by Patrick Stankus
Send a McRib to #Fatrick
On late Saturday afternoon, the Blackhawks traveled to Los Angeles to close out the regular season with a date with the Kings. With the Kings being eliminated from playoff contention, and the Blackhawks having locked everything up, this game was nothing more than a schedule filler for an 82 game season. Since there is a layoff before the playoffs begin, it was expected that Joel Quenneville would dress most of his star players, unlike the other night in Anaheim against those ballbags. Alright, enough rambling, onto the game, because we got the playoffs to look forward to.
To start the game, both teams looked a little sluggish. I'll attribute that to the fact it was an afternoon game. The Hawks took the advantage on the scoreboard just over six minutes in, thanks to a Jonathan Toews goal. Throughout the period, both teams had some chances, but neither team added another tally. In the end, there were twenty two shots, eleven by both, in the period. The lone power play of the period came in the final minutes thanks to a Kings penalty. With twenty minutes in the books, the Hawks headed to intermission with a one goal lead.
If you were tired of regular season hockey, that didn't mean a thing, then the second period wasn't for you. Throughout the middle frame, both teams could only muster six shots each. The lack of shots, combined with two power plays for the Hawks, and one for the Kings turned the game into an absolute snoozefest. Frankly there's nothing else to say about it. After forty minutes the Hawks held on to their one goal lead.
Thank God the third period was nothing like the second period. The Kings finally got on the board, while on the power play to tie the game at one. Ten minutes later, The Breadman, fighting dollar signs in his eyes, added his 31st goal of the year to give the Hawks the lead again. The Hawks held that lead until the final minute. On a rush up the ice a broken play allowed a deflected puck to find the stick of Dustin Brown, and he put it in a wide open net to tie the game at two. Of course the Hawks had to cough up a lead late and allow the game to head to overtime, just because I drew the short straw of recapping this hot vomit in a garbage bag.
Luckily for my miserable ass, the Kings made quick work of the overtime, and Drew Doughty ended the game 30 seconds in. Next up for the Hawks is a 1st round match up with the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Before I end the recap I have to say, we need to give a couple of stick tap salutes out. First up is to former Blackhawk Bryan Bickell who will retire at the end of the season following his MS diagnosis earlier this season. We were all critical of Bickell during his time here, but his heart and desire to attempt a comeback following his diagnosis, and succeed, cannot be questioned. Stick taps to you Bickell on a good career, and being a champion.
The next stick tap salute I want to give out is to Los Angeles Kings announcer Bob Miller who called his final home game today after forty-four seasons. Bob is one of the good announcers of the game, and his voice will be missed.
The last stick tap salute is to you, The Hostile Tribe. I speak for Gate, Norton, and Bryan when I say, thank you to all of you for reading, listening, and interacting with us knuckleheads on a daily basis. As another regular season comes to a close, we can't thank you enough for all the support. We appreciate it like you wouldn't believe. Here's to another Stanley Cup Playoff run, that will hopefully feature a lot more good memories to come. #ThankYouHostileTribe
- Jonathan Toews opened the scoring for the Hawks in the first period. It was Toews' 21st goal of the season, and one that hopefully gets him going for the playoffs.
- Artemi Panarin scored his 31st goal of the season, and one that could potentially land him a nice bonus. If don't think Panarin was aware of it, just look at his reaction to the goal in a meaningless game. See money is a universal word no matter what language you speak or don't understand.
- Corey Crawford was alright in net. Basically all he was looking to do was get some reps in, and not shred his groin before the playoffs begin. He looked like all the bells and whistles were fine and he'll be ready for the playoffs. I'm glad he recovered from that "McConcussion" he suffered in Montreal. I just wish he recover as fast as Javy Baez does from McConcussions.
- If you don't think this game was meaningless, just look at the ice time for all the players. It was just about spread out as evenly as possible. For Christ's sake, even Tootoo almost had ten minutes of ice time.
- Hate at me all you want, but those gray Kings' jerseys are a friggin' thing of beauty. Total outside the box design. In this day where it seems every team wears a combo of black, red, and blue, this gray look is much appreciated. That's also why the Predators yellow, and Ducks orange look gets a slight pass from me too. But they're not as bad ass as this Kings one.
- Marian Hossa gave us all a scare and left the game briefly in the first period after taking a slash. Luckily, and thankfully, Hossa returned for the second period, and the rest of the game.
- The penalty kill was running around like a bunch of chickens with their goddamn heads cut off on the Kings second power play. Not surprisingly, it resulted in a Kings goal.
- Dustin Brown scored in the final minute of the game to tie it at two. If the Hawks were showing some sort of effort, I bet this type of play doesn't happen.
- Selfishly I hope this wasn't the last time I get to watch Jarome Iginla play. I respect the hell out of that guy, and will miss him if this is the end. I hate the way the last few years have gone for him.
- The Hawks beaten worse at the dot today, than Rozsival's face on Thursday night. In the end it was 56%-44% in the Kings favor.
- I don't like afternoon hockey, but a 3pm local start in Los Angeles meant a 5pm start for us in Chicago. Alright, 5pm is just an odd time for a game. I have nothing else. I'm stretching for material now.
- THANK GOD, we no longer have to endure 3 on 3 and the shootout until October. Of course this game had to be an asshole and go to overtime, just to piss me off one more time.
- Ending the regular season on a four game losing streak isn't ideal, but whatever.
- My money is on the Kings dismissing head coach Darryl Sutter this off-season. I'll miss this if that indeed happens.