Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the St. Louis Blues hosting the Colorado Avalanche at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• St. Louis streaking: The Blues have points in 7 straight games (6-0-1 record), outscoring opponents 33-13 in that stretch.
• Last game: Saturday Jan. 17; 3-0 win vs. TOR.
• Ken Hitchcock earned his 685th regular-season win, passing Pat Quinn for 5th in all-time wins.
• The only loss during this stretch came right before the TOR win – a 3-2 (OT) loss vs. DET last Thursday.
• STL is tied with DAL for the 3rd-best offense in the NHL (3.13 goals/gm), and it owns the league’s top power
• Colorado finishing up a road trip: The Avs will conclude a 5-game road trip tonight, and have just 1 win in the first 4 games (1-1-2).
• Last game: Saturday Jan. 17; 3-2 (SO) loss at TB.
• All 3 losses on the road trip have been 1-goal games, with 2 of them coming in a shootout.
• Avs goalies have been under siege, as the team is allowing an average of 36.8 shots/gm on the road trip.
• Central Division scope: The Central has 4 of the top 5 teams in the West, and it is the only division in the NHL in which every team is above .500.
• Brian Elliott (STL) is 4-1-1 since his return from a month-long absence (knee injury – missed 14 gms).
• Elliott is coming off a 27-save shutout against the Maple Leafs on Saturday – his 3rd shutout of the season and 19th overall in a St. Louis uniform.
• He is now 1 shutout away from tying Jaroslav Halak for the most shutouts in franchise history.
• Elliott leads the NHL in GAA (1.90) and ranks 4th in SV% (.929).
• Last Wednesday, Martin Brodeur was granted a 1-week leave of absence from STL. At the time, the Blues made the following statement: “Brodeur will rejoin the club in one week and his future will be addressed at that time.”
• Since then, Darren Dreger has reported that Brodeur might be offered a job in the team’s front office as one possible option once the time off is completed. Dreger also said: “It’s hard to imagine that if he was going to accept a position it wouldn’t be with the New Jersey Devils.”
BLUES TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Steen/Backes/Oshie on fire: Earlier in the season, St. Louis’ line of Schwartz/Lehtera/Tarasenko drew all the press for its chemistry and offensive prowess, but the current trio of Steen/Backes/Oshie are 3 of the NHL’s top 6 scorers in 2015.
• Steen had 1 goal, 1 assist vs. TOR to extend his goal streak to 5 games, and his overall point streak to 9 games (7G-9A). His career best was a 13-game point streak early on last season.
• Backes has 2 assists vs. TOR to extend his point streak to 6 games (7G-6A), which ties a career-high.
• Six games ago on Jan. 6, Backes scored 4 goals in a win at AZ – his 2nd career 4-goal game.
• Shattenkirk has been on a tear in 2015, with 10 points (3G-7A) in 8 games. Among d-men, he is tied for the NHL lead in scoring with Mark Giordano of CGY (39 pts).
• Shattenkirk’s 24 power play points (4G-20A) lead all NHL skaters.
• Colorado drafted Shattenkirk 14th overall in 2007, and in 2011 he was traded in a multi-player deal to STL. The Blues gave up 2006 #1 overall pick D Erik Johnson in the deal.
AVALANCHE TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• Two of the oldest members of the Avalanche – 35-year-old Alex Tanguay and 37-year-old Jarome Iginla – are the leading scorers on the team this season.
• Tanguay was a 1st round pick by COL in 1998, and while he has played for 3 other teams (CGY, MTL, TB), he is in his 8th season overall with the Avs.
• Career vs. STL: 45 points (11G-34A) in 46 career games.
• Iginla, signed to a 3-yr/$16M contract this offseason from Boston, has totaled 30+ goals and 60+ points in each of the last 12 full seasons (excluding 2012-13 lockout season), but he is falling short of that pace this season.
• Iginla scored his 573rd career goal last Thurs. vs. FLA, tying him with Mike Bossy for 20th place all-time.
• Career vs. STL: 73 points (29G-44A) in 68 career games (w/ CGY, BOS, and COL).
• The Avs have had a top-3 overall pick 3 times in the past 6 seasons. Those 3 players – Matt Duchene (3rd overall in 2009), captain Gabriel Landeskog (2nd overall in 2011), and Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall in 2013) are all performing below their 2013-14 season results.
• Duchene had 70 pts in 71 games last season, but has just 27 pts (12G-15A) in 46 games this season.
• Landeskog set career-highs last season in goals (26) and assists (39); he has just 9 goals and 19 assists in 46 games this season.
• MacKinnon was last season’s Calder Trophy winner (top rookie) with 63 points.
• He had a goal and an assist vs. TB, bringing his season total to 27 pts (9G-18A) this season.
• Semyon Varlamov – a Vezina Trophy nominee last season – has started 11 of the 13 Avalanche games since returning from a groin injury; sustained Dec. 8 (missed 6 gms).
• 11 gms since return: 7-3-1, 1.97 GAA, .940 SV%, 2 shutouts.