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Connor McDavid, Meet Ken Hitchcock

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

Hitchcock is going to demand defense from McDavid, and test him like he did to past stars like Mike Modano and Tyler Seguin. But he said his new star already has the traits to get the job done -- and will thus have the puck more.

"His recovery rate, cardio-wise, is astounding,” Hitchcock told reporters in Anaheim. “He’s able to get back up to speed quickly. That’s something we’ve got to take advantage of. He can come out every second shift if it stays 5-on-5. My focus is going to be building his game from our end out. He needs to have the puck more, as do all of our centers, because that’s the strength of the team."...

McDavid is having another huge year, with 13 goals and a league-high 32 points in 22 games, but Chiarelli just didn't put enough around him. Hitchcock wants McDavid with the puck and to be more aware defensively. During the San Jose game, NBC's Jeremy Roenick spotlighted McDavid making a sweeping turn in the defensive zone, too slow to cover the slot before a goal was scored. He said Hitchcock will demand stops and starts and quick strides to make better defensive decisions.

"He’s a different style of coach and a new voice,” said McDavid. “He just wants us to play hard. That’s one thing that all of his teams have, everyone brings their effort every night. Any time you bring in a new coach it’s the last option before shipping everyone out. That’s what we’ve reached here. This is a chance for us to come together and try to make something out of this.”

more plus other hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: connor+mcdavid, ken+hitchcock

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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.

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