Entries with the tag: ken hitchcock
With the Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, every hockey fan is dreaming about the potential of their favorite hockey team.
Puckheads across North America are starting to think about 16 wins, big-time performances, clutch goals, big saves and some great hockey in general. As of this moment, the potential is limitless.
With that said, here are four somewhat surprising teams that you do not want to end up playing in the first round should your team clinch a spot in the postseason this year:
- New York Islanders
As a whole, the New York Islanders may not have a lot of playoff experience but boy, are they hungry to make some noise when it matters the most.
They are playing some of their best hockey at the crucial point of the season and are getting great performances from their young players. The Islanders are fast, they go to the net and they can score.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, brian+elliott, columbus+blue+jackets, evgeni+nabokov, ken+hitchcock, new+york+islanders, sergei+bobrovsky, st.+louis+blues, washington+capitals
Yesterday evening, I had the honor and privilege of speaking to one of my hockey idols, John Davidson, President of Hockey Operations for the St. Louis Blues.
JD was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to talk about his team getting into the playoffs, how the team’s fan base has been, the influece of head coach Ken Hitchcock and much, much more.
St Louis No Longer Singing The Blues
While things certainly did not look too rosy in the beginning of the season for the St. Louis Blues, the hockey club got their act together and is now one of the top teams in the entire National Hockey League.
With over 100 points and currently atop the Western Conference, the Blues have surprised many this season. However, when looking at how the organization has evolved and developed over the season, it really should not come as a surprise to anyone just how successful the Blues have been this year.
It starts at the top with President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and team General Manager Doug Armstrong. When things were not going exactly as planned for the first month of the season, the two executives had to make a tough decision and fire then head coach Davis Payne.
“Davis was a good, good hockey coach,” Davidson explained. “We just felt that at the time, we needed to get some experience for our hockey club.”
After the St. Louis Blues stumbled out of the gate, many hockey fans and media alike thought that this was going to be another one of those playoff-less season for the hockey club.
Well, a little more than halfway through the 2011-12 NHL campaign, it appears that those fortunes have changed. The Blues are currently fifth in the Western Conference with a 25-12-6 record and 56 points.
One main reason for the club’s turnaround has been the coaching of Ken Hitchcock. Since taking over the Blues for Davis Payne, Hitchcock has gone 21-11-0-5. “Hitch” has the team playing smart, responsible hockey at both ends of the ice and has his team believing that they can accomplish big things this season.
Secondly, the team has been getting outstanding goaltending from both Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak. Elliott has been a tremendous surprise for the Blues this season after signing a two-way contract prior to the season starting. Elliott has rewarded the Blues by going 15-5-1 in 22 games with a goals against average of 1.68, a .937 save percentage and 5 shutouts.