ST. LOUIS -- When Ken Hitchcock was brought in to right the ship for the Blues in early November, what impressed the 60-year-old was that the team immediately embraced what he was preaching.

Often, it takes time for players to adjust to a new message.

But the Blues, who eliminated the San Jose Sharks in five games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals with a win Saturday night, continue to receive Hitchcock's message well. The Blues always seemed a step ahead of the playoff-hardened Sharks, entering uncharted waters by winning the franchise's first playoff series since 2002.
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