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Category: St-Louis-Blues

Morning Line - Ken Hitchcock

“We’re not playing the right way. We made a heck of a run here playing the right way, no odd-man rushes, don’t force offense, don’t give the puck away and make hope-for plays offensively. We’ve had a shoot-first mentality that allowed us to be top five in the league in scoring goals. But we don’t want to play the right way. We want to play a different game right now. Until we buy into that, we’re going to have some rough water we have to go through.

 

“When you force offense and you play careless with the puck, when you have defensemen who want to play ahead of the forwards, you end up with a recipe for disaster. … We’ve given up more odd-man rushes in six hockey games than we did in two months last year. You can’t win like that. The alarm bell’s going off.”

-Ken Hitchcock, coach of the St. Louis Blues after losing 4-1 at home to Vancouver.  More on the game from Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Below, watch Hitchcock's post-game...

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  Tags: ken+hitchcock

Paul Stastny Listed As Week-To-Week With Shoulder Injury

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues forward Paul Stastny indeed sustained a shoulder injury in Saturday’s victory over Arizona and has been downgraded to week to week by the club.

Stastny remained in a sling Sunday, when the Blues closed out their three-game road trip against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

The injury occurred in the opening minute of Saturday’s game, when the Coyotes’ Martin Hanzal laid a hit along the boards on Stastny, who was in an awkward position.

continued

Watch the hit below...

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Videos- Paul Stastny And Curtis McElhinney Injured On Saturday

via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Stastny was hit by Arizona’s Martin Hanzal along the boards and then was bumped again later in his shift. He headed to the locker room just 59 seconds into the game and didn’t return due to what the team labeled an “upper-body” injury.

“He’s not going to play (Sunday) and then we’ll just see,” Hitchcock said. “He took a hit there and he’s kind of day-to-day and then we’ll just see where we’re at.”

 

Columbus goaltender Curtis McElhinney was also injured last night and no update on his condition. 

Watch how the injury happened below...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: curtis+mcelhinney, paul+stastny

The Blues Want To Keep Their Identity

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Added Backes: “We’ve played the Eastern Conference champ (Rangers) and now we’re going to play the Stanley Cup champs ... two out of the first three games. We’re going to see what kind of gumption we have, what kind of resolve we have. If we beat them, it’s going to be a feather in our cap. If we’re not up to it, it’s going to be another reality check that we’ve got a ton of work to do. We’re going to do everything we can the next few days to get ourselves on the good side of that coin.”

While the Blues will be evaluated by the final result, the more accurate measurement in the team’s eyes is continuing to cement its identity. They got it back Saturday and now they want to keep it.

“It’s not about wins and losses early on,” Shattenkirk said. “I think the team that gets to their disciplined, structured game quickly and follows the game plan are the teams that have success early on in the season. And we’ve been able to do that in the past and get off to some good starts.

“It’s going to be important that we do it again this year. We have some tough tests ahead of us and the key is, when we’re in those hostile environments, to stick with it and trust our game plan that the coaches put forward and know that our abilities in this locker room are going allow us to execute and be successful.”

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Ken Hitchcock Deals With The Pressure Of Winning

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

“I really believe that pressure is a privilege,” Hitchcock said. “When people say you’ve got a good team and you should do well, it’s a privilege. I look at it, ‘If there isn’t pressure to play in the playoffs, this is really, really boring,’ and I think I would lose interest. I want that responsibility, so I look at it as a real opportunity and a real privilege.”

When the Blues and Hitchcock picked up the mutual option on his contract for this season May 7, less than two weeks after the club’s first-round playoff exit, it was a decision the coach with the seventh-most wins in NHL history strongly claimed belonged to him.

“I’m at the stage in my career where the decision to go one year at a time is mine — not anybody else’s — Ken Hitchcock’s,” said Hitchcock, who won a Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999 and is one victory short in St. Louis of registering at least 125 regular-season wins with four franchises (Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus and the Blues).

“The reason for that is, I’ve reached a stage in my career where I don’t want to cheat a franchise. The day I don’t want to learn and get better, the day I don’t want to go back and tweak, the day I just close the books and don’t work at it, I don’t want to be a coach.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

What’s Next For Paul Bissonnette After Being Released From PTO By The Blues

from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch,

"I'm just going to go home and wait by the phone," he said. "If nothing else works out as far as an NHL contract, I'd love to stay in the (Blues') organization and sign a two-way with Chicago (Wolves). I'm not sure if that's the plan. They kind of talked about that. When you don't have too many options, that's the thing. I just want to play hockey.

"I'm thankful for the time I've spent in the NHL and I understand that I'm kind of a borderline guy as far as skill-set is concerned. But if anyone needs a fourth-line grinder, and someone who is responsible, I'll gladly do the job."

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  Tags: paul+bissonnette

Previewing The St. Louis Blues

from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet,

Biggest storyline to watch: Is this the year the Blues put it all together? They’ve been a sneaky Stanley Cup pick the last three seasons but ended up losing to either the defending or eventual Cup champs (Kings twice, Blackhawks once). One reason they fell short against the Blackhawks was that a number of key players were dealing with injuries. However, even if they get bitten by the injury bug again, that can’t be an excuse this season. They’ve got the depth to persevere.

2014-15 prediction: Although he’ll enter the season as the backup, Jake Allen, he of just 13 career starts, will eventually leapfrog Elliott, finish the season with 20-plus wins, a save percentage north of .915 and will start Game 1 of the opening round.

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The Hitchcock Way

from Justin Bourne of The Score,

Ken Hitchcock's conservative coaching style seems to limit the Blues shot output

Nobody’s ever accused Ken Hitchcock of coaching his hockey teams to play like the Russian Red Army, and the Blues of 2013-14 provided the latest reminder why. From his Dallas teams on out, he’s always preferred the safe play to run-and-gun hockey.

This “safety first” approach to decision making (particularly through the middle) has worked well for St. Louis, who’s been a home ice playoff team in the West three straight seasons. What it does do, unfortunately, is limit the offense of a roster that wasn’t exactly dripping with it. Being careful with the puck is great when you’ve got natural producers; when you don’t, you can run into problems scoring. That they’ve won a mere five playoff games through four series over three years speaks to that.

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Bob Gainey Hired As Coaching Consultant For The St. Louis Blues

via TSN,

Former Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey will be used as a coaching consultant for the St. Louis Blues during the season.

In his new capacity, Gainey will talk with current Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock throughout the year.

The Peterborough, Ontario native was general manager of the Canadiens from 2003-10, amassing a regular season record of 241-176-46-7.

He also served as an adviser for the Canadiens until 2012.  

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  Tags: bob+gainey

RFA Jaden Schwartz Re-Signs With The St. Louis Blues

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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