Sunday, May 18, 2014

Playoffs: Blackhawks vs Kings
Round 3 Game 1 Win

"The Blessed Hellride"

The Blackhawks opened up the Western Conference Final against the Kings from the city of Angels, Sunday afternoon at the United Center. The Kings were coming off a taxing series for the battle of California, and the Blackhawks were coming off 4 days of rest, following the series with the Minnesota Wild. I don't know which was better.

The Blackhawks jumped out to a first period lead and it looked like things were rolling for the heroes in red. It looked like the Hawks went up 2-0 but the goal was washed out, and the Kings almost immediately tied the game up. It looked like the momentum had swung but the Blackhawks followed with a goal of their own to take a 2-1 lead into the third period. The game was tight for a majority of the third, until the Blackhawks blew the game wide open with a huge goal, with just about 3 minutes remaining in the game. This wrapped a big 3-1 game 1 win.

The Good
  • The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead on the powerplay, with about 5 minute remaining in the first period. Brandon Saad tipped a long Nick Leddy shot down and between Jonathan Quick's legs and into the net. The powerplay was as a result of Brandon Bollig flop in front of the Kings net, when Alec Martinez pushed him in front of the net. I guess we'll take it.
  • Shortly after the Toews goal was negated, and the Kings tied the game, Duncan Keith took a long clapper that went off a King stick and over Quick's glove. Another fortunate bounce for the Blackhawks, but not one they didn't earn.
  • Late in the third period the Hawks iced the game with a beautiful 3-on-1 goal. Hossa led the rush up the ice and dished to Oduya, who gave a no look pass to Toews. El Capitan made no mistake depositing puck in the back of the net on a one timer.
  • For the third straight game, Corey Crawford was dialed in. The only goal he gave up was one he had no chance on. Hot goalies in the playoffs win Stanley Cups.
  • The Blackhawks blocked 25 shots to the Kings 15. This is something that might fly under the radar but very important.
  • Oddly enough the faceoff stats were identical. Each team won 31. I can deal with that.
  • Saad is beginning to become a force once again, which is scary good.
  • Hossa had yet another quiet 2 point game, and he was huge defensively.
The Bad
  • The lone Kings goal was as a result of a terrible Blackhawks change that left Brandon Bollig racing back to cover the play. I'll let you guess how this one ended. Backdoor pass to Toffoli who put the puck over Crawford, who had no chance on the play.
The Ugly
  • The Justin Williams blatant elbow should be looked at by the league, but won't. If Roszival was hurt it would be another story though.
  • The point of contention in this game will be the negated goal. Toews drove hard to the net with a guy on his back. Quick saved the first shot and the puck went off Willie Mitchell's skate and into the net. Even though it wasn't called initially, after talking to Toronto, it was decided that the act of Toews going through the crease pushed Quick out of the way and was goalie interference. I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that goalie interference wasn't reviewable, but what do I know? I'm just a Blogger.
Here are the video highlights:

2014 Playoff song via HockeeNight:

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