Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Blues' Jaroslav Halak won't play in Game 4
By Pierre LeBrun
St. Louis Blues netminder Jaroslav Halak did not take part in practice Wednesday as a suspected ankle injury keeps him on the shelf.
"He’s not going to play obviously tomorrow," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after practice. "He skated yesterday. So we’ll just keep him working back toward here sometime, but right now he’s just not available. So Brian's [Brian Elliott] the guy."
Elliott has been rock solid since taking over early in the second period of Game 2 when Halak was injured.
"We’ve had confidence in [Elliott] since Day 1," said Hitchcock.
"I don’t think a lot bothers him. And if it does bother him, he shakes it off pretty quickly. He’s got good focus."
Sharks' changes don't go unnoticedThe Blues were cognizant of the Sharks’ lineup changes, at least what San Jose displayed at practice Wednesday.
"They’ve obviously made some changes, I think it’s the coach’s obligation to make changes," Hitchcock said. "I think when you’re not happy with your team, win or lose, you have to make changes."
Michal Handzus, who played for Hitchcock in Philadelphia, could possibly be playing in his first game of the playoffs for the Sharks if lines from Wednesday’s practice hold firm.
"I know Michal very well and he’s a proud guy, he’s going to want to get in and you’re going to get 100 percent from him," Hitchcock said.
The Blues are leaning toward the same lineup from Game 3.
"Same lineup but I think you’ll see a different rotation," Hitchcock said.