The St. Louis Blues have been cruising this season with eight wins in 11 games, including their 4-0 victory against the Florida Panthers on Friday.
Each victory has significance, but this one might stand out to bench boss Ken Hitchcock. That’s because it put him into a tie for 10th place on the all-time wins list among head coaches.
He has won 613 career games to match the mark set by former Blues, Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers, and Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Martin. Hitchcock is in a position to rapidly rise up the ranks as Jacques Lemaire holds ninth place with 617 victories and Bryan Murray is eighth overall with 620 wins. The only active coach who is higher on the list than Hitchcock is Joel Quenneville, who ranks sixth with 668.
Since he first ascended to the role of head coach with the Dallas Stars in 1995-96, Hitchcock has also enjoyed stints with the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets. He won the 1999 Stanley Cup with Dallas. His Blues are legitimate contenders to help him reclaim Lord Stanley’s Mug this season.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.