If the Chicago Blackhawks are ever going to lose a game in regulation, Thursday night in St. Louis is as likely a night as any.
While Chicago extended its points streak to 19 game with a 3-2 overtime victory over Edmonton on Monday, the Blues haven’t played since Saturday when they beat Columbus, 2-1. In the meantime, St. Louis has been practicing. Hard.
The Blues also have a healthy starting goalie in Jaroslav Halak. The 27-year-old has been very good since returning from a groin injury, surrendering just two goals on 40 shots (.950 save percentage) in two games.
“It would be great [to beat the Blackhawks],” Blues defenseman Ian Cole said Tuesday. “First and foremost, we have to get two points any way we can. Would we rather go out, dominate them and impose our will on them and show we can be a really elite team like they are? Absolutely.
“But they’re obviously a good team. They’re not going to let us step on the ice and beat the (heck) out of them. It’ll be a little harder than that.”
St. Louis is a disappointing 4-4-1 at the Scottrade Center this season. In 2011-12, the Blues’ home record was a dominant 30-6-5 (only Detroit won more games at home), and that’s something they’d like to get back to.
“I think just getting the feeling of winning again is going to do wonders for us at home now,” coach Ken Hitchcock said of his team, which is 4-1-1 in its last six games.
The Blues do, however, have injury concerns after forwards Andy McDonald and Alexander Steen were hurt during Tuesday’s practice. It’s not clear yet how serious those injuries are.
If it’s not St. Louis that gives Chicago its first regulation loss of the season, the Blackhawks host Columbus Friday and are in Detroit Sunday afternoon (on NBC).