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updated: 4/25/2014 11:17 PM

Hawks have lots of respect for Hitchcock

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  • Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp says he's learned a lot from Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

      Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp says he's learned a lot from Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.
    Associated Press

 
 

Ask Joel Quenneville what it's like to go up against St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock and he'll tell you he's a heck of a competitor.

"He's a great coach," Quenneville said, "He always has his teams ready and they have a real purpose with how they play."

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Ask Patrick Sharp, who was with Hitchcock in Philadelphia and at the Olympics, what it's like to play for Hitchcock, and he'll tell you he's a great mentor.

"I learned a lot from him; how to be a professional, how to basically make the jump from the American League to the NHL," Sharp said. "I've been fortunate to play with Hitch a few times now with team Canada and we won a gold medal together. I've got a lot of respect for his knowledge of the game."

Ask any member of the media what it's like to cover Hitchcock and they'll tell you it's a gold mine -- the guy is simply a quote machine who always has something interesting to say.

Here are a few of Hitch's takes on a handful of topics following Friday's morning skate:

On coaching Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Sharp in Olympics but now coaching against them:

"I hugged them then. I'd like to kick them in the (rump) now, to be honest with you."

On what makes them special:

"It's their resolve. That's what makes them special players. It's their resolve, it's not their skill. There's lots of people with just as much skill. It's their ability to stay with it."

On ... faceoff variance?

"What's an interesting but strange stat for me is the variance in faceoffs from game-to-game. We looked like we got dominated, then we were dominant, then we couldn't lose a draw and all of a sudden we couldn't win a draw."

On blocking shots:

"I think shot blocking is the most useless stat in the National Hockey League. If you see a team with 30 blocked shots, it usually means that the puck's in your zone a lot. It's a very misleading stat for me."

On Marian Hossa:

"Hossa's greatest attributes isn't his play with the puck, it's his play without the puck. He puts more pressure on people without the puck than anybody in the league and he's done it since I've been coaching against him in Ottawa."

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