Monday, June 3, 2013

PLAYOFFS: Blackhawks vs. LA Kings
Game 2 Win Recap

"Ride the Lightning"

The Blackhawks and Kings met Sunday night, just over 24 hours after the Blackhawks Saturday night game 1 win. The Kings were sure to look at tying up the series despite their terrible playoff road record. Mike Richards and Jason Muzzin were missing from the Kings lineup with the Blackhawks dressing the same successful group of guys from game 1. Another big win, and the Blackhawks had a chance to head to LA leading the series 2-0.

The Kings came out and actually out shot the Hawks in the first period 13-9, but two great chances put the Hawks up 2-0 and got the ball rolling, which is the complete opposite of Saturday's game where the Hawks were down 1-0 after out shooting the Kings 17-2.

The Hawks blew the game open in the second period scoring two more goals on 11 shots, and the Kings finally got on the scoreboard with one of their 6 shots. All the Hawks needed to do was hold the third period, and they were sitting pretty.

The Hawks were in defensive mode again, in the third, for the second game in a row, which is a nice thing to have to do. Getting out shot 13-6 is a little more than you would like to see, but the game was pretty far out of hand already. The Kings put in a late powerplay goal, but it wasn't nearly enough. The Hawks were off to Cali, up 2-0. I don't want to put a damper on this, but both of these teams were in two game holes and came back to win series, so don't start tooting the Blackhawks horn just yet.

The Good

  • It took all of two minutes for the new energy line to open up a 1-0 Blackhawks lead. The play was started by Nick Leddy causing the turnover by holding the puck in along the Kings boards. General Saad jumped in to pick up the loose puck, feed Stalberg. Stalberg then shocked everybody by making a slick little blind backhand pass to a streaking Shaw, who beat Quick low to the glove side. This Shaw kid is defying the odds and Chicago is eating it up.
  • With under a minute left in the first period, Seabrook put the Hawks up 2-0. El Capitan and Hoss weaved into the Kings zone and Hoss hit Seabrook with a nice drop pass, leaving him all day to pick his spot. Seabs did all the work beating Quick, who had slightly over pursued the play, to the stick side.
  • Corey Crawford made a great save in the first period when a dump in, off the glass, dropped right in front of him with Tyler Toffoli hauling ass. He went full Hasek with the two pad stack and made the save. Highlight reel save.

    To follow that up, he found himself 1-on-1 with pancake aficionado Dustin Penner in the second period. Crawford ended up stuffing Penner and smothering the rebound.

    Finally, late in the third period, when dumb ass cement head Kyle Clifford took a shot at El Capitan, it was refreshing to see Crawford jump into the fracas and help his captain. Jonathan Bernier thought he'd be slick and skate out to the blue line. Not a bright idea, because Crawford can beat some goalie ass.
  • Bryan Bickell pulled his best lard ass Byfuglien impression on the powerplay, in the second period, with a little help from Robyn Regehr. Sharp took a long slap shot that Quick initially saved, but Bickell used his big ass to cause havoc right in Quick's kitchen, and swatted at the rebound. He wasn't able to put anything on the rebound, but Regehr whacked at the puck and put it right between his own goalie's legs. Thanks big guy!
  • Michal Handzus made it 4-0 just two minutes and nine seconds later on a 2-on-2 break with that Sharp Dressed Man. Handzus used the odd man break to his advantage, and Zus blew it by Quick's stick side, which was a theme Sunday night. That was the end of Quick's night. Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey-hey-hey, Goodbye! Grab a ball cap and have a seat, kid! I joke, but I would not be surprised if Quick comes back with a vengeance on Tuesday and shuts the Hawks out.
  • Since Saad has taken over Bickell's old spot on the third line, the speed of that line has been lethal. Saad's ability to adapt makes him that much more valuable.
  • Keith and Seabrook were a combined plus 4. That'll do, yes sir, that'll do.
  • Even though the Kings scored on the powerplay, the Hawks penalty kill has just been lights out. Not much more needs to be said.
The Bad

  • Dustin brown hit on Keith in the first period was a little shady with the elbow to the face, but considering that the Hawks might have gotten away with one from a Bickell, who looked to kick the skates out from under Drew Doughboy, late in the first.
  • Party Boy Jeff Carter broke the Crawford shutout with under a minute left in the second period. Carter won the faceoff and the Hawks were never able to get their shit together. Eventually, Tyler Toffoli got the puck back to Carter for a one timer past a shifting Crawford.
  • Finally, someone was able to score a powerplay goal on the Hawks at home. With about a minute left in the third period, after another stupid delay of game penalty, Tyler Toffoli chipped the puck over Crawford. Meh, they can have it.
  • If Colin Fraser thinks that the stupid head fake he threw at Seabrook was going to scare Lucky Number Sleven, he's more stupid than he looks. Sit down and enjoy your 51 minutes on the bench with your dead eyes and clown hair.
  • For the second game in a row, the Blackhawks were just under 50% at the dots, and Michal Handzus was the only Hawks center to eclipse 50%. While they are winning, this is ok, but in LA they are going to need the puck control.
The Ugly

  • Dwight King and Kyle Clifford are a couple of talentless drooling gorillas. Throw them in a cage with Ryan Reaves from St. Louis and let them beat each other to death Thunderdome style.
  • Dave Bolland is really beginning to piss me off. He's really bringing nothing to the Hawks at this point, and there is no way they can keep him around next season with that salary. Over 3 million a year to play the fourth line is not feasible and his best days are behind him. That's sad to say, at 26, but it's the truth.

A little Holiday Road, courtesy of Mighty Mike D at Cheer the Anthem, thanks to HockeeNight for starting the tradition.

Here are the video highlights:

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