Ken Hitchcock would have you believe that the Kings are the favorites in their upcoming series with his St. Louis Blues. Hitchcock suggests that knocking off the number one team makes you the number one team. He wants to transfer the entire weight of suddenly inflated expectations to the massively-overmatched and humble Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings didn’t knock off the number one team. Since Hitchcock took over, the number one team in the West has been the Blues. And that’s with their entire team out with injuries most of the season. The only reason the Kings were able to beat the Canucks is that Vancouver folded under the pressure of the thought that they would eventually have to play the Blues. The real Blues. Not the AHL squad that Hitchcock coached to a franchise-best, league-best, sport-best, species-best performance.
Under Hitchcock, the Blues went 43-15-11, for a .703 points-percentage. That’s more points than the Kings this year, in thirteen fewer games. Hitchcock’s .703 PT% is the franchise’s top number by a mile, far out-stripping Joel Quennville’s paltry .598. Even the putative greatest coach in hockey history, Scotty Bowman, has three times the losses of Hitchcock has as coach of the Blues. In Blues’ history, Bowman’s playoff losses outnumber Hitchcock’s by an unimaginable 2,600%!
All Hitchcock has to do is keep pace with his franchise-leading .800 playoff-PT%, and the cup is assured.
The Kings don’t stand a chance against the powerful and confident Blues squad. They’ll be lucky to win a period, to say nothing of an entire game. The Blues are so dominant over the Kings in every aspect of the game of hockey — indeed, in life itself — that they are better served preparing immediately for their conference final series against Nashville. Hitchcock ought to be planning the parade route. It’s never too early.