The Chicago Blackhawks roll on with their stellar record, now holding a 17-0-3, after shutting out the St. Louis Blues 3-0 on their home ice last night. Were the Blues, at least in their current configuration, able to stop their Central Division rivals? That’s a no. Could they possibly do it again in the future? Sure, of course, because they’ve done it before–and often. Since the Blues joined the league, their all-time record at home against Chicago is 70-48-20.
But it just didn’t happen last night. Jonathan Toews scored just 12 seconds into the first period, giving the visitors an extremely early lead. The turning point for the game, though, was Andrew Shaw‘s goal in the third period. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock identified it as such, the point of no return for the home team, the wind taken out of the sails and the mojo gone. Toews would later make it a 3-0 final.
The Blues had bad luck with goal posts, especially when it came to Kevin Shattenkirk‘s attempt in the second period while St. Louis was on the man advantage. That one came close, but rang the post and stayed out, keeping the home team off the score sheet.
At one point in the second period, captain David Backes left the game after colliding with Brandon Saad, but he came back later after passing the standard concussion tests off the ice. For a Blues squad already struggling with injuries, the idea of having the captain out of the lineup too is very undesirable, to say the least.
The game was pretty evenly-matched in terms of shots, so the Blues were at least trying, but the odds just weren’t in their favor. This is the first time St. Louis has lost in a shutout on home ice since 2011, when the Calgary Flames burned them 6-0 on March 1.