Ken Hitchcock

Blues coach to Flames fans: Be patient with rebuild

Anything could happen, but the Calgary Flames are expected to be bad this season. They have young and new players and while that gives them hope for the future, it might not make the fanbase feel much better in the short term.

Still, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock thinks it’s important for those fans to let this process play out.

“Folks in Calgary have to understand that in order for this to build, patience in the fan base is going to have to be great because it’s going to be frustrating at times,” Hitchcock said, according to the Calgary Sun. “But when it gets built, it can stay built for a long time. Look at Chicago or L.A. – teams built for a cause that will be championship-caliber teams for at least the next five or six years.”

Of course, not every rebuild leads to a Stanley Cup championship, but Hitchcock sees promise in Calgary. He thinks highly of Flames bench boss Bob Hartley. Finding a player that the Flames can rally around will be a key part of the process, but he sees the Flames being a very competitive team in three years.

That might be a tough pill for fans that have already endured four straight seasons of futility, but the team’s focus has shifted and their future may be brighter for it.

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    Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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    Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

    The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

    (Check out video of the hit above.)

    The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

    Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

    Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

    Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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    There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

    Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

    The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

    Yikes:

    Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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    It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

    The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

    Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

    (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

    Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form:

    WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Capitals – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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    Even with two games in hand, some might be surprised to see the Washington Capitals tied with the Boston Bruins in standings points in early December.

    That’s the case on Wednesday Night Rivalry, as a somewhat up-and-down Capitals team (which is glad to welcome T.J. Oshie back) hosts a Bruins squad that’s riding a three-game winning streak.

    It should be an interesting matchup on NBCSN, which you can also watch online or via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.