I’m going to do this a little different tonight for a couple reasons. One, I want to go to bed immediately after the game ends. Two, I think I’ve finally calmed down after last night’s silliness and can give you all some rational thoughts. While it would’ve been funny to see my initial reaction, I’d have to spend the rest of the season apologizing to Joel Quenneville for calling him a dumbass hillbilly. Probably all for the better.
So no Seabrook, obviously. Antti Niemi in net and much to Lee’s chagrin, no one called up from Rockford. Dustin Byfuglien will be on defense and in his spot at forward is….we’ll find out soon enough.
Hang on, I’m getting some breaking news here….it’s being reported that James Wisniewski was just seen running over an old woman with his car outside the local Wal-Mart. Randy Carlyle said, “This is the Wisniewski we’ve been expecting. He should really think about running for mayor of Anaheim. He’d have my vote.” Duck fans are saying it’s the woman’s fault for cutting in line when she went to pay for her groceries. You just can’t do that.
Paul Devorski and the other numbskull from last night are the officials for tonight. Should be an interesting start to this one. And here we go…
20:00 – I’ve been meaning to bring this up for a while, but for as good of a season the Hawks have had, they’ve had some of the most gut-wrenching losses I’ve ever seen one team have in a single season. I’m expecting this one to fall in the category of “typical Staples Center loss”. Hawks will score first and then the Kings will come back with four unanswered and I’ll want to hunt down Randy Newman.
19:34 – Dustin Byfuglien just forgot he’s a defenseman. Let’s keep a running tally on this tonight.
18:29 – Justin Williams gets a double minor for cutting Brent Sopel and the Hawks lose their first defenseman of the night. At least we got rid of the suspense early on that one.
15:05 – Two weeks ago, Nick Boynton was a 4th defensemen with the Rockford IceHogs. Now, he’s anchoring the Blackhawks second power play unit. In other news, the Kings killed off the double minor.
13:34 – Tomas Kopecky is your 12th forward tonight. You may all breath easy again.
13:21 – Pat Foley drops a bombshell: Apparently, Brent Seabrook is supposed to be a groomsman at James Wisniewski’s wedding. What’s Wiz planning on giving the other groomsmen as a gift, a swift kick to the nuts and a baseball bat to the brain?
9:49 – The year is 1997. You’re the Washington Capitals and you own the 9th pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Your options are Marian Hossa or Nick Boynton. We’ll get back to your selection later in the night.
8:35 – Wait, was that Ben Eager giving two checks in one shift? Is this a replay of the 2008-2009 season? Where am I?
6:05 – Hawks are playing like they were put through the ringer last night. Oh, wait, that’s right. Bob Murray says stop whining and be black-and-blue.
5:47 – Another pop quiz…the year is 1999. You’re the Boston Bruins and you have the 21st pick in the NHL Entry Draft. You have the choice between Nick Boynton, the 9th overall pick from the ’97 Draft who couldn’t come to terms with the Capitals, and this Czech guy named Martin Havlat. We’ll take your answer later in the broadcast.
4:17 – Ok, who was the funny guy who gave Eager a brain transplant today? He’s playing like a guy who’s not worried about his future. Or in other words, a completely different player we’ve seen this season.
3:27 – Think it’s time to cut your losses with the Sharp-Bolland-Hossa line, Q. This is not a good maximazation of talent. Did I just make up the word maximazation? Yes!
0:00 – First period mercifully ends. That was about as boring as it gets. The Hawks look like their soul was ripped out last night. This would be a good time for Adam Burish to remind everyone why people were pining for him for so long.
20:00 – About to get under way here in the second frame. Just in from Anaheim, we’re hearing that James Wisniewski was seen at the local Olive Garden beating a customer over the head with a tire iron. Apparently, the man didn’t tip the waiter and in a late breaking development, it’s also the best man at his upcoming wedding. Todd Marchant said, “We’re all really proud of James. He’s inspired us through his actions.” Duck fans applaud his bravery.
18: 27 – Pat’s breaking into his Harry Caray impression. Yup, things are getting ugly here and it’s still scoreless, imagine when the Hawks go down a couple goals.
17:17 – It would be so NHL to have the Phoenix Coyotes win the Western Conference this year. All this momentum from the Olympics and the league has to try and promote a team they’ve been desperately trying to move. That will be fun.
15:23 – Toews line just kept the puck in LA’s end for a solid minute. Best sequence of the night. Perhaps they do have a pulse.
13:46 – Patrick Sharp just broke one of the sweetest goalie masks in league history. Lowlight or highlight thus far, you tell me.
12:00 – Jordan Hendry saves a Wayne Simmonds tap-in with a great backcheck. This was just moments after Foley mentioned the Hawks were outshooting LA 17-6. I wouldn’t have taken 1000-1 odds that the Kings weren’t going to score on that sequence.
10:57 – Quick makes a nice save after Dave Bolland waited a bit too long to release his shot. Maybe there’s still hope for that line yet.
8:54 – Ben Eager misses a wide-open net. At least the 4th line isn’t getting pinned in it’s own end anymore. Beggars can’t be choosers.
8:24 – Patrick Kane blows Rob Scuderi’s doors off, takes it hard to the net and Troy Brouwer picks up the garbage. There’s your first Hawk goal. Randy Newman is getting warmed up.
7:00 – Dustin Byfuglien’s inability to clear his own end leads to the Kings best chances of the game. Ryan Smyth had a chance to score a patented Ryan Smyth goal. It’d have a lot of hair and it’d be ugly as hell. Just like him.
5:55 – Ben Eager better be careful here. He keeps playing like this and we’re going to start expecting it every game.
3:33 – Why is it that Ham Sandwich always looks like he’s in extreme pain whenever they show him? He could be lining up for a face-off and he looks like he’s in the midst of a colonoscopy.
1:32 – Here’s your new fourth line. For the first time in eons, the Hawks fourth line are being difference makers. They just had another shift where the Kings barely touched the puck.
0:00 – Hey, remember when everyone was worried about the Blackhawks 2nd period woes? Oh, the things we used to sweat when our defensemen weren’t getting murdered on a nightly basis. The Hawks close out the second with a very solid 1-0 lead. Bob Murray thinks we should still be worried.
20:00 – Couple of items, one, I’m trying to go the entire NCAA tournament without once looking at a bracket. I stopped caring about college basketball the moment I stepped off a college campus. This year, I’m trying to make a stand. If I can do it, so can anybody else.
Two, I have a strict ‘no logging on to Facebook after sporting events’ policy. Bears Sundays are, by far, the worst but Blackhawk games have also started to climb the ranks. Yesterday, a girl I’m friends with who wouldn’t know a hockey puck from a bottle cap two years ago was trying to get to the bottom of Corey Crawford starting. I feel like you all need to know this. Anyways, here we go into the final frame. I’ll be delighted with a point out of this one.
19:19 – Jonathan Quick stones Patrick Sharp on a breakaway. Beautiful pass from Hossa to spring him. Before I could type “Eddie O would say remember that stop”, Eddie O says ‘Remember that stop’.
17:12 – The fourth line is rewarded! Tomas Kopecky threw a skipping stone towards the net and it found a spot under Jonathan Quick’s leg. Remember that goal!!
15:06 – Patrick Kane leaves tread marks on Scuderi’s back again, but Troy Brouwer couldn’t get a handle on his pass. Brouwer was stopped earlier in the shift on a wicked one-timer.
13:52 – Tomas Kopecky strikes again! Ben Eager’s back-hander was stopped by a Kings skate and Kopecky fired the puck into the empty net for his second goal of the night. Fun fact of the night: Tomas Kopecky has 6 goals on the season. 4 of them have now come in two games. Eager gets the Kings wound up. Better back up the talk, big man. It’s coming.
12:52 – Hossa just dances all over Drew Doughty and sets up a scoring chance for Patrick Sharp. I could see why Washington would choose Boynton over him. It’s not everyday you can find 6’2″ defensemen that can do what he does.
11:43 – Here’s a huge shock…Ivanans challenges Ben Eager on his next shift after a scrum in front of Quick. Eager throws some wild punches and then takes a tumble to avoid getting his brain bruised. Somehow, Ivanans gets the extra minor and Marian Hossa makes his debut on the power play point. Hey, anything is better than Boynton back there.
9:17 – I’ve seen worse power plays. Quick made a desperation save on Kane that probably should’ve gone in. I’m starting to think Kane is in the middle of one of his patented goal-scoring slumps. It’s going to take an ugly one for him to get off the snide. Other than that, fairly ordinary by Hawk power play standards.
5:00 – Niemi makes his best save of the night on a Dustin Brown redirection. That should wrap this one up. If LA can’t score there, it’s not going to happen for them tonight.
0:00 – A token Hawks power play closes this one out. The Hawks take 7 out of a possible 8 points from the Kings this year. They also win their first game in Los Angeles comfortably since the Reagan administration. Lot to like from tonight’s effort. The fourth line obviously. The defense didn’t allow anything of substance. This was about as perfect a game as the Hawks can play. If it weren’t for Quick making some key saves, the score could have been much more lopsided. Goodnight and Godspeed. By the way, Bob Murray still thinks we should be worried about our goaltending.