For the third time in three coaching changes, the Blues debut their new coach against the Chicago Blackhawks. Former coaches Davis Payne and Andy Murray also opened their careers with games (and losses) against the Hawks. So the momentum in these games is definitely in Chicago's favor dating back to December 2006. When asked for comment, Murray said he could work us in to ask on single question at 5:03 a.m. next Thursday. If we keep it brief.
Bob McKenzie on the NHL Network Monday night said no one across the league was surprised at Payne's firing Sunday night. Speculation, according to McKenzie, was that Payne was almost fired in the offseason and that he had a short leash to begin this season. Of course McKenzie may have just been paraphrasing Doug Armstrong in the press conference Monday when he said that he thought about making a change over the summer.
The power play should be interesting to watch tonight. When he met with the media, Hitchcock (we're going to have to figure out a clever way to shorten that without using Hitch) said he could fix the worst power play in the league with one practice. Tasers and waterboarding may or may not have been involved.
There were rumors on Twitter that Jaroslav Halak will get the start tonight. A strong showing tonight for the new boss might do the quirky European wonders. He might also cry if Hitchcock pulls him.
Look, it usually takes awhile for the new guy to make his mark. Hitchcok on 101 ESPN radio in St. Louis Monday afternoon made a really telling statement. He said the Blues played a tremendous game against Vancouver on Friday and then came out flat in Minnesota on Saturday. Good teams, he said, don't put together one good game, they string together three in a week. If that's not the most accurate observation about this hockey team right now, I don't know what is.
This is your Game Day Thread. String together three good comments or you're fired.