The St. Louis Blues improved to 16-9-3 after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Thursday night at the Scottrade Center.
The Blues are 10-2-3 under new head coach Ken Hitchcock. Ian Cole, who was promoted from Peoria immediately after Hitchcock was hired, made a spot start in place of Kevin Shattenkirk who sat out with the flu. Cole was impressive. He notched a go-ahead goal at 7:39 in the 2nd and added an assist to give him a career high two-point game.
T.J. Oshie was also impressive. He scored a goal late in the 2nd period and added an empty netter to seal the game. His tenacious play continues to shine. Paired with captain David Backes and Alex Steen, the first line play has been outstanding.
All things considered, the Ducks are a bad hockey team. Jonas Hiller was mediocre in net, but the Blues capitalized on turnovers. Cole’s goal came after Matt D’Agostini’s slap shot ricocheted off a defenders skate directly onto Cole’s stick. He buried it top shelf.
Jaroslav Halak was dominant. He robbed Duck shooters with his glove all night. He stopped 21-23 shots and continues to bounce back strong after a slow start.
Opposing broadcasters are impressed with the Blues’ relentless style. Often times, when a new head coach comes in, the initial energy can be an apparition, but the Blues look like a legit contender. Their 35 points leaves them in 5th place in the Western Conference but trail first place Chicago by only 3 points.
St. Louis hosts the San Jose Sharks Saturday night. The Sharks are coming off a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars and will be eager to get revenge after a 4-2 loss earlier this season at the HP Pavilion.