As the Blues try to shake off back-to-back losses tonight when they face the Vancouver Canucks, they'll remain without starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Halak, who is on the injured-reserve list because a bruised right hand, will miss his fourth consecutive game and his sixth in the team's last 10. He traveled Wednesday with the Blues for the start of their three-game trip but won't play tonight, leading to speculation he could play in Edmonton on Friday or Calgary on Sunday. His stint on the seven-day IR is retroactive to Feb. 14, so he could come off any time. "When Jaro is ready, so be it, but right now we're confident in our two goaltenders," Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. In the four games Halak has missed, Ty Conklin is 1-1 with a 2.61 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage. Ben Bishop, who made his first appearance of the season Saturday, is 1-1 with a 3.16 GAA and an .895 save percentage. Halak being back, however, might not be enough to help the Blues in their push for a playoff spot. Aside from the fact that he's 11-16-5 with a 3.01 GAA and an .899 save percentage since starting 8-1-1 with figures of 1.46 and .939, his hand injury could be a problem if it continues to linger. After missing two games this month, he played four straight and then went on IR. But looking past the goaltending, the Blues have other issues - namely old habits. The team made two trades last week, and the initial results were positive. After dealing Eric Brewer to Tampa Bay and then moving Erik Johnson and Jay McClement to Colorado, the Blues won 9-3 over Anaheim with one of the newcomers, ex-Av Chris Stewart, netting two goals. But since then, the club has lost its last two games. The Blues were in both games, tied 2-2 in each, but had long lapses that led to a 4-3 loss to Chicago and a 5-3 defeat to Colorado, allowing the Avs to snap a 10-game losing streak.
Halak might be close to returning for Blues
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Feb 24