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Power Rankings: Blues' hot goalkeeping keeps them on top

by | NHL Blogger

Coach Ken Hitchcock has directed the Blues' goaltenders to the best save percentage in the NHL. (Getty Images)  
Coach Ken Hitchcock has directed the Blues' goaltenders to the best save percentage in the NHL. (Getty Images)  

The St. Louis Blues remain in the driver’s seat to finish with the best record in the NHL this season, which would give them their second Presidents Trophy in franchise history.

It's been one of the most remarkable stories in the league, and on a team of surprises and unexpected performances, there remains no bigger surprise than the play of goaltenders Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak.

As a team, they've been the hardest club in the NHL to score against, and the duo of Halak and Elliott has the best save percentage in the NHL at .930, and together they've managed to shut out their opponents an incredible 14 times this season with still six games to play.

To put that number in some perspective, since the start of the 2005-06 season there have only been 17 teams to finish the regular season with even 10 shutouts, and until the Blues this season, no team had finished with more than 12 (the '07-08 Rangers and the '06-07 Devils).

Head coach Ken Hitchcock, always a great coach for goalies, certainly deserves a great deal of credit for that since taking over behind the bench for Davis Payne early in the season, but when free agent goaltenders were being discussed over the summer Elliott hardly received a mention. While everybody was trying to figure out where Ilya Bryzgalov or Tomas Vokoun would sign, the Blues signed Elliott on the first day of free agency for $600,000.

It's proven to be one of the biggest bargains, and best signings, any team made, and it's been a big part as to why they're at the top of the NHL standings.


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