Blackhawks Emerge With 2-1 Game One Victory

After a hard-fought series victory against the Red Wings, the Blackhawks dominated Game One of the Western Conference Final.

The Hawks owned the first period, out-shooting the Kings 17-2. However, the scoreboard showed Los Angeles leading 1-0 after the first 20 minutes.

In the middle period, the Hawks continued to put pressure on the Kings and they were finally able to get a puck past Jonathan Quick. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored almost four minutes apart in the second to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead, and Chicago wouldn’t give up another goal.

Corey Crawford allowed only the one goal against 22 shots, 12 of which came in the second period. Quick faced 36 shots in the game, allowing two goals in the loss.

The Kings out-hit the Hawks 44-38 in the game, and won 33 of 64 faceoffs. It was Chicago that controlled the action throughout the game, however.

For the Hawks, Bryan Bickell continued his strong play from the previous series with six hits and an assist in the game. Bickell and Brent Seabrook led Chicago with six hits each in the game, and Andrew Shaw added five.

Niklas Hjalmarsson led the Hawks with three blocked shots and three takeaways in the game. Coach Joel Quenneville was once again able to spread out the ice time among his defensemen; Duncan Keith and Seabrook skated 23:55 and 21:57, respectively, while Michal Rozsival saw the least ice time among Chicago’s rearguards with 14:03 in the game.

Keith led the Hawks with five shots on goal, one of which was redirected by Hossa for the game-winning goal.

After spending too much time in the penalty box against the Wings, the Hawks needed to kill only two penalties on Saturday evening.

Up front, Quenneville changed his forward lines from the successful groups that had worked against Detroit. Jonathan Toews, who won 12 of 22 faceoffs in the game, was between Hossa and Bickell for much of the game, while Michal Handzus was between Sharp and Patrick Kane.

The two teams will turn around and play again on Sunday night.

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31 Responses to Blackhawks Emerge With 2-1 Game One Victory

  1. The Mayor says:

    Good recap. I can’t see how LA can possibly match our speed and skill. They want this series, they’ll need to find a different way to beat us.

  2. torourke says:

    Great overall effort. I expected a bit more from the Kings, given that they had an extra day of rest. It’s just one game but it seemed to me that they don’t have the sort of weapons the Wings have. There’s no one that makes me nervous the way a Datsyuk or Zetterberg does. But maybe that was just because of the overall great team D played by the Hawks. I loved Stalberg’s hit on Muzzin, and cannot believe that guy got up right away. That looked like it hurt. Also loved Saad’s gritty forecheck on Doughty in getting him to cough up the puck. Keith was also really, really good.

    If I remember correctly, we have done well in the second game of consecutive games this year, so let’s hope that continues with our depth wearing them out tomorrow night.

  3. Tom Jaremka says:

    I know that this is only one game, but we looked extremely quick compared to L.A. Our defense was exceptional when it came to getting the puck out of our zone and making that first “tape to tape” pass. L. A.’s “D” looked very slow and we forechecked and beat on them all game.

    The only reason we only won 2-1 was Quick. If they don’t change up something this will be a quick series. My belief is that they don’t have the skill or speed to beat us in a 7 game series. Hawks in 5!!

  4. Lord Byron says:

    Keep occupying high slot and tipping, fighting for rebounds… Mind your stick on the zone exits when Richards is around… Great game. Go hawks!

  5. Dickie Dunn says:

    Good (brief) summary – thank you Tab.

    Good comments – agree…especially with “is only one game, but…”. I also “loved Stalberg’s hit on Muzzin”, “loved Saad’s gritty forecheck on Doughty in getting him to cough up the puck”, and the Bolland hit on Richards (which probably lead to the stupid penalty Carter took with a little less than two minutes to play).

    I don’t think this will be an easy or short series – I think LA will be better in game two. The Kings have played much better at home, so it may be about imperative the Hawks leave Chicago up 2-0?

    Crawford and the team defense were really good. Does anyone think the LA goal was “soft”? If you feel blame must be assigned, Crawford misplayed behind the net and soneone(?) didn’t cover Williams…right?

    “Go Hawks!!”

  6. EbonyRaptor says:

    Let’s keep the emotions on an even keel here and not repeat what happened after Game #1 against Detroit. Certainly, most of the fans were flying high with confidence that the Hawks were clearly the superior team and would make short work of the Wings. And we all saw how quickly the tides of fortune can change.

    Based on what I saw in Game #1, I feel very confident that the Hawks will win this series. But, I’m also confident that the Kings can and will play better than they did in Game #1.

    So I’m holding my emotions in check until at least after Game#2.

  7. wall says:

    hey Tab, what is NHL protocol for Richards? Will they have to examine possible concussion from that Bolly hit or is it up to Richards? I don’t see the Kings/#10 wanting/allowing examination- cuz he might be miss a few games or longer if he shows signs…

    but he looked like he was in another world!

  8. JS says:

    I will start this by saying “I’m drunk”

    Bolland’s hit on Richards should be a suspension. He left his feet and initial contact was with the head. If you disagree, you are wrong. He may not have intended to hit him in the head, since I assume he was just throwing his body at him to try to get a piece, but he should be suspended.

    Crawford was perfect. Yes, he misplayed the puck behind the net. Yes, that isn’t a goal unless Bolland fails to avoid the only stick available to score.

    Remember when I said the Hawks will be in good shape as long as they score 2+ goals a game? Oops.

    Good news with the back to back games is that LA won’t be able to adjust their strategy. Hawks should be up 2-0 heading back to LA on Tuesday.

  9. McKay says:

    I agree with Torourke, I expected more from the Kings. Their stars lost several individual battles – Daugherty, Brown, and Richards – they were embarrassed.

    Our defense played unbelievably well – not so much b/c they had to defend a lot – but b/c they did an excellent job with puck possession. LA couldn’t get a forecheck started b/c the Hawks were moving the puck so fast. I think Corey is our Conn Smyth leader but Keith has to be a close second. I haven’t checked his stats but wow, everything seems to work well when he’s on the ice (except the PP).

    I’m incredibly encouraged by this performance but, of course, I felt this way after Game 1 of DET and then we went out and dropped 3 straight. Need this next home win to force LA to hold court. I think they’ve won 15 straight at Staples or something crazy?

    I’d like to see us hit that 3 goal marker in the next game.

    Go Hawks!

  10. Sr. Brad says:

    Some comments required here…first, as ER said, game one means very little…we dominated and yet ony won 2-1. So before we run off and annoint the Hawks the WC champs in 4 straight let’s just see what happens. As JS said, having game 2 on the next day is a HUGE advantage for the Hawks that they must TAKE ADVANTAGE of. Game 2 in the det series saw the Wings push back and win, but Babock had 3 days to concoct a reply, the kings are not so lucky.

    As we mentioned in advance, the 3 Hawk keys for the remainder of the playoffs are Seabrook, Handzus and Crawford…all 3 continued their solid play, and we won. I mentioned that Toews had to overcome all the attention on him and have a monster series, well he responded in kind. Toews and his line dominated this hockey game and largely were the reason we won.

    By the time you get to this stage in playoff hockey it literally comes down to every shift…its a battle out there, and often for “field position”…controlling the puck dictates the flow of the game, and this is what the Hawks did. Most of the “flow” was controlled by the Toews line…every time they were on the ice they created a great scoring chance, and as importantly, they controlled the puck in the LA zone. Hossa is flying out there, and playing at 100% mentally…he is SO SMART and saavy, and right now the Kings have no answer. Bickell is on fire…he’s a wrecking ball and is going for the net on a consistent basis…he was absolutely robbed on at least 3 occassions by quick, or this thing would have (and should have) been a rout. Bickell is becoming Andrew Ladd in front of our eyes, and IMO Bowman simply cannot afford to let him walk this summer…he is a playoff warrior, and this is how championships are won. But its Toews who is the key…he’s winning draws, controlling the puck, orchestrating the offensive zone cycle, using his body and strength to dominate position, creating glorious scoring chances…and sooner or later, he’s going to load the score sheet with points.

    The Handzus line scored a goal, and held their own, but were not as strong as they could have been defensively in the late 3rd…Sharp and Kane have to back check even more aggresively. The Shaw line dominated for most of the game, and could have/should have potted a few goals. But they too had a bad shift in the 3rd and it cost them ice time. As Wall has told us, Saad is becoming Marian Hossa Jr. and this is a very good thing. He was a major weapon all game, and is playing such smart hockey. Shaw is lightening tough, smart, and very gritty, which is exactly what we need. Stahlberg can get even better, but at least he was flying out there again. Kruger’s line was good, but needs more from Bolland.

    Speaking of Bolland, how can some of you blame Crawford for the Kings lone goal, or should I say Bolland’s own goal. CC came out and played the puck…sensed strong pressure by the KIng’s 4th line and even tried to elevate the puck to clear the zone. It was a great play by the King’s player to deflect the puck out front…from there Bolland needed to CLEAR IT immediately with the net open. Instead, he stupidly attempted a goal mouth blind pass, and the puck went in off the Kings player’s stick. STUPID and unforgiveable for a veteran NHL centre. Bolland’s stupidity put us down 1-0 after one, where we held a 17-2 shot advantage. That puts huge pressure on Crawford and the rest of the team, something we don’t need more of. And as JS said, Bolland clearly left his feet on the Richard’s hit, and targeted his upper body…whether he meant to shoulder his head or not, I don’t know, but it was a careless hit…and had a King done this to either Toews or Hossa, we would be up in arms, screaming for justice. Hopefully the league will suspend Bolland, and we can get our first look at Ben Smith, who I think would make a great addition to the 4th line. Bolland has had an inconsistent regular season, and a piss poor playoff IMO.

    Defensively, Leddy and Rozy were okay, nothing more…but the top 4 were outstanding…as Tab said, Keith is playing 2010 Norris Trophy hockey right now, as is Hammer. But Seabs has settled in and is playing very well, and Oduya is playing very strong and very smart hockey…GREAT JOB D!

    Game 2 is CRUCIAL today…its THE most important game of the entire season. The Hawks simply cannot allow the Kings to will themselves to a victory. The Hawks must play angry today with fire, and find a way to score more goals on quick, who made way too many good saves yesterday. Every line must win every shift from here out for us to win this thing, and it continues today! Hawks forever!

  11. Sr. Brad says:

    Very good post McKay…

  12. McKay says:

    I agree on the Bolland hit. He doesn’t lead with his elbow or use his shoulder to target the head. But he definitely launches himself which results in bad contact. While I don’t think it was dirty, it was certainly reckless (and desperate). Trib is already reporting that the NHL isn’t going to call him.

    Speaking of penalties, talk about guys who don’t get the benefit of the doubt: Dustin Penner. Jesus. Especially the second penalty – I didn’t think that was an elbow at all. He put himself in a bad position b/c he finished high. If Stalberg makes that play, that is not blown for 2. Shaw… probably.

  13. Tre says:

    The Kings got where they are because of Quick. His play has been incredible. He stops everything he should and a lot nobody should. Not to pick on Crawford and his solid play, but he was the second best goalie in the last series and is likely to be the same against the Kings. If the shot differential continues to be huge in the Hawks favor getting a handful of good scoring chances in there, the Hawks overcome this disadvantage, again.

    I thought the Kings would bring a much more physical game, and they still might, which could make things tougher on the Hawks. But the Hawks’ skaters outclass the Kings all over the roster. As was said, the Kings don’t have the stars the RedWings have, nor the depth. I could see Quick stealing a game, but Hawks end this in 5.

  14. TJ says:

    Bryan Bickell hands down has been the best Hawk in the playoffs. The guy has been playing with an edge, showing soft hands, and has been using size very efficiently. I hope the Hawks keep him but with the way he has played of late, some
    team is going to throw a nice paycheck at him. It will likely be a lot better of an offer than the Hawks can put forth. He will likely see an offer in the 1.7 to 2 million range and
    I’m not sure the Hawks can match that with their money invested in the big dogs. I think Bickell has earned the chance to field a few offers and
    see what is out there. In the meantime he is a hawk
    so let’s enjoy the playoffs and worry about free agency July 5th!

  15. wall says:

    JS and Brad- I have to disagree on 36′s hit… I watched it several times in superslow-mo. He doesn’t leave the ice until after contact (and he leaves with one skate/leg because he loses his balance and spins like a top)… Richards head was down and the contact on his chin was made by 36′s back ( the actual # 6 makes the contact)… which further proves that Richard’s head was down! Lastly, Richard’s head hits the bottom of the boards and bounces… this really looked like the concussion part of the hit.

    It will be interesting to see how Richards plays today.

    McKay I am with you- Kings did not look capable of skating w Hawks… But it’s only 1 game.

    I give 50/50% of blame to Crow and 36 on the lone goal.

    I thought 3rd line was great- Saad was a manchild- and I thought 25 had his best forechecking/backchecking game ever as a Hawk…

  16. wall says:

    Tre- I disagree w/ ” Kings don’t have the Stars of Wings”-

    The BIG difference – Wing’s stars are smart/humble- they knew they keep up with Hawks – so they sacrificed offense to become Defensive focused- Role players!!!

    I don’t know if King’s Stars are that humble… IMO- Richards is the only star humble/smart enough to play D first, and give up his O game…

    That is why the Pens will have their hands full w/ Bruins… B’s have very good player’s who will sacrifice O just to stay/chase Pen’s stars…

  17. Sr. Brad says:

    Still disagree on the hit, Wall, and the own goal was all on Bolland…but great thoughts on the Wings and the Bruins “stars” humbling themselves on the their offensive game to play team defence and win…I had never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense and works. After watching the game yesterday, I really got the sense that we dodged a major bullet with det…the way the wings were playing they could have won the Cup. The same goes with the Bruins…none of them seem to care a lick about stats, they are all just playing hard, complimenting one another and doing the little things necessary to win. Pittsburgh has a lot of ego…and after winning the Cup, perhaps LA does as well.

    That may very well explain the Hawks 2 year “slide” under Q…after winning the Cup, the core weren’t buying in and sacrificing their bodies 100% to play his straightforward system…and after 2 playoff humiliations, it humbled them enough to buy in completely again this year…because the Hawks are 100% committed to Q as a team this year.

    Brilliant thought Wall…thanks.

  18. Sr. Brad says:

    TJ, regardless the cost, you win championships with players like Bickell, Shaw, Kruger and Frolik…they have proved their playoff metal…really, Leddy and Stahlberg haven’t as of yet. Not that we should jettison either player, but when it comes to priortizing your FAs and RFAs, you wait to value them until after the playoffs. Going in, I thought Stahlberg was our #1 priority to resign, followed by Leddy…then Shaw, then Kruger, then Bickell…not now…Bickell is the #1 priorty because he has transformed himself into Andrew Ladd, and let’s face it, there isn’t a day that goes by on this board where one of us doesn’t lament on the loss of Andrew. Let’s not make that mistake twice. I would priortize Shaw 2nd, Leddy 3rd, then Kruger and finally Stahlberg. So if there wasn’t enough money to go aroud for all of them, and to keep Frolik, then you add with the Rockford players, who are all good, talented kids.

  19. Mox says:

    Still hoping someone can tell me what song is played right at the end of the 2nd intermission. Help!?

  20. IceHogst says:

    A very encouraging game because vaunted Hawk skill/speed/puck possession was more consistent, and more sustained, than in any other playoff game. The first period and 1/2 was the same sluggishness. After that the boys flew, and while LA regained some traction in the last half of the third, that higher gear was evident for long stretches. LA is in serious trouble if that continues.

    It’s one game. Let’s hope tonight is not deja vu all over again. CC continues to be rock solid.

  21. wall says:

    Really hope Pens come out of East… IMO- Bruins are a lot like 2010 Hawks. They have everything and can play ALL styles of Hockey… speed, grit, size, talent, heart, defense, role-players. Pens are like Flyers 2010- Offense 1st!

    And B’s won 67% faceoffs in Game 1… Gulp!

    Of course Hawks have to get there 1st…

  22. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Dull game, but a game that played into the hands of the Hawks. I fully expect LA to dial up the physicality in game 2. They are a talented and formidable team…a team that I have solid respect for. And I live in constant fear of Quick in goal. If they contain the number of SOG, then the Hawks will need to be equal to the task in front of Crow…and Crow will have to have another excellent series.

  23. JS says:

    Kings had 44 hits. It’s going to be difficult for them to “turn up the physicality” any more, especially if the Hawks D keeps moving as quickly as they did. You can’t hit what you can’t catch and as long as they are flying, it’s going to be difficult for LA to crank it up.

    And I can watch the play 100 times in super slow mo and still have the same opinion, wall. Bolland took a poor angle and then carelessly launched his body trying to make any contact he could with Richards. Richards’ head was the primary point of contact and Bolland was completely out of control. This IS a suspendable hit in todays NHL.

    Something EXTREMELY encouraging from the game yesterday was who scored goals. Hossa ($$) and Sharp ($$) are paid to score and they did. Kane also looked brilliant out there. I love how angry defensemen get when he tries to walk around them. Anyone else notice on the Penner roughing penalty when Kane came over and grabbed Penner’s hand trying to pull him away from the pile? It was hysterical. Anyone see him throw a few checks after Toews was railroaded? Made him angry!

    Yes, Bickell is playing wonderful hockey. I don’t think you lock him up at any cost, though. Where has this playoff Bickell been for the last two years? Why doesn’t he play like this in the regular season? Why I are you encouraged that he will play this way going forward? Guys busting his ass for a paycheck, I appreciate it, but you can’t overpay for it.

  24. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    We are seeing the likely end of Dave Bolland in the Indianhead sweater. Which I’m 100% supportive of. Time for him to go in the offseason.

    The wildcard in this series (as far as the Kings go) is Dustin Brown. He’s always been a tough player for the Hawks in terms of matchup. I’ll be interested to see how he comes out tonight. You have to work under the assumption that Quick gives up 2 or less goals per game. That means the Hawks need to work tirelessly in the defensive zone…forwards and d-pairings alike.

  25. Sr. Brad says:

    But thats just the thing JS…you won’t have to overpay for Bickell…he hasn’t put significant regular season #’s up as of yet…I liked his regular season a lot and think that $2 million max over 3 years will get it done…the Hawks might get him for as low as $1.75 million. But you sign him because this is how he plays during the playoffs and this is what counts…as for why not before? Bickell is a young player just coming into his own…he won’t go backwards after this, now that he understands the force that he is out there.

  26. B_Maniac says:

    Anyone interested in a single glass seat ticket in section 113? I can no longer make the game. I will take anywhere from $500-600. Face was $675.

  27. wall says:

    Hawks looked great- skating, moving puck out of Zone… biggest surprise – hitting!
    Just like shots – Hits mean little to me- It is quality shots and hits that really matter…
    and Hawks had great quality hits!

    Dustin Brown- said before the game- Kings NEED to put the puck in certain places… to be successful… this is why the Hawks looked so good in own zone and the Kings did not look like strong/hitting/physical team on the forecheck… I think Brown is 100% right… if Kings put the puck in right spot- their hitting/forecheck will pound Hawks D… and they will make the Hawk’s D wilt/crumble… and have a chance! If the Kings don’t put the puck in places to “put the pressure” on the Hawks D… the Kings will have a very difficult time of pursuing/skating after the faster Hawks… like yesterday’s game!

  28. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I really liked the Hawks d-mens game, IMO I thought Keith had an excellent game in particular. For whatever reason he played very well against LA this season. I think its a very underated part of Duncan’s game is his ability to simply outskate oppenents. Everyone knows about his O2 tests, but when he is sidestepping hits and outskating teams its a thing of beauty. LA’s gameplan was to crush Keith and punish him. Yesterday he was making players miss and firing 60 ft outlet passes the Hawks and was a huge reason why the Hawks dictated play. The LA beat writers/bloggers had circled Keith has a potential difference maker and he was exactly that in game 1. I thought the Hawks dominated for long stretches in the game and played a sound defensive game. The Hawks skated with a purpose and dominance yesterday and if they can replicate that type of performance I like their chances on advancing, despite being saving by Quick over and over again.

  29. McKay says:

    Keith’s skating is under rated? I thought that was the main reason we love him?!?

    The Hawks started being much more aggressive in the neutral zone when we couldn’t score on DET in the middle of game 3 and they haven’t looked back. All our D have the ability to (and have been) doing it but Keith is by far the best and he does it to stars. When he jumps the pass route or disrupts the neutral zone scheme, it forces opponents to chip in quickly. So to Brown’s point about “putting the puck in difficult places” – the Hawks’ are taking away time and space from the forwards to be able to make a good dump in. Our D’s legs are what intimidate.

  30. McKay says:

    Bickell – I hope this isn’t a “contract year phenomenon” for him. He’s been fun to watch and a valuable part of this team.

  31. Tre says:

    Hey Wall,

    Since you disagree w/ ” Kings don’t have the Stars of Wings”, who on the Kings would you trade for Zetterberg and Datsyuk?

    Those two are perennially among the 10 best in the NHL. Richards, Brown, Kopitar, Carter, Doughty are solid, but I wouldn’t do an all-things being equal one-for with any of those payers for this year for Zetterberg or Datsyuk.

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