May 1, 2012, 12:55 AM EDT
After a crushing Game 2 loss (and particularly a stunning 4-0 first period), St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock was quick to praise the Los Angeles Kings for their 5-2 win. The veteran bench boss wasn’t too harsh toward his young – and potentially rattled – team and was probably wise to take it easy on Brian Elliott since Jaroslav Halak isn’t walking through that door anytime soon.
Instead, Hitchcock critiqued the team’s collective efforts when discussing the game in front of Lou Korac and others.
“They checked us hard and we coughed up the puck,” Hitchcock said. “We made mistakes.”
Hitchcock also brought up the Blues’ anemic power play, if you want a more specific criticism. He has good reason to critique the man advantage, too. St. Louis went 0-for-9 in Game 2 (one shorthanded goal allowed), 0-for-12 in the series so far (three SHG allowed) and 0-for-23 in the regular season. One might have to bump that power play from a “problem” to a “crisis.”
Getting Alex Pietrangelo back might be the easiest way to make things a little better, but he’s still day-to-day according to Hitchcock.
One way or another, improving special teams and defensive coverage is the name of the game for St. Louis. If Hitchcock wants to make his Jack Adams nomination ring true, he’ll have to find a way to get through to his struggling young team immediately.
He might be justified in taking his relatively gentle approach, though.
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 11
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 10
- Sounds like it’s Rundblad, not TVR, in for Chicago on defense 16
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ 39
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 17
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 6
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ (49)