The St. Louis Blues dismantled the Dallas Stars 6-1 on Saturday, giving Ken Hitchcock the 621st regular season coaching win of his career, bumping him to eight all-time ahead of current Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray.
Hitchcock is now 621-385-86 with 88 ties (or 621-385-88-86, if you want to make your brain melt and include ties) in 1,180 games coached.
It’s fitting that Hitchcock moved up the charts against the Stars, the team that gave him his first NHL head coaching gig. You may recall that Hitchcock guided Dallas to its only Stanley Cup victory in 1999 and the Stanley Cup Final in 2000, as well.
If you’re wondering, Hitchcock is second among active NHL coaches with those 621 wins. He might struggle to catch up with Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, who’s shooting for win 676 tonight. (The ‘Stache recently passed Mike Keenan for fifth all-time.)
In another nod to Stars nostalgia, Brenden Morrow collected an assist against the team he recently captained, which gives him at least one point against every NHL team, according to NHL.com’s Lou Korac. It was also his 250th goal.
This extends the best start in Blues’ franchise history at 16-3-3, so things are pretty golden for St. Louis tonight.
St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock provided rave reviews for new Edmonton Oilers bench boss Dallas Eakins on Friday, the Edmonton Journal reports.
“That was the most important move (GM) Craig MacTavish made this summer,” Hitchcock said.
Hitchcock seems particularly impressed by Eakins’ no-nonsense approach.
“He’ll talk your ear off about conditioning but it’s a smokescreen,” Hitchcock said. “He’s going to demand things of the Oiler players they’ve never done before and they’re going to find it quite difficult. Quite frankly some of the players are out of the barn but he’ll gather them all back in. He’s going to say things that make the players squeamish but he’s going to be one of the best things you’ve had there. He’s tough.”
“It’s not about getting past the original effort, it’s getting into the second and third effort. He knows how to push that.”
Unfortunately, the veteran coach didn’t name specific players who are “out of the barn,” so feel free to kill a sleepy Saturday by speculating on who that might be.
(H/T to Rotoworld.)
Thanks to the St. Louis Blues’ 2-1 shootout victory against the Vancouver Canucks, Ken Hitchcock won the 600th game of his coaching career on Tuesday.
Hitchcock, 61, had a simple and amusing explanation for the milestone (which made him the 11th bench boss in NHL history to reach that mark).
“It’s basically because I’m old,” Hitchcock said. “If you last long and you’re old, you get this.”
Here’s his career record in 1,152 games coached: 600-381-88-83 (88 ties, 83 shootout/OT losses).
Again, he was quick to deflect praise, the next time to his team.
“For me, I’m proud of being able to be a coach in this league, but I’m more proud of the way our team is playing right now,” Hitchcock said. “We’re playing hard.”
Only one other active coach (Chicago’s Joel Quenneville) has more than 600 wins. Hitchcock’s 59.5 career winning percentage only trails Quenneville (61.2 percent) and legend Scotty Bowman (65.7 percent) in NHL history.
Here’s the full list of coaches with at least 600 wins: