Apr 14, 2013, 12:13 AM EDT
At this point, the Chicago Blackhawks might grasp a bit for motivation before each game, at least compared to other teams. Sunday’s NHL on NBC match against the St. Louis Blues might dangle an extra carrot or two, though.
Most importantly, the Blues still need to cement a playoff spot that the Blackhawks clinched a week ago.
If thwarting their division rivals isn’t enough, then the Blackhawks can set an individual target: Brian Elliott.
Since returning from his conditioning stint in the AHL, Elliott seemingly transformed from the below-average backup he was in the beginning of the season to the guy who stunned the hockey world by becoming at All-Star last season.
He’s about a period short* of claiming the longest shutout streak in Blues’ franchise history, but the Blackhawks high-flying attack might not make that very easy.
Only the Pittsburgh Penguins have scored more goals than Chicago this season, and when you consider all the injuries that have besieged the East’s top team, one could argue that the ‘Hawks might have the most dangerous offense at this very moment.
Yet while that potent attack will challenge Elliott to make history, it’s the team’s overall dominance that must leave Ken Hitchcock green with envy. The Blackhawks have allowed an NHL-low 85 goals this season, signifying the kind of own-zone presence many would expect from St. Louis.
It all shapes up to be a huge test for a Blues team that some might pick to be a dangerous dark horse candidate. You can get an idea about how the Blues measure up against one of the league’s best teams by tuning in to NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
* – Elliott’s streak is at 189 minutes and 29 seconds; the Blues’ record is 201:24. He might even set his sights on Brian Boucher’s league-wide record of 332:01, although that can’t happen on Sunday.
Apr 25, 2014, 12:16 AM EDT
All Minny in this one, as we said earlier.
Apr 25, 2014, 12:05 AM EDT
Insert “Did he miss Iginla’s head?” jokes.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT
Timing of the goal couldn’t have been better for San Jose.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT
Boston wins it on an odd goal.
Apr 24, 2014, 11:19 PM EDT
All Minny through two – except on the score board.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
His haters rejoice on Thursday (at least so far).
Apr 24, 2014, 10:36 PM EDT
Out of his control, however.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
L.A. looking to stave off elimination.
Apr 24, 2014, 10:01 PM EDT
“No hard feelings.”
Apr 24, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
More playoff hockey.
Apr 24, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT
It’s due to flu-like symptoms for Detroit’s normal starter.
Apr 24, 2014, 7:44 PM EDT
This post will be updated if there’s a late swerve.
Apr 24, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
Whether Henrik Zetterberg can go or not.
Apr 24, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT
He’s glad the former got some playoff reps, though.
Apr 24, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
He sure looked yippy last night night in Columbus.
Apr 24, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT
He led Frozen Four champion Union College in scoring this year.
Apr 24, 2014, 4:53 PM EDT
Jim Benning’s name probably came up.
Apr 24, 2014, 4:38 PM EDT
’12 first-rounder just wrapped another successful season with OHL Oshawa.
Apr 24, 2014, 3:46 PM EDT
He’s listed with an upper-body injury, which may or may not be related to the puck he took in the face in Game 1.
Apr 24, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
“We know what to expect from him.”
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