Sunday, November 27, 2016

Blackhawks at Kings
2-1 OT Loss Recap

"The Night Eternal"

by Patrick Norton

Lots of things make up a good hockey team; a strong captain, coaching adjustments, a heavy goaltender presence, and a finisher. The list goes on, but it’s late and I’m tired. On Saturday night, the Blackhawks would enter without one of the key components; Jonathan Toews. Toews will miss his second straight game with an upper-body injury. Defeating the Los Angeles Kings has never been an easy task, but it gets much more difficult without your captain on the ice.

With an opportunity for a positive record to finish the final circus trip, the Blackhawks would be sending Scott Darling onto the Staples Center ice with a perfect 4-0-0 record on the season. A 2.94 GAA and .904 saves percentage isn’t necessarily something to brag about, but it’s gotten the job done. Now without their captain and their starting goaltender, would the Blackhawks be able to stack back-to-back wins? *Journalism 101: Don’t ask these types of questions.*

Game Time
It seemed like the Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead a minute into the game on a Tyler Toffoli goal, but the goal was disallowed after further review due to Tanner Pearson shoving Niklas Hjalmarsson into Scott Darling previous to the goal. In the booth, Steve Konroyd, the former hockey player, was oblivious to the NHL rule book and remained confident the goal would stand. Wrong. What else is new? After killing a Desjardins penalty, the Blackhawks tallied the first goal of the game (that counted) on a Kane redirect. Another kill after that gave the Hawks a lead and confidence heading into the first intermission.

The second period hit me and the Blackhawks fast. It took 57 seconds for the Kings to get on the board and I almost missed it for a nap had I not set an alarm on my phone. I’ve been up since 7 am, so this 9:30 pm start has me struggling to keep my eyes open. F*** the circus and f*** Alec Martinez. A plethora of opportunities for each team were not successful, including a back-and-forth sequence of flurries to close out the second period. Somehow, the score was knotted at one after two.

The third period proved to be a bit different. A puck was not behind Darling in the first minute for the first time tonight, legally or illegally. An early powerplay resulted in nothing, even though the Blackhawks were toying with the Los Angeles defense. Then, it was back-and-forth for the next thirteen minutes. Unttiillll, Brent Seabrook cleared the puck over the glass, resulting in a careless delay of game minor with 1:01 remaining on the clock. Luckily, the Hawks got through the first 1:01. The remaining :59 would come in OT.

It was a 4 on 3 to begin OT with the Kings on the advantage. A great kill, but the inability to clear the zone led to a Jeff Carter *let me hurl* OT GWG. Shucks. I stayed up for that. Luckily, the Hawks leave with a point they hardly earned. Scott Darling was fantastic, but holding LA to two goals just wasn’t enough. Unfortunate the offense went cold, but at least the circus trip is over. Kings 2, Blackhawks 1.

The Good
  • The first goal of the game was rocket that Duncan Keith fired three feet wide of the net. Fortunately, Patrick Kane got a stick on it and sent it by the glove side of Peter Budaj.
  • The Blackhawks penalty kill. How about that? When was the last time the PK found it’s way into “The Good?” Sure, the OT goal came seconds after a kill ended, but Seabrook had hardly joined the play. Unfortunate, but we’ve seen worse this season.
  • The goaltending was spectacular on both ends of the ice. The goal post and crossbar made a few cameos, but Budaj and Darling held their own.
  • Scott Darling’s new pads are sick. You can check them out on the Puckin’ Hostile instagram page. Follow @PuckinHostile. (See what I did there? Gate would be proud if he actually read my recaps)
  • The Motte - Kruger - Rasmussen produced some of the best chances for the Blackhawks, especially in the second period.
  • The forecheck was strong through, creating turnovers in the offensive zone and preventing odd man rushes from the Kings.
  • Eddie Olczyk’s analysis. Hearing his voice during an intermission while Steve-O sits in the booth with Pat makes me appreciate all Olczyk has done on the mic for the Blackhawks.

The Bad
  • A lazy tripping penalty put the Hawks on the penalty kill halfway through the first period. Never a good sign to see the PK out so early. Or at any point, for that matter.
  • The defense for the Hawks had their moments, sure, but they let the Kings get a hell of a lot of up close shot opportunities on future brother-in-law of #Fatrick, Scott Darling.
  • The WGN graphics were consistently trash. Glad to see Illinois high school playoff football take precedence over an NHL game on CSN. That’s right. I’m blaming the network they weren’t even on.
  • The Blackhawks shot column. Outshot 29-19, including 3-0 in OT.
  • The Hawk powerplay. Puck possession was decent, but few quality shots left much to be desired on the Hawks special teams. At least they didn’t give up any shortys, eh?
  • The dot has been a struggle point for the Blackhawks in more games than not, but it hurt when a lost draw led to the only second period goal for the Kings.
  • Nick Schmaltz needs to shoot the Christ forsaken puck on Tuesday night.

The Ugly
  • I eluded to this in my first period recap, but Steve Konroyd is the worst analyst in all of hockey. I’d rather have Jamal Mayers in the booth with Pat Foley. Konroyd seemed to forget every rule pertaining to goalie interference and the coach’s challenge. Not one logical statement came out of his mouth. He made Pat Foley seem like a genius with all of the times Foley had to correct his partner in the booth. You could hear Pat Foley’s sadness in the tone of his voice without having Eddie Olczyk sitting beside him.
  • The first Kings powerplay included THREE offsides calls! Where were these refs in 2014? Also, how do you go offsides three times in one powerplay?
  • Dustin Brown.
  • Darryl Sutter.
  • A slow start seems to plague every first period for the Blackhawks. While that ended up not being the case in the opening frame, it was in the second. An early push from the Kings in period number two caught the Blackhawks off guard, which led to the equalizer at one goal apiece.
  • Andrew Desjardins found himself in the lineup, but quickly made Quenneville regret that decision. He didn’t give up any goals, but his play was less than mediocre.
  • Richard Panik has something haunting him. I don’t know what it is, but he isn’t going after pucks the way he did during his hot stretch. If he wants to find himself on the top line again, he’s got to recover the physical factor he has lost in the past couple weeks.
  • The Desjardins - Schmaltz - Panik line did not mesh well together. Schmaltz had a few close opportunities, but I’d be surprised to see much more of that line combo in the future.
  • The Kings grayscale uniforms are awful. One team should be required to wear a real color. I can’t tell the difference between the Hawks, the Kings, and the refs. Ridiculous.
  • The penalties the Hawks committed were the results of pure laziness. Ends up costing them a second point. Damn.

The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Panarin - Anisimov - Kane
Hartman - Hinostroza - Hossa
Motte - Kruger - Rasmussen
Desjardins - Schmaltz - Panik

Keith - Campbell
Kempny - Seabrook
Forsling - Hjalmarsson

#Fatrick Stankus Fatsy Stats

  • Vinny Hinostroza led the team in Corsi with a +4.
  • Duncan Keith and Andrew Desjardins finished with -7 in the Corsi department, tying for the team low.
  • The Hawks were a dismal 21/58 from the dot. It cost them a goal in the second period. Lots of room for improvement.

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