St. Louis Blues

Video: Stewart gets the Wild on the board with a breakaway goal


Earlier this month Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart admitted he took his trade from the St. Louis Blues to the Buffalo Sabres last season personally.

“Anytime you get traded in this league, I think you have a bit of a chip on your shoulder and want to stick it to them every time you play them,” he told The Star Tribune.

On Saturday afternoon Stewart took advantage of an opportunity to stick it to his former team opening the scoring with his 14th goal of the season.

Maurice calls Blues ‘best team in the league’ ahead of tonight’s game in Winnipeg


Remember our old Tuesday Tire Pump? (It’s OK if you don’t, it didn’t last that long.) I ask because Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice seems to have utilized the format, albeit on a Thursday — prior to tonight’s key Western Conference clash against the Blues, Maurice put some major air in St. Louis’ whitewalls.

“I think St. Louis is the best team in the League,” Maurice said, per the Post-Dispatch. “So we have to be at our very best, shift-to-shift. They have been tight games because for the most part we have done that, but we’re going to need a little bit better in everything that we do.”

To their credit, the Jets nearly topped the NHL’s best team last Tuesday, when they rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third period to even things up… only for Barret Jackman to score an outrageous game-winner from center ice with 63 seconds left in regulation:

Many thought that would be a crushing blow to Winnipeg’s playoff chances, but the Jets have recovered nicely, winning two straight while moving back into the final wild card spot (the Jets could also move to within one point of Minnesota with a win tonight and a Wild regulation loss to the Capitals.)

The Jets will need to be at their sharpest to knock off the red-hot Blues, however. St. Louis has won five of its last six and is riding a two-game shutout streak, with back-to-back blankings — on the road, no less — against Dallas and Calgary.

“[The Blues] are so balanced,” Jets winger Blake Wheeler told “They have four lines that can hurt you. So I think that is the biggest key, matching up, getting all four lines against all four [lines] of theirs. I think we match up well.”

Goalie nods: Panthers return ‘our MVP’ Luongo for key tilt versus Wings


All the latest from the blue paint…

Luongo back for Florida

Roberto Luongo will play for the first time since Mar. 3 when the Panthers host the Red Wings in Sunrise this evening.

Luongo, who’s missed the past six games with a shoulder injury, draws back in looking to keep Florida’s playoff hopes alive. The Panthers went an impressive 3-2-1 during his absence with journeyman Dan Ellis in goal, but know their chances of making the postseason are increased greatly with Bobby Loo in net.

“[Luongo] has been our MVP all year long,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said, per “He’s been a great player for us and a great leader and a great character. He’s going to come in tonight and try to do his best.

“He’ll work hard and compete hard and I’m sure the guys will be excited to see him.”

Florida heads into tonight’s action seven points back of Boston (the Bruins take on the Sens in Ottawa tonight), but still has three head-to-head matchups remaining against the B’s.

For Detroit, Petr Mrazek gets the call in net tonight.


Sharks at Leafs: Antti Niemi vs. Jonathan Bernier

Canes at Habs: Anton Khudobin vs. Carey Price

Bruins at Senators: Tuukka Rask (probable) vs. Andrew Hammond

Blues at Jets: Brian Elliott vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Caps at Wild: Braden Holtby vs. Devan Dubnyk

Pens at Stars: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Kari Lehtonen (probable)

Flyers at Flames: Steve Mason vs. Karri Ramo

Jackets at Canucks: (No Columbus starter yet) vs. Eddie Lack

Avs at Coyotes: Semyon Varlamov vs. Louis Domingue

Doan: Arizona’s situation is ‘kind of embarrassing’


With just 12 games left in the season, the Arizona Coyotes find themselves sitting 28th in the NHL, tied on 50 points with Edmonton, just three up on last-place Buffalo and right in the thick of the McEichel Derby.

For the organization, there’s silver lining in the prospect of landing a generational talent like Conor McDavid or Jack Eichel at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

But for veteran captain Shane Doan, this year has been lousy.

“Obviously, it’s kind of embarrassing,” Doan said, per Mayor’s Manor. “As a player, it’s always tough. You never want to be stuck in this situation, but we are and we have to deal with it. The new guys coming in, they’ve played well. We’ve been in games; we just haven’t found ways to win, and that’s the name of it.

“It’s just disappointing. You just feel bad, we’ve been bad. There’s no way to get around it. We’ve been bad and we have to be better.”

Doan, 39, is one of a few holdovers from the team that went to the Western Conference Final just three years ago. Fellow vets Antoine Vermette, Zbynek Michalek and Keith Yandle were traded at this year’s deadline, the latest in an exodus that previously saw Radim Vrbata, Raffi Torres, Daymond Langkow, Ray Whitney and Rostislav Klesla all leave town.

The result? Arizona’s slumped steadily and hit rock bottom this season, especially over the last 16 games — the Coyotes are 1-14-1 and Doan’s one pace for one of the least productive seasons of his career (averaging .46 points per game, his lowest since ’97-98.)

Earlier this month, Doan expressed dismay about the direction Arizona was taking, saying a rebuild “was not my idea,” and “not my ideal situation.”

That was met with a rather sharp reply from GM Don Maloney.

“I get it, I understand it, but we’re not in the Girl Scout business,” Maloney said, per Arizona Sports. “We’re in the business of winning. That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re getting paid.

“Shane’s a pro, he’ll get through it, he’ll understand it when he sees where this can take us.”

That back-and-forth reignited talks about Doan’s future in the desert. He’s in the third of a four-year, $21.2 million deal and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, leading many to speculate he could be on the move to a contender.

Doan didn’t say he wanted to be moved,  but didn’t rule it out either.

“I really haven’t thought too much about it, going forward,” he explained. “It’s one of those things – we have 14, 15 games to go. Every game you get to play in the NHL is pretty special. I don’t want to miss those games. I want to make sure I’m focused on them and enjoying the moment that we’re in; not getting caught up worrying about what’s going to happen in the future.

“When you get there, it will take care of itself.”

Elliott breaks Blues’ shutout record


While the Calgary Flames are not be happy with the outcome of last night’s 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, they weren’t too down on themselves.

“I rarely say after a 4-0 loss, ‘We played a decent game,’ ” Flames head coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun. They simply had their hands full with a great team playing an effective game in front of a solid goaltender. Blues netminder Brian Elliott got some help, but he also did his part, stopping 25 shots, and in the process made a little bit of history.

That was his 21st shutout since he joined the Blues in 2011-12, which is a new franchise best. He beat former teammate Jaroslav Halak’s mark of 20 shutouts.

“It’s definitely something you don’t really think about, franchise records,” Elliott said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I didn’t even see myself in St. Louis four years ago. So it’s kind of weird. But it was a complete team effort, and these past four years, guys have been putting their bodies on the line to block shots and really playing hard in front of me. It’s definitely a testament to these last four years that I’ve been here.”

Elliott has a 2.11 GAA, .922 save percentage, and five shutouts in 40 contests this season. Those are impressive numbers, but given the 29-year-old’s relative lack of playoff experience (he’s played in 18 games), it will be interesting to see how he does, especially seeing as expectations are high for St. Louis this year.