The Blues may be worried about their offense, the health of a couple of players, defensive pairings that are getting tweaked right now and if they can get home ice advantage in the Western Conference or overall through the playoffs. The one thing they are absolutely, positively not worried about right now is goaltending.
Brian Elliott posted his eighth shutout of the year Sunday evening in a 4-0 domination of the Phoenix Coyotes. This was a trap game from the start and the Blues didn't fall for it. Consider that this was the end of a long, up and down road trip of seven games. It would have been easy to think about that flight home tonight instead of the game beforehand. The Blues had two days off in the Valley of the Sun to sit by the pool and relax. The Friday and Saturday off were the only two consecutive weekend nights off this season outside of the All-Star break. And the Coyotes are in a dog fight (pun intended) for the final two playoff spots in the West. So nothing was going to come easy in this game.
Consider how good of a season Elliott is having. Even before the game his 1.57 goals-against average was leading the NHL. He had stopped 94 percent of the shots faced -- again, before the game (like I'm going to do the math and I wasn't waiting for the Internets to update his stuff). That's first in the league. And now with eight shutouts, he's tied with Henrik Lundqvist for most in the league. And if everything goes to trend for recent playoff teams, Elliott may only be used as a change of pace or if Jaroslav Halak is hurt or stumbles in the postseason. Amazing.
If you don't look at my bullets, your mom will.
- So enough with batting the puck out of the air and clearing it over the glass in your own end. David Backes and Vladimir Sobotka both earned two-minute minors for delay of game. Barret Jackman was also guilty of it. Weird way to give the Coyotes an advantage that they did not capitalize on.
- That Ryan Reaves, he's a fucking sniper. You think anyone regrets letting Cam Janssen walk and giving the youngster from Manitoba a shot? Me neither. And I always had a ton of respect for the Pride of Eureka. Hockey skills, he does not have them.
- The tip by Backes in the third on the shot from Kevin Shattenkirk, well as Bernie Federko would say, the goaltender never had a chance. The puck is flying in at waist level and then all of a sudden it's bouncing off the ice. Wicked.
- You know what else is wicked, a head-up Alex Pietrangelo with the puck. Guy could dot the I on his long-term contract from 50 feet with a frozen puck.
- That gives the Blues 14 shutouts on the season. Unbelievable. Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante would be happy.
Back at it, finally on home ice, on Tuesday against the punch drunk Jordin Tootoos. What, they couldn't get motorcycle racing on ice at the Drinkscotch Center? You got more bullets? You want to whoop it up? Check in down below.