Blackhawks Dominate Kings, Head to LA Up 2-0

After Game One ended 2-1, it appeared the champion of the Western Conference would be the team to score a second goal first four times. On Sunday night, it didn’t take as long for the Blackhawks to hit that benchmark.

The Hawks had two goals on the board at the end of the first 20 minutes of play, Jonathan Quick allowed four goals and didn’t finish the second period, and Chicago ran away with a dominant victory.

Corey Crawford was solid once again between the pipes, but it was a play he made after the whistle with around six minutes left in the third period that brought the biggest cheers from the faithful in attendance at the United Center.

With Chicago up 4-1, former-Hawks forward Colin Fraser took a shot at Jonathan Toews. Michal Rozsival took exception to the cheap shot, and subsequently dropped Fraser. Behind those two, LA tough guy Kyle Clifford grabbed Toews and started to jab at the Hawks’ captain. Crawford noticed, and quickly wrapped up Clifford.

After the play, a helmet-less Toews skated over with a smile on his face and smacked Crawford’s backside to thank his netminder. That exchanged resulted in a Kings powerplay that was crushed.

Tyler Toffoli scored a powerplay goal for the Kings with 62 seconds left in the third period, but the Hawks’ penalty kill was lethal once again. Chicago killed three of the Kings’ four powerplays in the game; the goal by Toffoli was the first powerplay goal allowed by the Hawks at the United Center during this postseason. It came with Duncan Keith in the box after he put a clearing attempt into the expensive seats.

Crawford stopped 29 of 31 shots in the game to earn another victory.

Rozsival was very physical for the Hawks in the game, leading Chicago with six hits. The Blackhawks were credited with 36 hits in the game, and matched the physical play from LA throughout the game.

Andrew Shaw was credited with five hits and also scored the game’s first goal. Shaw’s goal came less than two minutes into the first period and took some wind out of the sails of a Kings team that was without Mike Richards, who sat with an upper-body injury after getting leveled by Dave Bolland on Saturday.

Toffoli replaced Richards and played effectively, scoring the late powerplay goal and assisting on Jeff Carter’s goal late in the second period. Toffoli confirmed after the game that he didn’t know he was playing until after warm-ups.

With only 51 seconds left in the first, Marian Hossa dropped the puck for a hustling Brent Seabrook who put a missile past Quick to make the score 2-0 at the end of one. Note in the video below that Seabrook makes a hit in the corner behind the play, but skates himself into position to score the goal.

In the middle of the second period, the Hawks scored twice inside two minutes to chase Quick.

Bryan Bickell was credited with a powerplay goal (though it appeared Robyn Regehr put the puck into his own net), his sixth of the postseason. Bickell once again skated with Toews and Hossa and gave the Kings fits in front of the net. He was also credited with three hits and a blocked shot.

Less than two minutes later, Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus took advantage of a 2-on-1 breakaway and Handzus ended the night for Quick. Handzus now has a five-game postseason point streak (not bad for a trade deadline acquisition that continues to be mocked by many). Sharp had the primary assist on both of the Hawks goals in the second period.

Once again, the Hawks depth came into focus; ten different Blackhawks registered a point in the Game Two victory.

Brandon Saad had two assists as well, and continues to look more comfortable since he was moved to a line with Shaw and Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg, Toews, Kane and Hossa all had assists in the game as well.

Seabrook played another strong game after putting home the series-winning goal against Detroit. He was credited with three blocked shots and four hits in over 22 minutes of ice time. His partner on the blue line, Keith, skated a team-high 25:02 and was credited with one blocked shot and one hit.

Crawford has now kept 50 of the Kings’ 53 shots out of the net, a .943 save percentage.

The Hawks head to Los Angeles with a two-game lead in the series, but the Kings have been fantastic at home during the postseason. Chicago’s depth and speed will need to continue putting pressure on the Kings and Quick for the Hawks on the West Coast.

Saad gm 2

42 thoughts on “Blackhawks Dominate Kings, Head to LA Up 2-0

  • June 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Hey Negzz, what’s up?

    So much for the Hawks not being able to handle the physicality of hard checking teams. So much for Crawford not being up to the challenge. So much for Handzus being too old and slow to play with the Hawks. So much for no physical presence on the PP to put in front of the goalie.

    Hawks are two games away from the Stanley Cup with a team that so many people here cried wasn’t good enough to even win a playoff series. People wanting Bowman fired because he didn’t have what it takes to make a trade at the deadline to acquire the piece the Hawks needed to be able to compete. Oops. I guess the guy knows what he is doing after all.

    LA is going to be tough to beat at home, but unless they can figure out a way to slow the Hawks down, it’s not going to be easy for them. And as I said the other day about Quick, if he bleeds, you can kill him.

  • June 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    In the last series between LA and SJ all three delay of game penalties called resulted in a goal. That trend continued with Keith in the box.

  • June 2, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Even though the Hawks let up in the third period, they dominated the Kings, again. The Hawks quickness, skill and grit……yes GRIT, have taken the Kings down a couple of notches. I can’t see how the Kings suddenly get faster and more skilled in the next 2 days.

    I am NOT saying that this is going to be a “cake walk”, but if we stay healthy and keep playing the same way, there is no way the Kings can win this series. Jonathon Quick was supposed to back stop this team to another title, but we have found a way to not only beat him, but beat him up and get ito his head.

    The Kings are not used to our relentless forechecking and backchecking. They have no time to make any plays anywhere on the ice. Even our penalty killers are driving them to turn the puck over time after time. Cudos to Kruger and Frolik, too.

    Let’s keep this thing going and sweep it in 4!!!

  • June 3, 2013 at 12:18 am

    JS…”Hawks are two games away from the Stanley Cup” – well, they are six victories away. I do agree with the rest — “a team that wasn’t good enough…People wanting Bowman fired, etc.”. HALF-way there, and “LA is going to be tough to beat at home”, at least if their record there so far is any indication.

    Tom J…I agree. But again, LA has played MUCH better at home so far – I hope the Hawks can continue to play their game. ABSOLUTELY, “Let’s keep this thing going “!!

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Go ahead JS you earned the gloating! Count me in that group front and center. I was calling out Seabrook, Handzus, and Bowman’s lack of activity at that the trade deadline. As I said before after they eliminated the Wings it felt soooo goood to be soooo wrong!

    What else can you say about this game besides the Hawks were dominant and played amazing. They out classed a Kings team that started the game out strong, but the Hawks scored early and late in the 1st and then piled on in the 2nd and played a sounded defensive game in the 3rd. Game 3 will be the Hawks toughest test yet, it will be a key game in determining the outcome of this series.

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Up 2-0 is great, couldn’t be better.

    But …

    I watched the Kings play about a dozen games this season, including a couple games from each of their first two rounds of the playoffs against St.Louis and San Jose, and these first two games against the Hawks are as bad as I’ve seen them play. They look listless and are a step or two slower than the team I was expecting to see. I will be surprised to not see a much better Kings team in Games 3 & 4.

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:46 am

    First off—LA hasn’t played a team the caliber of the Hawks these past 2 seasons. But I do expect a tougher time in LA. Second, only thing about Handzuis is that he’s 91/188 at the dot. But he’s been a fine pickup otherwise!

  • June 3, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Several quick points before heading off to work…the one thing that concerns me about the Hawks with a lead is that they keep taking their foot off the gas…was evident in game 1 and blatantly obvious yesterday…second, these outcomes are great and still achieved without 19 & 88. When they find it, watch out.
    Go Hawks!

  • June 3, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Im just gunna make this easy… we can nitpik how we gave up the 2nd goal, or how keith too the Delay penalty in the first place… or how the Kings have been physical and now they are going home…

    But the truth of the matter is, that we are the better team top to bottom. Saad has been fantastic, Shaw has been a pest, Bickell has been a force in front of Quick, Seabs is finding it, Sharp is still shooting away, even Handzus has a 5 game point streak. Also, EVERYONE seems to be blocking shots, and that is just awesome to see.

    When i can mention 6 players who are playing above their “normal means”, and none of those players are 19/88/81… no one will beat us over 7 games.

    This shouln’t go back to LA, if it even comes back to Chicago. I had us in 5 from the start, thinking 6 might be a possibility, but after last night, I think we will take atleast one in LA and if we have to close it out on home ice in 5 we will. GO HAWKS!

  • June 3, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Pulling Quick has just about brought the Kings’ swagger to a humbling halt. All they have left is the Staples. Win one game there and this series is over.

  • June 3, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Oh also… Saad’s ridiculous inside-out move on Daugherty. Daugherty folks. I would lose my shit if a rookie did that to Keith. Man-Child is blossoming.

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:10 am

    @JS- “Hey Negzz, what’s up?”

    I’m right here (and loving the results to date!) You are certainly being proven right thus far and noone is happier about that than me.. Thoughts on my end:

    * Crawford: So far so good, CC is clearly playing his best hockey ever (please don’t pinch me and wake me up!) Particularly liked his spontaneous, aggressive sliding save last night to cut off charging winger on the bouncing puck.. Has good position, is flopping around less and has made a lot of key saves. He’s also working to get looks through screens and is well supported by the Hawks D, which is also playing great hockey. As I said towards end of Wings series, WIN and I’ll be a true believer and forget about the Yotes series last year.. Looking good so far…

    * Handzus: I’m not one of the detractors on Zues, in fact, I liked this guy as a face-off guy and size addition if Stan could come up with no other options. Even so, I have been pleasantly surprised how well he’s playing. He had some great moments on the PK last night (the sliding block and counter was top end stuff), that were pure effort.. That said, #26 is a rental (that is working), and the Hawks need a 2nd line C that is effective at the dot that preferably has size and grit. Bowman has to figure that out this offseason.. Bye bye Bolland and let’s go from there…

    * Physicality: As I posted earlier in the playoffs, the seeding process has gone as well as we could have possibly drawn it up. We draw Minny in rnd-1 while LA and StL beat the crud out of each other over 7. In rnd-2, Detroit scared us and but forced us into champion playoff mindset, while LA and SJ beat the crud out of each other over 7. LA, the defending Cup champs, look tired and slow. Playing back to back games was even tougher on them and Quick has a mediocre record in game-2’s of B2B’s.. This is the reason it’s so hard to repeat, it’s brutal. PLUS- Bickell, Shaw, Rosy and Seabrook are flying around and playing tougher and more physically than ever. Love it.

    Bottom line: This series is not over until you win #4. Quick will want redemption and LA is tough at home. Not counting chickens until hatched, but like what I see… who doesn’t!?

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:34 am

    JS- Yes, the Hawks have found the Physical Net Presence for the PP… his name is Robyn Regehr-lol- JS- you can gloat about some things… but that isn’t one of them.
    And while the Hawks have completely outplayed and skated circles around the Kings… three of those goals scored on Quick were the MOST PERFECT/PRECISE shots… Hardly Quick’s fault.

    Tab- love the site- thanks for the reality check from time to time…
    but- YOU were one of those guys to MOCK Handzus (slow like Bruno)… when I said put 26 on 2nd line – you laughed at that idea…

    ER- completely agree on Kings- Either they are that tired from their PUNISHING/physical 1st two rounds… OR the Hawks ARE just too Fast!!! We shall soon see.

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:58 am

    LA is beat up with several key players. I am not saying they are done, but they have ran into a team that is continually playing better and better team hockey.

    Reddsteel has a roster that can and has played any style of game and can adjust in short order.
    As stated by several prior to this series, the bottom 6 are the difference.

    We split in LaLaLand and we are playing for the Cup.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Love the play so far in this series. If Game 3 is close late, I like the Hawks chances. If Game 3 is a blow out by LA, I think that could give them some momentum.

    Did anyone else really want to get a quick goal on Bernier last night. I thought Sharp was going to get him…

    I love the way Crawford is playing, but selfishly wish we could have given up only 1 or 0 goals last night. I don’t think the Hawks let up tremendously when up big, but they slow down a little and I believe that lets the other team think they can compete. If not for that game, maybe the next. I think the first 10 minutes of Game 3 will tell us a lot.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:31 am

    LA is beat up with several key players. I am not saying they are done, but they have ran into a team that is continually playing better and better team hockey.

    Meh. Yeah Richards is out and Stoll just came back from having his brain rattled but the bottom 6 for the Kings has been a question mark all year. Frolik and Kruger dragging the boat anchor that is Dave Bolland around is much more effective than the Fraser line.

    Quick has surgically repaired back so part of yesterdays sloppiness (especially on the Seabrook goal) could be him feeling that back to back.

    And like I said a few blogs ago the Kings, aside from their team defense have suspect defenders and that showed last night. Factor in the head cases up and down that roster and the Hawks look to be in even better shape.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Anyone else struggling with their feelings for Shaw? I think he’s a pretty incredible hockey player, but he does so many dirty things that I find it hard to root for him. I guess it’s one of those situations where you love him if he’s on your team, hate him if he’s on the other team? I just can’t justify it. It’s like people that hate Torres but love Carcillo in the Hawks sweater.

    Wall- Bickell’s presence forced Reghr to make a quick decision and it turned out for the worst! At least that’s what I’ll say. Also, if CC lets in those goals that Quick did, he’s getting roasted on this site and people would be wanting Emery to start.

    I also didn’t think Handzus should be skating at the 2C, but jesus has he done an outstanding job. Can you believe this guy was benched by the Sharks? He’s so smart and what a set of hands.

    Also, can we talk about how terrible the NHL’s TV deal is? NBC was airing a rerun of The Voice instead of the Hawks game last night. Saturday it was college rugby instead of the Hawks. Ouch.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

    JS: How about the 6:00 PM home start time for the Kings on Tuesday (and many Eastern Conference Teams all post season)? It is as if the NHL said to NBC, you want to show our games? You can do whatever you want…

  • June 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

    JS – I believe the TV deal enables cable vendors & Dish/Direct to include NBCSN as an *exclusive* in a package. In the case of DishNetwork it’s about $15 per month to upgrade to that level. Of course in addition there are about 50 other channels (most that I don’t ever watch). I assume it’s nearly the same with DirectTV and various cable systems.

  • June 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

    I held off commenting because we had back to back games and I wanted to see how things were developing. The two wins this weekend were very well played by the Hawks. It was as though the shackles came off with the defeat of Detroit. Hawks skated free wheeling and brought a physical game to boot that LA was not prepared for. Crow was very good and with strong team D, the Hawks appear to be peaking at the right time.

    Scoring is well balanced, but better production from the bottom 6 than I would have expected. Not surprised to see those guys rewarded though, because they are skating their asses off and working hard every shift. Saad is growing before our eyes into a strong 2 way player. This is a guy who is gaining confidence each game. He knows now that he belongs and his game is growing by leaps and bounds. His back checking has been inspiring to watch.

    Come on JS, give Shaw a break. This is a small guy that plays with a big heart. Does he play chippy, yes! Is it good for the Hawks to have someone who brings that lurking menace and chaos when he is out on the ice, I say absolutely. He is learning though to keep things in check, and has not been lured into taking stupid penalties lately. Like Saad is is learning on the fly and he is getting better. I am a big Shaw fan, but you are right. Love to have him on your roster, but other teams and their fans probably can’t stand him. What makes Shaw special is that he scores goals and does the little things that free up line mates to get good scoring chances. Loved that Shaw leap at our blue line to clear a puck! Those are guys you want on your squad.

    Team defense has been fantastic. Everyone helping to clear our D zone and not cheating for breakouts. I am sure LA will bring a very aggressive forecheck tomorrow. They must do this effectively or we will beat them again. Could be tough though since they had 2 games to make it happen and we still got out of own end with crisp passes. I think Richards not playing yesterday was significant. He knows passing lanes and is very tenacious. If he sits tomorrow it is a big advantage for the Hawks.

    We stand an excellent chance to play for the Stanley Cup. The pressure is square on LA ,and from listening and watching post game interviews with the Kings, they know are are deep in the poop. I think we take one out of two in LA. There will be lots of Hawks fans there and I hope they make a lot of noise.

    Lets’ Go Hawks!

  • June 3, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Agreed about Zus, his IQ and hands are pretty good… I really liked a play vs. Wings- late game 7… he was covering 40 or 13 in corner w/ puck… instead of challenging them ( he knew he would get outskated/faked) Zus just calmly shadowed them with his large frame/reach taking away passing lanes and maintaining inside position/angles… let 40 expend all of his energy— if he tried to dance w/ 40/13… he loses!

  • June 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Peter: What time do you want a playoff game between a western time zone team and a central time zone team to start? Playoff games have national interest, and the idea is to get as many viewers as possible. That’s why you’ll never see an NFL game start past 8:30 EST. As someone who lives on the east coast, I’d be pretty annoyed if I had to stay up until 1 am on a week night to accommodate a 10pm start time. I’m sure all the Kings fans can get to the stadium or in front of there TV’s by 6 for a playoff game – half of them are out of work “actors” anyway that aren’t coming from real jobs.

  • June 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

    JEG: The start teams don’t penalize those people who can get in front of a tv. It penalizes the home teams. To make fans get to a Caps game at 6:00 P.M. in D.C. is ridiculous. It is the same with any metropolitan city. I am not saying I won’t take the advantage, but to think the NHL is watching out for the home teams, better teams, more deserving teams is a joke. This postseason just points out all of this.

  • June 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    anyone try to listen to the Hawks on the radio after a certain time they switch from the Hawks trying to win a cup and the excitement that goes with it , to the pathetic cubs playing the most boring sport other than soccer and put the hawks on an fm station that you cannot hear in elgin illinois thanks wgn shades of wirtz and his blackouts i thought we were past the crappy coverage but some things never change if you would rather listen to a cub game instead of the Blackhawks you should consider a free lebotomy at a state clinic lord give me strength Dave

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    My sirius Hawks feed is about 3 minutes behind live play. Have to pause the dvr to synch up. It’s crazy. If I listen to WGN online its just a few seconds difference most times. Does the FM station not broadcast online? Agree with your complaints.. it’s pretty pathetic in this day and age

    Agree ER, this version of LA is not the team I watched either. I fully expected more
    from them. If the last series taught us anything, it’s that it takes 4 wins. 2-0 is great, and losing 4 of the next 5 seems improbable as hell, but until we get a road win I gotta refrain from too much excitement. If our D-men hold up under pressure in LA we should be ok

  • June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Love to watch Shaw play. The energy he brings makes everyone else better and really gets under the skin of the enemy. True, he has to play smart and not get goaded into any penalties that hurt the team, but what a find in, what was it, the fourth or fifth round? Wish we had a couple like him.

  • June 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    If you’re ok with the way Shaw plays, you aren’t allowed to complain when people take runs at the Hawks stars. Giving people two handed slashes on the back of the leg is not ok in my book.

    I still don’t understand why Bolland wasn’t suspended for what he did to Richards.

    I didn’t like Bickell sticking his leg out and getting Doughty at the end of the first period.

    Maybe I’m soft because I don’t believe in winning at all costs. I don’t like the idea of winning because of a handful of dirty hits to the stars of LA.

  • June 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    If Sharp and Crow continue to be the best players on the ice, the Hawks are going to the Cup final. Book it.

    Hope they can keep up the pace. LA is beat up and if they have to skate 200 feet for 3 periods they will wear down.

    Take one of two in LA and win game #5 at home.

  • June 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    JS- I agree about Shaw… it is cheap- same kind of little stick slash happened on Toews wrist about a year ago- and slowed him down… furthermore, if ref sees/calls penalty it could put the Hawks in a bad spot in game…

    Still think 36 hit was ok… Both 36’s and Richard’s heads were down/lowered just prior to contact (around crossbar high) — it is hard for a player to leave the ice when is head is down… yes – 36 did explode into hit– but it was the back/hips lifting up (like a hip check)- not his skates/knees – the actual # 6 on his back makes contact with the head (which is down/around crossbar high) of #10… there is no way the #6 on back makes contact w/ chin unless head is down or Bolland jumps a foot off of the ice!

  • June 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    JS, I agree with you that when you want to play physical it can come back to bite you. However, teams have been taking runs at our stars all year. I am pleased to see us with some payback, and not backing down. While it is common knowledge to hard core fans, it gets a little mean in the playoffs. The extra jabs, slashes, crosschecks come with more mustard than during the regular season. The Hawks have been ready for the physical game so far in the playoffs if that is the way other teams want to play it. This is a no prisoners deal taken for both sides.

    I thought the Bolland check on Richards was borderline, but Richards had the puck and then appeared to be turning to go to the front of the net. Bolland labeled him, and prevented the play from developing. My seats are on the other side of the rink, but I saw the play pretty clearly. It looked worse on the replay than it did live, but I thought it was a good play by Bolland and unfortunate that Richards got hurt.

    Finally, I believe that if a guy runs someone that is clearly charging/roughing/boarding, book him. Same with the other stuff like boarding, roughing, crosschecking, slashing. You can drill someone though hard into the boards and it isn’t boarding. It’s a fine line with the refs and that line needs to be discovered each and every game.

    Guys need to keep their heads up tomorrow and communicate out on the ice, cuz the trains are going to be running fast.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    As most of us have said all along, the Hawks, to get back to 2010 success, have had to have a stalwart top 4 defence grouping, a true 2nd line centre (or someone playing that role) and solid goaltending. When we were down 3-1 to detroit it was because we only had 2 of these 3 things.

    Since game 5 vs. detroit Seabrook and Handzus have decided to step up their games and win a championship…this is the difference…the rest of the Hawks will do their thing…they always do, as we have so much talented depth. But make no mistake about it…we have won the last 5 in a row because Brent Seabrook and Michael Handzus has decided to become difference makers…and if this continues IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT LA DOES, OR WHERE THEY DO IT…the Hawks are simply too fast, too talented, too deep, too disciplined, too committed to team defence to lose a 7 game series. That’s why the Hawks set those records during the regular season…that’s why they ran away with the division (the toughest in hockey)…that’s why they won the President’s trophy.

    My comment JS about Bowman still stands. He’s a smart guy who’s done a wonderful job in most areas of running this hockey club. He’s put us in a perpetual position to compete for championships and has developed a minor league system that is bursting at the seams with character, talent and grit (which wins championships), but he’s sacrificed the last 2 seasons and risked this one by not addressing the 2nd line centre position. Trusting in 34 year old Michael Handzus at the trade deadline to do this was reckless, but thankfully its working.

    Now why would a guy who is so methodical, so structured in every other aspect of his business acumen be so careless with such an important position??? I don’t have the answer to this, but I have the right to ask the question…because at the end of the day JS, I don’t care one lick about being right, I just want to be happy!

  • June 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve finally seen what people have been saying about Bolland being just a shell of his former self. Does anyone else think it makes sense to bench Bolland & dress Carcillo or Bollig?

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    What a great game yesterday. I’ll be very interested to see how the two Dustin’s come out for Game 3. I’d expect Daryl to want them banging away. Feel very good about this series.

    On a sad note, I’m really going to miss Bickell when he leaves this summer. Damn the salary cap. He’s always been a class act, and now his game is coming together very nicely He’s going to get a high quality payday this summer. And deserves it. I just hope he ends up in the Eastern Conference.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    “Man I wish Pierre McGuire was covering the western conference final!” -Said no one ever.

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Pitt is getting worked! I didnt see this one coming either YIKES!

  • June 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    First of all Brad, let me ask this. Did the 2011 or 2012 Hawks have a chance to win the Cup, even with a 2C? I don’t believe so, and I would guess Stan didn’t think so either. What would they have had to sacrifice from this team in order to have acquired the position? And with an extremely tight cap (and one that he probably was smart enough to know was going to shrink), would it have been worth it? We’ve discussed the lack of a move this year. He didn’t have draft picks to give up and he didn’t want to part with his first rounder for a rental. Not to mention his team was good enough to obliterate a pretty impressive record.

    And I said before Handzus was definitely not supposed to be the 2C, it just happens to be working… insanely well.

    Everyone lauded Ray Shero for his moves at the trade deadline. He added the grit. Added a faceoff guy. Added an insanely gifted offensive talent. Added a horrible defensemen. Gave up a decent amount to acquire all of these pieces. Sadly, he didn’t realize that defense is pretty important and the Pens have been incapable of getting the puck out of their own zone and are about to go down 0-2 to the Bruins. Oops.

    I was kind of mean with my initial post. I guess it was just built up irritation from a season of people saying the Hawks weren’t good enough and Bowman should be fired for not acquiring additional pieces. Right now, is there a team in better shape than the Chicago Blackhawks for this year and the future?

  • June 3, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Absolutely the Hawks had the talent to win the last 2 years…look at the Vancouver series in 2011??? They lost in game 7 for the Cup and we would have won that OT game had not that Ottawa cast off gift wrap the GWG for them. Crawford was virtually unbeatable at that point.

    And last year, it took a viscous head shot to knock Hossa out of the series and 2 brutal softies by CC for PHO to win. When you have Jonathan Toews you always have a chance at the Cup, and Bowman should have made a move…that’s why (his own words) he moved All Star DMan Campbell for the stiff Olescz…no more needs to be said.

    We have no idea who is going to be our 2nd line Centre next year, we just know that it won’t be Handzus…your defence for Bowman in this matter is irrational and just comes off as being a homer…which surprises me because you strike me as an intelligent, rational thinker…

  • June 4, 2013 at 12:28 am

    R.T. Firefly, “I’m really going to miss Bickell when he leaves this summer. Damn the salary cap.” — do you know something we don’t?

    Despite all of the critisism here (and elsewhere), I think Stan Bowman has earned “the benefit of the doubt”. He will keep Bickell in Chicago if it’s the “Right Move” – obviously, he’s been a LARGE part of the Hawks’ post season success so far, (and I believe he’s closer to Byfuglien than the type of player Andrew Ladd is/was) but it may be complicated(?). It may take a move or two…

  • June 4, 2013 at 1:16 am

    JS, “Everyone lauded Ray Shero for his moves at the trade deadline.” — not everyone. And, “the Hawks weren’t good enough and Bowman should be fired for not acquiring…” — I suggested that NO moves guarantee success —> carefully consider “win NOW at-ALL-costs”. From Day One I said that I believe the Hawks have the talent – including in goal – it’s just a matter of consistently playing TEAM defense. (…skill and speed trump size – including “playoff hockey”, although here the officiating comes into play)

    Sr. Brad, “Absolutely the Hawks had the talent to win the last 2 years…” – I respectfully disagree. After the Cap necessitated house-cleaning about half of the Cup winning team was replaced with: Jake Dowell, Fernando Pasani, Nick Boynton, Jack Skille, Marty Turco, Viktor Stalberg(a “keeper”)…the following season to be replaced by: Andrew Burnette, Steve Montador, Sean O’Donnell, Marcus Kruger-Nick Leddy-Michael Frolik (all “keepers”, but in early development. C’mon – NOT “the talent to win”…more likely, talent to *almost* be competitive. “When you have Jonathan Toews you always have a chance at the Cup” — do you really believe this? It’s a TEAM game. I love Toews and Sharp, Kane, Hossa, Keith, and the “bottom six”, and Seabrook, Leddy, Oduya — it takes depth. It takes some LUCK, and that includes being lucky enough to stay healthy. It takes “desire”, “motivation”, “drive” – however you want to express it. Right now, it looks like the Hawks have (all) that going — FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!

  • June 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

    If you think the Hawks were only a 2C away from the Cup in 2011, you’re high. 5 of the 20 players from that team aren’t in the NHL anymore. That’s 25%. They backed into the playoffs on loser points and went down 3-0 to the top seed that they had the mental edge over for the previous 3 years. Not to mention, Patrick Sharp was playing center (or at least taking faceoffs) in 2011.

    2012… if the Hawks couldn’t handle the physicality of Phoenix or beat Mike Smith, I don’t imagine they would have done very good against LA and Quick.

    I also think Bolland deserved a chance at 2C this year and he was given it. Didn’t work out very well, obviously.

    The Hawks have a great chance at 2 Cups in 4 years after completely blowing up the team that won in 2010. If you don’t think that is oustanding, I don’t know what to tell you. The Hawks are by far the most complete team left in the playoffs and will only get better next year. Would be pretty damn impressive if the Hawks won 3 out of 5.

  • June 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Your defence is based upon suppositions and insults??? Wow…the Hawks had the Canucks # in 2010 and if it wasn’t for that glaring giveaway in OT where CC had no chance, we win that game the way the team and CC were playing…the Canucks went on to Game 7 of the finals. To say that we weren’t good enough to win in 2010 is ridiculous. Plus we matched up against Boston a lot better than Vancouver did.

    All of it is ultimately supposition, but to not address the 2nd Centre position over the past 4 years, really, isn’t sound MGT. Beyond that, Bowman’s done an excellent job of developing and caretaking this franchise. And again Dickie, JS, whomever else, Bolland FAILED once again, and we STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHO WILL BE OUR 2ND LINE CENTRE going into 2014…we have a chance for 2 SC’s in 4 years because of our talent level and depth, we risk it by not addressing this position. There is no contrary argument to this statement.

  • June 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Guys I for one have been enjoying every game after the Hawks went down 3-1 against the Wings(not to say i wasnt enjoying them before but with a different type of appreciation)I thought it was lights out season OVER as I have expressed on here! I watched game 6 nervously, I watched game 7 apprehensively. I was shocked and relieved once they pulled off the comeback. The reason I bring this up now is there will be plenty of time to worry about the 2nd line center (LOL for the million time). Time to worry about Bickell’s contract. Its sad that Bickell has turned into Buff2.0 (playoff stud to priced out). Lets just enjoy the next game and as of now the Hawks ability to close out the defending cup champs at home!

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