It hosts concerts, circuses, conventions and plenty of sporting events. But these days, St. Louis' Scottrade Center is the site of the best home team in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues are 17-3-1 at home this season, tops in the league and a big reason why they're first in the Central Division and second in the Western Conference (as of Jan. 7th).
These days, it doesn't really matter what team visits town, the Blues find convincing ways to send them home disappointed, and they do it in several ways.
It all starts with goaltending and the combo of Brian Elliot and Jaro Halak are on top of their game. Coach Ken Hitchcock brushes off any questions of a goalie controversy. These guys get the job done whenever they get the call in net.
Helping out the goalies are the solid core of defensemen. Veteran Barrett Jackman quarterbacks the team of blueliners that features some of the brightest talent in the league.
Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk may be young, but they play with confidence and patience and should patrol the Blues back end for many years to come.
What really sets the tone for the team is the work ethic.
You can see it from captain David Backes, TJ Oshie, Alex Steen, and David Perron. These guys skate hard and finish their hits. Even if a player touches the puck for a second, they make sure he pays the price. The Blues deliver an intimidating message to their opponents that they won't be out-worked or beat at home in front of the sellout crowd.
T.J. Oshie: "Our crowd is phenomenal...that really lifts your spirits and gives you confidence out there."
The fans are loving it and the players salute them at center ice after every win. If the Blues can continue to be successful at home, while playing .500 on the road, they'll challenge for one of the tops spots in the Western Conference, and be rewarded with a home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
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