Game #42

St. Louis vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Jan. 10/2011 – 7:35pm


Game Notes-

…..The trade on June 17, 2010 was Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis in return for Lars Eller and LW Ian Schults, now with Hamilton.  This is Halak’s game in Montreal since the deal. He is 1-5-3 in road games this season but has allowed only eight goals in his last five.

…..Since the trade Halak faced his former team March 10 of last season in St. Louis, beating Price and the Canadiens with 27 saves in a 4-1 victory.

…..The Blues other goaltender Brian Elliott leads all West goalies with a 1.62 goals-against average, Halak has been almost as good since a shaky start to the season. He hasn’t lost in regulation in his last nine starts and is 8-1-5 with a 1.81 GAA in 14 outings since Hitchcock took over Nov. 6.

…Carey Price made 23 stops Saturday as Montreal (16-18-7) beat Tampa Bay 3-1 for its second straight win following a 1-7-0 stretch.  Last year he led the NHL with 38 wins.

….Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin leads all rookies with 115 hits this season and average of .  Raphael Diaz leads rookies with 77 blocked shots.

….Lars Eller saw a season-high 20:00 of ice time Saturday but went pointless, having a goal disallowed because he directed it in off his skate.

….The Blues are 1-3-2 away from home since the start of December. In three of the five losses they’ve held the lead or have been tied in the third period.

Halak is 1-5-3 in road games this season but has allowed only eight goals in his last five.

….. Erik Cole has improved with every month as a Canadien.  He scored on just 6.5 percent of his shots on goal in October, 10.6 percent in November before connecting on 20.9 percent in December.  He has a goal and two assists in his first two games in January.  He is still looking for his first career goal against St. Louis, having collected just three assists in 10 games.

…..St. Louis went 5 for 13 on the man advantage while sweeping a three-game homestand.

…..At the halfway point, the Blues are 24-12-5 overall and 18-5-5 since Hitchcock took over Nov. 6. The 53 points are the most after 41 games since the team rang up 61 in the 2000-01 season.

…..Only Vancouver has more points (55) than the Blues in the NHL’s Western conference.  The Blues are tied with Detroit at 53 points.

…..Under Ken Hitchcock the Blues are ranked second in the NHL in fewest goals allowed  and in save percentage. They were 20th in the NHL in goals per game before the  change and are 14th since Hitchcock took over.

The Cold Hard Stats

Season Records – St. Louis – 41GP (24-12-3)  53pts.      Canadiens – 41GP (16-18-7) 39pts.

Last Ten Games – St. Louis 6-3-1      Canadiens – 3-7-0

Last Time Out – Blues shut out Colorado 4-0 at home Saturday.   Canadiens beat Tampa Bay 3-1 at the Bell Centre.

Home/Road – St. Louis on the Road (7-9-3)    Canadiens at Home (7-7-6)

Goaltending – St. Louis – Jaroslav Halak – 21 GP (9-7-5) 2.29iGAA   .911save% – 1 shutout.   Canadiens – Carey Price – 36GP (15-14-7) 2.45GAA  .913save% – 2 shutouts.

Special Teams – Power Play – St. Louis ranked 22nd   14.8% (21/142)  Canadiens ranked 30th – 13% (21/161)   Penalty Killing – St. Louis ranked 18th – 82.5% (25/140)   Canadiens ranked 3rd – 88.5% (18/156

Who’s Hot –  St. Louis -D-Alex Pietrangelo recorded his third consecutive multipoint game at home Saturday night.  Canadiens -. Erik Cole has 4 goals and 3 assists his last five games.   Michael Cammalleri has 3 goals his last five games.  Lars Eller scored four goals and an assist his last two games.

The Missing – St. Louis – D-Ian Cole (IR-hamstring); D-Kent Huskins ((IR-ankle); C-Andy R-concussion); RW-Ryan Reeves (hip); D-Kris Russell (IR-groin); C-Alexander Steen (IR-concussion).  Canadiens – C-Scott Gomez (IR-groin); D-Andrei Markov (IR-arthroscopic knee surgery); RW-Ryan White (IR-sports  hernia surgery); D-Brendon Nash (IR-shoulder surgery)