October 10, 2013

steve laidlaw

2013-10-10

 

Pretty slow night with only three games. The first game of the night was a battle between the Central Division juggernauts the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. It was a tight back-and-forth affair. Each time St. Louis pulled ahead, the Blackhawks responded with minutes with a tally of their own. Ultimately the Blues pulled the game out with a goal from Alex Steen with just 22 seconds remaining giving the Blackhawks little time to respond.


I hope we get to see this unfold as a seven-game series come playoff time.


Jaroslav Halak posted another gem stopping all 25 shots he faced at even strength with the two goals he allowed coming against the Blackhawks' power play. That power play is one that struggled last season but with all that talent they should be unreal and so far they have been ranking sixth in the league at 36.7% (although the sample size this early in the season is too small to make any conclusions).


Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews combined for all six points for the Blackhawks. They also led the team in power play time with 22 seconds apiece – that's efficiency right there! Bryan Bickell and Duncan Keith were the other two who received power play time for the Blackhawks.


Keith and defense partner Brent Seabrook were each minus-two on the night, which puts them among the worst in the league in plus/minus to begin the season. I wouldn't fret that too much. By the end of the year they will do just fine.


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On the other side, Alex Pietrangelo continued his hot start to the season registering another two assists last night. He and Jay Bouwmeester who also notched an assist led the Blues in ice time yet again. Interestingly, the pair was used for just second unit power play duties, which figures to be the biggest snag in Pietrangelo's Norris Trophy potential this season.


The Blues have preferred to go with Kevin Shattenkirk and forward Alex Steen on the blue line of their top power play unit to start this season, which is something they have done in the past although with Ken Hitchcock it is rare to see him stick with any combination too long. It's hard to argue with the results however as the Blues are currently second in the league in power play efficiency (again sample size issues abound) after finishing a very solid