Goaltending Gets It Done

It's true that defense wins championships, and the best defense for the St. Louis Blues are their goaltenders.

The duo of Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak have combined to let in the 3rd fewest goals in the entire NHL.

Brian Elliot is having a remarkable year and has earned himself a trip to the All-Star game. He's 15-5 with a microscopic 1.68 GAA. That's second in the NHL (Tuukka Rask, Boston 1.59).

After a slow start to the season, Jaro Halak has really responded to the coaching change. He's currently one of the hottest goaltenders in the league. He has improved his record to 10-7-5 with a fantastic 2.19 GAA.

It doesn't seem to matter which one of these guys is between the pipes on gameday, they have proved to new coach Ken Hitchcock and their teammates that they truly are the last line of defense, and a strong one at that. They have a combined 7 shutouts this year.

Strong goaltending is something that this Blues franchise has occasionally struggled to find. They have been through a long list of goalies searching for steadiness. They have gotten it from guys like Grant Fuhr, Roman Turek, Brent Johnson, Manny Legace and Curtis Sanford. But many of these guys were either at the end of their career like Fuhr, or failed to put together year-to-year consistency or remain healthy.

Having two strong and confident goaltenders at this current time gives the Blues a world of confidence and results in wins. The Blues are currently first in the Central Division and 2nd in the Western Conference behind Vancouver (as of Jan.14).

The strong goaltending sets the tone for the rest of the team, including the defensemen, who lay their bodies on the line to block shots and do everything they can to help out. The Blues are one of the league leaders in fewest shots allowed per game.

As the Blues pass the mid-way point of their season, they find themselves near the top of the league in goaltending and defense, and it's exactly the style they have to play to be successful the rest of the way and into the playoffs.

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