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Hitchcock: “I think this series is going to shock and surprise people”

Apr 28, 2012, 4:19 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 14: Brian Elliott #1 of the St. Louis Blues warms up before Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the San Jose Sharks during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center on April 14, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Great goaltending and solid defense are the keys to success in the playoffs. At least, that seems to be the lesson to take from the four first-round series in the Western Conference.

While the Philadelphia Flyers showed that you can still sometimes survive by overwhelming your opponent, the four remaining Western Conference teams feature a formula that often leads to low-scoring games.

That’s what made Friday’s second-round opener between the Phoenix Coyotes vs the Nashville Predators so surprising. While it wasn’t exactly reminiscent of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, there were plenty of scoring chances to be had.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thinks that the St. Louis-Los Angeles series might end up following a similar path.

“I think this series is going to shock and surprise people,” Hitchcock said. “I don’t think you can keep that standard up: one goal, one goal, one goal. I don’t think you can keep that up. I think when emotion gets as high as it does, just like it did last night, I think the legs get a little bit rubbery, I think you see the players more on the move, like you did last night. And I think you’re going to see more scoring chances because of it.”

It’s worth noting that Hitchcock still doesn’t think this will be a high-scoring series. It’s also possible, as LA Kings Insider’s Rich Hammond pointed out, that Hitchcock might be engaging in a bit of gamesmanship. Still, this is the playoffs and anything can happen.

  1. barcthespark - Apr 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    They don’t call Hitchcock the Master of Suspense for nothing.

    • blugold94 - Apr 28, 2012 at 8:54 PM

      I just registered to make a comment after years of just reading because in a vast wasteland of comments, this one made me laugh immediately. Kudos!

      • blomfeld - Apr 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM

        Welcome friend … and GO KINGS GO ! :)

  2. blomfeld - Apr 28, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Hitchcock thinks this series is going to shock and surprise people ?

    Yes it sure will … starting with you pal ! :) GO KINGS GO !

  3. lesleyvissersfacelift - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    I thought the proper phrase was “shock and awe”.

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