The way Ken Hitchcock saw it Friday, a day after the Blues suffered their third consecutive loss and second straight in which the wheels came off, his duty wasn’t much different from a tow-truck driver.

“My job is to get them out of the ditch,” Hitchcock said. “And you don’t get them out of the ditch with a bunch of criticism and a bunch of conflict. My job is to get them back up and running and feeling good about themselves.”

For those expecting to hear about ‘Hitch’ putting the Blues through a punishing skate Friday, you’ll be disappointed. It didn’t happen after Tuesday’s 6-1 loss to Nashville, and it wasn’t in the cards following Thursday’s 5-1 defeat to Detroit.

“No, we’re like everybody else; we’re banged up,” Hitchcock said. “So you have to manage it through video. What really magnifies everything is it’s (a 48-game season). If this was an 82-game season, then the last two games you write off, you move on, there’s lots of time. But there’s not lots of time, so you’ve got to get your game back in order.”

The Blues, now toting a mark of 6-4, will be back on the ice tonight against the surprising Anaheim Ducks. They’ll be looking to eliminate the “cheating” from their game, a charge that Hitchcock made after Thursday’s loss.