Tag: St. Louis Blues

Nashville Predators v St. Louis Blues

After naming Elliott playoff starter, Hitch now says Allen could be the guy


After Jake Allen started and played well in consecutive games two weeks ago, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock threw his support behind No. 1 netminder Brian Elliott, saying that Elliott would be St. Louis’ starter come playoff time.

But what about now?

Today, the Blues announced that Allen would start Tuesday’s tilt against Winnipeg, his second straight nod and third in the last four games. And make no mistake, Tuesday’s game is an important one for St. Louis as it looks to tighten its grip on the Central Division lead.

“We see a guy that is hot, that’s feeling it, so you ride it out,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Whenever that runs out, then you go a different direction. You’re looking to get points at this time of year.

“I think during the season there’s more of a long-term plan. But when you get into that 30-day mode, when there’s 30 days left, it’s whatever is going. It’s nice to have options. That’s what we’ve got right now — we’ve got options — so let’s use them.”

Since Hitch’s announcement two weeks ago, his goalies have responded in dramatically different ways. Elliott’s gone 1-2-0 with a .841 save percentage and, in his lone victory, allowed five goals on 32 shots to Dallas; Allen, meanwhile, has allowed just two goals on his last 57 shots faced and was magnificent in Sunday’s crucial win over Chicago, finishing with a .974 save percentage.

Hitchcock now admits plans could change with regards to Elliott being the No. 1 in the playoffs, suggesting Allen could wrestle that gig away. That, along with these recent starting decisions, seems to have rattled Elliott a bit.


With everyone on the outside reading into which goalie is getting each start, Elliott chose not to say whether he’s also reading into it.

“There’s an inside voice and an outside voice, so …” Elliott said. “I have my own feelings, so I’ll keep them to myself.”

Hitchcock was asked if it’s difficult telling Elliott that the Blues are going with Allen for now.

“Maybe for him, but not for me,” Hitchcock said. “I’ve got to do what’s best for the hockey club. And what’s best for the hockey club is whoever’s playing the best gets to play. That’s just the way it is.”

After Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg, the Blues have two games left: Thursday at home versus Chicago, then Saturday at home against Minnesota. The Chicago game could very well decide the Central, and quite possibly the Western Conference; St. Louis heads into tonight’s action just two points back of Anaheim for top spot, but with a game in hand.

In short, the Blues have everything to play for this week. Which is why Hitchcock’s goaltending decisions will be quite telling.

Related: Hitchcock clears the air regarding the Blues’ goaltending situation

Report: No suspension for Shaw after charging Jackman

St. Louis at Chicago

Chicago forward Andrew Shaw won’t face any supplemental discipline for his hit on St. Louis’ Barret Jackman from Sunday night, per the Tribune.

Here’s the hit in question, which occurred early in the second period of the Blues’ 2-1 win and netted Shaw a two-minute charging minor:

Shaw does have a disciplinary history — during the ’12 playoffs, he was suspended three games for bowling over Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. He was also tossed from a game in mid-March versus the Islanders for headbutting New York forward Brock Nelson (though Shaw wasn’t given any further punishment for that infraction.)

As for Jackman, he went uninjured on the play and returned to finish with 19:59 TOI. It’s worth noting this is the second time Jackman’s been on the receiving end of a questionable hit in a matter of days; against Calgary last Thursday, Flames forward Brandon Bollig was given five and a game for boarding Jackman.

Bollig did not receive any supplemental discipline either.

Blues take over Central Division lead, beat Blackhawks

San Jose Sharks v St Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues leapfrogged the Nashville Predators for the Central Division lead with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks are third in the Central Division and six points up on the Minnesota Wild, who hold the first wild card seed.

St. Louis has now won three straight while Chicago had its four-game win streak snapped.

Kris Versteeg opened the scoring at 14:12 of the first period, but it was all St. Louis after that.

David Backes tied it 1-1 at 6:07 of the second period with his 26th of the season and Olli Jokinen netted the game winner at 15:12 of the second.

Jake Allen made 38 saves for the win while Corey Crawford stopped 31 shots in the loss.

Both teams lost defensemen in the first period.

St. Louis was without Robert Bortuzzo for the final two periods due to an upper body injury.

Kimmo Timonen was hit by Blues’ forward Ryan Reaves midway through the first and left with an undisclosed injury. The Blackhawks announced post-game that Timonen is day-to-day.