NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, November 10th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (9-5-1) at St. Louis Blues (7-7-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues will try to go 2-0 with Ken Hitchcock
behind the bench, as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Scottrade
The Blues became the first NHL club to fire its coach this season when they
axed Davis Payne after a 6-7-0 start. The players turned in a strong
performance for their new boss on Tuesday, as the Blues blanked the visiting
Chicago Blackhawks, 3-0.
This is the fourth NHL head coaching job for Hitchcock, who led Dallas to a
Stanley Cup title in 1999.
Jaroslav Halak was the star for St. Louis on Tuesday, making 29 saves to earn
his first shutout of the season. It was the 17th career shutout for Halak, who
is just 2-6-0 with a 2.91 goals-against average on the season.
"When the coaching change happens so fast, you have to look in the mirror and
ask yourself if that's the best that you have. Everybody dug in tonight,
everybody did their best," Halak said.
Vladimir Sobotka, Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie lit the lamp for St. Louis,
which won for the second time in three games to kick off a five-game
The Blues, who are 4-1-0 on home ice this season, lost forward Scott Nichol to
an upper-body injury on Tuesday, but the veteran could play tonight.
Toronto will try to get back on track tonight after losing its last two games
by a combined 12-1 margin.
The Maple Leafs were slammed, 7-0, by visiting Boston on Saturday and were
blown out again on home ice on Tuesday, dropping a 5-1 decision to Florida. It
was the first time this season that Toronto, which is first in the Northeast
Division with 19 points, had lost consecutive games.
Toronto fired 39 shots at the Panthers, but only Phil Kessel scored for the
Leafs. Kessel is leading Toronto and the NHL with 11 goal and 22 points.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 18-of-21 shots before being pulled in the second
period. Ben Scrivens served up two goals on seven chances in relief. With No.
1 goaltender James Reimer still out with head and neck issues, it's unclear if
Gustavsson or Scrivens will get the start tonight,
The Maple Leafs have won three of their last four on the road and are 4-3-0 as
the visiting team this season.
St. Louis has won five of the last seven meetings against the Leafs, but
Toronto posted a 6-5 shootout win on home ice in the only matchup between the
clubs last season. Toronto has dropped two of its last three in St. Louis.
11/10 11:47:04 ET