No rift: Hitchcock loves Tarasenko’s passion for the game

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If you thought Ken Hitchcock would be upset about Vladimir Tarasenko telling him off on Saturday, guess again.

If you missed it, the Blues had a power play opportunity during the game and Tarasenko only played nine seconds on the man-advantage. As the Blues were going back to the locker room for the intermission, Hitchcock tried to explain himself to Tarasenko, but the Blues forward blew him off (top).

After the game, Hitchcock explained what happened during the sequence.

“They just came off a long shift, and they were tired,” Hitchcock said of Tarasenko’s line, per ESPN. “I was trying to cheat to get time, to give them a rest, but the referee wouldn’t let us cheat. So he wanted our players out there right away.

“That’s what happens when you’ve got a guy like that that wants to make a difference. I love it. I love it in him.”

Will St. Louis be able to overcome the mental hurdles that have popped up this year and in years past? The Blues had an opportunity to close the series out in Game 5, but Patrick Kane scored in double OT to force Game 6. In Game 6, the Blues blew a 3-1 lead and ended up losing 6-3.

“We’ve got Game 7 at home,” Hitchcock said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s the best-case scenario we could have hoped for, we could have dreamed for getting this matchup and getting home-ice advantage.”

Best-case scenario might seem like a bit of stretch, but the Blues can still make their fans forget about all the mistakes they’ve made in this opening round.

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Is there a rift between Tarasenko and Hitchcock