Found November 07, 2011 on
The inconsistent St. Louis Blues are hoping new coach Ken Hitchcock can use some of his considerable experience to help get them back on track.
Judging by their play at home, the Blues might have a chance to do that as they look to get Hitchcock's tenure off to a positive start in the opener of a five-game stretch at the Scottrade Center.
St. Louis will try to win its fourth in a row at home Tuesday night when it faces a Chicago Blackhawks team that's coming off its most lopsided defeat of the season.
The Blues came into the season optimistic they could make the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09, but a 6-7-0 start has put a damper on those hopes.
After dropping three of four following a three-game win streak, St. Louis replaced Davis Payne with Hitchcock on Sunday. The 59-year-old Hitchcock has collected 533 victories over 14 seasons and led Dallas to the Stanley Cup in 1999-2000.
"I believe that we have someone who has the experience to help our players maximize their talents," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "I believe if we can do that, we have enough talent that we can have a successful regular season and playoffs."
Hitchcock might not have much work to do over the next five contests if St. Louis continues its strong play at Scottrade. The Blues are 3-1-0 at home and topped defending Western Conference champ Vancouver 3-2 in their most recent game there Friday.
"We're going to get a great test right off the bat," Hitchcock said. "I think the team has already shown good flashes, but we have to do it over 60 minutes if you want to beat good teams."
St. Louis, looking to win four in a row at home for the first time since Dec. 23-31, does need to improve on special teams. The club is last in the NHL at 7.5 percent on the power play and ranks near the bottom of the league at 73.8 percent in penalty killing.
A matchup with Chicago (8-3-3) could help St. Louis get on track in both areas. The Blackhawks are 1 for 26 with the man advantage in the last seven games, and they're coming off a nightmarish performance in short-handed situations.
Chicago gave up five power-play goals in a 6-2 loss to the Canucks on Sunday. The Blackhawks had allowed opponents to score four times in their previous 38 opportunities.
"It was tough watching it. Our execution in both areas was very poor," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Across the board, it was an ugly game. ... It certainly gets your attention."
Quenneville's club has won nine of 13 matchups with St. Louis and snapped a three-game road skid in the series with a 5-3 victory Feb. 21.
Chicago might get some help as it tries to avoid a third straight defeat. Quenneville told the team's website he expects Duncan Keith to return during the team's two-game trip that concludes Thursday against Columbus.
The former Norris Trophy winner has missed the past three games after taking a shot off his left hand during a 5-4 overtime win over Nashville on Oct. 31.
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New St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock plans no major changes to a team off to a stumbling start.
Hitchcock was introduced Monday as the successor to Davis Payne. He believes the Blues have the talent to be a playoff team but lack consistency.
The Blues dismissed Payne after a 6-7 start that left them in 14th place in the Western Conference in favor of a man with more than 1,000...
ST. LOUIS -- Despite coaching 1,042 games in the NHL and winning a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold Medals, new Blues coach Ken Hitchcock believes his best coaching is still ahead of him.
Fresh off a 21-month break that he said rejuvenated all aspects of his life, the 59-year-old Hitchcock took over a Blues team Monday looking for their first playoff win since 2004.
The Blues fired...
The Blues organization approached the 2011-12 season with an increased sense of urgency. With franchise ownership in limbo, general manager Doug Armstrong sought near-term improvement by adding veterans Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brian Elliott, Scott Nichol and Kent Huskins. He sought to push team back into the playoffs and ultimately deeper into postseason.That urgency fueledâ...
On Sunday night, the St. Louis Blues announced that they had fired Davis Payne as their head coach, replacing him with Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcockâ€™s first games behind the bench for the Blues will be Tuesday, when St. Louis hosts the â€¦ Continue reading â†’
The St. Louis Blues fired coach Davis Payne on Sunday night and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock.
St. Louis was 6-7 this season and had won four of its last six games.
Payne was named the team's head coach following the 2009-10 season. He had been named interim coach in January 2010 after the club fired Andy Murray.
Hitchcock, who has previously coached with the Dallas Stars...
The St. Louis Blues have changed coaches after a disappointing 6-7 start, firing Davis Payne and hiring Ken Hitchcock to a contract through next season.
ST. LOUIS â€“ St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced Sunday the club has recalled defenseman Ian Cole from t...
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ken Hitchcock's debut as St. Louis Blues coach was a huge success -- even if he had quibbles with his first game behind the bench in nearly two years.
"I think far and away the weakest player was me," the 59-year-old Hitchcock said after the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 on Tuesday night. "I'm going to have to get a little bit further...
Linked to our post about the Hawks lineup changes, maybe we should be grateful that we don't have to worry about the Hawks making changes like the St. Louis Blues do.Whereas the Hawks are merely trying to jumpstart an ever-so-slightly stumbling good team, the Blues are trying to overhaul everything to get any type of result. It's clearly the worse position to be in.