Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Kings - Win Recap

"Hockey Day in Merica"

Sunday afternoon's game against the LA Kings was the center piece of the NBC Hockey Day in America festivities. This game was somewhat full circle for the Hawks. They opened up this regulation undefeated streak in LA, and they looked to continue it at home against the same Kings. The Kings haven't has as much success trying to defend their Stanley Cup championship, coming in 5-5-2. The Hawks were without Corey Crawford once again, so Ray Emery was playing his second game in a row for the first time this season.

The Hawks came out fast and furious for a second straight game. They had 4 shots on net before the Kings knew what hit them, and it was 9-3 by the time the Hawks went up 2-0. They finished the period out shooting the Kings 11-8, and taking that 2-0 into the middle period.

It took less than minute into the second for the Hawks to go up 3-0 on the Kings, and the pressure didn't stop there. They out shot the Kings 20-10 in the second period alone, and it seemed like they might roll. The third period would tell another story.

From the time that the Kings scored a very early powerplay goal, the play was slanted towards the Hawks end. The Kings out shot the Hawks 9-5 in the period, and the pressure was heavily in the Kings favor, all period long. The Kings followed up their early PP goal with another powerplay goal about halfway through the period, to bring the game within one. Late theatrics aside, the Hawks held off a Kings powerplay with a pulled goalie to win 3-2. Next victim Vancouver, on Tuesday.

The Good

  • Seabrook and the fourth line opened up the scoring just over 5 minutes into the first period. Quick had no stick and the Kings defense lost track of Seabrook, who snuck around and sat on the back door. Keith had a bead on Seabrook and it him across the ice with a wide open net in front of him. 1-0 Hawks.
  • El Capitan followed up Seabrook's goal, with a powerplay goal of his own. Keith picked up his second assist of the period using a slap pass right to the tape of Toews, and he redirected it off the post. The puck sat on the goal line long enough for Toews to follow up and poke it into the net. 2-0 Hawks.
  • Shooter scored his first goal in what seems like forever, in the first minute of the second period. Oduya used the end boards to pass to Toews on the back side of the net. El Capitan couldn't put it in the net, but Sharp picked up the puck in the slot and beat Quick. Quick was way out of position and you have to think the Hawks were in his head at this point.
  • There is always one Hawks center that absolutely sucks at the dot, and more times than not that player is Bolland. Sunday's game was no different. Bolland wore the dunce cap once again, going 5 for 13. The rest of the guys were all over 50%.
  • Marcus Kruger has been outstanding this year, and for as much as he dropped off in Rockford, he's been that good for the Hawks. Goals, Assists, puck control, penalty killing. He's done it all, and he really deserves to be moved up the depth chart. After making this observation, Kruger got a shift with Kane and Sharp and didn't look out of place one bit. I'd really like to see him on the third line with Shaw on the fourth, but you can't argue with success at this point. It's a good problem to have.
The Bad

  • A Sharpie penalty very early in the third period led to the Kings breaking the Hawks shutout. Mike Richards let a long shot go from the point that eluded Emery, and brought the Kings within 2 goals. It'll be a hit against the penalty kill, but they can't be perfect. Emery could have had that shot.
  • Mike Richards scored his second powerplay goal of the game through a Hjalmarsson screen to give the Kings life in the later moments of the third period. Doughty made a nice blind backhand pass to Richards at the blue line who used the Hawks defender to beat Emery, who had no chance
  • The Hawks penalty kill had a rough afternoon, going 2 for 4. Not good at all.
The Ugly

  • Seabrook took a shot in what looked like the arm, or maybe the groin, on a Kings powerplay. The shot was high and Seabrook went down like he was shot. Not a good sign at all. Seabrook would have been a huge loss. Luckily he came out for the second period, after some TLC in the locker room.
  • To follow up Seabrook's injury, Hammer was injured early in the second period and returned, as well.
  • very late in the third, the Kings' Williams interfered with Emery pretty deliberately and Oduya gave him a few shots in his goalie's defense, earning a penalty. I would be a little frustrated too, if a guy went at my goalie like that and wasn't called. I can't rag on him for coming to his goalie's defense. I'd be much more upset if Williams was allowed to pull that bullshit without retribution.

Here are the video highlights:

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