May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalieCorey Crawford
(50) reacts after defeating Los Angeles Kings in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Chicago Blackhawks defeats the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks took Game #1 from the Los Angeles Kings in their rematch of last years Western Conference Final. In Game #1 last year the Hawks won 2-1 and this year they won 3-1 so here are some thoughts from the 3-1 victory.
5. The Kings Missed Some Great Chances- The Kings had many odd man breaks in the first and second period and twice they had wide open nets and couldn’t convert with their best shot being on the powerplay late in the second period. The Kings are too good of a team to miss these chances the rest of the series.
4. The Madhouse on Madison St.– The Hawks home ice at the United Center is a true home ice advantage with the Hawks having won every game on home ice this playoff season with their last playoff home ice loss being Game #2 against the Boston Bruins in overtime. The Hawks have tremendous confidence on home ice and keep on winning. The Hawks weren’t suppose to have home ice throughout the playoffs and yet due to upsets have it and now all they have to do is keep on winning at the United Center.
3. The Kings Speed– The Kings looked a lot faster than they did last year which was a real problem for the Hawks in the first two periods before the Blackhawks defense settled down. Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar will force Joel Quenneville to play Jonathan Toews against the Kopitar line most of the series it would appear which they did on Sunday and kept them off the scoresheet.
2. Saad- After struggling for a few weeks it’s good to see Brandon Saad back on his game with speed and puck possession. Saad had a goal and an assist and was back to his usual puck hogging ways. Getting #20 back to playing at high level will just make another line for Joel Quenneville that much more dangerous.
1. CROW– Crawford for maybe the first time in his career has strapped the Hawks on his back and is carrying them. Crawford has the best Goals Against Average in the playoffs and it only helped that stat out with another 1 goal against effort. Crawford has been spectacular and though he may never get the glowing reviews from the East Coast media he’s been the best goalie in the playoffs to date.
What was your thought from Game #1?
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