Ken Hitchcock

Hitchcock: “They’re the hammer, we’re the nail”


After dropping a 4-2 decision to the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues find themselves searching for answers* with little time to make up a 3-0 series deficit. Head coach Ken Hitchcock told the story to Lou Korac.

“They’re the hammer, we’re the nail,” Hitchcock said. “We’ve just got to move the nail around a couple times here … I thought their initiation made us react early in the game. They were full marks. They’re on top of their games right now.”

Hitchcock blamed bad penalties, which makes sense to some extent (it ruins the flow of games) and doesn’t in other ways. The Blues killed 15 out of 16 penalties so far in this series, so all the Kings’ goals have been generated on the PK or 5-on-5 (where Hitchcock wants the play to stay).

One observation Hitch made that hits the nail on his head is that the Kings have scored plenty of momentum-killing goals, including a 2-1 goal by Dwight King 40 seconds after Chris Stewart tied it 1-1 in the second period tonight.

“The momentum goals have been on their side in the series,” Hitchcock said. “That’s the fine line between winning and losing.”

The gap might be bigger than that, but it’s a valid point nonetheless.

The bigger question is: can the Blues close the gap? Can they do it four times? Share your thoughts in the comments.

* – David Backes actually rolled out the “look in the mirror” line again, although this time around he also threw in a “gut check.” He has a solid cliche Rolodex.

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.