Tag: St. Louis Blues

Kevin Shattenkirk

Shattenkirk is ‘ready to go’ for Blues

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As anticipated, the St. Louis Blues are getting a significant boost on Saturday, as key defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk returns to the lineup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As an added bonus, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that the Blues will see the return of two blueliners with Carl Gunnarsson also slated to come back.

Shattenkirk sounds excited about shaking off the rust.

“I’m ready to go,’” Shattenkirk said. “I felt good out there. It was nice to just be back with the team and get the speed of the game back a little bit. I’m exited about it.

“I’ve done what I’ve had to do rehab-wise. It’s time to just get back into it. It may not be pretty to start, but you have to get that mindset of playing games to really get back up to speed.”

To start things off, head coach Ken Hitchcock is pairing Shattenkirk with Barret Jackman, Gunnarsson with Alex Pietrangelo and rounding things out with Jay Bouwmeester – Zbynek Michalek. There’s also a chance that St. Louis will dress seven defensemen, but if not, Robert Bortuzzo would be a healthy scratch.

Despite missing 25 games with this abdominal injury, Shattenkirk is second in scoring among Blues defensemen with 40 points (Pietrangelo just passed him with 41). This already-formidable St. Louis squad could be very scary if the 26-year-old can get up to speed by the playoffs.

Blues confirm Elliott will be playoff starter

Brian Elliott

The St. Louis Blues have developed something of a rite of passage in the spring in which they’re faced with questions about their starting playoff netminder.

This year, they’re getting out in front of it.

Head coach Ken Hitchcock confirmed on Thursday that Brian Elliott is currently the team’s No. 1 and will be when the posteason begins, per the Post-Dispatch.

“Ells is the starter,” Hitchcock explained. “He’ll play the majority of games leading up to the playoffs. We’re on the course that we set two months ago when we made the decision that Ells was going to be the guy and we’re not changing that course.”

Questions were asked about Elliott’s status after backup Jake Allen started each of the last two games, and fared well, allowing just four goals on 51 shots in an OT loss to Detroit and an OT win over Pittsburgh.

Allen, 24, is considered to be the franchise’s goalie of the future and, what’s more, the Blues do have a history of platooning in goal.

Last spring, Ryan Miller — acquired in a trade deadline blockbuster from Buffalo — played in all six games of St. Louis’ opening-round series loss to Chicago. The year prior, Elliott played all six in St. Louis’ opening-round series loss to Los Angeles and, the year prior to that, Elliott, Halak and Allen all saw playoff time as the Blues advanced to the second round.

Hitchcock did keep the door slightly open for a goalie switch should Elliott struggle, but added it doesn’t look like that’s about to happen.

“Obviously if [Elliott] doesn’t play well at all, then we’ve got to reassess it like any team does,” he explained. “[But] right now, he’s showing no signs of letting up.”

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

Pens say Ehrhoff will miss several days with upper-body injury

Christian Ehrhoff

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without defenseman Christian Ehrhoff for “several days” thanks to what the team deems an upper-body injury.

That injury and cap concerns leaves the Penguins facing the Carolina Hurricanes with 11 forwards and six defensemen, the team announced.

Ehrhoff, 32, was injured after receiving this hit from Vladimir Tarasenko during Tuesday’s overtime loss against the St. Louis Blues:

The Penguins didn’t really provide a whole lot of detail about Ehrhoff’s condition beyond that terse statement. Some want Pittsburgh to place the blueliner on IR to alleviate some of their depth concerns, but we’ll need to wait and see.

If you want to try to guess when he might come back, here’s a link to the Penguins’ regular season schedule.