by Patrick Stankus
The Blackhawks returned home on Monday night following a brief two game "mom's road trip" to take on the team they alternate Stanley Cups with, the Los Angeles Kings. Tonight's game also marked the return of former Blackhawk heroes #BlobSuckderi and Kris Versteeg. I for one cannot wait for the tribute videos during the first tv timeout. With a national audience watching, one has to wonder if this is a preview of what the national audience will be watching again in late May when its Western Conference Final time.
Once the puck dropped, it looked like the Hawks might have some good fortune on their side. A minute into the game, they were rewarded with a power play, which actually looked good, but couldn't manage to get the game's opening goal. After that it was all downhill in the first period. The Kings managed to score two goals in 18 seconds to take a 2-0 lead, less than four minutes into the game. As the period wound down, the Hawks would get a couple of decent chances, but couldn't beat Jonathan Quick, and found themselves down two after 20 minutes.
The second period saw the Hawks come out with a little more energy to open the middle frame. Much like the first period though, that energy would wane and it was back to the "lacklustre" hockey we've seen all too much of late. With just under five minutes remaining it the period, Vincent Lecavalier put the Kings on top 3-0, capitalizing on a wide open net. The Hawks had a chance late in the period to gain some momentum by way of a power play, but they couldn't do anything with it. After 40 minutes the Hawks trailed the Kings 3-0.
With little motivation, the Hawks came out for the third period and basically played similar to the to third period in Dallas. Hurry up, and get the fucking game over. The Hawks would receive two power plays in the period, but never mounted anything that resembled a threat. The Kings on the other hand took advantage of the pathetic effort put forth by the Hawks, and added two more goals in the third to hand the Hawks an embarrassing 5-0 defeat on home ice.
- Tonight's game was a local blackout on NBCSN, which meant we were spared having to hear Pierre McGuire twice in three days. Praise the Lord!!!
- Sadly the highlight of the second period for the Hawks was a Michal Rozsival hit on Kyle Clifford. Seriously, that's how bad it was.
- Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist in his return to Chicago. Of course he would.
- The Hawks weren't manhandled at the faceoff dot, but the Kings did have the advantage 38-30. Unfortunately lost faceoffs would prove to be costly.
- Corey Crawford had an off night. Not all the goals were on him, but his positioning was off all night, and was a factor in at least two of the Kings goals.
- I'm all ears to hear why Q believes Mashinter should be playing ahead of Rasmussen. Or even #DickPanik for that matter.
- Andrew Ladd lead the Hawks in the +/- department tonight with a glaring -3. WOOF.
- We beat home the importance of winning defensive zone draws, and that was on full display on the Kings first goal. Teravainen lost the draw the Kings held possession, then a clusterfuck in front the net ensued, and of course it would be Kris Versteeg who would hammer home the loose puck.
- I'm still trying to figure out what the hell Brent Seabrook was doing on Lucic's goal. Seabrook got caught wandering into the middle of the ice and allowed Lucic all the time and space he wanted to fire a shot past Crawford. Crawford didn't help matters by being deep in his crease, but I'll give Lucic credit for a perfectly placed shot.
- Enough with these goalie interference challenges. Tonight the Hawks challenged the Kings third goal, after Tanner Pearson, or TVR's stick barely, if at all made contact with Corey Crawford. Rightfully so, it took the officials 15 seconds to determine this was one of the worst challenges in the history of hockey, and the Kings goal stood.
- The Hawks had 32 shots on net. If you can find one where you actually thought they had a legit chance at scoring, I'd love to hear it. This had to be Jonathan Quick's easiest 30+ save shutout.
- Anytime you have nine, (in Edzo voice) "count'em nine" turnovers, its pretty clear you have no control of the puck whatsoever.
- Do yourself a favor and watch Duncan Keith's not so fancy footwork on Dustin Brown's goal. Sorry Duncan, but you're not line dancing.
- TVR and struggle. That's a gross combo of late.
- I've saved the best for last (about the Hawks.) That once mighty power play was 0 for 6 tonight. That is not a typo. Much like the shots, name one power play that had sustained pressure. Exactly. None of them did.
- The only logical reason for this Hawks slump is @atomicfroster and I being at the helm of recent recaps. Raise your hands if you want Gate to return.