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.