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Hurricanes At Blues Game Preview: Unselfish Hockey

The Blues have broken out of their season's worst slump in a big way. Will the Carolina Hurricanes be able to hold them off?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Hitchcock has a good philosophy as to why the Blues have been so successful as of late: unselfish play.

"Really unselfish hockey is what is evident to me right now in a lot of things we're doing," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "When you are unselfish, you come off the ice at the right time, you change at the right time, you leave your teammate in a good spot, you're going to have success. To me, the goals are a result of the way we're playing. We're playing the right way and it's having a big impact on keeping the group together."

As much as that is unselfish play, it's also smart play. It's being aware. It's knowing where the other guys are, it's changing at the right times, it's not being caught unawares. It's also, presumably, limiting ticky-tack penalties that can come back and bite a team.

A good bit of this is due to increased line consistency thanks to Jaden Schwartz being back in the lineup. Another bit of what's contributing to the Blues' hot streak is Brian Elliott, who leads the league with a 1.81 GAA. Goaltending isn't everything; goalies' records often are only as good as the team in front of them. That's why Cam Ward has played well this year (.914 SV%, 2.36 GAA) and has a 11-16-2 record. He might be an issue for the Blues tonight as he usually is. He has a 5-1-1 record against St. Louis, though arguably the Hurricanes teams in the past that he had supporting him were of a better quality.

The Canes should play a tough game tonight, despite the fact that their head coach, Bill Peters, has a bit of a crush:

"They're a very deep team, and they play very fast. They're quick. ... They're hard to play against. I like their team a lot with the way they're playing."

Aww, thanks!

Fun fact: the Canes are 4-16-2 on the road. If the Blues don't play to their level, tonight should be win number four in a row.