NEWARK, NJ - MAY 30: Steve Bernier #18 of the New Jersey Devils challenges Slava Voynov #26 of the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of Game One of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on May 30, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Fact File: Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals

The Los Angeles Kings have taken a 1-0 series lead in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, and that’s a very big deal because 76% of Game 1 winners in best-of-seven Cup finals have gone on to win it all.

That said, the trend has been derailed in recent years. The Boston Bruins managed to overcome a 1-0 deficit in 2011 and the Pittsburgh Penguins bounced back after surrendering Game 1 to the Detroit Red Wings in 2009.

A few more facts to chew on:

— The last team to lose Game 1 at home and still win the Stanley Cup was Tampa Bay in 2004. In the history of the NHL, only nine teams have ever bounced back in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup finals series after losing Game 1 at home.

— This was Martin Brodeur’s 200th postseason contest. The only other goaltender to reach that mark was Patrick Roy (247).

— Anze Kopitar netted his seventh goal of the season, but the 2012 playoffs goal-scoring leaders are still Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux and Danny Briere (eight). Not bad for a duo that hasn’t played since the second round.

— The Kings improved to 9-0 on the road in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, extending their NHL record for one playoff season. They have outscored their opponents 32-14 in the nine victories. The Kings have also won 11 straight away from home dating to the 2011 postseason, another playoff record.

— You’d think home-ice advantage would matter  if a game goes to overtime, but that hasn’t been the case lately. Road teams have now claimed 12 of the last 15 overtime games in the finals.

— There’s been plenty of talk about the benefits of blocking shots, but the Los Angeles Kings only blocked six in Game 1.

— If you’re a Devils fan looking for a silver lining, here it is: The last team to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in overtime was the Carolina Hurricanes in 2002. The Detroit Red Wings bounced back and ended up winning the series in five games.

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
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The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?

Hitchcock going to more aggressive attack for Blues

Ken Hitchcock

ST. LOUIS (AP) After three straight first-round playoff exits, the St. Louis Blues have learned to temper expectations.

They have been consistently among the NHL’s best in the regular season and realize it is past time to build something for the long haul. The sting still lingers from the latest failure, against the Minnesota Wild last spring.

“We’re all disappointed, everybody can agree on that,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “It’s never easy to kind of think about your failures, but we grow every time it happens.”

Management isn’t ready to tear it all down yet.

“We play, in my opinion, one of the toughest if not the toughest division in the NHL, and we’ve finished first or second in the last four years,” forward Alexander Steen said. “So we have an extremely powerful team.”

Maybe a change in strategy will be enough: Coach Ken Hitchcock is back with a mandate for a more aggressive, even reckless, style of play from a roster that hasn’t changed appreciably.

“We’re coming hard from the back and we’re coming hard to see how close we can get to the attack,” Hitchcock said. “I think it’s where the game’s at; I think it’s where the game’s going to go.”

The 63-year-old Hitchcock is pushing forward, too, unwilling to dwell on the flameouts. Coach and players agree that would be “wasted energy.”

“My opinion is when you sit and think about the past, you do yourself no good,” Hitchcock said. “If you learn from the past, that’s when you do yourself a whole bunch of good.”

There were only two major roster casualties. Forward Troy Brouwer came from Washington in a trade for fan favorite T.J. Oshie. Defenseman Barret Jackman, the franchise career leader in games, wasn’t re-signed.

“If you were expecting 23 new faces to be on the roster this year, I don’t think that was realistic,” captain David Backes said. “We’re going to miss those guys in the room and on the ice, but there has been some changeover and I think it’s pretty significant.”

Things to watch for with the Blues:

GOALIE SHUFFLE: Just like last year, there’s no true No. 1 with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen sharing duties. The 25-year-old Allen missed a chance to seize the job last spring when he failed to raise his level in the playoffs.

TOP THREAT: Vladimir Tarasenko had a breakout season with 37 goals and was rewarded with an eight-year, $60 million contract. The 23-year-old winger is by far the Blues’ most dangerous scoring option and said he won’t let the money affect his play. “I never worry about it,” Tarasenko said. “If you play good, you play good.”

NEW FACES: Brouwer and center Kyle Brodziak add a physical element that was perhaps lacking a bit last season. Brouwer has three 20-plus goal seasons and Brodziak, acquired from Minnesota, fills a checking role. Veteran forward Scottie Upshall got a one-year, two-way deal after being coming to camp as a tryout. Rookie forward Robby Fabbri, a first-round pick last year, will get an early look. Another promising youngster, forward Ty Rattie, begins the year at Chicago of the AHL.

RECOVERY WARD: Forward Jori Lehteri bounced back quickly from ankle surgery and opens the season without restrictions. Another forward, Patrik Berglund, could miss half of the season following shoulder surgery.

TRACK RECORD: The Blues won the Central Division last season and Hitchcock, fourth on the career list with 708 regular-season wins, has consistently had the team near the top of the standings. “He is our coach, tough cookies if you don’t like it,” Backes said. “From my experience, he puts together one heck of a game plan.”