When the Blues take the ice tonight for Ken Hitchcock's first game on the bench, Jaroslav Halak will be in net. Perhaps Halak's second consecutive solid outing in Minnesota on Saturday is the reason for the start, or perhaps it's the new coach showing immediate confidence in his No. 1 goaltender.

While Halak's record was dropping to 1-6 and his goals-against average bloating to 3.35, he had been battling for time in the crease with Brian Elliott under former coach Davis Payne. Hitchcock said that he's aware of Elliott's strong performance this season (5-1, 1.72 GAA), but he is going with Halak against Chicago at 7 tonight at Scottrade Center.

"I'm happy I'm getting the start (Tuesday), and I'll just go out there and do my best," Halak said. "(Hitchcock) has been around a long time, he's been in the playoffs, he's won a Stanley Cup ... so he knows what it takes. I'm pretty sure he has a lot of good things to bring in the locker room and everybody is excited for a fresh start."