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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:07 am 
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ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton might be the backup goalie on the St. Louis Blues depth chart, but he's certainly playing like a No. 1.

Hutton rightfully earned the top star in the Blues' 3-2 shootout victory over New Jersey on Tuesday. He stopped 24 shots for his seventh victory of the season, saving his best saves for overtime including an incredible pad save on Marcus Johansson after Nico Hischier hit the post with two minutes left that ranks as one of the best saves of the season.

"Hischier made a pretty quick move right to his forehand off the post," Hutton told NHL.com. "I knew it went back and I wasn't sure, and I reached behind me and I was able to kind of pick it up. I don't know if I got my right skate in the back of the net and (I) just was able to get my left leg around, and luckily he didn't roof it. I was able to get the pad on it."

Hutton also stopped both New Jersey attempts in the shootout, but it was the Johansson save the rallied his teammates.

"I just feel like we can't lose today," Blues right winger Vladimir Tarasenko told NHL.com. "Sometimes you need to fight for someone. When he makes save like this, it's on us to win the game."

Hutton is 11-3-0, with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 14 starts.

Hutton has started the last two games, both wins, after Jake Allen was spotted by concussion spotters on Friday in Dallas. Allen has practiced fully Monday and Tuesday and Blues coach Mike Yeo said Hutton's paying time has nothing to do with injury and everything to do with performance.

"'Hutts' just deserves it. It's as simple as that," Yeo told NHL.com. "Just an opportunity to give a guy who's doing a really good job a nice little opportunity to get back in the net and show what he can do."

Whether it is Hutton or Allen in net, the Blues will need another solid effort in the crease as they host the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time Thursday night.

Vegas, the surprise leader of the Pacific Division, has an eight-game winning streak after 3-0 victory over Nashville on Tuesday and is 12-0-1 in its last 13 contests. It is the longest winning and point streaks by an NHL expansion team.

To put it in perspective, that's a longer winning streak in three months of existence than the Stars have had in 50 years as a franchise in Minnesota and now in Dallas.

"If we keep playing the kind of hockey we're playing, we're going to win a lot of hockey games," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Sun. "The guys are competing, playing hard and believing in themselves."

This is the second of three meetings between St. Louis and Vegas. The Golden Knights beat the Blues 3-2 in overtime Oct. 21.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:58 am 
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Almost started it's own thread but I'll just air it here:

How about those Golden Knights?

I didn't think they'd be bad, honestly. But this? Jeeze. You got some young guys who are in the right situation just taking the ball and running with the extra ice time, a defense that is young and stupidely over-achieving, a team that has probably bonded with not only each other but the community in the wake of the events in September... it's just nuts.

I legitimately wonder what McPhee does at the deadline with the likes of Neal and Perron now. I'm certain the presumption would be that they would be out of the hunt and flip these guys for more draft assets and prospects but now what do you do? But anyway...

Tonight...

Blues 2
Knights 4

They're just white hot right now...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:01 am 
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It will be interesting to see who Yeo puts in net tonight. Regardless if it's Allen or Hutton, they're going to be tested hard.

One little pet peeve of mine that's developed regarding the Golden Knights- everyone refers to them as the Vegas Golden Knights, not the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Is the city not named Las Vegas anymore? I understand it's easier and more common to just say Vegas when you are speaking or referencing them in passing (and that's fine), but I am specifically referring to written articles or official publications like game writeups, or even the box score on websites- the "official" score has the city listed as "Vegas" instead of "Las Vegas."

Example:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:13 am 
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Vegas is playing themselves right out of long term success. No matter what they do at the deadline they’ll blow it. Either they keep Neal and Perron (and others) and ultimately screw themselves out of prime draft picks or trade them both when it’s too late and end up aggravating the fan base and missing out on good picks at the same time. An expansion team which has early success will ultimately have long term limited success. See: Florida Panthers. For that matter, see the Blues as well.

As far as tonight goes, we’re not winning.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:07 pm 
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gaijin wrote:
It will be interesting to see who Yeo puts in net tonight. Regardless if it's Allen or Hutton, they're going to be tested hard.

One little pet peeve of mine that's developed regarding the Golden Knights- everyone refers to them as the Vegas Golden Knights, not the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Is the city not named Las Vegas anymore? I understand it's easier and more common to just say Vegas when you are speaking or referencing them in passing (and that's fine), but I am specifically referring to written articles or official publications like game writeups, or even the box score on websites- the "official" score has the city listed as "Vegas" instead of "Las Vegas."

Example:


Vegas is the official name of the team. There's no Las.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Nice goal by Steen! Blues take the early lead, after failing on a well played power play!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Stastny jams in the puck sitting alone at the post!!! Blues lead 2-1!!!

And Bortuzzo dives across to block a sure goal!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Wow. Big win! 3 in a row, and against some good teams.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:06 pm 
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This was a fun one to watch. It seems like they are learning how to play without Schwartz.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:37 am 
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glen a richter wrote:
Vegas is playing themselves right out of long term success. No matter what they do at the deadline they’ll blow it. Either they keep Neal and Perron (and others) and ultimately screw themselves out of prime draft picks or trade them both when it’s too late and end up aggravating the fan base and missing out on good picks at the same time. An expansion team which has early success will ultimately have long term limited success. See: Florida Panthers. For that matter, see the Blues as well.

As far as tonight goes, we’re not winning.


The Blues benefited heavily from a system that guaranteed an expansion team would make the Finals, I wouldn't consider that the same thing.

The Panthers... hell, trading Stu Barnes was the catalyst for their collapse after the Finals (among other things, but that trade put them into a skid), so trading a player is probably not a good idea unless it's the right player to trade.

Saying that, I absolutely would not carry Perron into the playoffs with me if it was my team. Clock strikes twelve and he turns into a damn pumpkin; useless in the playoffs. There is absolutely no way in hell James Neal gets traded.

I do agree that you build up the core and picks for the future, but you got the right people at the right time in the right situation; Gallant has these guys right, McPhee is surprising the heck out of me and I see them as buyers at the deadline. I expect them to make the run and they absolutely should. You don't take your foot off the gas if you're running this good and you don't sabotage today for the hopes of what you already got running. That's just silly.

But say they do fall apart in the playoffs, let's all hope that it happens when we're playing them :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:52 am 
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WaukeeBlues wrote:
gaijin wrote:
It will be interesting to see who Yeo puts in net tonight. Regardless if it's Allen or Hutton, they're going to be tested hard.

One little pet peeve of mine that's developed regarding the Golden Knights- everyone refers to them as the Vegas Golden Knights, not the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Is the city not named Las Vegas anymore? I understand it's easier and more common to just say Vegas when you are speaking or referencing them in passing (and that's fine), but I am specifically referring to written articles or official publications like game writeups, or even the box score on websites- the "official" score has the city listed as "Vegas" instead of "Las Vegas."

Example:


Vegas is the official name of the team. There's no Las.


I reject your reality and substitute my own. :grin:

Nice to be back on top of the Central. Although that is slightly inflated due to the number of games played we have compared to other teams.

And look who's down in last place. That's just a shame. :hawkssuck:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 7:48 am 
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This is what I meant by the Blues haven't been playing poorly, even when this stretch where they weren't winning as often started when Schwartz went down. The difference - Blues are getting some puck luck - the puck being behind Fleury right where the ref can see it, so he doesn't blow it dead. That is some serious luck. Catching that off-side in the prior game.

Along with getting ridiculous goaltending from Hutton.

Wins.

IMO, they are still a .500ish (currently 5-7-0) with Schwartz out, because his impact is about a goal per game (even if he isn't the one scoring it, getting the assist, or on the ice when it is scored). That difference means the Blues have been in more 1-goal games.

Since and not including Dec 10th, 12 games played. 6 of them are straight up 1 goal games. The Blues won half. Dallas game, while a 2-goal loss included an empty net goal. Vancouver, 2-goal win, included an empty net goal. So 8 of 12 were essentially one goal games and the Blues have been .500 in those games. IMO, with Schwartz, that winning percentage in those type games goes up dramatically. The 4 games which weren't 1 goal games (if we count EN games as 1-goal games), were the first four after Schwartz got hurt and the Blues went 1-3 losing to Tampa, Anaheim, beating the Jets, and losing to the Jets. From that point on, the Blues have played solid games without getting the consistent winning results they were getting before due to basically a missing goal per game. It took 4 games to adjust to playing without Schwartz and it's taken a few more games for the coach and team to figure out who needs to play where and that needs to constantly shift so whomever has the hot-hand in any given game is given the best opportunity each night.

With the Blues having a heavy Eastern Conference schedule in January, it's time for them to feast on that conference like they did to start the season. The concern is will they continue to get just enough scoring and lights out goaltending. Don't see that happening every game, so still think this will be more of a roller coaster with a large number of 1-goal games and the Blues floating around .500 until a) someone else steps up (like Thompson has done) or b) Schwartz returns

I just wish the Paajarvi, Sundqvist, Thorburn area was over and we could see more talented players given the same opportunity, instead of the team still being stuck on size and speed mattering more than skill and speed.

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