YES! They have soft pretzels in the pressbox tonight! WOOOOO!
It's great to see how a year of hard work has come down to four fizzling losses in a row (possibly five by the time that you read this) by a team that has done nothing but bust its butt. What's causing the Blues to lose? Relying on skill. How... motivating. Thank you, Mr. Hitchcock. Hard work >> skill. Duh. So, what's continuing to happen? The "skill players" have taken up root on the ice, while the hard workers are chillaxin' up in the press box.
Ian Cole, Chris Porter, Jaden Schwartz, B.J. Crombeen, Scott Nichol, and Kent Huskins have had extended time in the press box as of late. What's something that these guys have in common? The need to bust their asses. Schwartz (and Cole, to a degree) also have some skill, but right now the want to work is stronger than their abilities. Nichol and Huskins play hard hockey every time they're on the ice. Chris Porter is lacking in the skill department, but is part of an outstanding fourth line, two thirds of which have been relegated to the press-box. What Hitchcock is stating is obvious, but what he's doing is confusing. Why are you insisting on playing your skill guys who don't seem like they give a rip? Why put guys out there in positions that they're not well qualified for so you can get your skill guys out there on a fourth line that they don't belong on?
I hate saying this about guys with as much ability as Chris Stewart and Matt D'Agostini, but they need to be in the box. They look apathetic, and they flat out look like they don't belong out there. Big hits that don't do anything, or retaliatory hits that don't make sense: these things do not equal playing hockey.
Give them some time in the pressbox for the season finale, and then work the hell out of them in the next practice or two. If they still don't respond, give them some pressbox time to start the playoffs. Right now, there are some supremely talented players out there who aren't giving the Blues the oomph on the ice to win. What good is that?