Jul 15, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT
For the St. Louis Blues, signing Paul Stastny was all “about understanding the landscape of the West,” according to head coach Ken Hitchcock.
“The landscape of the West is there are at least eight or 10 teams that are extremely deep and it’s about having enough firepower in your lineup to control the puck,” Hitchcock told NHL.com in a wide-ranging interviewing. “You score more when you control the puck more, so Paul’s patience and the way he plays the game, how responsible he is in both ends of the rink, he really fits our team. He fits the way we already play.”
The so-called “advanced” statistics back up Hitchcock’s claim. Stastny was one of the few positive possession players for Colorado last season, and his departure has many wondering how the Avs will fare without his strong two-way play.
The Blues, meanwhile, were already a good possession team; they just couldn’t get it done in the playoffs. As such, they’re hoping the addition of Stastny can put them over the top in an extremely tough Western Conference — one in which Anaheim has added Ryan Kesler to play behind Ryan Getzlaf, Dallas has added Jason Spezza to go with Tyler Seguin, and Chicago has added Brad Richards to slot in behind Jonathan Toews.
All four of those moves to bring in centers came after the Los Angeles Kings won their second Stanley Cup in three years with a top-six forward group that featured Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter playing the middle, and playing it very well.
- Sens turn to Anderson for Game 3 0
- Silfverberg scores winner with 21 seconds remaining, Ducks complete comeback over Jets 6
- Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’ 59
- So…what do the Oilers do now? 58
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall 164
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action 7
- Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues 16
- Bishop records first career playoff win as Lightning even series with Red Wings 6
- Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks 25
- Blackhawks’ Darling gets the nod for Game 3 30
- Of course they did: Oilers win 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, will select first overall (164)
- Stone suffered microfracture on Subban slash, Sens confirm (102)
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) (99)
- Report: Players growing tired of Darryl Sutter (94)
- Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs (75)