Nobody thought the Blackhawks would beat Jonathan Quick in a shootout did they? If you include Viktor Stalberg’s 3 period penalty shot the Hawks were 0 for 7 versus Quick on one on one shots. Quick has had the Blackhhawks’ number all season long so I am glad we don’t have to see him again this year. If Los Angeles makes the playoffs they might be the team no one wants to play. Quick is a goalteander that carry a team deep into the playoffs if he is given some scoring. Another slow start doomed the Blackhawks, who nearly gave up a goal in the opening seconds of the game. The St Louis Blues come to town on Tuesday night. There is some slight hope that Jonathan Toews can return for that game but I doubt it. He has yet to be cleared for contact and I wouldn’t throw him out there against a team full of asshats like the Blues. On to the observations…
- Ray Emery was pretty good again last night. He had to make quite a few quality saves to keep the Blackhawks in the game. He stopped the first 5 shots he saw in the shootout before giving up a goal to the highly overrated Mike Richards.
- Anyone seen Dave Bolland lately?
- I am sure Viktor Stalberg has found himself back into Coach Q’s doghouse after taking a horrible tripping penalty at the 17:16 mark of the 3rd period. The bad penalty and missing the penalty shot will overshadow the fact the Vik had a pretty good game. He had an assist and lead the team with 7 shots on goal.
- The Blackhawks caught a couple of breaks from the refs last night. The first one came on Patrick Kane’s game tying goal in the 3rd period. I am still not sure how that play wasn’t blown dead. The second came on a 3rd period hit by Brandon Bollig who clearly left his feet but was not given a penalty.
- Speaking of Kane’s goal, it was set up by 3 great individual efforts. First by Brent Seabrook who had the awareness to move the puck to Marian Hossa while laying on his back. Then Hossa bull rushed the puck to the net. Kane did a good job of not stopping on the play and seeing the puck between Jonathan Quick’s legs.
- Johnny Oduya continues to impress. He is playing a lot of minutes and is not afraid of firing off shots from the point. He could be playing himself into a new contract in Chicago.
- Between Mike Richards and Drew Doughty is there a team two more disappointing players than the Kings?
- The Blackhawks actually out hit the Kings 34-33. It was nice to see the Hawks take it to another team. They really stepped up their physical play in the 3rd period.
- The Blackhawks just lost another draw.
My Blackhawks Player of the Game
Marcus Kruger was rewarded for his hard work and willingness to get to the net with a goal last night. He didn’t leave any doubt after Patrick Sharp’s initial shot might have gone in. Kruger is one of the few Hawks that will get to the blue paint on a regular basis. He is shaping up into a pretty solid player. He got to contribute on both the power play and penalty kill last night. He just needs to work on his faceoffs. He only won 2 of 10 draws last night, that will not get the job done.
My Turd of the Game
Duncan Keith is a pretty easy choice for the TOTG. Both Kings goals were the product of Drunken Keith turnovers. The first one lead to a 4 on 1 going the other way. Ray Emery was left high and dry and there wasn’t much he could have done. The second Kings goal came after Keith was easily pushed off the puck behind the Hawks net. He played nearly 30 minutes yet again. The minutes are taking it’s toll on Keith. Yet another issue that needs to be addressed in the offseason.