The Blues have rolled to a 4 game road winning streak by beating the Oilers last night 5-2. Halak made 22 saves and this is the first time in the franchise history that 2 goalies have reached the 20 win mark. Blues didn’t play an all around perfect game last night, but their effort was there which got them the 2 points. Shattenkirk had a huge game as he had 1 goal and 2 assists. McDonald is showing why the team missed him as he scored 2 goals and now has 10 points in 13 games this season. The Blues ended the month of February with an 11-4 record and the team played well only allowing 3 or more goals in 4 of those games (some did come as empty netters as well).
I doubt in the beginning of the season that anyone would have predicted the Blues 1 point out of first, let alone in a playoff position. Tonight, the Blues will make a visit to Vancouver. The Canucks are the leagues highest scoring team, while the Blues are the leagues stingiest team. The Blues will use the same lineup as last night, but Elliot will get the start. I wonder if the Blues gave Halak the start last night, knowing they wanted Elliot to start against the Canucks tonight. Either way, you can not go wrong with either of these 2 goalies in net. The teams will battle for not only 1st in the west, but in the entire league. The last time the Blues were 1st in the league was way back in 2000. The Blues continue to answer any questions that critics have been saying about the Blues being “pretenders” this year. Some claiming that the Blues will need to be able to score much more than 2 or 3 goals to win. Win or lose, the fact is that this Blues team has played consistent hockey which has put them where they are now.
Keys to the game tonight is to get off to a quick start much like they did last night in Edmonton. Keep continuous pressure on Luongo and force him to make mistakes. The only way to keep a high powered offensive team from scoring is to keep it in their zone. The Canucks have a very good power play unit, which means staying out of the penalty box will be crucial.
Roman Polak will play in tonight’s game despite a scary hit where Ryan Smyth checked Polak from behind into the boards. Steen and D’Agostini are still out with concussions and Langenbrunner is still out with a broken foot. The Canucks will be without Ballard, Ebbett, and Volpatti.