Kings Hammer Blackhawks, Tie Series

That, dear friends, is why you don’t start talking about a dynasty with a 1-0 series lead against a very good, dangerous team.

Kings celebrate

Coach Joel Quenneville was admittedly confused after the game. He told the media he didn’t remember seeing a team play that well for 38 minutes, and then completely crap the bed in the final 22.

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead on a filthy backhand goal from Nick Leddy in the first period.

They took a 2-0 lead on a nice breakaway snipe from Ben Smith at 1:40 into the second.

After Smith’s goal, Brent Seabrook skated back and whacked Corey Crawford on the shin pads. It appeared the confident Blackhawks believed two goals would be enough against the Kings on Wednesday night; Crawford had been dominant for most of these playoffs, and they were playing exceptionally in the early going.

But a shot tipped through Crawford by Justin Williams got LA on the board late in the second.

Then the third period started.

And the wheels came completely off.

The Hawks allowed three goals in the first nine minutes of the third period to give LA a two-goal lead, and they would add a couple more to blow the Hawks out of their own building. When the dust settled, the score was 6-2 in favor of the visitors.

Jeff Carter had four points – including a hat trick – in the third period alone to lead the onslaught.

But rewind the tape to the middle of the second period. The Hawks were rolling, and they got a 2-on-1 breakaway that was almost perfectly executed by Kris Versteeg and Seabrook. Versteeg fed Seabrook, who looked to have an open net to put the Hawks up three.

But Jonathan Quick had other ideas.

That save, followed by a series of stupid penalties, flipped the momentum of the game in a way the Hawks – and their fans – haven’t seen in a long time.

How bad was it?

The last time the Hawks allowed two power play goals in a game: February 7 in Phoenix. The Blackhawks had allowed only four power play goals in 13 playoff games; they had killed 44 of 48 penalties successfully. They allowed two power play goals in four chances on Wednesday night.

The last time Crawford allowed more than four goals in a game: Nov. 16 in Nashville. He had allowed four in a game only seven times since that game, including three times in these playoffs.

Michal Handzus won four of 16 faceoffs, had four penalty minutes and finished the night minus-one.

Brandon Bollig took a terrible interference penalty nowhere close to the puck early in the third period, and watched the Kings tie the game from the penalty box.

Peter Regin didn’t play a bad game; he almost had a goal. But he won only two of 10 faceoffs.

Jonathan Toews was credited with zero shots on net.

Perhaps the only bright spot in the game for the Hawks was Smith, who scored his second goal of the postseason but was limited to only 13:33 in spite of being strong on the puck all night.

The Hawks will have two days to think about the final 23 minutes of Wednesday night’s debacle before playing Game Three in Los Angeles on Saturday. Hopefully Andrew Shaw is in the lineup when the puck drops in California.

48 thoughts on “Kings Hammer Blackhawks, Tie Series

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Anybody got an idea?
    Hey, remember the time Bobby tackled the referee by mistake?
    How ’bout the time Bobby tackled the guy from Louisville, and threw him into the stands?
    Y’all remember the time he intercepted the ball and his pants fell off, and he ran for the touchdown bare ass?

    Remember the time Bobby BouShawzer showed up at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl, do ya?

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:12 am

    2 days between games, bitchs.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Hard to believe. If I saw that headline “Kings Hammer Hawks, Tie Series” with three minutes to go in the second period I woud have thought it was from a different year. Thought I was too upset to post anything but let me say this was not entirely unexpected. We had it coming but I didnt get that sense during the first two periods. We saw this in the regular season and for long stretches, spurting and sputting with wins in between since the new year. Cautious optimism has now become something else a little more realistic, more wishing, like a lucky hit on a roulette wheel. Maybe . Only solace is we were overdue and its a blip. Too sad and decimated to say any more.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Well you can’t win them all. The Hawks got a couple lucky breaks/bounces in the first game and LA got a couple this game.

    Yeah, if Seabrook elevates that shot a couple inches it’s 3-0 and maybe the Hawks go on to win. But there’s no excuse for losing focus in the 3rd period, especially Bollig with a stupid game changing penalty and losing focus on the Toffoli goal which put them up 4-2 and was the real back breaker. Play to the whistle boys – Toffoli did. Fundamental mental mistake by all the Hawks on the ice for that play.

    But, it’s still 1-1 and plenty of hockey left to play. I think the Hawks should feel more good than bad after this game because they thoroughly dominated the first 2 periods. And that’s with the Kings allowed to cheat on faceoffs which allowed them to have a 43-27 advantage in faceoffs – 16 more possessions of a faceoff than the Hawks got. That is huge and it wouldn’t have been that lopsided if the linemen would make the King’s faceoff man bring his stick to a stop before dropping the puck – but they didn’t. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks are afforded the same lattitude when the games are in LA or if we see a steady stream of Hawks faceoff men getting thrown out of the faceoff.

    Hopefully Shaw returns and hopefully Bollig sits for his game changing transgression.

    Other than that don’t change a thing – just play the same way and hopefully LA won’t have a horseshoe up their bippy next game.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:28 am

    The horse is as dead as can be but I will still beat it. What is a role/purpose of Bollig, Versteeg and “Doctor” Zus? The last 2 have their 15 seconds of usefulness in the game but the question remains the same, WHY ?

  • May 22, 2014 at 1:11 am

    ER- exactly.

    I’m actually really encouraged. That was the best game that the Hawks have played this postseason. If it takes a streak of luck of that magnitude to beat us, we’re in really good shape.

    That said, we’ve been getting a lot of fortunate bounces in the playoffs up to this point, and we’ve been thoroughly outplayed by teams (cough WILD cough) and managed to win. Welcome to the other side of the coin, I guess. Now imagine how Wild fans feel after their game 6 with us.

    Bollig played a solid game (but I’d rather keep Regin/see Morin). That interference call was the weakest playoff call I’ve seen since Hjalmarsson’s game 7 no-goal against Detroit. Stupid of Bollig to allow the ref to even contemplate calling a penalty, but that was really weak sauce. The two many men call 30 seconds later was really weak too. But then again, so was the penalty that Bollig drew in game 1 that led to a Hawks PP goal. So it goes.

    Speaking of the referees, I actually liked a lot of their calls. Those little hooks and holds and interference calls. Those calls benefit the Hawks… big time. When other teams hook and hold and interfere (cough WILD cough), it really hurts a team that relies on speed. If those tactics are taken away from LA, then I really like our chances.

    We’re also getting a lot better at throwing very slight picks to buy time and space for other players. It’s the old move in rugby: go at a defender, drop it off to a teammate, and give the defender a bump to give your teammate more space. Great tactic.

    Overall, if we keep playing that game, I really like our chances.

  • May 22, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Yikes. The only positive I can take away is that the Hawks were due to end a couple streaks. Wow.

  • May 22, 2014 at 4:30 am

    This is typical hawks. Never making things easy. They let Minnesota hang around to long and now instead stepping on the kings throats and winning last night the hawks decided to take 2/3 of the game off. Maybe this loss will serve a greater good and spark them to play a full game with full effort going forward. Or will it inspire the kings?

  • May 22, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Didn’t see the first two periods so I just saw the really bad period.
    The Kings keep showing that they never, ever die-let’s see how the Hawks respond. As I mentioned earlier this was the match-up I worried about-they have something to prove, many have won before, a great work ethic and high end talent-
    The Hawks have won before and high end talent-if Crow continues to play really well (other than one period he has) they can do it-
    I know the Zus detractors will be out-but Q won’t change-but when the game really opened up we saw how lost and slow he really can be.

  • May 22, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Sometime a blow out like this is good for a team. Gives them a kick in the ass. Win or lose Saturday, I think you will see a far more energized team. I also think Crow will refocus and have a great game.

    I love Q and what he brings to the table. But just like a woman, I will never understand his thought process. Bollig takes a dumb, away from the puck penalty and than has to take the skate of shame. That would have sent Morin (or Pirri) back to the ECHL. Yet, Bollig is back on the ice 2 shifts later.

    Zues, what can you say? 2 chasing penalties. He simply is not up to the speed of the game. Versteeg, I am not unhappy…..could be happier, but not unhappy. He needs to regain lost confidence, look at the ice more broadly, make quicker decisions and execute…..simple ‘A. Point is he is capable of doing all those things. I do not know why he is so hesitant to get rid of the puck.

    In the end, this loss was a total team effort. A bad game by a few players losses a game 4-3 not 6-2. It takes the whole team to look that lousy. Saturday is a new day. The Hawk’s professionalism will be on full display. LA has momentum. It is gonna be a great game between 2 excellent teams.

  • May 22, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Kings are playing with “Mojo”… Coming back in last 2 series… Hawks have no Mojo this year…

    There is a “Dynasty”… the Kings!!! When you have Mike Richards skating on 4th line
    and Toffoli and Pearson getting $700K/year= Dynasty.

    Kings are Better than last year (Pearson, and Brown/Richards healthy)- and Hawks are worse w/o 67/36…

  • May 22, 2014 at 7:44 am

    In the first game with LA, The Hawks looked so unbelievably confident in their ability to win you could almost feel it through the TV screen. This game started I think that confidence made the rancid turn toward arrogance (or at least over confidence) and they got totally spanked.

    This might sound crazy, but I think it’s good they lost and lost hard. It’s the strongest way I can think to send a message that stays winning is NOT a given and not to be taken for granted. A little humble pie isn’t always a bad thing.

    And you have to hand it to the Kings. Give them an inch and they will take 200 ft. I am a die hard Hawks fan, but LA is a fun team to watch in the playoffs.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hawks are not built to be a dynasty “nothing” comes easy for them. Salary Cap! They are not built to dominate but compete at a very high level consistently. Hawks are one of 6 teams that play at a high level almost every night. I know a lot of fans on this blog are in love with “stats” but the numbers don’t get at the core issues that at times will be revealed and at times hidden. 1 -Biggest problem for Hawks is CRAWFORD’S inability to play the puck, behind the net, side of the net, anywhere! He is not only BAD he is dangerous and turnover prone. Teams will dump it in pin our defense and wait for a mistake that happens about 6 times a game. Simple stuff my high school coach feared! 2- The Hammer is the most “turnover player” in the nhl looking up ice for that “over rated” break out pass kills time, shorten the ice and puts the defensemen in a vulnerable position. Hammer is playing on his weak side so has that “Sissy backhand” that looks like floor hockey. 3 – Not all our defensemen have the skill and MORE important the ICE IQ’s to be offensive minded and be aggressive. Hammer does not but Keith does! Leddy does but Rosy does not! Seabrook is almost but is slow on the transition, most of our D-men are skilled D-men but when some are “forced” or asked to move up most just make DUMB mistakes and seem to have no concept of timing, situation and who’s on the ice or not. Basic stuff. Hawks D-men need to do things like SCORE because the Offense at times over passes, don’t get to the net, have net presence and are adopted on a different line every other night! Sadly Hawks played a great first half last night and had two 5 on 3 powerplays and the offense for a good as it looks, did not score. And as i have said for 4 years now Hawks have the worse line changes in the history of the nhl. The Kings to me have a great POWERPLAY that is all that stood out to me in their last two series, keep them even and don’t take silly penalties and it’s a sweep for the Hawks. LEDDY finally took it TO THE NET and see what happens i think he needs to be on the WING not on Defense, this kid has talent to burn.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:32 am

    This blog continues to sadly pound the usual suspects! Bollig, Versteeg ,Zus , Rossy etc.
    Players like Hossa, Sharp, Kane and Towes are the ones who need to SCORE and dominate and take responsibility. ‘Role players” are easy targets.
    I have not been a fan of these constant line changes, really creates no chemistry and consistency. The Hawks are blessed with 5 or 6 great offensive players so when they are switched it makes lame coaching look good. But for Fans the Effect of those constant line changes big impact on guys like SMITH, SHAW and SADD and even BICKEL and the rest! Anyway it is hockey KINGS are good the WILD could have beaten the Hawks as well as the BLUES, top 6 teams are a WASH. One goal one hit post one bad penalty one turnover one lazy pass. Kings have just enough talent on the ICE every minute so if you do make a mistake they have players that can burry it.

    KINGS always have done a great job of skating the puck in, moving towards the net with 3 players ( not one and two others looking for a pass) and have great chemistry. they really go to the net as a team. Good team, Hawks play better on the road the Home ice advantage is over rated! When a Team like the Hawks win 80% of their games where they win is not a stat of value.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

    I really liked your comments Travis as they echoed my impressions. You could feel the air come out the building when Seabs didn’t bury that 2-1 chance. No fault of his as he just directed it on net. Of course top half of net was gaping, but that’s hockey. Kings looked beat down bad until lucky bounce off Williams skate goes in late 2nd period. You knew going into the break the Kings had some life. Had Hawks gone up 3-0 in 2nd it would have been game over. Anyone hear Carter post game thoughts? He basically said we were just buried until Williams goal. Those guys were hanging their heads!

    Bollig with a dumb penalty, but I was watching and was really surprised that was called given what had gone on earlier in the game. It was so far off where the play was taking place. Timing of course was terrible and resulting goal almost seemed a given even before it went in. It was the first good shot by Doughty in the series. You just knew momentum had changed. Short side goal by #6 was a bad one gives em the lead, and then all the fantastic team d play that had been just brilliant by the Hawks 95% of the first 2 periods just fell apart as guys just lost their coverage.

    Did Crow get tagged in the 3rd in the stones or a head shot? Looked that way and maybe he was hurting. Rough 3rd period for Crow, but he had no help at all.

    Hawks got bounces 1st game and Kings got em last night. Kings go home with what they came here to get, home ice advantage. I think we get a game there, but overall these are 2 good teams that don’t have quit in their DNA. Should be good hockey to watch moving forward. We get Shaw back Saturday hopefully which should help. Zus looked very tired last night. Regin lost faceoffs, but I thought played hard and caused Kings problems. Is it just me, or are Hawks face off wins in O zone during power plays really low? Sure looks that way. Even Tazer can’t win those draws! I will say it again, Kings were cheating on ALL faceoffs. Sticks went down for split second and moved before puck drop! Hawks need to do same in LA! How can one not like Stoll? Guy plays hard. Shaw is a younger version.

    Pity that the Hawks didn’t close it out last night. A 2-0 lead going to LA would have been a strangle hold on the series. Remember guys it ain’t easy winning the Stanley Cup, but we are very deep in the hunt. I still like our chance to move through to the Finals.

    For some reason there were more drunk people at the game last night than normal. I had only one beer as I wanted to keep concentration level high. Good fans though around me which was a bonus.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Hawks are only team in the NHL that can so call “dominate” and the score still be nothing to nothing. 0 – 0 nada to nada. When they “dominate” the Hawks are exerting lots of energy, they do it with speed and skating hard to the puck. So they dominate possession but sadly not the physical nature of the game, they don’t really wear you down too much with force but with skill. It’s like watching a fast break team like the old lakers in the 80’s fast break and miss 35 lay ups in a row. Dominating counts in the score, the only numbers /stats that count really. Hawks don’t dominate anyone they can only out skate, but at a cost as a NHL fan can see last night. you can not skate at that level for more that a period, so if a team can weather it they are is good position to close out the third. Smith goal was on a mistake and Leddy also so it was NOT during a dominate FLURRY of activity but a by product maybe, but more luck.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I am not overly concerned with this loss. Give the Kings credit they played an excellent 3rd period. They were also fortunate. The two penalty I thought were questionable calls that allowed the kings to grab momentum and tie the series. I will be concerned if the hawks drop 2 in la. go hawks

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Brad – About that sweep… Perhaps folks weren’t paying attention to the Kings first two series. Their mental toughness is incredible. Hopefully the Hawks learned something last night and will rebound strongly but make no mistake the Kings won’t be done until the horn sounds and they lose a fourth game.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:46 am

    MTM, I completely disagree with your premise, except for the fact that the Hawks will need to bring some more physicality to this series, which I believe they will. Kings are running around all over the ice trying to hit Hawks players. You don’t think THAT takes a lot of energy??C’mon…

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

    I am tired about hearing about the Kings resilience. Yes, they are good and have fought back.

    But, so are the Hawks. Remember those very rough 2 OT losses to the Blues? That is not easy to bounce back from. And we could go back to last year against the Wings.

    Tough loss. Hopefully a wake up call.

    I really want a Game 3 win (and more) to quiet the implication that there is only 1 mentally tough and resilient team in this series.

  • May 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I was really hoping the Hawks pulled off the win last night just to shrivel Joe Micheletti’s raging boner he had last night for the Kings’ resiliency and resolve. That was getting annoying, but the Kings proved him right I guess. Let’s prove him wrong on Saturday!

  • May 22, 2014 at 10:19 am

    There not as good at home as they have been the past couple yrs (3-3). Were not as good, so far, as we have been on road… but we won moar at home. Which means both teams will win games on the road, more then usual.

    This reminds me of the VAN yrs, where both teams were top teams, and won on road. We won more then half of the road games against them, one yr we won both road games (ANA won both road games there, when they had to). We only need one, but I want two.

    Just like STL, LOS is going to make us play harder and thats good in order for us to play our A game (which we did for 2 periods). Were going to get better throughout the series.

  • May 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I agree with the early posts about the 2 on 1 with Seabrook missing the open net. That goal goes in its 3-0 and that game is over. The Hawks were all over them in the first two periods, especially the second it was almost laughable. Then less than 2 minutes in the second Handzus loses his man it’s 2-1 going into intermission and the Kings are alive.

  • May 22, 2014 at 11:33 am

    and the Hawks basically fell apart in the third. Let’s hope that woke up Q and the Boys. Go Hawks!!

  • May 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

    one period or 22mins doesnt win a series. what it will do is push the team to play better. it’s nothing new. we get lax, we get a little embarrassed, we come back better. it’s what we do. we had beaten LA how many times in a row? 6? they are a good team, we were not going to beat them 9 straight, sorry. does anybody think we can’t win 1 or 2 in LA? how many home games have they lost already?? 3-4? Staples isn’t exactly a lion’s den.

    there isnt one team that answers the bell every pd of every game. we didn’t answer in the 3rd just like g3 in Minny. we lost a chance, it is not the only chance we will have to win the series. no panic here

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Wow, a lot comments, but really missing the mark IMO. The Hawks had that game won and then fell asleep. ANY NHL hockey team would have done that to the Hawks in the 3rd. Between the pathetic effort, the lack of physical play, no F/O wins, shoddy goaltending and STUPID penalties (that probably shouldn’t have been called), the Preds would have ripped us a new one.

    It is what it is. Don’t elevate the Kings to some kind of monster team…they’re not. They are a Darryl Sutter coached team…nothing flashy and they just keep coming. But if the Hawks simply kept doing what they were doing, the mighty Kings would still have nothing to show from it. No, as we have all discussed here before, the Hawks the only team that is capable of beating themselves over a 7 game series…

    From here its up to the Champs. Do they want to stay focused and win another Cup or do they want to drift, lose focus, and games? At this point, although it is useless to do so, its probably worth discussing Q’s lineup one more time. Those wanting to lay blame on Sharp and Kane for not contributing more to our game, might want to consider the real problem. For the most part neither has skated with a real centre…and most times they enter the offensive zone by themselves or as 2 against many. I have said this ad nauseam for those who care to hear it. Michael Handzus is DONE as a hockey player at this championship level. He will be out of the league for good next season. Trying to use him as your 2nd line centre (until we fall behind and then insert Ben Smith) is just DUMB. I don’t care about his rings or history as a coach, RIGHT NOW, that’s dumb. Shaw is back Saturday…let him skate as the 2nd line Centre. Keep Regin in the lineup as the 3rd line Centre (where other than F/Os he’s done a good job) and keep Kruger where he belongs. That means if you want to keep Zus, he’s your ROTATIONAL 12th forward…a role player (I’m just not sure what for). How can your 2nd line Centre be asked to skated only 2 shifts in the 3rd period??? He can’t, and it cost us again last night.

    But the discussion doesn’t end there…everyone has mentioned Bollig’s incredibly dumb penalty 200′ from the puck, but just before that he unbelievably entered into the offensive zone without looking around and put Toews partial breakaway offside. That could have meant the game right there. And when you stop and consider Q’s policy towards younger players (and Bollig fits that mix) committing negligent mistakes, HOW does Bollig skate another shift or stay in the lineup? Bollig is a role player…the type that only a few coaches left in the NHL consider necessary. How are we supposed to beat other top NHL playoff teams trying to skate TWO role players in our nightly lineup? Finally, no one has mentioned Roscival…he was AWFUL again last night, and a walking disaster in the 3rd period. How did this guy get back into the lineup, other than through history? We are a combined 4-0 these playoffs with Sheldon Brookbank in the lineup. We are 3-1 with Regin in the lineup and 3-0 with Regin/BB in the lineup together… Winning TOUGH games on the road.

    The fact is, we can still win with this current lineup, but as you witnessed last night, the margin for error is very small. Remove the older, slower players in the lineup and our margin for error gets larger. What’s our record with Bollig OUT of the lineup so far these playoffs? I’m not sure, but I think its 3-0. Bollig’s 2 mistakes were inexcusable and should not be tolerated…especially when we are already carrying a limited role player in the lineup. But this isn’t news.

    So, 3 more days for game 3. Shaw should be 100% by that time, and if Regin stays in the lineup, that’s an awful lot for any team to handle. The good news about Crawford? You KNOW he will shake off the 3rd period and come back very focused for game 3…7 more wins to go!

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I have a review of last night’s game awaiting moderation, so briefly, no worries…the Hawks did it to themselves, not the mighty kings…

    Shaw and Brookbank IN and Bollig and Rozy OUT is the recipe for Saturday. Move Zus to where he belongs, as a winger, and the 12th forward playing his little role.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Saturday line combinations (assuming that 65 dresses) offered below in an attempt to generate better FO % and roll three solid lines. I don’t see necessary depth for four good lines vs. other elite teams. Players will be relatively rested (“2 days between games . . . bitches” – for the second straight game) based on schedule. Move 12 or 23 where needed and skate fourth line no more than 8 minutes. It should be easier to win Game 3 skating mostly 3 lines vs. Game 4 doing the same (which is what Q would essentially do if the Blackhawks lose Game 3).
    19-81-29: keep as is. Great puck possession line that can cycle with the best lines, play excellent defense, and create offense off the rush.
    28-88-10: 28 balances the two wingers by playing a complete 200 ft game (contrast with 26). Use 10 for key face off draws if 28 struggles. 10 and 88 need to score.
    16-65-20: great north-south line. Both 16 and 65 can be used for face off draws.
    26-12-23: 12 cannot be used at the dot based on his performance to date.

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Can the fans Petition the league to extend Bollig’s prior suspension until next year? I mean come on Q, play the best 12 forwards. How he thinks Bollig is helping this team is beyond me.

  • May 22, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    re: lines – the Sharp-Regin-Versteeg line had its moments last night… but not enough of them. I wouldn’t mind seeing Regin w/ Shaw & Saad for a few shifts

  • May 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Agree with Brad. Also, Crow really lost his net again. When he gets beat short side it’s an indication his focus is off. First King goal cannot go in. Crow had clear line of sight to puck in the corner, then seemed to lose it as it came across the crease. He was looking up, not down. Now gotta exorcise the Coyote demons all over again.

    But GO HAWKS. They played so well in game 1 and partial game 2 that bounceback will happen fast. APB Patrick Sharp. WTF.

  • May 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Whelp the Kings are a good team. They at least match the Hawks forward wise in terms of gamers. Say what you want about Carter but it is foolish to give him space, Gabo is a legit scorer and Kopitar is kind of good (sarcasmmmmmm alert). I think defensively they are a step behind (at least speed wise) but that is splitting hairs based on how the team plays overall.

    Also, the Hawks did what they have done most of the tournament. Score a goal or two and then park the bus. I think it was the first goal but there was a loose puck in the neutral zone and instead of contesting an entry, Oduya backed off while Hammer backed off with him and the Kings went uncontested into the zone. This was an absolute contrast to the beginning of the game when they had the better play and I have to think it was direct coaching instruction.

    That crap has worked against inferior teams. But I can’t wrap my head around sitting on a lead unless you are playing a vastly superior team and have no other options. The Hawks had an opportunity to put a knee on their chest and go for the jugular. Instead they “played it safe” and gave the Kings too much time and space. That garbage is on the “omnipresent” coaching staff. Oops.

    Hopefully they come out guns blazing and find a way to get Kane some space. 2 shots on goal from him is unacceptable, especially if the first line is taking on the responsibility of checking Kopitar, Gabo and Crapface. AND anytime the power play wants to stop playing patty-cake with the puck on a 5v3 that would be great.

  • May 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Been reading a lot of articles and hearing a lot of comments about Quick’s “AMAZING” save on Seabrook that turned the tide in the game. Why is nobody commenting that Seabrook shot the puck right into Quick and missed all of the gaping net?

  • May 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I’ll agree with Brad. Rosy and Zeus to sit, Andrew returns and add BB. This is exactly what’s needed next Saturday. And I am sticking up for Corey Crawford today, if I could I’d pat him on the back, remind him how good he has played before and tell him he will be great next game. CC actually is very resilient. He may let down here and there but he doesn’t stay down. Earlier comments about his puck handling liabilities are way over stated. Leddy’s goal last night was terrific. He’s a gifted player and getting better, his detractors here are dead wrong. 8 is one of the best skaters in the league. MN made a huge mistake letting him go, and we’d be doing worse to move him away. AND, as was said here a while ago by one of the characters on this blog “Paging Patrick Sharp. Patrick Sharp to the playoffs please. Mr. Sharp please meet your party in the playoffs. Your presence is sorely missed.”

  • May 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I am 100% with you on that call J W. Seabs just didn’t get under the shot enough(easier said than done), but the glorification of Quick on this save is cracking me up. Yes, a game changing play, but with Quick you have to go upstairs when you can. Seabrook knows, and fans know Brent is a money guy in playoffs. Now if the shot was in the 3rd period or OT it would have been roofed….

    Next. Both Rozy and Zus are tired. Rozy I think might be good for every other game to close out this playoff run. He won’t be back next year. Zus needs to go to 4th line and get less minutes. BB needs to play game 3 in LA. Can you imagine if Leddy had taken a bad penalty or done a Bollig? He would have been benched for 2-3 shifts minimum. I will admit I am a Leddy fan, and that I believe Q has been unfairly punitive with this kid. The guy can skate and has lots of heart. He has huge upside in my book. Q though seems to keep hammering away at him. Of course the other argument is that he is just teaching/punishing/steeling up Leddy for the what should be a long and prosperous career.

    I look forward to Hawks coming back home to the UC and we should start the chant of QUICKIE……QUICKIE. Don’t normally do that with opposing goalies, but YTF not? Its the conf finals! BTW there will be 1000’s of Hawks fans in LA and they will be loud.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  • May 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    The only problem with putting Ben Smith as the 2nd line Centre right now, is that we lose the 4th line as a good option and 10-12 minutes. I love Smith there, but he drives that 4th line. Kruger and Smith would be able to compensate for Zus on the wing, allowing that line to continue its 10-12 minute trend, which is HUGE for Toews line.

  • May 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Meh, that loss had little to do with the roster and more to do with them adjusting their game plan and hoping Crawford would bail them out. Which has worked since Crawford has been lights out but it seems counter intuitive to adjust tactics with a near stranglehold in place. I don’t get giving away ground (and ultimately the game) like that regardless of who is in net. You’d think he would have some more confidence in this group yes?

    If they would have kept their foot on the gas I think you see a different result regardless of who is centering what line and Bollig and Verbeauty’s silliness become arbitrary talking points.

  • May 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Here is a crazy idea: (that seemed to work well last year)
    29/19/88 Killed the Kings last year…

    10/26/81 ( 10 isn’t doing shit anyways- so Skate 10 with the anchor)
    ( I would honestly prefer both 52/26 to sit and 10/12/81)

    If 10/12/81

    Anyone notice 29 has missed about 3-4 golden open nets from in tight (all of these chances went in last year)… Not saying they are his fault… mostly- in tight, while puck is bouncing while being checked… just saying – “All” the puck luck was on his side last year… none so far this year!!!!

  • May 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Good thoughts Wall.

  • May 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    29 19 88 seemed to kill everyone at all times but 2 CUPS!!!! (sarcasmmmmmm again)

    That is one I don’t get. God forbid they roll with something that consistently gets results.

    20 28 81 would be neat. They could maintain a cycle for as long as they wanted and when the other team gets tired Hossa can go all Power of Grayskull on everyone.

    Sharp doesn’t appear to be doing anything tangible. Dare I suggest he could make himself useful trying to remember how to play center?

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Who knew that losing 3 straight games in consecutive rounds in the playoffs makes a team sooooo resilient and worthy of adulation….geezus. give me a break. It gets to the point where you can’t follow the national media during the conf/cup finals it’s so inane. TWO days between games mo!

    Getting 65 back will be nice, but dont think 26 is going to be the one to sit. It will probably be 12. That’s life on Planet Q. Sharp would be fine with a steady diet of the same 2 solid mates

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Wall/AJ- I am thinking we go to 29-19-88 half way through game3. It was half way through game4 against them that yr when that line was born. I have always thought we would do it, when we were playing good and at the right time (in the flow of series). That’s why Q will start 81 there then make the move when it feels right flow of gamewise. (If 29-19-81 isint together to checkline, then a 20-10-81 can)

    I would like 26/23 to be with 16-28 as well. Shawzers back and that is going to give us the flexibility we need.

    I know were not ever going to have Sharpy at center (but I read it on another site)(before I saw AJ just said it…) it might help him to get going better. 20-10-81 With Shawzer back we can do this.

  • May 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Bicks has about the same amount of goals as that yr, maybe more missed nets as well but he had some in tight misses that yr to. Plus hes not a secret anymore like that yr.

  • May 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Practice has the normal standard lines.

    It does have it set for the 81/88 move, when the time is right.

  • May 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I just finished with a phone call from a good CDN friend who is a former referee. We talked quite a bit about the playoffs and he had some thoughts on the Hawks. He thought that there was a chance the Hawks might not win the cup because in his words, they haven’t hit their full stride yet, and may not these playoffs. However, if they did wake up, it wouldn’t matter who they were playing, they would win it all again. In terms of why we haven’t hit our stride, his opinion was a lack of focus and a lack of chemistry.

    He questioned Q changing the lineups down the stretch and to the start the playoffs, and said the Hawks haven’t really figured out what to do with Versteeg and Handzus all year long. He said Zus playing 2nd line centre with Kane is “nuts” and that Ben Smith seemed to take over that role and then suddenly he was back to the 4th line for no reason. He said one other interesting thing which was that the Hawks “clean” style of play “hurts” them during the playoffs as the refs are told to let the little stuff go, and they like to keep things even, especially the later the playoffs progress. In other words, a lot of the after the whistle physical stuff against the Hawk players won’t get called, or if it does they will be watching closely for a Hawk infraction to even things up. This is why in his opinion the Hawks got dinged with those 2 nit picky penalties in the 3rd against la. They are looking to even things up. Take it for what its worth.

    Personally, I agree with the Hawks not hitting their stride yet. It’s similar to last year when the Hawks seemed to sleepwalk through the playoffs until they met the Bruins who intimidated them…and then the Hawks needed everything they had to beat the bruins. I hope we wake up tomorrow!

  • May 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Mo, that’s ridiculous that Regin gets taken out of the lineup. That’s just stupid IMO. Regin has played great, has speed, takes the body and has gone to the net. Plus he can play centre and wing, Bollig doesn’t bring a FRACTION of this to the mix.

    The whole team needs to focus tomorrow and everyone needs to contribute to a win.

  • May 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    ^These two posts are good.

    That’s why game 2 was so encouraging for me. The Hawks finally hit their stride for two complete periods. Finally. And the result was complete and utter domination. It was beautiful, and I hadn’t seen that level of play since the new year. Keep it up, and it’s ours to lose.

    Also agreed on his notes regarding nit-picking calls. I hope they keep making nit-picky calls (but evenly), as it will benefit the Hawks style of play.

    Phil- I suppose we don’t have the doom and gloom feel that others do. Then again, this board gets some weird posts when the Hawks swallow tough losses. Tough loss, bad breaks, weird goals, so what? If our team was mentally weak, I’d be concerned. But given who our captain and goaltender are, and given how much adversity we’ve overcome so far, mental weakness is simply not a concern. Keep playing like we just played, and it’s going to take statistics-breaking luck to keep us from the Cup.

  • May 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Game day, finally. Seems like forever since last game, but it is a long travel for both teams. Lets’ get it on! I re-watched(on Tv for first time) game #2 yesterday, at least through 10 minutes of the 3rd. I took away from this second viewing similar feelings I had about the play when I was at the UC in regards to the Hawks really playing well through 2 periods. I thought then and still believe that this was a very encouraging sign, and a glimpse of what they can do with the Kings when they just stay focused. Hawks defensive game was very well structured, which they need to bring in these 2 away games. If they do, the goals will come. At some point matchups will get the right guys out there and the Kings net will get dented for 3 plus goals. The 3rd period breakdowns were almost comical. The puck up in the air play comes to mind. Crow missed a few he would normally get. Hey, game over!. That’s the margin between winning and losing that game, and basically all games in playoffs.

    Sharp is suffering more I think from his draw of line mates due to Q, and frustration. We know from Sharpy experience that he is a streaky player. Problem can be argued at this point that his late season numbers and playoff results say something else is amiss. He is a proud player though which tells me he must be nursing some kind of injury restricting him in some way. I think we will see some production in the next 2 games from both Sharp and Kane. These guys are ready to break loose. Hoss too. Get pucks and players to net.

    I thought the insights that Brad shared about where the Hawks are right now are well founded. They are close to finding the next gear, as the first 2 periods of game 2 would attest. To their credit the Kings will play a relentless style and will bring an aggressive forecheck attempting to cause turnovers. I thought zone exits in game 2 were very good from Hawks and unless Kings adjust their ice coverage odd man breaks to the Hawks will occur and enhanced scoring chances. Also to the point about refs letting the “little stuff” go and penalty evening up was right on. Kings live off that kind of game. They are almost robotic in the way they go about finishing checks, getting the elbows up, and then the extra shot given before skating away. Many of these plays are borderline roughing or especially interference. Kings d men are big and slow except Doughty. Hawks players need to keep the skates moving which will invariably get some penalties called.

    Anyone else sick of hearing about how great a player Justin Williams is? This guy is about as fast as Rozy and Zus. His legs move fast, but he doesn’t. I give credit for goals scored, but apart from hanging around the net, he is a dime a dozen guy. Hit him! He hates getting hit. Nice slash on Crow by Williams in the 2nd period, that of course was not called. I think that hurt CC BTW. Start drilling Carter as well. Guy gets off his game when confronted physically. I know it isn’t really in Hawks dna to play like that, but our dmen need to start bringing the body tonight. Hawks as a team have to get on the body tonight too. This was lacking in game 2. If Bollig is going to skate he needs to start taking names and numbers. Q’s loyalty to Bollig is just weird. I am very upset to see Regin sitting. Apart from face offs the guy has been very involved and has made a difference. I also hope Brookbank gets a shot in one of these road games, given how slowed down Rozy has been lately. I just hope Q finds some regularity to lines especially line #2. Zus should not be centering some of our top scorers.

    Lets Go Hawks!

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