Four Things We Have Learned Through The First Two Games Of The Western Conference Finals

By Keith Schultz

Jun 2, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman

Brent Seabrook

(7) celebrates with right wing

Marian Hossa

(81) and left wing

Bryan Bickell

(29) after scoring a goal against Los Angeles Kings goalie

Jonathan Quick

(32) during the first period in game two of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The first two games have come and gone in what seems like a blink of an eye and now the Blackhawks leave for LA with a 2-0 lead in the series.  What are the some of the things that we have learned through those two games?

1. The Hawks Look Quicker–  We knew this was the case before the series started, but the shocking thing is that even though the Kings are winning the “Hit count” the Hawks are not getting pushed around.  The Hawks in most cases look at least a step faster than the Kings especially when it gets near the scoring areas. Two Hawks that haven’t scored a goal in the series but have been tremendous on the forecheck and creating puck possession have been Viktor Stalberg and Brandon Saad.  Their work has laid the foundation for  Hawks scoring chances.

2. Corey Crawford is a Transformer– No, Crawford isn’t the new Bumble Bee in the next Transformers movie, but the fact that he’s been able to bounce back instantly from bad goals this playoff run has been remarkable. The other thing is his transformation into  the leadership role granted no one would suggest a huge vocal leader was when he mixed it up with Kyle Clifford last night while sticking up for the Captain, it was a sign that a corner has been turned in Crawford’s growing process.

3. The Kings aren’t going to quit– The Kings were down 4-0 and pulled their star goalie but they didn’t give up.  They could have thrown in the towel and let the score get away from them,  but this is a Darryl Sutter coached team so quitting is not a word in their vocabulary.  They Kings scored with 1:02 and 1:03 left in the 2nd and 3rd periods to keep the score respectable.  The Kings have not lost in Staples Center in the 2013 playoffs so don’t expect a cake walk in LA this Kings team will be in a fighting mood when they hit home ice.

4. Jonathan Quick is very good–  The Hawks caught Quick on a rare off night and were able to take full advantage.  Quick had not allowed more than 3 goals in 36 playoff games prior to Game #2 so don’t expect a repeat performance the rest of the series.  The Hawks will have to keep doing what they have done in two game which is keep bodies in front and continually throw pucks at the net while crashing rebounds.  Quick isn’t a Conn Smyth Trophy winner by accident so the Hawks will have to maintain the pressure and then some to get two more wins to close out the series.

What do you think we have learned from the 1st two games of the series?

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