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Ken Hitchcock using fear to motivate his team as deadline approaches

Feb 18, 2012, 10:16 AM EDT

Ken Hitchcock AP

We’re in the silly season of the trade deadline and with the St. Louis Blues in contention for the Stanley Cup this season, people are curious as to how much they’ll be tweaking things for their playoff run.

According to Dan O’Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Blues might just be keeping quiet. With guys like Alex Steen and Matt D’Agostini still out with injuries and Jason Arnott, Andy McDonald, and Kent Huskins just back from their own ailments it’s like acquiring new talent.

Coach Ken Hitchcock tells O’Neill that he has another way to keep the guys on his roster motivated.

“We’re getting close to the trade deadline, so we want as many players as we can maneuver around. We want to keep the players on edge that aren’t performing, so they understand that it’s not a given. They’re not just going to get a spot on the team and keep it. It’s going to be performance-based. And the third thing is, we want to know that if somebody goes down, we’ve got somebody comparable to come in.”

That fear of playing well or else you’ll be benched or shipped out is a powerful one and with the Blues being one of the better teams in the Western Conference, it’s a strong reminder that you’d better keep things right or else.

  1. drewsylvania - Feb 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Fear….will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battlestation.

  2. busieks - Feb 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    HE IS TALKING TO YOU CHRIS STEWART!

  3. baddorange - Feb 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Call it what you want. The Blues are playing well and have been since Hitchcock came on board.

  4. eastcoastcynic - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Too much fear over the long term with a team potentially causes players to play too tight and they’re not capable of executing the skills they’re naturally capable of displaying. They’ll also quit and tune out the coach ergo fired coach, e.g., Ted Sator w/ Rangers and the Sabres, Keenan w/ Flyers, and I’m sure many other examples.

  5. eastcoastcynic - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Too much fear over the long term with a team potentially causes players to play too tight and can render them incapable of executing the skills they’re naturally capable of displaying. They’ll also quit and tune out the coach ergo fired coach, e.g., Ted Sator w/ Rangers and the Sabres, Keenan w/ Flyers, and many other examples out I’ll bet.

  6. eastcoastcynic - Feb 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Sorry for the double post.

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