ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Pinkert has covered the St. Louis Blues for more than seven seasons and will frequently contribute news, analysis and stories from the locker room to the Blue Note Insider blog. Check back often for exclusive behind the scenes access to the Blues and be sure to follow him on Twitter at @pinkertBLUES

Familiar Territory for Hitchcock

Friday, 05.10.2013 / 3:03 PM
By Chris Pinkert - St. Louis Blues / Blue Note Insider
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Familiar Territory for Hitchcock

Ken Hitchcock has been in this situation before.

As the head coach of the Dallas Stars in 1999, he found his team trailing the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals. Hitchcock not only led the Stars to a 4-1 victory on the road in Game 6, but he led them to a Stanley Cup championship several weeks later.

So what wisdom from that experience has Hitchcock shared with the Blues?

“You have to outplay the team. You can’t expect to play at the same level and win the hockey game. It doesn’t happen,” he said. “I’ve been in this situation a number of times and come through, and it’s been the same similar landscape. We have to outplay them today. If we play at the same level, it’s not going to be good enough.

“I know we’re going to get their best push because they don’t want to go back to St. Louis,” Hitchcock said. “But I know we have it in us to outplay them.”

MUST-WIN SITUATION

The Blues find themselves in a must-win situation tonight in Game 6 at Staples Center.

After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Blues have lost the last three games to the Kings and need a win tonight to force a Game 7 in St. Louis on Monday.

How does Hitchcock feel about the Blues’ chances?

“For me, the way we played (in Game 5), that’s something we’ve got to build on,” Hitchcock said. “That’s all you can ask for this time of year. You need an all-in mentality and we had that. We need to come with the same mentality for Game 6.”

This series has been incredibly close. Every game has been decided by one goal, and there’s no reason to believe tonight will be much different. The Blues will face a tough test for sure. The Kings haven’t lost at home in nine games dating back to the regular season. But then again, the Blues had won eight consecutive games at Scottrade Center until Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 5.

Maybe the Kings are due.

“This is not over,” Hitchcock said after the game Wednesday. “Somebody’s got to win another hockey game and like I said, if we can raise our spirits again and go at it again like we did, I like our chances.”

LOCKER ROOM MOOD

The Blues are playing well and still find themselves trailing the series. Despite that, the mood appeared to be very positive in the locker room today.

“I think it’s good. We have a good energy and we know if we put a full game together, then we give ourselves a good chance. That’s all we can control right now,” Jay Bouwmeester said. “In my experience here, this has been a pretty loose group and a group that plays good when we’re having a little bit of fun. The feeling in here hasn’t changed too much.”

Added Hitchcock, “Yesterday we were angry that we lost (Game 5), but (we're) confident that we can continue to play the way we’ve played.”

‘NOTEWORTHY

  • When the Blues have trailed 3-2 in a playoff series, they’ve forced a Game 7 in nine out of 18 attempts.
  • The Blues have never lost a series in which they’ve had a 2-0 lead (10-0).
  • Vladimir Sobotka has 18 hits in his last two games.
  • David Backes enters Game 6 on a two-game point streak.
  • Alexander Steen leads the Blues with three goals in this series.
  • Including last season’s meeting, T.J. Oshie, David Perron, Kevin Shattenkirk, Vladimir Sobotka and Chris Stewart each have two points against the Kings at Staples Center.
  • Tonight’s game airs on FOX Sports Midwest in the St. Louis area and everywhere on DirectTV, AT&T Uverse and Dish. Outside of St. Louis, the game will be available on FOX Sports Midwest Plus. In addition, NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game nationally. To listen on the radio, tune in to Y98 FM.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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