Coach Ken Hitchock has enjoyed a brilliant start to his tenure with the St. Louis Blues. In 2011-2012, Hitchcock guided them to 109 points in his first season on the job despite St. Louis never having clipped the century mark over the previous nine seasons. He took home the Jack Adams award, and the Blues have followed this act up decently thus far in currently holding the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
However, even though Hitchcock boasted a sterling 60-27-12 record heading into his 100th game with the team Sunday night, that doesn’t preclude the Blues from the odd goal here and there that costs a regular-season game. What’s ill-fitting is that it comes on the semi-milestone of his 100th game managing the Blues, as Jarome Iginla‘s game-winning goal for the Calgary Flames left one St. Louis veteran mystified.
“I think everybody thought the play was dead, but it just shows you he’s a great player in this league,” Blues forward Andy McDonald said, via NHL.com. “That’s why. He doesn’t give up on the play and he’s able to find the puck and make a great play. We didn’t have answer for him.”
Another key mental lapse on the night occurred earlier when the Blues gifted Calgary the puck in St. Louis’ own end, seconds before it was slapped past goalie Jake Allen for the game’s opening score.
It’s easy to imagine that Hitchcock will address these errors in practice and the Blues will play more disciplined going forward than they did Sunday night. This is a must if they are to ascend close to their heights from last regular season when St. Louis earned a two-seed.