The St. Louis Blues were credited with 41 hits against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1-0 overtime win that started the series at Scottrade Center on Wednesday, had 57 by their count, and that still wasn't enough for coach Ken Hitchcock.
"Yeah, we're going to need it," Hitchcock said. "We've got to be more physical for us on the forecheck. We're reading too much rather than getting in on it. I think it's an area that's part of our game. Part of it is also puck management. They did a really good job of not letting us in the [offensive] zone with any type of control. Both teams checked really well."
Hitchcock said after Game 1 he'd like St. Louis to shoot for 70-plus hits in Game 2. Asked about it Thursday after an optional practice, he reaffirmed that intention.
Interesting, considering the Blues were credited with 18 SOG to the Blackhawks' 35. The shots that the Blues did take on net - in theory, but didn't get credit for - skewed high and wide. Capitalizing on power plays is difficult when it's sponsored by Brad Boyes.
Duncan Keith is back, and he's vowed to "not change." If he's still going to be an ass, and if the Blues want to lay more hits on the Hawks, might I suggest he be the target of a few well-placed checks?
This is your morning open thread. Check back later on for a Lighting the Lamp, your preview, the GDT at whatever late time the puck drops, and other playoff goodies. While you're waiting for the game to start, head to Second City Hockey and say hi, wish them "luck," and get ready for tonight.