Blackhawks 4, Kings 1

The Hawks and Kings entered the third period in a 1-1 tie with both teams taking turns controlling the tempo.

Five minutes into the final frame and two power plays later, the Hawks had all the cushion they’d need. 

The best part, though, was the way the Hawks smelled blood in the water and suffocated the Kings for the remainder of the game after taking the lead.  The Kings mustered a measly 2 shots on net in the third while the Hawks put up 10 and spent the majority of the time in L.A.’s end of the ice. 

The Hawks opened the period with a man advantage after Patrick Sharp made a heads-up play to draw an interference call with just a few ticks remaining in the second period. 

A minute and a half into the power play, Sharp nicely slowed down the play with the puck at the half-boards.  He waited for Troy Brouwer to assume his position in front of the net and then fired a pass to the outside of his blade.  Brouwer simply stuck his stick out and the puck re-directed past Jonathan Quick to give the Hawks a 2-1 advantage. 

Anze Kopitar went off three minutes later for hooking and the Hawks power play went back to work.  Brouwer won a board battle down low, got the puck to Jonathan Toews in front and he slipped a back-hander past Quick to give Chicago a two-goal lead.

It was a feeding frenzy from there.  The Hawks added one more goal after a nice cycle from the Kane-Ebbett-Versteeg line.  The puck came out to Brian Campbell on the point.  He fired a shot towards Quick; Andrew Ebbett was standing off to the side of the net; the puck caught a piece of Ebbett’s shoulder and went right into the empty net. 

The Kings never mounted a serious threat the rest of the way.

The first period was a see-saw affair that went back and forth with neither team finding twine.  Cristobal Huet and Quick each made some big saves to keep their teams in it. 

A minute into the second, John Madden got the Hawks on the board when he snuck past a Kings defenseman and beat Quick with a back-hander between the legs. 

Kopitar answered with a goal of his own nearly eight minutes later when he banged home a Drew Doughty point shot.

Quickies   

–Another curious move by Joel Quenneville in the second period.  At about the 6 minute mark of the period, the Kings were called for icing.  With the Kings third line stuck on the ice, Quenneville answered with the Ladd-Madden-Brouwer line which he was using to shut down the Kings top line of Smyth-Kopitar-Williams. 

A minute later after Madden’s line finished their shift, Kopitar’s line found itself matched up against Byfuglien-Toews-Sharp.  Like magic, after pinning them down in the defensive zone for their entire shift, Kopitar buried the Kings only goal of the game.  That was the last and only time they didn’t see Madden’s line.

–The Tomas Kopecky Top-6 forward experiment lasted a whole 20 minutes.  Then, in the second period, Andrew Ebbett rightfully claimed his position as 2nd line center and Kopecky found himself back on the fourth line.  Ebbett responded with his first goal (and point) as a member of the Blackhawks.

–Even though he didn’t do a whole heckuva lot tonight, Ben Eager still makes the Hawks 4th line so much better.

*On the Farm*

Byron Froese was selected to be a member of Team WHL and Shawn Lalonde was selected to play for Team OHL.  The teams will compete in the 2009 Subway Super Series which is essentially a sponsored try-out for Canada’s World Junior Championship team.  It takes place from November 16 to November 26. 

Not surprisingly, Kyle Beach wasn’t asked to be part of the festivities.

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18 Responses to Blackhawks 4, Kings 1

  1. Dave Morris says:

    Hawks’ best game of the year.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Lou says:

    It shows you how well the Hawks can play when they don’t have to juggle lines to the extreme level they had been. They got some combos and they kept them together!

    Eager had a real nice shot in the first too.

    Brouwer was most excellent. It has to make you wonder if he keeps that up does he take some of Buffs minutes. And can Buff play on a checking line with Ladd and Madden?

  3. Dave Morris says:

    @Lou>Buff leads the team with six goals, tied with the illustrious Patrick Sharp.

  4. Lou says:

    @ Dave, that’s great but Buff started out strong and has only one goal in his last six games. Buff tends to struggle/disappear (or some other word to describe it) for stretches at times. Brouwer has 4 goals and 7 pts, one less than Buff’s 8. Brouwer has two PP to Buffs three. Buff is -3 Brouwer is -2. Buff has twice the penatly minutes.

    I am all for the guy but if Brouwer’s effort and game keeps improving week after week, and Buff is streaky or in one of his hiatuses, the question begs to be asked.

    Nice problem for us to have.

  5. josh says:

    One of Seabs best games so far, he was a force out there. Good to see Buff throwing his weight around too.

  6. Dave Morris says:

    My favorite part of this article:

    “The best part, though, was the way the Hawks smelled blood in the water and suffocated the Kings for the remainder of the game after taking the lead. The Kings mustered a measly 2 shots on net in the third.”

    Words like ‘blood’, ‘suffocated’ and ‘measly’ are always good in a hockey blog.

  7. Patrick says:

    I would add that it looked like Huet had a good game too – decent positioning and rebound control. Yes, he got lucky with a couple of Kings’ post shots, but the best part about it is that he’s smiling and looks like he’s having fun again. His confidence is back, and needed. To me, he’s clearly the #1 – better than Neimi…

  8. Lou says:

    With Hossa’s debut approaching, who sits? Fraser, Ebbett, Kopecky????

  9. John says:

    I suppose we’ll find out soon enough, but my early money is on Kopecky.

  10. Dave Morris says:

    @Patrick> don’t forget Niemi was coming off a very long layoff…he was better as that particular game progressed.

    If Huet and Niemi can be consistent, and the Hawks continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the West (as they are now), the Blackhawks’ chances look good.

    The key is a strong overall effort like we saw last night.

    Re: Kopecky, it might a little early to dismiss him. There’s been much line juggling going on this year due to injuries. So it takes time for management to determine, with new guys like Kopecky (and Ebbett), to find out how and where they fit in…as well as the players themselves.

    Depth is never a bad thing.

  11. Patrick says:

    Hard to believe that with all of our Huet, Barker and Sopel handwringing that the Hawks are one of the best defensive teams in the NHL right now. I’ll take it.

    Can Kopecky play the PK (well)? If he can, he stays and Fraser sits.

    Bolland’s injury let Ebbett play himself into the second center position, for a while at least. I loved the Ebbett goal last night – I could just see Campbell talking to him before the play, “You park yourself by the net and I’ll bank one off you. Yea, it may hurt a bit, but you’ll get the goal and you’ll keep your job – for now.”

    As Dave says – depth isn’t a bad thing, unless your name is Jordan Hendry…

  12. Dave Morris says:

    Well, consider me corrected.

    Now that Bolland has been shut down indefinitely and will undergo back surgery, we have, as they say, a ‘situation’.

    The Chicago Tribune’s Steve Rosenbloom, not one to do these things casually, makes a case for Mr Wirtz and the Hawkey Honchos to entertain one Mr. Forsberg.

    Very interesting reading.
    http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/rosenblog/2009/11/are-the-hawks-and-forsberg-a-match.html

    If Mr Forsberg wants a Stanley Cup, he could do worse than look at Chicago. And if he can still produce at the same point a game clip he has, no matter where or how long he plays, maybe…just maybe…

    Thoughts, anyone?

  13. Patrick says:

    I like him – if they can make it work for one season with no negative cap implications for the future, do it. I think they could get a few good months (or year) out of him. When watching him out here in Colorado, the guy had a motor like no other (an MJ motor). Yes, that was many moons ago, but and evil competitiveness is something that’s hard to teach. Reminds me of the Madden signing…

  14. Patrick says:

    And, yes, I realize that he’d have to agree to a cheaper-than-market deal with the Hawks…

  15. Dave Morris says:

    @Patrick> I tend to agree with all of your points.

    Forsberg has always been one of my favorite players–as you say, it’s not just his skill, but his competitiveness.

    The Madden analogy is an excellent one.

    Could be a win-win situation.

  16. Lou says:

    Bolland is now out 3-4 months and with a back that very well could be the rest of this season or exactly what they say.

    Regardless, who do we bring up or how do we fill that gap?

    No to Nylander now. Let him got to Russia!

  17. Dave Morris says:

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/11/blackhawks-bolland-to-have-back-surgery.html

    “Dave underwent minimally invasive surgery today for a herniated disk,” said Blackhawks Head Team Physician Dr. Michael Terry. “The surgery went well and we anticipate a full recovery. He should be back in 12 to 16 weeks.”

    Seems likely that Bolland’s regular season is done.

  18. Matthew says:

    Having had that surgery, I cannot believe that it’ll take him 12 to 16 weeks to be back. I’ve mentioned this over at Second City, but I went backpacking 8 weeks after my surgery. Serious, hardcore backpacking, with an 80 pound pack. No problem.

    Bolland is an athlete. If they make him sit out for 4 weeks after he’s fully recovered, I’m guessing he’ll be going crazy.

    That’s not to say he’ll be back earlier. I’m just expressing my frustration and confusion with what seems to me a long recovery period.

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