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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:41 am 
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BLACKHAWKS (31-5-4) at BLUES (23-15-2)

TV: NBC, TSN

Last 10: Chicago 7-2-1; St. Louis 6-4-0

Season series: The Chicago Blackhawks won the first two meetings of the season in January before the St. Louis Blues snared a shootout victory April 4. These two teams also meet again on the final day of the regular season (April 27).

Big story: The Blues need this one far more than the Blackhawks, as goaltender Brian Elliott looks to continue his shutout streak and help St. Louis reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Team scope

Blackhawks: Chicago had lost three of four before a Sunday game two weeks ago at Detroit. The Blackhawks won that game 7-1, and now have at least one point in seven straight contests (6-0-1).

The Blackhawks held a seven-point lead on the Anaheim Ducks for the top seed in the Western Conference and a four-point advantage on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Presidents' Trophy. Chicago also has a game in hand on both.

Blues: St. Louis lost four of five to close the month of March and the Blues appeared to be slipping from their place inside the top eight in the West. They rolled off six straight victories to start April though, and given the bunched-up nature of the standings were making a push for the fourth seed. They are still five points ahead of the teams tied for ninth place after a loss to Columbus on Friday, but even short losing streaks can cause serious damage at this point.

Elliott will back in net for the Blues after taking a night off. He had three straight shutouts before that, and his shutout streak is currently at 189 minutes and 29 seconds.

Who's hot: St. Louis isn't the only team with a hot goaltender in this contest. Ray Emery is 15-1-0 this season for the Blackhawks, including three shutouts in his past five starts. Elliott hasn't allowed a goal since the third period of a 4-3 shootout victory April 4 against these Blackhawks. He's turned aside 66 shots in the past three games.

Injury report: Chicago coach Joel Quenneville told reporters he is "hopeful" center Dave Bolland can return against the Blues after missing the past four games with a lower-body injury. St. Louis will be without goaltender Jaroslav Halak (lower body), while forwards T.J. Oshie (lower body) and Scott Nichol (lower body) are questionable.

GAME NOTES

Brian Elliott has won five consecutive games, including one against Chicago on April 4.
Elliott has a shutout streak of 189:29 entering the game. His all-time best was set last season and is a Blues' record at 241:33.
Ken Hitchcock's next win will be No. 600 behind the bench, placing him 11th all-time among NHL coaches.
Andy McDonald has five goals in his last five games against Chicago.
Jay Bouwmeester has two goals and an assist in his last four games vs. Chicago.



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:03 am 
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READY

SET



(Frank) THE BLACKHAWKS!

BRUNCH HOCKEY MOTHERFUCKERS!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:29 am 
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Is Jaskin playing or not? If he's not logging any time in the regular season, let him get time in Peoria.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:34 am 
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That was a fun 1st period to watch.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:09 pm 
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No one's beating Chicago this year, kids. They barely tried and shut us out.

We're still a year away from being able to win two series in the playoffs. Multiple offensive players are needed. Bouwmeister and Leopold (if we can keep him) have been great, but you aren't going to get shutouts every night.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Fun 1st period, unfortunately the other 2 weren't as fun.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Yeah, first period was a lot of fun to watch. I didn't think we played poorly per se in the 2nd and 3rd, but didn't have the energy we had in the first. And, some of those penalties were rather non-existent. But, they might have made up for one of em in the 3rd.

What I took from this game:

-We need more scoring.
-We kinda bounced back from the Columbus game (played fairly well anyway IMO)
-We really need more scoring.
-Chicago is just a better team than we are and I want no part of them in the playoffs.
-Did I mention scoring?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:56 pm 
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the officiating was disgraceful in this game. It doesn't excuse them for not scoring but it sure didn't help.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:24 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
the officiating was disgraceful in this game. It doesn't excuse them for not scoring but it sure didn't help.


The only thing worse than the officiating was the commentating. I almost threw something at the TV. They're so (Franking) stupid.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:45 pm 
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What I took from this game is the Blues could not buy a darn bounce. 1st goal against - two Blues are back, it goes off one of the Blues players skates, which completely screws up Elliott positionally, and right to where the Hawk player was. Just a bad bounce.

2nd goal deflected off a Blues player. Elliott likely makes the save without that deflection.

2nd and 3rd period the Blues were in position many times for good rebound opportunities and the puck would bounce off their stick, hop just over it, be just an inch out of reach, etc. It happened alot.

Blues were doing the right things mostly, just did not get any of the bounces which sometimes happens.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:06 pm 
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theohall wrote:
2nd and 3rd period the Blues were in position many times for good rebound opportunities and the puck would bounce off their stick, hop just over it, be just an inch out of reach, etc. It happened alot.


That's not a matter of luck....we've struggled in that all year. The fact is that Hitch does no work on any 'puck' skills (I've been to most Mills practices...never work on puck/stick skills)

The reason ort opponents have better 'returns'on free pucks isn't luck, it's because they work on it more.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:58 pm 
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DaDitka wrote:
theohall wrote:
2nd and 3rd period the Blues were in position many times for good rebound opportunities and the puck would bounce off their stick, hop just over it, be just an inch out of reach, etc. It happened alot.


That's not a matter of luck....we've struggled in that all year. The fact is that Hitch does no work on any 'puck' skills (I've been to most Mills practices...never work on puck/stick skills)

The reason ort opponents have better 'returns'on free pucks isn't luck, it's because they work on it more.


then that is the likely problem. Same thing was the problem vs the Kings in the playoffs last year.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:39 am 
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Obviously I'm no NHL coach and I'm sure they know much more then any of us, but it's frustrating when you see the same problems plague a team over and over and it doesn't 'appear' they are working on it.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:42 am 
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Right now, the Blackhawks are the class of the league and they showed it again today. It's going to be tough for any team to beat them 4 out of 7 when it comes playoff time. They hound puck carriers and limit dangerous chances. The Blues shots were coming from outside all game and it was tough to get through the hoard of Blackhawk shot blockers in front of the net. Q has that group buying in to what he's selling. It was a frustrating game from a Blues standpoint. If they were able to fight through that defense, Crawford ended up making the save. I've never though Crawford was that great of a goalie, but he looked poised in net yesterday.

I was pretty frustrated by the officiating. Even still, the Blues game to play in the 1st period. The Blackhawks took those hits and then pounced on their chances. So kudos to them. I really hope we don't see them in round one.

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