Hitchcock wants slumping Blues to tighten up

Associated Press

The St. Louis Blues had to overcome a ton of injuries in the early stages of the ’15-16 season, but they managed to stay afloat without key players like Paul Stastny, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenkirk and Robby Fabbri.

Now that most of their big names have returned, the Blues should be better, but they’re not.

St. Louis has dropped three games in a row including a 4-1 decision to Toronto on Saturday night. They have just one win in their last five games.

Head coach Ken Hitchock, who many consider to be a defensive genius, knows exactly what the problem is.

“We’re a team that’s built on really good structure,” Hitchcock said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “That’s what held this thing together when everybody was out. We did a great job with it. But as guys have started to come back, we’ve started to play looser. And the looseness is ending up on second guessing from a defensive standpoint, not from an offensive standpoint.”

Every team goes through ups and downs in an 82-game regular season, but with so much parity across the NHL, the Blues can’t afford to be slumping for too long.

They’re currently in second place in the Central Division with Minnesota (one point behind), Nashville (one point behind) and Chicago (two points behind) breathing down their neck.

The Blues have a perfect opportunity to turn things around, as they’ll play each of their next four games at the Scottrade Center.

They’ll take on the Coyotes on Tuesday night.

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