Article Written By: Adam Wible
St. Louis has been playing the best hockey in the league as of late. The Blues own an NHL best 7 game winning streak, and have climbed to atop the division tying Chicago at 67 points. On their Western Canada road trip, St. Louis is now 2-0, out scoring opponents 10-2.
“It’s nice to string a couple together here,” Blues captain David Backes said. “It seems like you have to to stay paced with some of these other teams in the West.
That is exactly how this team has been playing. In their last 10 games they have outscored opponents 46-17. That is no typo. Combining a high-powered offense, with phenomenal defense, and stellar goaltending you should not lose.
It has not just been one player doing all the scoring, a perfect example is Thursday night in Calgary.
The Blues had five different players record goals, as Jaraoslav Halak returned from injury. St. Louis came into Calgary with a vengeance, knowing the Flames beat them last before this winning streak.
From the get go Thursday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome it was all Blues. Taking the early momentum paid off, after failing on two early power-plays. Derek Roy fired a no-look pass between Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie’s legs to Chris Stewart who buried his 15th of the season behind goaltender Karri Ramo to put St. Louis up 1-0 at 9:32 of the first period.
Two minutes later Vladimir Sobotka found a rebound from Ramo and buried it in the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. St. Louis found themselves in a hole shortly after with a double-minor. Halak stopped the two shots he faced, and the penalty kill unit did the rest to kill off the four-minuted disadvantage. The Blues dominated the first period leading 12-6 on shots, and a 2-0 lead.
Halak found more action in the second facing six shots in the first five minutes. In his first game back from illness it was no problem. Halak would stop all 15 shots, and the Blues added a goal from Ian Cole to end the period up 3-0.
“They had a few chances, hit the post, we scored,” Halak said. “It could’ve been a different game.”
The Blues wasted little time going on the power play early in the third period. Alex Pietrangelo blasted a slap shot, that bounced off defenseman Lance Bouma before passing Ramo, to make it 4-0.
St. Louis found themselves on the power-play again, shortly after their early goal. Vladimir Tarasenko found a pass from Jordan Leopold to beat Ramo 1:16 after their pervious power-play goal. Sealing the victory at 5-0.
“I thought the best player in the game was our goalie,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought Halak was outstanding. He really did a nice job for us. He shut the door. It’s good on him.”
St. Louis has a quick turnaround. Brian Elliot looks to extend the Blues winning streak to eight, as they travel to Vancouver to face the host Canucks.
Rangers (3-2), Capitals (3-1), Avalanche (3-0), Blues (3-2)
Oilers (4-3 OT/S)