Blues coach says Halak could be back by playoffs

The St. Louis Blues clinched a 2013 playoff berth on Tuesday. If only deciding which goalie to start could be so black-and-white.

The team’s No.1 goalie spot was already up to debate with Jake Allen and Brian Elliott enjoying their own intermittent spans of strong play, but head coach Ken Hitchcock threw an extra wild card in the mix: Jaroslav Halak might just be good to go.

Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford “don’t read anything into it from there,” after dropping that bomb. Maybe Rutherford won’t, but plenty of fans and pundits might embrace this invitation to debate the trio’s relative merits.

If you want help doing so, check out their season stats:

Elliott: 22 GP, 12-8-1, .903 save percentage and 2.41 GAA
Halak: 16 GP, 6-5-1, .899 save percentage and 2.14 GAA
Allen: 15 GP, 9-4-0, .905 save percentage and 2.46 GAA

Those 2013 numbers don’t exactly roll out an obvious answer, unless you place a ton of stock in win-loss record. Then again, one might counter that Halak, 27, holds the advantage based on his glorious playoff run with Montreal in 2010.

Hitchcock might provide good advice, then, because gauging the best goalie option isn’t that much easier than deciphering an unfamiliar language.

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
Leave a comment

This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.