April 1, 2015

Blues display “Lack” of talent when it comes to playing the Canucks. Vancouver wins again

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott collects his thoughts as Vancouver Canucks players celebrate a Radim Vrbata goal in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 30, 2015. Vancouver won the game 4-1. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott collects his thoughts as Vancouver Canucks players celebrate a Radim Vrbata goal in the third period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 30, 2015. Vancouver won the game 4-1. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Vancouver has beaten the Blues six straight times and is 11-0-2 against them since Nov. 4, 2011.   Eddie Lack who was 4-0-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average, a .930 save percentage coming into this game, made 23 saves in a 4-1 win for the Canucks.  Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko injured his knee in the third period.  His status is unknown.

The slumping Blues (46-23-7, 99 points) remain three points behind the Nashville Predators for first in the Central Division. Their hold on second place is down to one point on the Blackhawks and four ahead of the Minnesota Wild.  They are also with Alex Steen, who was injured in the Columbus game.

Coach Ken Hitchcock is looking for others to step up.

“This is two games in a row now where quite frankly, we’ve lost a lot of board battles, we’ve been indecisive with the puck, we’ve been slow in our heads, and I think sometimes when you’re slow in your head, any information you’re getting is too much information,” said Hitchcock.

After a scoreless first period, the Blues tied the game at 1-1 at the 12:44 mark when Zbynek Michalek ripped a shot from the top of the circle to beat Lack.  It was Michalek’s first goal with St. Louis.  He also made a save after scramble in front of the Blues net left Brian Elliott out of position.  Michalek blocked a shot in the crease.  The Blues have lost six of their last nine.

“It’s hard to say. There are so many things,” Michalek said. “I don’t think there’s one good thing about our game right now. We need to look in the mirror and start playing as a team. Right now, it just seems like everybody’s doing different things. We need to get on the same page, play for one another. Right now, it’s not good enough.”

Steen’s tough play along the boards creates a scoring opportunity and win for the Blues in overtime (VIDEO)

St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen (middle) file photo, UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Blues Alexander Steen (middle) file photo, UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Two days ago Alex Steen scored the Blues only goal, his 400th career point, as St. Louis lost to Detroit just 24 seconds into overtime.  On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Steen scored his 24th of the year and it came just 35 second into overtime as the Blues were on the winning end of an OT game, in a 3-2 final over the Penguins.

Steen not only netted the game winner on a deflected shot from the point, but he did the dirty work along the boards to come away with the puck and feed it over to Zbynek Michalek, whose slap shot was redirected by Steen past Pittsburgh goalie Marc Andre-Fluery.

Through 74 games played, the Blues maintain a one-point lead over Nashville in the Central Division standings.

Watch Steen’s winner.  Video NHL.com

Brian Elliott sets a Blues franchise mark and the team moves into a tie for first place in the Western Conference

Brian Elliott (file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

Brian Elliott (file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

Alexander Steen scored twice and Brian Elliott made 25 saves in the Blues 4-0 win the Calgary Flames on the road Tuesday. Jori Lehtera and David Backes also scored for the Blues (45-20-5).  For Elliott, it was his 21st shutout with the Blues, breaking a tie with Jaroslav Halak for the franchise record. The Blues haven’t allowed a goal in over two full regulation games (126 minutes, 16 seconds).  Elliott was once Halak’s backup.

“Looking back right now on my career, I’m not here for that long and I never thought I’d be in St. Louis. It’s pretty cool to be at the top there right now,” said Elliott. “It has a lot to do with how our team plays the past four years. Great attention to detail and guys sacrificing in front of me, blocking shots like you saw tonight.”

The Blues have won five of their past six games, including two straight and three of the past four via shutout, to jump into first place in the West. The Blues and Anaheim Ducks each have 95 points, but the Blues have a game in hand.

 

 

Watch how Jackman beat the Jets on a simple flip from the neutral zone (VIDEO)

St. Louis Blues Barret Jackman (R) celebrates a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets with teammates at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 10, 2015. Jackman scored the game winner with about a minute to go in the game.  Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Barret Jackman (R) celebrates a 5-4 win over the Winnipeg Jets with teammates at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 10, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Forget that the St. Louis Blues let a 4-1 lead slip away in the third period.  The fact is they got the W and two points after defenseman Barret Jackman flipped a puck past Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec from beyond the blue line with 1:03 left to play in regulation to give the Blues a 5-4 win at Scottrade Center, Tuesday night.

The Blues gave up two goals in a span of 11 second within the first 1:45 of the third period.  Then while on the powerplay, they allowed the Jets to tie the game with a shorthanded goal.

With just over a minute to play David Backes won a faceoff outside the Jets zone, back to Robert Bortuzzo, who threw the puck to Jackman. Instead of  dumping the puck into the corners, he snapped one towards the Winnipeg net and ended up with a game-winning goal.

“When I threw it in there, I thought Pavelec was just kind of surveying the play and was just going to grab it and flip it to the side,” said Jackman. “It just kind of floated over the glove. He obviously didn’t get a good look at it.”

Watch the game winning goal, courtesy of NHL.com

Former Blues player returns to his hometown after heartfelt letter written by his daughter (VIDEO)

Jordan Leopold with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season (NHL.com)

Jordan Leopold with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season (NHL.com)

Jordan Leopold played in 49 games in parts of three seasons with the Blues. In November, the team traded the 34 year old defenseman to Columbus. Since then, he’s only played in 18 games with the Blue Jackets. That’s when Jordan’s daughter Jordyn wrote a public letter to the Minnesota Wild, pleading they make a deal before the trade deadline so dad can be reunited with his family in St. Paul.

It worked.

Leopold, born in Golden Valley, Minn., was the nation’s top collegiate player in 2002. The hometown Wild acquired the former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher sending defenseman Justin Faulk to Columbus. Leopold has one goal and two assists in 25 games this season for the St. Louis Blues and Blue Jackets.