Blues Enter Olympic Break Hitting All the Right Notes
ST. LOUIS - So far the St. Louis Blues' 2013-2014 season has been sweet music to fans' ears.
The Blues entered the two and a half week Olympic Break as one of the best teams in the NHL. Their 84 team points put them in a tie for the Central Division lead with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, and is the second highest point total in the entire league behind only the Anaheim Ducks.
Balanced scoring and a potent goal tending duo have gotten the Blues off to this white-hot start.
Left-winger Alexander Steen paced the offense during the first few months of the season before getting banged up by injuries. At one point the Swede was leading the entire NHL in goals, but since the injuries has slipped to eighth overall.
American Olympians Daivid Backes and TJ Oshie have also had outstanding seasons so far totaling 42 and 46 points respectively. The two will skate on the same line in Sochi when the Americans play their first Olympic Tournament game against Slovakia on Thursday.
Young defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk have anchored the back check for St. Louis, and between the two of them have only missed one game so far this season. Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk rank fourth and ninth respectively in points by defensemen. Both players will participate in the Olympics with Pietrangelo representing Canada, and Shattenkirk joining Backes and Oshie on Team USA.
Between the pipes the Blues have had solid play from their two-headed monster of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot. As the starter, Halak has compiled a 24-8-4 record with a .915 save percentage. Elliot has been no slouch as the backup either with his 2.13 Goals Against Average.
The Blues resume NHL play on Wednesday, February 26 against the Vancouver Canucks.