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Halak could start Blues’ first six games of the season

Jaroslav Halak

St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak, of Slovakia, in goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers Friday, March 1, 2013, in St. Louis. The Blues won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


Heading into the season. St. Louis made a conscious decision to give Jaroslav Halak the majority of the starts this year.

Now it sounds like he might get all of them -- at least for now.

On Monday, head coach Ken Hitchcock said there was “no reason” Halak couldn’t play all of the Blues’ early games, thanks to a schedule that sees them play just six times in 14 days.

“There’s such a big break between games,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ll go with Jaro tonight and then see how it goes ... with all these breaks between games there’s no reason one guy can’t play to start the season.”

Halak has been in goal for St. Louis’ first two games -- wins over the Preds (4-2) and Panthers (7-0) -- and will likely get the call again on Wednesday for a big rivalry match against the defending Cup champion Blackhawks.

From there, the Blues don’t play again until Saturday (Oct. 12), then Tuesday (Oct. 15, against the Rangers), then Thursday (Oct. 17, against the ‘Hawks again).

Add it all up, and it’s possible Brian Elliott doesn’t see the net until Friday, Oct. 18 vs. Winnipeg -- the second of a back-to-back.

“You’re looking probably on back-to-backs and three (games) in four nights we’re going to certainly make the move then,” Hitchcock explained. “Brian’s last two days have been the best we’ve ever seen from him this year, so he looks like he’s ready to go.”