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May 17, 2016

Ken Hitchcock

St. Louis, Missouri: Game Two

San Jose – 4
St. Louis ‑ 0


Q. Hitch, you guys talked about showing some more gears tonight. What do you think led to tonight's flat performance?
COACH HITCHCOCK: Well, I think we didn't play very well. We've seen this at home for a while. I'm not sure why. Not sure the players even know why.
We seem to want to play a little different at home than we do on the road. We got away with it in Game1 and didn't get away with it today at all. They were much better than us probably in every aspect, especially on special teams.
We tried to play the same way we did in Game1. Didn't get away with it.

Q. Play too undisciplined tonight, too?
COACH HITCHCOCK: I think a lot of it, when you want to play a different way than the game's going to allow you to play, then you can go two ways: you can either dig in and go the right way or you can become frustrated at times and try free‑lancing or, in our case, take penalties. We went the other way.
We got frustrated, we took penalties, then regrouped ourselves in the third period finally. You're down 2‑0, the other team is able to sit on it a little bit.
We score the goals we have the chances for in the third, our game started to come around...
But you can't have the second periods or sometimes the starts to games that we've had in the last two games and expect to beat good teams.
This is the third round. This is two really good teams going at it. As I said to the players, San Jose has a lot of momentum from the way they finished in Game5, 6 and 7. They got their A game going right now. It's our job to catch up.
We have played two B games. I think at times, quite frankly, we're fortunate that it's 1‑1. We'll take 1‑1 right now with the way we played.
We have another level we can play at. We've seen it. It hasn't come out at home as much as it has in other buildings for whatever reason.

Q. Hitch, what did you see in Game1 or 2 that you can build on against the Sharks?
COACH HITCHCOCK: I think when either team pressures the other team into mistakes, we manage the puck the right way, we're a very good team. When we manage it improperly, we're not very good.
We don't have the foot speed of other teams. But what we have is the collective mindset to allow us to manage the puck properly.
When we don't manage it, a lot of cases it's based on puck support. When we don't skate to support, we don't manage it properly, we end up turning it over and feeding the engine of the other team.
That's what we did tonight. We turned it over, fed their engine, had it stuck in our zone.
We had a lot of clean exits we could have gone with, we went the other way, got hemmed in quite a bit. We've done this before. Seen this before with us.

Q. Are you not putting pucks into good areas that allows you to get in on an effective forecheck?
COACH HITCHCOCK: No, we're not supporting the puck properly. We don't have the puck support to allow us to continue to manage it properly or put the right pressure on the opposition.
You know, we'll look at the tape tomorrow and clean it up.

Q. When you guys are on a PK, a player goes to get a new stick, did Alex Steen make the right decision?
COACH HITCHCOCK: We made two mistakes. There was no communication on the exit to get the stick. Then we pressured on the half wall and on the point outside the docks instead of buying time to allow us. We were in a five‑on‑three situation. We should have stayed passive, we went aggressive on it. That's a mistake.

Q. Are the Sharks deceptively fast, they invade a lot of the forecheck? Worked for them against L.A.
COACH HITCHCOCK: No, they're a fast team. They skate fast. They skate fast, they support the puck. They might look faster than they are, but they've got a lot of quick players. They've got a lot of aggressive skating players. They got a lot of guys that can motor.
They play a north game, just like we do. We look faster than we are when we're on top of our game. They look faster than they are when they're on top of their game.
Right now, this is really five games in a row where they've been very good. It's our job really, quite frankly, to catch up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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