Ken Hitchcock Reveals Team's Philosophy
If you haven't watched many Blues games this year (first off, shame on you) you might not be aware of the style and demeanor that this club uses to play hockey. Since Ken Hitchcock took over the Blues have used hard work and a relentless style to overwhelm and ultimately frustrate and cripple opposing teams. In a recent interview after the team's game against San Jose, Hitchcock revealed his team's philosophy.
The Blues had just bested the San Jose Sharks in what was their final game of a six-game road trip that saw the Blues go 5-1. During his interview, Hitchcock was asked about his lack of sympathy for players that were hobbling after blocking shots. In typical Hitchcock fashion, his response was as blunt as they come.
“We have the philosophy that if you're not dead, keep going.”
As a fan, this is the exact response you want from your coach. However, sometimes these types of responses enter the world of cliche when you hear them from sources that don't back up their statements. Since Hitchcock took over the Blues have done quite literally whatever it takes to secure a win. They have worked hard, sacrificed their bodies and made life hell for the opposition. Hitchcock's quote carries a lot of water as the Blues have continually skated the extra step, thrown the extra check and pushed themselves a bit further in order to obtain the desired result.
Hitchcock also recently stated that he has been shifting players around on their lines in order to create an identity on each and every line. He understands that the opposition is looking to clamp down on guys like David Backes and Andy McDonald which forces other players to step up. Hitchcock states that every player feels like they can be the one to step up and make a difference - a point that every team strives for. The Blues have an entire roster of players trying to be the one to make the big play each and every night. The same can not be said for a majority of teams in the NHL as players seem to sink into funks where they appear to be simply going through the motions.
Hitchcock has notoriously been a wealth of fun when it comes to the quote department. You get humor and direct answers with little in the form of cliche, vanilla responses. It's this direct attitude that likely made Hitchcock such a perfect fit for the Blues since taking over the head coaching responsibilities in November. The Blues have responded to his style and his direction which have ultimately pushed the team into the NHL's elite.