ST. LOUIS The San Jose Sharks have plenty of company when it comes to lower seeds having series leads early in the first round.
The eighth-seeded Kings are up two-games-to-none on the first place Canucks, while the Flyers won their first two games on the road in Pittsburgh in two of the more unexpected developments in the first week of the postseason.
Ken Hitchcock, well, he isnt so surprised. Hitch is one of the better quotes in the league among head coaches (many would argue hes the most media-friendly in that department), and he elaborated on that subject on Saturday morning.
The Blues, who lost Game 1, 3-2, in double-overtime on Thursday, host the Sharks in Game 2 tonight.
The series is a race to four, not a race to two. I know theres teams down 2-0 going on the road, but to expect them not to play good hockey is wrong. I dont think theres an advantage playing at home right now like there was before.
It used to be, to be the eight seed everything had to go right. Now you look at eight seeds, and its like, three quarters of the season went wrong for them. I know when we were in Columbus we got the seven seed against Detroit in 2009, everything went right for four months to get to 92 points. You dont find that anymore. Thats just how good the teams are right now.
Hitchcock led the Blue Jackets to their only franchise playoff appearance in 2009.
His Blues, of course, finished tied for the second highest point total in the league (109) while the Sharks snuck in as the seventh seed by closing out the regular season with a four-game winning streak.
To me, there are nine teams in each conference that are so close that I think thats why you see these lower seeds going like hell now, because I honestly believe they think they can win the Cup. Youve got 16 teams that it isnt fake they honestly believe they can win the Cup. Youre going to see twists and turns, and teams going to be up 2-0 going home and it could be 2-2 by the time they go back for Game 5.