St. Louis Blues

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Singing the Halakian Blues

In his return game to the Bell Centre in Montreal Jaroslav Halak recorded the 18th shutout of  his career. It was a game where the bigger, speedy St. Louis Blues shut down the diminutive Habs. Clearly the better team showed up and took the game. Halak did not have to be spectacular just ready to play. The Habs did not go to the net or have any puck possession. 

The line of Tomas Plekanec, Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta was on the ice for two of the three goals scored by the Blues and quite frankly appeared to be disinterested throughout the game. The first two goals were scored on the only two times in the game Michael Cammalleri went to the net and played observer wh...

Montreal's Great Dane

Expectations have been sky high for Lars Eller ever since he came to Montreal along with Ian Schultz in return for netminder Jaroslav Halak. It's hard to say that those expectations are unreasonable, given the remarkable playoff performance of Halak during the 2010 NHL Playoffs, which saw the Canadiens go on an incredible run to the Eastern Conference Finals after knocking off the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. That being said, up until this point, Lars Eller has shown great strides in his development, and is quickly making people forget about the doubts they had when the trade was first announced.

 

Helm Goes Down and Nyquist Comes Up

Darren Helm will be sidelined for this weekend's games against rivals Chicago and St. Louis with a groin injury. He is day-to-day and will be reevaluated on Monday. This comes at a bad time as Helm's unit with Danny Cleary and Drew Miller have provided Detroit with standout 2-way play over the past several games.

The Red Wings have recalled Gustav Nyquist from Grand Rapids to take Helm's spot in the lineup. He currently has 9 goals and 21 assists for the Griffins. It will be interesting to see how Babcock shifts his lines to accomodate Nyquist and Andersson's presence.

 

Detroit's next game is against Chicago Friday night. Be sure to follow TCL R...

Blackhawks Head to St. Louis to Challenge Blues

The Chicago Blackhawks will look to continue their winning ways tonight when they matchup with the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks are coming off of an exciting 5-4 shootout win against the struggling New York Islanders last night and look to build on that success.

This will be the second matchup of the season for these two teams, with the Blues taking a decisive 3-0 shutout win on Nov. 8th on strong goaltending by Jaroslav Halak in Ken Hitchcock's coaching debut for his club. 

The St. Louis Blues have been a revelation since Ken Hitchcock took over for former Blues coach Davis Payne, going 8-1-2 since that time. The Blues don't have what ...

Blues down Caps 2-1 in Hunter's debut

New coach, same story for the Washington Capitals in the month of November. 

Matt D'Agostini's wrap-around goal at the 8:54 mark of the second period put the visiting St. Louis Blues up 2-1, a lead that they wouldn't surrender. 

Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring for the homestanding Caps with his 8th goal of the season at 10:15 of the first. His goal was met with a response about five minutes later from the Blues and T.J. Oshie. 

D'Agostini gave the Blues the lead in the second period with a great individual effort. He blasted a slapshot that handcuffed Tomas Vokoun, then collected the rebound and whee...

What Concussion? Sidney Crosby Dazzles In NHL Return

59 seconds of icetime was all it took before the hockey world knew that “Sid the Kid” was not merely healthy – he was officially back.

Taking a pass from Pascal Dupuis at centre ice at the start of his second shift, Pittsburgh Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby flew into the offensive zone like a man possessed once the puck arrived on his blade. After blowing the doors off of helpless defenceman Andrew MacDonald, he fired a backhander with a level of speed and accuracy that outweighed many players’ best shots on their forehand, making no mistake in rifling the puck into the upper portion of rookie Anders Nilsson’s net.

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Joe Pavelski: The Greatest Hockey Player of All Time?

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The Sharks traded for Brent Burns and Martin Havlat in the offseason. So what? The real story of this young season has been the incredible play of Joe Pavelski. Playing last year largely as the third line center, Pavelski tallied a career high 66 points. It was that sort of play that made Devin Setoguchi expendable in the offseason, allowing GM Doug Wilson to acquire the top 4 defenseman this team truly needed.

 

This year, Pavelski has taken Setoguchi's spot as the right winger on the top line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (who has rece...

In The Rear View: The Sharks' First Month in Review

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It was almost exactly a month ago when the Sharks kicked off their 2011-12 season with an opening night win against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Shark Tank. San Jose dominated that game by a score of 6-3, which doesn't really do it justice, considering just how much better the Sharks actually were. This was the first time fans and coaches alike had a chance to see just what this new, and hopefully improved, Sharks team would look like, and it looked good.

 

But then there were the dark times. A three game stretch where the Sharks played Anaheim, St. Louis, and Anahe...

It's Time To Step It Up

The Sharks are too talented of a team to play the way they did in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. After laying a huge egg against the Ducks, losing 1-0, the Sharks headed back home to play the Blues. Hoping for a better effort, the Sharks came out fairly flat, but did carry a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, they gave up 3 goals (one empty netter) in the final period (deja-vu?) and lost 4-2. It isn't like this team to play two games and not pull out at least one point, and this kind of play cannot continue. The western conference, and the Pacific Division even more so, is too competitive to only win one game out of three.  The worst part of these losses is that ...

Western Conference Predictions

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Before the season begins, i thought I'd take a stab at predicting where each team will fall in the 2011-12 season. So, without further ado:

 

Vancouver Canucks – They might have a slow start coming out of the gate, as two of their top six players in Kesler and Raymond are out to start the season, but this is still a darn good hockey team. The Canucks will be icing basically the same roster as they did last season, minus Christian Ehrhoff, and I do not see any reason why they won&#...