Long known as one of the NHL’s more innovative coaches, St. Louis’ Ken Hitchcock has come up with a new strategy:
Instead of using his timeout, he’ll make a superfluous goalie change.
More, from the Post-Dispatch:
The latest instance happened in the second period of Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Toronto, after the Maple Leafs took a 3-1 lead.
Allen was called to the Blues’ bench and looked frustrated by the move. Replaced by Elliott, he was off the ice for 2 minutes, 8 seconds before returning.
Hitchcock admitted Elliott and Allen dislike the strategy — “I don’t think they’re OK with it,” he said — but added that he wasn’t going to waste his single timeout if he didn’t have to, regardless of who he riles up.
To be honest, it’s not a bad move.
Hitchcock’s strategy is especially important this year with the implementation of the coach’s challenge, as bench bosses need to have their timeout available in order to make one.
Earlier this season, Avs head coach Patrick Roy admitted he didn’t call timeout during Minnesota’s four-goals-in-5:07 outburst against his club, because he wanted the option to possibly challenge a call later in the game.