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Under pressure: Ken Hitchcock

Aug 12, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Ken Hitchcock Getty Images

We don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but things haven’t gone all that great in the playoffs for the St. Louis Blues.

Three years in a row the Blues have had huge regular-season performances, and all they have to show for it are two first-round losses and one second-round exit. A single series win over the San Jose Sharks isn’t anything to hang a banner over, and that’s something coach Ken Hitchcock knows.

What’s done in the Blues has been a mix of two things: Shoddy goaltending and a lack of offensive punch. St. Louis will look to answer those issues with a netminding tandem of Brian Elliott and Jake Allen, and an offense that added Paul Stastny. They also hotly pursued Jason Spezza in an effort to further boost goal production, but Stastny’s addition was what helped make the Blues winners on paper in free agency.

We know the Western Conference is difficult and the Blues’ division got a lot more difficult last season with the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, and Minnesota Wild all finding their way. Throw them into the mix with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Central Division is a bloodbath waiting to happen. Just what the Blues needed, right?

That’s why there’s so much pressure on Hitchcock.  Should the Blues make the playoffs and suffer another early exit, it will certainly lead to questions about his work behind the bench, as well as for the players on the ice. But as we’ve seen in the past, those kinds of battles usually result in the coach losing first.

  1. bucfanforlife - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    this nucleus of a team is a coach killer, they have been through a few coaches already, they are older now but the time is now they must do some damage in the playoffs

  2. hanspard - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    If they don’t win this year, I would look hard at trading some sacred cows. The first one on my list would be that guy on the Enterprise commercial who has a knack for disappearing for several games at a time…. If it wasn’t for shootouts, Oshie’s rep would not be near what it is. And shooutouts don’t matter in the playoffs.

  3. cardsandbluesforever - Aug 12, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Unless Hitch pushes this team to a deep post season run he’s gone at the end of the season. 3 seasons of the exact same offensive strategy- dump and chase, throw the puck at the net and hope for a rebound. That may work well against lesser teams but when you play teams that are good all you are doing is throwing the puck away.

    At the end of last season he was quoted as saying ” I don’t know, maybe we should try something else ” it has taken 3 seasons for him to realize dump and chase along with a passive defense is not a winning strategy.

    as much as I would like to see my team win I think we are going to see a repeat of the last 3 years- a great regular season and humiliation in the playoffs.

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