Comments following the Blues’ morning skate in advance of Game 3 in LA were of the usual variety… Except this little nugget from head coach Ken Hitchcock:
“It’s such a different game here with the smaller ice surface here,” he said, in reference to Staples Center.
Wait. What smaller ice surface? The NHL says it’s 200 feet by 85 feet, the league mandates size.
“Way smaller,” Hitchcock continued. “Corners come up quick. Around the net, you feel like you’re in the corner. It’s just a rounded building. Same surface but the configuration here makes it a different feel, a different feel for the on-ice players, different feel for the coaches. Things happen a lot quicker in this building and you’ve just got to be ready for it.
“I’ve said that for years in this building. It’s an interesting building. Some of the buildings are more rectangular in the corners and these are rounded. They round off quick. We made changes the last game to play in this building, so hopefully we can continue to make those changes.”
For what it’s worth, team officials deny the ice at Staples is anything other than what the league specs out, and that they’ve never heard this claim before.
Thus, chalk it up to another chapter in the mindgames between Hitchcock and Sutter.
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