but his teammates and Ken Hitchcock deserve a huge “assist.” The Blues jumped back to first place in the Western Conference and Central Division, but much like their game-to-game triumphs, there isn’t much breathing room between St. Louis and its rivals.
Check out highlights from the game in which Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 37 out of 38 shots but still lost:
If the Blues have any reason to be a little anxious even amid their great successes, Jeremy Rutherford provides it with this jaw-dropping Tweet:
So, should this be proof that the Blues are for real or concern that they can’t finish opponents off?
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.