Kings Beat Blackhawks, Take Series Lead

Sharp LAK

The LA Kings went home and handled their business, taking away early momentum in the game and now holding a 2-1 lead in the series.

Jonathan Toews said before the game that the Hawks needed to play “pissed off” in Game Three, and the captain led by example early on. Toews scored a short-handed goal to give the Hawks the lead 5:26 into the game, and added a second goal at 13:19 to put the lead in Chicago’s hands once again.

Unfortunately, the Hawks’ other three lines didn’t get the memo.

Slava Voynov scored a goal on the same power play that saw Toews tally the short-handed goal, and the first period ended with the Hawks leading 2-1. Chicago won the majority of the faceoffs in the opening 20 minutes, put 10 shots on net and brought a lot of energy.

But the second period saw the Kings take control of the game, and it was an all-too-familiar storyline for the home team.

The Kings’ line of Tyler Toffoli, Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson has exploited the Hawks throughout the series, especially in the last five periods of the series.

Eight minutes into the second, Carter – who had a third period hat trick in Game Two – found himself all alone in front of Corey Crawford and tied the game. Johnny Oduya attempted to clear a puck from behind the net, but it hit an official and was kicked in front of the net by Pearson to Carter while Oduya and Michal Handzus watched.

A little more than six minutes later, it was Toffoli’s turn. Carter hit him with an outlet pass and he blew past Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Toffoli flipped a shot on net that Corey Crawford thought he stopped, but it slipped under him and into the net to give LA their first lead of the game.

In the third, Michal Rozsival took a terrible high-sticking penalty on Kyle Clifford. The Kings didn’t convert on the power play, but Drew Doughty scored the eventual game-winning goal two seconds after the advantage ended. On the shot, Oduya attempted to block the shot but slid through the play; Crawford didn’t get a good look at a missile that was past him before he knew it was coming.

Patrick Sharp scored a goal with four seconds left to bring the Hawks within one, but the goal was as much of a celebrity guest appearance as David Beckham in the stands. The Hawks line of Sharp, Handzus and Patrick Kane was held without a shot attempt in the first period and struggled to get any rhythm thoughout the game (again). It wasn’t until seven minutes into the third period that coach Joel Quenneville replaced Handzus on that line with Ben Smith.

Andrew Shaw returned to the lineup and finished tied with Bryan Bickell for the team lead with six hits. He skated 12:28 but failed to win one of seven faceoffs in the game. Handzus led the team with three blocked shots and won eight of 12 faceoffs, but was an anchor on the line with Kane and Sharp again. Handzus was in the box after closing his hand on the puck early in the first when Toews and Voynov opened the scoring for both teams.

Crawford didn’t have a good second period, allowing two goals against only four shots. But for as mediocre as he was in the middle frame, he was very good in the third; Crawford stopped 17 of 18 shots in the final 20 minutes. Unfortunately, the one he allowed to Doughty held up as the game-winner.

On the other end of the ice, Jonathan Quick three goals against 27 shots in the win.

The Hawks power play was a doughnut once again, this time doing nothing on four attempts with a (theoretical) advantage. Los Angeles was able to convert one of three power plays, and Doughty scored just after the third ended.

Brandon Bollig dressed and skated 5:32 in the loss.

The last two times the Hawks trailed 2-1 in a postseason series, they were able to come back and win the series (St. Louis earlier this year and against Boston in the Stanley Cup Final last year). They’ll get a chance to take home ice advantage back on Monday night in LA.


81 thoughts on “Kings Beat Blackhawks, Take Series Lead

  • May 25, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Well, this is it…crunch time. The entire internet is alive tonight talking about Q’s lineup selections. Just about every hockey pundit is saying the EXACT same thing…the Kings are beating the Hawks at their own game…nothing fancy, defensively responsible, timely goaltending and ROLLING 4 LINES! At the end of the game tonight LA continued to use 4 FRESH lines while Q used 1 and 1/2 lines…incredible. We have gone from dominating the regular season (with Zus out of the lineup) rolling 4 lines, to a VERY short bench. And every time Q gets an enlightened idea like benching Bollig, demoting Zus to the 4th line or MOST importantly, promoting Ben Smith to the 2nd line Centre, he promptly FORGETS these moments and reverts back to the same old SHIT. Enough is enough guys, everyone needs to start calling it like it is….Michael Handzus is no longer an NHL centre. If Q wants him as a “role” player, which I think is a bad idea, then he’s your 12th forward AT BEST. Bollig is NOT a quality NHL playoff performer. He has flat out struggled in his 2 attempts to play a limited role on the 4th line during the playoffs, and its killing us. We are now 6-6 these playoffs with Bollig in the lineup and 3-0 when he’s out. The numbers are similar for Zus as the 2nd line Centre…similar for when Regin and Brookbank are in the lineup…similar for when Rozy is in the lineup. Why are we even having to debate this lunacy any longer? Rozy had a rough season and a BRUTAL playoffs. Brookbank had his best regular season as a Hawk, he’s fresh, and has had a great playoffs. We are UNDEFEATED with him skating on D.

    After the game tonight all the questions were about “is it time to radically change the lineup and lines”…Q said NO…he said we might make a couple of small changes and that’s it. Guys, you can try and spin this all you want, but the Hawks 2014 season hinges on what Q does PRIOR to game 4. Regin should NEVER have come out of the lineup. Having Shaw, Regin, Kruger and Smith all in the lineup gives the Hawks 5 capable Centres, which gives Q flexibility. He has NONE now. This is why when we get behind and he panics, we drop down to 2 lines and then to 1 and a half.

    Look at Patrick Kane tonight…no one should criticize his effort or performance. He skated his butt off, finished checks, played defence and had the puck a ton, but always BY HIMSELF! How many times tonight did Kane enter the Kings zone with the puck (LA is allowing him to do so) and not a sole teammate around him? This insanity MUST stop now. This isn’t funny. It isn’t fun to have to talk about the SAME SHIT game in and game out. Our top line is dominating, they just need a little help. Crawford is not bad, but he MUST outplay Quick, he has to. Move Smith to the 2nd line Centre spot where he had instant chemistry with Kane and Sharp. Keep Shaw with Saad and Versteeg on the 3rd line…and allow Kruger to Centre Regin and Zus on the 4th line. I would prefer Morin, but that’s not going to happen. Also, Rozy has to come out of the lineup and BB in. If Q doesn’t do this, we will lose the next one, and then be in a next to impossible situation of moving forward. Again, its crunch time and Coach Crunch had better wake the F$CK up!

  • May 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Awful quiet here.

    PP continues to be awful on the road and the PK isnt at the previous level of success. What else do you need to know? That’s all the difference you have to have between W/L.

    I’m disappointed that with 2 extra days off from G1 to 3, we looked so heavy legged in the 3rd pd. The game’s on the line and we cant get a sog while LA peppers CC without fail. That’s unacceptable after the 3rd pd meltdown at home. Plus another ”bounce” goes LAs way when the clear hits the ref and is in the net in a second. Not keeping track but, I’d say we’re due for a couple??

    There’s no use even commenting on playing 26 at 2c anymore , but how can you watch it and not become incensed? It’s indefensible to think that is our best option. If General Q wants to mine his own airfield, the team has no choice but to somehow overcome it. Tall order though.

    CC wasn’t where we need him still. He doesn’t need to be .989. All he has to do is outplay JQ, hell .910 would do that. We weren’t bad, we just weren’t as good as needed, 19(super effort)-29-7-65 all looked good, Faceoffs were much better. Ups n downs. We like to make it tougher than most would like. We will need to package our best game of the 4 for Monday. Just break even on ST we’re gonna be fine. 88 will show if given a 2c who isnt getting AARP mail.

    We will let the LA area shower the Kings with favor, tell them how great they are and how they are gonna have a parade ….etc,…. aint over till the champs are knocked out . We haven’t even been down yet(outside of 26 once a period). No eulogy here.

    LA is due for their 3rd three game losing streak, starts Memorial Day. Get the grill ready Mom

  • May 25, 2014 at 12:25 am

    The Kings are a good team. They used to be good defense – no offense. Now with the acquisition of Gaborik and the emergence of Toffoli and Pearson they have a pretty good offense to go with that good defense.

    There’s nothing new to be said about who is playing and how they’re playing. Some players that need to be doing more will either step up or the Hawks will probably lose the series. Closing a hand on the puck and blatant crosschecking penalties taken by veteran players that are in the lineup because they supposedly know better than to take penalties like that is bad hockey – losing hockey. And so it goes. Those players will continue to play because Q is making a point to Stan that he hasn’t provided him with better players … or maybe Q really is that densely stubborn. Who knows, but this is the hand we’re dealt and it must be stated that it’s been a winning hand twice in the last 4 seasons, so as long as the Hawks are still playing – we must believe. Throw common sense out the window and have blind faith that Q knows what he’s doing. Are ya up for that? Can you keep the faith alive? I’m trying. How about you?

  • May 25, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Well ok, as Tab stated, we have faced adversity before, down against St. Louis, down against Detroit, down against Boston. Certainly cannot expect Jonathen Toews to carry the whole team on his back. LA has much to prove to themselves, against us in particular, and are setting sights on their own “dynasty”. Thought the penalty against Handzus was a bit bogus, picayune really. Blackhawks third goal…flukey? mean anything? does it give us some jive sticking it to them like that at the end? No one should be heading for the exits yet, we can do this, just got to want it as bad as LA. I’m back to cautious optimism.

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I view this is as lost game that was just given away. Bad lines, bad lineup by Q, Failed goal-tending by CC and a game that could have been won. I am a fan of Joel, but this now seems to be some sort of mind game he is playing with SB. Otherwise, he on the hot seat. Own it Q, its yours.

    Zus was beyond brutal tonight. Thanks Joel , sitting Regin again, for Bollig or Zus? Please stop this. Rozy penalty just plain stupid. BB must play. Game lost on special teams right out there for all to laugh or cry. Bottom line is we owned em 5 on 5 until they got a 2 goal lead. Not even close. Kings are a fragile team IMO that dances on the edge,

    So I am waiting for a better lineup/lines. CC needs to get it back which I believe he will. I want Smith on 2nd line and figure out 3 and 4. This isn’t that hard. Skate 4 lines and let those guys play, and let the chips fall where they may. Q owns it now. Stubborn SOB.

    This was a rough one to watch past half way. No response. Not acceptable

    Still bullish Hawks cuz these guys don’t like to lose, and know how to win the big ones. Next game is massive. I hate to go to bed letting this stuff bother me.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • May 25, 2014 at 2:40 am

    We are right were we where against BOS, should have won game2 and been up 2-0 & got camerooned by you know who… The only diff if BOS outplayed us and deserved to win that one, we actually outplayed them overall in game 3, again. Whatever they cant get the bounces everygame, just like Crow said against the redwings.

    We can win 3 in a row against them because we have outplayed (by a lot)(and SAN and ANA did) them in most periods of the 3games… but lets not and if we have to win 2 in a row to win, fine.

    We are moar dangerous when we have something to prove (even though we took it to them 3/6 periods in the 2 games) & when theres 2 days between games, bitchs.

  • May 25, 2014 at 5:18 am

    I thought there were stretches during the first period where we looked as good as we have all playoffs. The fourth line in particular was playing well, and the first line was dominant.

    The second period was a bit of a flip from the Wild series where we controlled the play and outshot them only to lose the lead because they cashed in on their scoring chances and we didn’t. The ref deflecting Oduya’s clearing pass was bad luck, but I would have liked to see Seabrook with a better effort on Pearson there behind the net. And yes, Handzus might want to cover Carter in front of the net.

    The real concern was the the third period, where we just were overwhelmed for the second straight game.

    Mining Man, I can’t agree that the call on Handzus was weak. He clearly closed his hand on the puck. How long has that guy been in the league now?

    We have a history of figuring things out and getting better as the series moves on. Let’s hope that continues.

  • May 25, 2014 at 5:41 am

    It’s not over but…this will be hard to turn around-
    The Kings are deep and resilient-not much is separating these two teams and you can micro manage the comments all you want but one team is seizing the opportunity and having fun. (The fault doesn’t rest on 26 and 52)
    The hawks are the champs and might have one last push but it’s hard to play 60 minutes hard against this team, especially when your tank is on low.
    I know some of you discount the # of games played in the last few years but that is BS-playing three disciplined teams in this years playoffs has been tough on the BHawks.
    Whoever wins the west with roll in the final
    Here’s hoping for the best! I for one have enjoyed this team and their accomplishments.

  • May 25, 2014 at 6:47 am

    (Sigh) Can there possibly be anyone more stubborn than Q? Regin is playing pretty well & gives some speed & energy & so when Scrappy Doo is ready to be back in the lineup (that’s what I call Shaw) Q sits Regin instead of Bollig or Zus? Ok, Q puts Zus on the PK, but he could put Saad there instead. Kane has nothing but compliments for Smith being his center so what does Q do? Move him to the 4th line & put Zus back on the 2nd.

    Surely Q’s seen how Rozy is struggling but instead of playing BB, who played pretty darn well & made a lot of smart plays, Q chooses to sit him BB…maybe Q believes Rozy’s play will improve?

    Will someone yell in Q’s ear, if something isn’t working, YOU HAVE TO CHANGE IT!!!

  • May 25, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Been moving and out of the loop, but really bummed after last night. Tab’s analysis seems spot on and I am with Brad and others saying BB needs to play and Regin needs a spot somewhere. We need our big players to step up, but they may need help…no Zus on the 2nd line. Does anyone else feel this is like the series last year with the Kings except they have players stepping up this year and the Hawks don’t.

  • May 25, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Boys n girls… like I said… Kings have over $5M on the 4th line (in one player)…
    Hawks had around $7M on last year’s 4th line in Game 6 SC… This “Luxury” is/was afforded by “cheap stars” (65,20)… this year it is LA w & Pearson/Toffoli… Bottom line- w/ Gaborik added… Hawks have no answer for LA’s two # 1 lines…
    And like Brad said- Hawks are skating 1 1/2 lines TOTAL!!! LA is just better/deeper.
    While I totally agree that Zus should not be skating w/ 88- EVER… Q – really doesn’t have the Horses vs. Kings. Morin, Regin are better options- but not difference makers.

    BUT Hawks are skating a $1M has been on 2nd line… WHY couldn’t the Hawks keep/manage to hold on to at least 67 for one more year at $2.2M… instead we hung on to Grandpa and Picked up an injured, weaker – Versteeg…

    Moving Forward : the Hawks need to move one or two of 32,27, 7 ( I love 7, but perhaps his skill set is easiest to replace with Johns)… this can quickly open up around $5-7M in cap space to chase some “Real forward”- like Kesler or ???
    With the new Playoff format- it really doesn’t “hurt” as much to trade in the same Conference (diff. divisions)

  • May 25, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I have said for 4 years that the Hawks are winning championships in spite of coach Q, not because of him. His line management is horrendous and he is not even smart enough to field the best players. Time to think out of the box. Lines for Monday game:29-19-81, 10-Tevo-88, 20-65-11, 23-16-28.

  • May 25, 2014 at 8:48 am

    A lot of comments here seem to come from those that forget the fact that we’ve carried the play in this series at least half of the time. The Hawks carried 2/3’s of game two and possibly a little over half in games 1 and 3. I don’t see anything that says the Kings are a deeper better team. They are riding one hot line and abusing a rattled PK and goaltender. That hot line they are riding, btw, drawing the ever so tough defensive assignment of Kane, Sharp and Handzus (dripping with sarcasm). The difference in the series so far has been special teams play, goaltending and coaching – in that order. Don’t pretend Regin or Morin are going to make a bigger difference than capitalizing on one of our PP chances. And, allowing a team to score at a 50% clip on their chances? Not going to help you hoist the cup.

    This team needs to stay out of the box, get some better goaltending and they will be fine. Lineup changes? Couldn’t hurt either. I like Regin over Handzus and Morin over Versteeg. Anyone suggesting TT is showing a little too much desperation.

  • May 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Are you suggesting Nate that Tevo would not be an upgrade over Handzus? 12 in place of Handzus would also be a big improvement. BB has to take Rozy’s place as well. We will not win this series with 26 and 52 playing. This is all on the Q.

  • May 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

    No need to panic just yet. Crow is due for a big game or two. Surely by now someone has filed missing person reports on Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane and we can expect them back on the ice soon.

    I do find it puzzling that for all the talk about Stan’s terrific draft choices and our wonderful farm system that our playoff opponents seem to have 3rd and 4th liners that can skate, check, shoot and score with much more regularity than ours.

  • May 25, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I really not sure what team I’m watching lately. The Hawks inability to generate shots and offensive pressure is abysmal. They are winner gams with guts and experience. La is a solid team. I’m not sure if this formal is going to fly against this team. Isn’t there a way to get Reign, smith and Shaw on the bottom six?

  • May 25, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Sorry, but Wall is right. The Kings are better this year because THEY ARE DEEPER. They are skating Mike Richards on their 4th line. I have said this time and again, your best players win you games when they are “fresh” and put in positions to succeed. That’s why the Hawks have dominated the NHL since really 2009. Because we have fielded the deepest lines in the NHL allowing our stars (without a 2nd line Centre) to stay fresh and dominant, especially late. Why do you think the Kings are KILLING us in the 3rd periods??? Put 2 and 2 together. They roll 4 lines, Q doesn’t…and this MUST start being addressed by the CHI media. We have dominated for 5 years because of this…we dominated the regular season with a winning % of over .800 with Zus out of the lineup and us rolling 4 lines…and then 2 things happened…Zus and Bickell came back from injuries. Bickell took a long time to heal and Zus lost his game completely…and with Bollig in the lineup as well, Q has NOWHERE to go except shortening his bench, fundamentally draining the legs of our stars. And Q has buried Sharp and the best offensive player in the game by burdening them with Handzus. Let’s not forget, superstar Kane (who had good production this year and was on pace for 100 points until Zus came back) has only ONE FREAKING GOAL this season when Zus in on the ice with him. We are now on the road, 1 game from facing elimination, as Q doesn’t think a change is needed…that’s not stubborn, that’ dumb!

  • May 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Smitty, Crawford is playing well, so counting on him to take it to another level may not happen. As for Sharp and Kane THINK…why are they MIA? Because their centre is Handzus. The ONLY production Kane and Sharp have had these playoffs is when Ben Smith became the 2nd line centre. We went undefeated with Smith in this spot…then Q relegated him back to the 4th line so that we could start losing again with Handzus…a player that will be out of the NHL very soon.

  • May 25, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Smitty- I agree with your point on SB and draft picks… look at Pearson, Toffoli, or Wild w/ Haula, Coyle, Nieder…

    But really- NHL drafts…a lot of the talent is found in deeper picks by good scouting/luck… which brings me to my second post… many about 18 months ago… most seemed high on the Hawk’s forward prospects/ and low on the D prospects…
    imo- I think this has actually flipped (Hawks have more ready/capable D prospects that are closer to contributing than Forward prospects)… Of course- time will tell…
    But – until some prospects “Pan” out… or they make some trades/FA’s the Hawks are slowly falling behind some of the other elite teams in the West depth wise… Wild, Avs, Kings are all getting better in that regard.

    Then again, I still think in the master plan… SB/Q are “slow playing” Morin- to keep his value down- and he is ready to contribute- or Q really hates him and he is the new Pirri… KHayes- looks like he is going to tell Hawks to Suck it!!!

    So Hawks will need to add some Forward depth… or some Prospects (2-3) will need to shine (not just be Bollig/Kruger types)…

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Has anyone else noticed how tentative Leddy has become offensively? I noticed a couple times in last nights game that he had a chance to drive to the net, but like a trained dog he stopped at the blue line & dumped it in…… This kid has some excellent offensive instincts & Q just holds him back….. You can see that he wants to “go” but knows if he does his playing time will get cut……

    Like a lot of you I’m confused by Q’s blind allegiance to some of the veterans. I appreciate his willingness to stick with them, but he now needs to stick with the young talent, it’s going to be their team after all…….

    For some reason change is difficult for the human species & we resist it. However those that do not change & adapt are doomed to failure.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

    2months ago Hawks fans were going nuts over TT. Nothing has changed 2nd line center continues to be a huge hole. At the end of the day Smith and Regin are better options IMO. If Sharp and Kane continue to not be factors this series is over its really that simple.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Crawford may be “playing well” but he is being outplayed by Quick. Two goals of four shots not good. He should have stopped shot that slithered under his pad. Agree that Bollig and Handzus need to be out and Regin and Brookbank in. Bet 19 and 88 back together for game four. LA most balanced team Hawks face to date. Toughest test so far. Just hope they have enough gas remaining in the tank.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Also Crawford has to stop acting like a frustrated child every time he lets in a weak goal. All he is letting LA and the fans know it they are getting in his head. He needs to remain stoic through out.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Toews, Kane, Bickel.
    Sharp, smith, Hossa.
    Saad, shaw, Kruger.
    Morin, regin, nordstrom.

  • May 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Have to agree with Phil…was a lost game that we just gave away. Wasted gift from Toews scoring that shortie and then soon another after that to retake lead, all the momentum should have gone to us in a big way. LA feeling very invincible against us and can score at will, in their minds anyway. These guys came back from 0-3 against the formidable Sharks don’t forget. Q states their will have to be changes in the lineup so we will see. Time to put Kane up front with Toews and move Smith up to 2C …Mr. Smith actually played a pretty good game last night. Innuendo and sublime suggestions that Q is deliberately sabotaging to get at Stan Bowman is nonsense. Can we win 3 out of the next four against these guys? Can they win 2 out of the next four? Some one suggested we lose Seabrook during the off season…go outside and get some fresh air, it’ll do ya good.

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    The sky is falling. We’re down 2-1. Takes 4 to win a series boys, take a step back from the ledge.

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Teuvo Taravainen is not with the team. He is not an option to be put in the lineup, nor should he be even if he wasn’t back in Finland because he’s not ready yet and to throw him in there right now would be a desparation move that could ruin his confidence and possibly his future.

    There’s a reason no team has repeated as Cup champions in the salary cap era. The Hawks still have a chance to do so – just like the Kings had a chance to repeat last season until the Hawks beat them in the WCF. Well now the skate is on the other foot and the Kings have the opportunity to dethrown the champs and if they do then I believe it is because they are the better team right now and not because Q played Handzus instead of Regin or someone else.

    The Hawks are still in this and if they win Game 4 everything will be good again. So I’m not giving up hope by any means, but I’m also prepared to give the Kings the credit they deserve rather than say it was something the Hawks didn’t do.

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Wall I agree 100% with you there.


    I think with a few tweaks they can compete better but some changes need to be made and 26 and 52 are gonna have to sit for 11 and 12. Not that that would totally right the ship but at least they would have 4 lines of skaters and that can’t be worse.

  • May 25, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    ^Kesler oops

    not over but the coaching staff is going to have to go out of their comfort zone.

  • May 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    TT quite possibly would have made the playoff team if Q had given him a chance. I watched the World Jr. tournament and he was the best player on the ice. Q played him THREE games and that was it. I am not saying that TT is the answer this year but anything is better than Handzus. How about Carter’s goal, Handzus never even moved. His stick wasn’t even on the ground. What does Bollig bring to this team? Nothing. The Hawks success and the element that separated them from all other teams is speed and skill. With Handzus and Bollig we have neither. Lines 2 and 4 are completely ineffective. If Nick Leddy had made all the mistakes Zus has made in these playoffs he would be gone for good. Regin, Morin and BB need to play NOW before it is too late. Ditschler, I like your lines. Give the Hawks a chance to win Q!!!

  • May 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Brad- Smith worked at center against STL stacking 3 lines. Regin on 3rd line worked against MIN to role 4 lines. Maybe we do what worked against STL.

    Seabs isint going anywhere. Rozy & 27/8 would be 4.9m to cover a centers caphit… Neilsen caphit isint that high. Rozy/Steegs 2.2 will cover it.

    The teams that have more depth then they had before MN/CL/LA were not top10/good teams 3+ yrs ago, they had to wait for the prospects to develop. There going to have to pay them and are not going to be able to keep all of them…

    This is a inbetween yr for depth (in terms of how good we have had it…). We have been a top team for 6yrs & counting now and we have good role players coming in these 3yrs coming up. 20 & 65 have come up ad more are coming, so Bowman draft picks are producing really good players to. It just takes yrs to develop. When you think about it 20 developed fast and 65 was 20 at draft. Were going to get our depth back, like we had it before.

    I do not think their more deep, just more deep then they were before and it shows. They got the breaks/bounces that 2 games & that guy that mentioned we carried the play 6/7of9 periods.

    We are getting close to playing really good and turning the corner and not look back.
    Then, theres a free buffet in the finals of east coast bias announcers/media.

  • May 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    It’s not a matter of whether TT can provide better play than Handzus can, the point is that TT is not ready to be thrown into NHL playoff hockey at the highest level. He may not even be ready next year – we’ll have to wait and see how he does. TT has the potential to be a very good player for the Hawks for many years – you don’t risk that for a short term gain. There’s been many young players thrown to the wolves too early and had their confidence ruined and never made it. That’s why you have to be cautious with how TT is brought along.

    By the way, I watched TT in the u20 tourney too and he absolutely played very well. His skill level is obvious to see. But he plays soft and with him not being physically mature yet be would get eaten up and abused by these Kings players.

    That’s just my opinion – I could be wrong, but that appears to be what Hawk’s mgmt thinks too.

  • May 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    ER- T is going to be good. What were doing for his development is the right way, do not rush him. Hes not ready right now, but when he is hes going to be wicked.

  • May 25, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Sr. Brad,

    Came to this blog to question WHY does thsi happen. Can Q be this dumb really? I mean where is the common sense?????????????????????????????????

    Where is Bowan, either Jr. OR Sr. Where is the Asst coaches???????????????????????

    how can you shut down kane with your own lineup????????????????????

    It is nuts. Regin for 26 is HUGE upgrade. Bollig out for anyone is an upgrade,.

    Now, the problem with the internet is you get people saying, like above, play TT. I mean he is so far, he might never make it. He could not make the Finnish World Cup Team, they sent him home. He is not CLOSE to ready. We will see how he does next year in the A. Maybe he is ready after a few months of that, but he doesn’t seem a sure thing prospect he looked so not ready. Being able to pass is one thing, being able to play is another skill set he has nto shown.

    But anyway, the why 26 at 2c and why Bollig at all are valid. Where is the media saying wow Q 88 has 1 goal all year and you still play him with a guy pushing a walker? Why is that Q? I mean where is the media? Where is the accountibity in the organization?

    This year we aren’t as deep and if we win it this year, it is the year of 19 and 88 just picking us up and taking us there. 19 is trying, he isn’t giving 88 a chance.

    This is wrong. The 26 is much worse than the bollig in the lineup. I mean 26 is NOT ONLY killing us on the offensive side of the puck, he is KILLING us on BOTH sides of the puck. Sure 16 is getting scored on as well, but regin for bollig fixes that.

    Q is screwing us, I don’t care what anyone says, he is simply getting paid to hurt is team more than help it when it comes to line combo’s, a big thing a coach does.

    This is BULL CRAP.

  • May 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    We don’t need TT right now…the players to win another Cup are on this roster…and I strongly disagree that if the Kings win it will be because they’re the better team…they’re NOT. But the difference in this league between all teams is pretty close…and between the top teams it is miniscule. I have said this going back before the playoffs started…we won’t win with Zus and Bollig in the lineup, as they are BOTH are role players who bring little to 5 on 5 hockey. We simply are no longer head over heals better than the other teams in the league. Add to all of this Rozy’s horrid play and no we have a real problem and yes, it is a personnel problem.

    Regin wasn’t just average when he came into the lineup, other than F/O’s he was damn good and dangerous too. ANYONE watching would have noticed this, you would think our coach would have too. Down the stretch of the regular season, with Toews and Kane out, Jeremy Morin was our best forward. Now he’s a scratch before Nordstrom??? WTF? Explain that one to me??? Ben Smith transformed that 2nd line into a dynamo after only 10 minutes of playing time in his 1st game in that role, and now he’s buried on the 4th line again. WTF??? Sheldon Brookbank has had a good season and very good post season, but he sits while Rozy plays after being benched for piss poor play? WTF??? This is NOT because the kings are a better team, this is all on our head coach and no one can twist that fact around right now.

    To Wall, we have a stacked lineup and have little space for forwards. After this season with Old Man River finally gone, Q will have to play Morin, and when he does you are going to find that he is a top 6/9 forward on this team. So is Ben Smith. So what we need moving forward are replacements for that 4th line with Kruger, and the Hogs have TONS of candidates…Nordstrom will be one of those guys. I think TT will be in the fight of his life next camp with Ben Smith for that 2nd line Centre spot. Add Morin and Nordstrom and we don’t have any more room, and for a while. Plus the 3 forwards in Rockford that are likely the best NHL prospects and will be ready soonest are Garrett Ross, Phillip Danault and Ryan Hartman. They all embody “bottom 6” characteristics.

  • May 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Steve, last night after the game on the Canadian CBC broadcast, Bowman Sr. was asked what the “problem” is with the Hawks, he responded that the Kings are a deeper team this year and are skating all 4 lines and we are not.” What else needs to be said? Neither Bowman can make a statement more powerful than that and not create a controversy. We rolled 4 lines most of the year and had an .850 winning %, but as soon as the playoffs started, we have 1 and half lines? Who knew?

  • May 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    yeah i hear ya.

    Losing Frolik and Bolland, guys that will score in the playoffs for guys this year, Bollig,handzus hurts.

    Plus, not enough talk about it, Sharp is killing us. yeah last year 4 lines that were a threat. We are 82 games reg season and noy 3playoffs and STILL looking for something. But that is coaching. He doesn’t want to go with what COULD work.

    Sr Bowman is Yoda. What he says goes, but we know already he speaks the truth. We cant’ roll 4, they do. They are deeper no doubt.

    but if so, why not try as Q? regin on 4th for Bolig or Smith on #2 and regin on 4th.

    I mean this sucks, never been so frustrated at the management of Q. I knew this was possible and talk about it with friends, like will it be good Q or bad Q. This year is bad Q.

    We need changes. He opened the door to subtle ones.

    We have 2 passengers this year, Bollig and Zeus. Smith is in his first playoff grind so you can’t expect him to do it either, like Saad last year.

    We need more Saad. If Saad=Tafolli we win. Their young prospects are beating ours.

  • May 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Ditschler- that’s a brutal fourth line.

    All this Kesler talk is crazy. I know Kane will want a legitimate center in the future, but that should be Toews. Next year (I would prefer these playoffs too), Hossa will move down a line and Kane should move up. Adding Kesler will make it even harder to keep our core guys. Say what you want about Sharp or Seabrook this postseason but we need to hold on to them until we see if Morin or someone can become a top-6 sniper or Johns is a shutdown big defenseman. As far as the offseason goes, I would let a team like Pittsburgh acquire Kesler and we just worry about our own guys (Smith, Morin, and eventually Kane and Toews). Handzus will retire (is crazy to think a guy who is centering Kane and Sharp in the playoffs won’t be offered a contract next year). Oduya will mostly be a cap causality- though I appreciate him more than others. Rozy should be traded. Versteeg will be fully healed and hopefully looks like the Verbeauty of old. Terraveinen will hopefully dominate in training camp.


    Leddy-(cheap veteran until more d-prospects are ready)


    This time is better than this year’s unit.

    As for these playoffs, I’m still confident.
    Let’s go Hawks!

  • May 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Sharp @ 2C also would solve some problems. Noooooo idea why that hasn’t been tried. 20 10 81 = killing for fun.

  • May 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Guess what? The Kings are a really good hockey team. Yet to read this site is to suggest the Hawks were supposed to simply steamroll a really good hockey team. There is a reason no club has repeated as Cup champion in some time. It’s because it’s brutally hard to do. The Hawks have played like crap since before the Olympic break. In fact they have lived on borrowed time as it is in these playoffs. They’re tired. It shows. Do they have enough to will themselves further? Again, they’ve been living on borrowed time for awhile. Crawford has carried this team, but now he too appears gassed and ready to rip off the skates.

    It isn’t about Handzus, Bollig, Rosival. Rather it is about a player like Sharp actually doing something in the playoffs for a change. It’s about Hossa finding another of his patented bursts where he takes over the game in the offensive zone, a feat he has done many times deep in the playoffs in his Hall of Fame bound career. It’s about Keith finding another gear that doesn’t seem to be there the last 3 weeks. It’s about Saad living up to the hype for a change in the playoffs. Toews, Oduya, Hjalmarsson, Crawford, Kruger have been magnificent this post season. But it’s time for others to step up, if they even have anything left in the tank to do so. Which remains highly unclear on a team that has been playing on borrowed time to begin with.

    Did I mention the Kings are a very good hockey team? The Mensa Society that hangs out here needs to be reminded of that.

  • May 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    CJ, I agree and think well keep Oduya.

    Get Regin in now.

  • May 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Seriously Q Handzus needs to sent to the Senior Tour, he is no longer able to keep up with the young guns of the NHL. Its a speed game now and the central division is getting younger and faster. Bollig really offers nothing at this point and to have him in over Regin is foolish. I would also like to see Brookbank over Rozy as he has earned it thus far.. Yes the PP really needs work and taking stupid penalties are killing the Hawks. its really frustrating to watch. Hopefully they win the next game or i believe its over. As much as Q pisses me off the other asst bozos are even worse.

  • May 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    CJ, regarding “brutal” 4th line: Morin and Regin were great down the stretch, when we were fading. They brought energy and scoring. Add in Nordstrom, who is fast and goes to the net, and we’ve got a line that can cause problems– in the offensive zone especially.

  • May 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Our best line down the stretch was Regin centring Morin and Bickell…they dominated and then the playoffs came and it suddenly became a taboo idea…wow. Smith centring Sharp and Kane made us a dangerous team because we had two #1 lines…then the 2nd round came and that became a black listed idea. Bollig was benched, Zus was rotated to the 4th line basically just doing his PK roll and we were undefeated. Suddenly this too is a blacklisted idea. With Regin and Brookbank in the lineup together we are 3 – 0, again, suddenly not such a great idea…

  • May 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Whoa – this site continues to amaze me in two ways: (a) the passion for the Blackhawks (GOOD) and (b) the rapid change in confidence level from one day to the next (PERPLEXING).

    The frustration over 26’s continued play on the second line is well documented. In Game 3 third period I did see 28 skate with 10 and 88 for a couple of shifts. 16 was also moved with 20 and 65. Both were welcome changes (too late), but welcome. As predicted, Q relegated 26, 23, and 52 to essentially fourth line but the damage was already done.

    I continue to be a proponent of 19-81-29; 28-10-88; 16-65-20; 12-26-23 (see earlier posts). 28 would not have left Carter unattended in front of the net on that killer goal in Game 3. He plays a complete 200 ft game. There were a couple of occasions where he stopped sure St Louis goals by tying up the opponent in the slot. However, the problem continues to be the 4th line. The depth is not there to effectively field a “good” fourth line and still have 3 excellent to very good lines. If you drop 16 and 28 back to 4th line then problems occur on the other lines. A glaring problem involves face-offs. 12, 26, and 65 leave a lot to be desired at the dot. The best at taking the draw are 19, 16, and 10 (hey wake-up here Coach Q).

    I would consider switching 81 and 88 if Game 4 play dictates (principally a need for 81 to shut down Carter’s line). Inserting 11 or 42 will offer little in the way of change at this point. Neither was developed sufficiently during the season to play now.

  • May 25, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Hawks will be fine. This is a blip, have no fear. Then all will have to eat some crow.

    I do take exception to this comment from the brilliant mind of Wall though …

    “So Hawks will need to add some Forward depth… or some Prospects (2-3) will need to shine (not just be Bollig/Kruger types)…” What the hell are you smoking pal? Bollig and Kruger are nothing alike, come on now. Kruger is such a smart player and the Hawks are lucky to have him, I think he is a huge value. Bollig, I have little to say other than he is not a Kruger type.

  • May 25, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Yes, the Kings are a good hockey team. And yes they got some bounces. And yes, Quick is outplaying Craw lately. And yes, Sharp is MIA.

    But, Q is killing his team with a death by 10 000 cuts. A la – benching Regin for Bollig, Zeus at 2C, playing Rozi over Brookbank, breaking up Morin-Regin-Bickell.

    There’s no question the Hawks got spanked these last two games. Sure, they weren’t dominated for 60 whole minutes, but when they looked bad – they looked awful. And Minnesota should have spanked us real bad too, but for an all-world performance by Craw and a little puck luck. To quote a previous poster, Hawks are looking like they’re on borrowed time, and that’s mostly the sum of Q’s bad decisions. Much like CORSI/FENWICK and the ‘eye test’ try to account for the vagaries of the game, Q should know that the results thus far don’t demonstrate his decisions are the right ones. He should have been ready to make changes despite our eking out victory in the past 2 series.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  • May 25, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Dischler- Yeah, perhaps brutal isn’t the right word but I feel that line would have terrible possession numbers, especially with Regin’s struggles at the dot. I like the players, but not together. Like Sr. Brad said, Morin-Regin-Bickell dominated and maybe Q should give that a look (maybe bring Sharp up to Bickell’s slot to get him going). I still don’t believe Nordstrom is ready this year. But you’re right, we need more energy and speed, and Handzus needs to stay as far away from the top-6 as possible. The key is containing the Kid Carter line that is just glowing with confidence now.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Nice one Emily Latella…I second that motion!

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Sr. Brad, I don’t always agree with you, but I am with you on your thoughts, today. The Hawks are a TIRED team, mentally and physically. Over the last 2 seasons they have skated more games than any other team(including Olympics). So, what do we need? SPEED!! Morin, Regin up front and BB on “D”. BB is not Duncan Keith, but he is quicker than Rosy and doesn’t tend to make mistakes in our end.

    Zeus needs to stay on a line to provide face off support, but sit Bollig and Versteeg. I don’t want to hear from Q that Morin doesn’t have enough playoff experience. Let the kid go out there and play hard and maybe he can make things happen. Regin has proven that he is a difference maker and has great wheels.

    I love Q and think he is a great coach, but great coaches have a tendency to make bad roster decisions because they fall in love with certain players that have been loyal to them and the team. However, right now, loyalty isn’t going to win this series. We need speed, heart and desire.

  • May 25, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Q is the #1 star for the LA Kings. He is being outcoached big time by Darryl Sutter. I really don’t know what is causing Q’s insane lineup decisions. Is he feuding with the Bowmans again? If so, it is hurting the team. It really takes the fun out of watching the Hawks when Q doesn’t play his best possible lineup. Bollig, Zus, and Rozy have to go.

  • May 26, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Rufus, changing one’s name will not make the point(s) any more fresh, just sayin.

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:13 am

    BarryB- I love 16 too… he is smart, gives incredible effort, etc… what I am trying to say is… they don’t need more Krugers… they need more “Impact” prospects to actually show up in the boxscore w offense… like a Haula, Shaw, Toffoli, Saad, etc.- It wasn’t a knock on 16 (52 sucks)… but it is a knock on 26 (who is skating with incredible talent)… and 2nd line can’t score/or check…. (and 16 isn’t a 2nd C )…

    At end of Day- Kings are deeper, w more scoring up and down their line-up. The Hawks no longer have the luxury of skating a $7M 4th line.

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Wall, what you are describing is the Jeremy Morin we saw for the last 2 weeks of the season…most points, highest plus/minus and Corsi #’s on the team during that stretch, but deemed not appropriate for the playoffs. However, Nordstrom was…

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Shawzer in red and Hands in black practice jerseys.

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:47 am

    Thanks, wall, for remembering to give the Kings credit in the midst of the Quenneville/Bowman bash festival. Their young guys – Pearson & Toffoli – are making an impact while the Hawks are waiting for Saad & Shaw to make their appearance in this series.

  • May 26, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Today is kind of like how I felt last year when we were down 1-2 in Boston. Pivotal game of course and one the Hawks can win if they play well and have the right lineup to challenge the Kings up and down. Carter has had a free run in the past 2 games. Poor marking by the Hawks, yet apart from the 3rd periods in game 2 and 3 team defensive work by the Hawks was in my eyes stellar. Sutter had last line change, but clearly the Hawks can slow down the Carter line and deny them these bang-bang play goals they have made. So the question is can the Hawks rise up and finish off a game and play to their capabilities? I think so, but LA knows how to keep the gas pedal down when they get a lead.

    Let’s not forget we had 2 goal leads disappear due mostly to poor special team play. If Hawks special teams can get it together they will win tonight. Right now these games are all being won or lost based on special team play. Kings take lots of liberties ie dumb penalties, and are willing to go to the box until Hawks make em pay. Hawks PK must improve. Don’t play like Rangers did last night and take really need less penalties. Keith said it loud and clear. Take a penalty to prevent a scoring chance, but lay off the ticky tack stuff. Play smart.

    I think Corey delivers a strong performance tonight. Lastly, I am hoping the Hawks start shooting high on Quick, and quit playing “hit the goalie”. He plays very low to the ice and comes way out of the net to cut angles. Hawks have plenty of snipers. Quick release on shots and get some traffic on Quick. Hawks can still light him up.

    I had a a very good friend whose hockey opinions I greatly respect, fly out for the game Friday night in LA. He said the ice was in horrendous shape. Visibly soft. I don’t know general conditions at that Staples Center, but puck luck unfortunately comes more into play when ice conditions are poor. The team that has received “the bounces” has won each game. Let’s hope it is better this evening for the Hawks!
    Gotta have this one tonight guys.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Saad has been useless this series. Sharp is MIA. Bickell hasn’t done much. Hossa has been counterbalanced beautifully by Sutter. Kane can’t find the space he needs to be effective. Versteeg is garbage. Smith has done nothing. And Keith too often has been marginal or worse.

    Yet the Mensa Society is going to say this series will be won or loss due to Handzus, Bollig and Rosival. Which is mind numbingly stupid. Handzus was terrible in game 3. Oh well, we didn’t lose the game because of him now did we really. Bollig is the 12th forward. Are we really winning or losing a series because Bollig is on the ice?!? Morin puts together 2 serviceable games and he is the answer to Western Conference supremacy?!? And Rosival is a 6th defenseman pairing for crying out loud.

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you people.

  • May 26, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Why RTF are you standing up for Zus when he has been a direct cause of goals scored against and lack of goals being scored? But you know it isn’t on Zus, its on Q. He is telling him to go and do what he really is not able to do very well at this point in his career. Saddling Kane and Sharp with Zus is a waste of 2 top tier NHL scorers. Zus can’t keep up with those guys. Clearly, you must see this, but then again sorry, I never applied to the Mensa Society.

    Bollig has brought little, but I feel Morin could bring more. Bollig plays so few minutes anyway, why keep a guy on the bench that isn’t playing. Rozy is showing his age and his skating has dropped off just like Zus has. Not his fault, he gives what he has. Brookbank has fresher legs, so alternate those guys. Play BB tonight.

    Saad by the way had a very strong game 1 in this series, so I am not sure what you have been watching. Sharp can be better, Kane is getting sealed out by the Kings due to strategy. Kings are saying they think they can win if Kaner, Sharp are left off the sheet. It is working so far. Hossa should have 2-3 strong games coming. That’s how he rolls. You think he is a little down, and then he just brings it. I think we get that from him tonight and the rest of the series. Keith looks tired, but can also raise his game which I believe will also happen. It’s game #4 and Hawks need to get one on the road. they should bring a full effort tonight.

    Ruf, I understand your frustration, but the Kings are doing a good job, and the Hawks now have to counter. These are 2 very well balanced teams. I just think Q needs to utilize his talent better. Again, let’s see what lineup we have and match-ups take place to night. The margin between winning and losing at this level is very, very small.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with YOU! This is no longer about opinions dumb ass. This is about wins and losses and FACTS.

    FACT, the Hawks have a LOSING record all season long when Zus is in the lineup.
    FACT, Patrick Kane has scored only ONE goal all season long when Zus is on the ice, and Kane has skated more with Zus as his Centre than anyone else.
    FACT, Patrick Sharp’s goal production has ceased since he was taken off the top line with Toews and dumped to the 2nd line with Zus.
    FACT, the Hawks are UNDEFEATED this post season with Ben Smith as the 2nd line Centre.
    FACT, Sharp and Kane’s this post season has come when Ben Smith is their centre.
    FACT, the Hawks are UNDEFEATED this post season when Regin and Brookbank both play.
    FACT, Regin has outplayed Zus and Bollig by a WIDE margin this post season, plus he is one of our best skaters, plus he goes to the net, plus he can make and receive a pass, plus he has been physical and is taking the body even more so than Bollig.
    FACT, the kings are beating us with ROLLING 4 LINES and twice now Q has shortened the bench down to 1 and a half lines.

    The time for stupidity and childish games are over. Wake up and accept what is, or go back into your hole. The Hawks have the energy and the players to win the Cup again this season, CLEARLY, it is up to our coach to skate our best lineup. When he has we HAVE WON, and when he doesn’t we lose more than win…and game 4 is THE most important game the Hawks will play this post season. And remember dumb ass, Q is centring Kane and Sharp with a guy that WILL BE DONE WITH THE NHL FOREVER after this season…we owe him nothing!

  • May 26, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Phil, exactly, there is nothing against Bollig, Zus or Rozy…2 of them did a good job for us last year in the playoffs. But the fact is they are no longer the players they once were, or even were last season. This is what happens when you get old, and for Zus and Rozy both are OLD for hockey players. Maybe the brilliant coach should has RESTED Zus more this season and played the rookies instead of forcing Zus to play every night, and cause us to have a losing record when he skated. Michael Handzus is a quality human being and has had a decent NHL career. I am NOT dumping on the person, I am focusing my comments to the coach who is asking him to do things that he simply cannot.

    But its more than this…when Q has been forced to make changes away from Zus, Rozy and Bolly, THEY WORK! This is why his stubbornness to go back and force a square shape into a round hole is so criminal. Ben Smith is our 2nd line Centre. Peter Regin and Kris Versteeg are gifts because they both play 2 way hockey, they both can skate, they both can be physical and they both can play on any line. Plus Regin can play Centre or Wing. We are undefeated with Sheldon Brookbank in our lineup, coming off his best season as a Hawk…filling in for Seabrook against STL on the road…

    The players and the talent are here to win it all once again, this is ALL on our head coach. And WHO CARES who scores the goals or becomes the hero? I don’t. I just want to win…if Brandon Bollig steps up and becomes the CON SMYTHE winner this post season, I promise you, I will cheer him on the loudest…and don’t all Hawk fans share the same belief???

  • May 26, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Rufus I don’t often agree with you but I agree that a number of players need to step up if the Hawks are to win this series. The 2nd line has been absent this series. Sharp has to be hurt, this has been the worst stretch ive seen from him in years. Hossa has been quiet. Saad and Steeger need to do more.

    I heard in interesting stat on this series. When the Hawks have dumped the puck in against the Kings this series they have generated 3 shots! 3 shots from 53 dump in opportunities. The Hawks are not designed for a dump and chase style game. Against a bum team like the Wild they could do it. Against a better deeper team like the Kings they simply can’t. The Hawks need to play their game and the 2nd line has to play better otherwise their season will end at the hands of the Kings.

  • May 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

    The Kings are really good and are blessed with the 2nd best goalie in hockey next to Rangers. The Hawks have gone further then I would have imagined given how inconsistent and tired they have been since January. Which is a testament to great coaching, great talent and heart. But the gig could be up because the Kings are too damned good and see an opportunity to step on the throats of a tired and exhausted opponent. Keith is the poster child for what has happened to this team. Unlike Minnesota and St Louis, the Kings do have what it takes to stomp out the Hawks. Will they? We shall see. Handzus will need to recover in game 4. Much more importantly, Keith and Crawford will have to find a second wind or this series will be done in 6.

    The offseason will be about finding a competent veteran center and shedding the uselessness of Versteeg. Also, Shaw needs to move to wing full time and the Hawks need to bet that Kruger can step up as full time 3rd line center. Danault and Teuvinon can compete for 4th line duty, with Nordstrom becoming a valuable hybrid forward and special teamer.

  • May 26, 2014 at 10:46 am

    RTF- In a game of inches between two very close teams, the proposal that 26, 52, 32 could be a the difference in this series is reasonable.

    The Kings’ depth is outplaying ours. Putting in some fresh legs, and arguably more talented players, could make all the difference.

    Plus, the facts that 88 and 10 aren’t producing could be partially attributed to their slow centre with little playmaking ability.

    On another note, the pattern of puzzling posts after losses continues. Salary caps? Roster moves? TT? Kesler? Q/Bowman tension? Seems like offseason topics when we’re battling in a hotly-contested WCF. Very strange.

  • May 26, 2014 at 11:03 am

    OK Rufus, let us stick to the FACTS. During this years playoffs Handzus is -6 and Bolig is -4 in their +/- ratings. The two worst on the team. Handzus has single handedly slowed down the 2nd line. Should be obvious to anyone watching the games.

  • May 26, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Bollig and Zeus and Rosy are not playing well. I don’t care who the 6th d man is they should see 9 mins at this point but the issues at forward need to be better addressed. The kings have a mobile team. They need guys that can skate, win battles and cycle the puck at the other end of the ice.

    Expecting Kane and sharp/saad to beat a good checking line 4v5 is kinda silly.

    Scoring on the power play would be nice. Though that PK Zeus anchors looks pretty not impressive now.

  • May 26, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Rufus- Versteeg is way better than Nordstrom

  • May 26, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Long time reader of this blog!
    First time posting.
    Zus Stats thru 15 playoff games 1 goal, 1 assist, -6 plus/minus, 8 pim, .13 pts/gm, 6 sog
    Anyone who thinks that these are acceptable statistics for a 2nd line center is delusional.
    Out of 270 players in the post season zus’s +/- ranks 267th.
    Bollig has similar numbers with twice the pim’s and ranks 257th in +/-

    The second line should be named “Weekend at Bernie” line as sharp and kane drag zus’s (bernie) corpse up and down the ice. Maybe they should hook up some bungees to his arms and try to get more shots off. Zus’s pk work could easily be done by anyone who can skate and block a shot. No offense to zus the person, but as stated here before, he is ready for the mens beer league and wont be in the nhl next season.

    Am fed up with the “hawks are tired argument”. I am pretty sure that over the last 3 years the Kings have played more post season games than the Hawks. So why aren’t their legs tired? Here’s your opening Sr Brad- Because they are rolling 4 lines!

    I still believe the hawks can repeat, but q stache has to change the lineup card.

  • May 26, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Rufus- c’mmoooonnnnnn!!!!!!! are Hawks losing b’cuz of 26 — No!!!! Are the Kings winning because their bottom three lines are out playing/scoring the Hawks??? YES!

    Draw your own conclusions… Kane and Sharp didn’t suddenly forget how to play hockey… they are not playing well- cuz 26… or Kings are just better??? You figure it out… Or both!!!

    Tab- I know there was some cap issues coming off of last year… but couldn’t the Hawks have figured out a way to keep Frolik- for at least one more year??? The PK duo of 16/67 would have been together…. Plus 67 gave Hawks the Super luxury of being able to play all lines/and check!!! I mean- if they don’t sign Zus – they only needed another $1.2M to keep him one more year!!!

  • May 26, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Tab & Wall, “…give the Kings credit – heir young guys – Pearson & Toffoli – are making an impact while the Hawks are waiting for Saad & Shaw to make their appearance in this series” – True. However, 700 Wins and 2 Cup rings notwithstanding (I have not bashed Quenneville or Bowman – I believe they’ve been exceptional), if Coach Q doesn’t see how AWFUL Handzus and Versteeg are playing and that Bollig contributes very little (occasional hits on a NON-hitting team somewhat diminished by occasional stupid penalties), then he is blind, stubborn, or a pinhead.

  • May 26, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    As I stated before the series this is a much better Kings team than last year. In addition to the contributions from Toffoli and Pearson, Gaborik’s speed is causing problems. That said, the character the Hawks have shown the past several years shows up at times like these. However we must skate the best lineup that we can put on the ice and there is no way that includes 26 at 2C and 52 anywhere on the ice. To RTF’s point these two guys aren’t the reason we are down 2-1 but they certainly don’t give us the best chance to win when playing a team with the depth of the Kings. The only thing worse that the skating challenges that each has have been the stupid penalties they have taken in the last two games. Momentum is a crazy thing in the playoffs and a win tonight with a strong effort from Crow will change the story line 180 degrees. Time for a great effort and a big win!

  • May 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Welcome Deuce ! The Hawks have to start putting body on Doughtly, he takes it personal and tends to retaliate, same with Carter.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  • May 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Wall- we could have keeped Fro (2.3 caphit) but at the time we needed to sign Bicks, etc. and probably didn’t know what that would be. I still think we could have keeped his 2.3 caphit because Steegs is 2.2 (and there is that 6% cushion during fa). How about that 4th line with Ben & Jerrys (Fro is a fa, sign for same caphit…). If we ever needed an extra 1 for capspace we can have a 22man roster.

    Hands and Rozy played really good that year and deserved to come back (just like Jammers and Carbomb, the others wernt resigned), then they wernt…

  • May 26, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Its the coach’s responsiblity to play the best lineup. Arguing that the Hawks are not down 2-1 because of Bollig and Handzus misses the point. The point is they are not amongst best 12 forwards available. Put the best 12 out there and go from there. And in hockey at this level the difference between winning and losing isn’t that great. Q is watering down the Hawks skill advantage over the Kings by play 2 duds. Will the Hawks win the cup if Q plays the best 12 forwards? Maybe, Maybe Not. But at least its the best team available and the fans could take losing a lot better if they knew the best team was on the ice.

  • May 26, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    After game 3 during the postgame show Steve Konroyd said that Morin would be a great addition to the Blackhawks line up.
    Hopefully Qstache DVRed it

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Just saying I am 12 year old reader of this blog

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Well boys and girls it’s almost game time. News is that Q is switching up the lines with Zus off #2. Kuc apparently tweeted . “Also, looks like #Blackhawks’ top line against Kings in Game 4 will be Bickell—Toews—Kane. Second line: Sharp—Kruger—Hossa.” Also Regin to play Bollig sits.

    Hope he is right. Please special teams come to play tonight…

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • May 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Confirmed. Lines same from game 3. No news yet on Rosival or Brookbank.

  • May 26, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    3-Zip Kings after One. Horrific period. We need Morrison to post with some funny stories .

  • May 26, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve been AWOL since the birth of my son, but I wanted to chime in. I plan to repost this in the Post-game thread too, but i wanted to get my thoughts out while I had a minute. (i’ll also apologize now if I reiterate things already discussed, as i didnt have time to go back and fully read all the comments)

    Since the 3rd period of Game 2, the Kings have been in Turbo Mode, and the Hawks have been in slow motion. When the 50/50 pucks are 75% to on team, its not a matter of talent, its a matter of will. Aside from Shaw, Saad, Leddy and Toews, no one has had the heart to do things better than the next guy. Sharp, Kane, Versteeg, Keith, Oduya, and even Hossa has just looks heart-less for most of this series.

    The Kings have every bit of motivation in this series. They out lasted San Jose when everyone wrote them off when they were down 0-3. They recovered after a losing 3 straight vs ANA. They lost to Chicago 4-1 last year… The Kings have ZERO reason to coast. They know to NEVER give up or take a night off.

    The Hawks look like they are expecting to beat the kings by making the “simple plays” work. However, that theory only works when you out-hustle and out-will the other team. Right now, no team has more will than the Kings. Not the Rangers, Not the Habs, and not our Hawks. The Hawks have had a system that worked for the last 5 years, but there comes a point when people figure you out. You either adapt, or lose. right now teams figured us out and we are losing. Minnesota figured us out and Crawford stole us that series… He gave us a shot and the team has not repaid him in this series

    All i see is the same thing over and over. get a puck-fight through a forecheck-force a pass back to the other dman-force a pass back- skate up the the blueline-make a pass across ice to the farside winger- skate in and take a rushed shot to the short side, or try to set up and have a point shot blocked. And occasionally, LA doesn’t even let us get the forced pass to the winger and we start over. The hawks have had no odd man rushes… there have been no “A+ high percentage scoring changes” (as me and wall like to say)… And even when we do get a good rush or shooting lane, the Kings defenders clear the rebound and kill the buzz we may be generating…

    The Kings have hustled and willed themselves to MANY rushes. I would be willing to bet that the Carter/Toffoli line has more than all the Hawks lines combined. In game 3, I felt like the Hawks didnt have a single “good” scoring opportunity until about 7 minutes left in the period. You can’t win games with no scoring chances.

    I’ll take a deep breath though. I never say die and even if we lose tonight (currently down 4-2 with 5 minutes left), we aren’t dead. We beat the wings last year; we can beat the Kings this year. We just need to pull our heads out of you know where first.

    My hope for game 5… (not that it will happen)
    20-19-81 (Get Saad more time)
    29-28-88 (Maybe Bicks intensity can get Kane going)
    10-12-65 (Hide Sharp from the “top Kings lines” and maybe steal a goal when Shaw is pestering)
    23-16-11 (no Bollig, no Zus, so that line looks fine to me)

  • May 26, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I have to call the refereeing to he table on this one. Is vegas in the mix or is it just NBC trying to make a killing on advertising. The calls have been completely one sided and if I was a hawks player, nothing takes your momentum quicker than a couple (excuse me may bs calls by the refs). This is HOCKEY. It is the best game of all the sports. If your going to call em. Call em equally. The Hawks are the better team in this series and it is a shame that that have to beaten down by bad calls instead of checks on the boards. GO HAWKS!!!!!!

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