The Stars lost an OT thriller on the road against Edmonton tonight. It’s disappointing to not get the full two points against teams as bad as the Oilers, but we’re still holding serve through the end of this brutal road stretch (7 games in 11 days). A win in Calgary tomorrow and we’ll be coming out hot on the other side.
The real story of this game was Hitch being behind the bench for the Oilers after a surprise hiring last week. He’ll forever and always be a hero in Dallas, but we’ve still had a lot of mixed emotions about him lately and even for the past two decades for that matter.
After a messy divorce 16 years ago, we hired him last summer with the good times in mind. We should always be thankful for the glory days that he led and never forget what it’s like to party like is 1999. It also cannot be understated how important he was as an ambassador of hockey to the city and introducing this great sport to Texas. However, in a tale as old as time, we remembered that exes are exes for a reason and getting back with them never works.
His leadership will always keep teams focused enough to not suck – we looked pretty awesome midway through last year! At the same time, his tactics ultimately will leave teams far too short of goals and energy necessary to skate a cup. Throughout last year’s horrific and historic collapse, we were reminded (again) of the same shortcomings that led three other teams (plus ourselves) to can him before us.
There were some positives from his short stay here. For example, the team can play competent defense now and that is fairly important. Seguin, like Modano before him, went from not giving a shit about defense to being a key cog in the penalty kill. Unfortunately, learning all that defense under Hitchcock means forgetting everything you can do on offense, and that’s just not going to cut it in sports in 2018.
A few months, and only a few months, of Hitch might be the ass kicking that McDavid and the Oilers need for their development. I hope it works out and he retires one last time this summer on a good note. Ultimately, however, his chapter in the NHL needs to end before it gets ugly.
Edmonton is supposed to hate Ken Hitchcock because he made that city our bitch every single first round of the playoffs. Don’t muddy up those memories – for us or for them. Keep this stint short Ken.