THW Live EP11: Hitch Feeling the Blues

Ken Hitchcock knew his tenure with the St. Louis Blues was going to end in 2017.

He just didn’t expect it to happen so early in the year.

Tuesday, the Blues fired Hitchcock, who decided last summer this would be his final season coaching, and replaced him with Mike Yeo, who already was in place as Hitch’s successor, serving on his staff this season.

The Blues made the move after losing five of their last six games, and posting an 8-13-1 mark in their previous 22 matches. Yeo takes over the club sitting in the Western Conference’s second wild card slot, and with 32 games remaining on the Blues schedule.

I break down the decision to fire Hitchcock, the fourth-winningest coach in NHL history, hire Yeo, and how the Blues got to this point with THW reporter Brandon Share-Cohen (@BShareCohen) on Episode 11 of the Hockey Writers Live podcast.

Together we also debate whether the Blues will add a goaltender before the trade deadline, and if Kevin Shattenkirk remains with the club once the deadline passes.

Mighty Metro

The National Hockey League’s toughest division this season?

The Metropolitan, no question.

Paced by the league-leading Washington Capitals (72 pts) and the surprising Columbus Blue Jackets (70 pts), the Metropolitan Division also features the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins (67 pts), perennial contending New York Rangers (63 pts), and one of the hottest teams in the league now, the New York Islanders, who are fast approaching a wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Brian Compton (@BComptonNHL) from joins the show to analyze the Metro teams and predicts who’s in and who’s out come playoff time. He also answers some of the more important questions from within the division like whether Henrik Lundqvist is still capable of carrying the Rangers on a long post season run, and if the Capitals are finally are ready to take that next step past the second round of the playoffs.

In addition, Compton shares his thoughts about the NHL All Star weekend festivities in Los Angeles.

There’s More

I close this week’s show by discussing my latest column for The Hockey Writers web site, focusing on why Rangers fans do not embrace head coach Alain Vigneault nor his new contract extension with the club.

In closing, a reminder to regularly check out the Podcast page at Along with Hockey Writers Live, we have current, and past programs, for eight hockey podcasts.

Newest to the ‘casts are Steel City Hockey podcast, with host Dave Holcomb talking all things Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tampa Bay Lightning Power Play Live with THW own Dan Herrejon.

Also to be found on the Podcast page is Larry Fisher’s Facing Off; Beyond the Blade, with host Chad DeDominicis chatting about the Buffalo Sabres; The Vegas Hockey Podcast; Black and Gold, with host Mark Allred discussing Boston Bruins issues and storylines; and my very own Blueshirt Radio, focusing on the New York Rangers with high-level special guests each week, presented by The Blueshirt Bulletin.