1: St. Louis has a fragile goalie: Test him early and often. Blues goaltender Brian Elliot led the NHL last year in goals against average (1.56) and save percentage (.940) Both numbers were modern NHL records. This year, he has the worst save percentage of any goalie with more than eight starts in the entire NHL. His confidence has been shaken, and although he won his last game, he didn’t start, replacing an injured Jaroslav Halak. He has lost his previous six starts. Shots from everywhere is the recipe.
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2: Push the pace, especially on the back end of the Blues: Yes, St. Louis just picked up a swift-skating defenseman in Jay Bouwmeester, but they still lack speed on the back end. Guys like Barret Jackman and Roman Polak can be tested with their foot speed. Use cycles down low when these guys are on the ice and look for openings to the net.
3: Welcome back, Marian: Marian Hossa has missed the last six games to injury. The Blackhawks have suffered three of their five regulation losses in the last two weeks while the Slovakian sniper was out. The power play is 1-for-16 in the last five games. Hossa will help the power play and he’ll help the puck possession game.