by Vince Maranto on 11/27/11 at 05:25 PM ET
The Hawks, on their 6 game western road trip, ended up with 6 points. On Saturday night, they beat the L.A. Kings 2-1. I guess you’ll take .500 play on the road. Especially after losing 3 in a row to drop to 1-3, coming up with the split in the end was welcome. The game itself had it’s moments, but if I wanted to show someone who had never seen an NHL game, hockey for the first time, I would definitely not pick this game. A lot of the action seemed to take place from face off circles to face off circles, with a lot of missed passes and turnovers. The Hawks, 9-0-1 aginst the Kings in their last 10 games started Corey Crawford in net. I was a little surprised after playing the day before in Anaheim, that Cro got the start. Ray Emery has proven to be a trustworthy back up (forget that fiasco the other night with 9 goals given up by both the Hawks goalies in Edmonton). Jon Quick was between the pipes for L.A.
After the National Anthem (which went on forever) it was funny to hear Pat Foley verbalize my thoughts. “When it comes to the Anthem honey, it’s not about you”, said Foley. “I can’t wait to get back to the United Center and hear Jim Cornelison sing it ” The Hawks - 8-0-1 when scoring first, did just that. With Dave Bolland being pushed into the net on the left side, Andrew Brunette put the puck in on the right side. That was it for either team, score wise. Hawks out shot the Kings 10-6.
In the second period, the Hawks Penalty Kill was tested early. A very successful kill (Hawks DEAD last in the league @ 73%) barely even yielded a threat as the Kings could not get anything going. Later, on a 2 on 0 breakaway, Kane passed to Stalberg who fanned on the shot. If you read me at all, you know that I am not a big fan of Viktor. To me he is a 4th line player at best. I’d rather see Ben Smith (healthy scratch) on the first couple of lines. Crawford gave up one of the few “soft” goal this year when he failed to glove a shot he saw all the way !-1 game. A Hawks Power Play (17.4 %, 15th in the league. but on it’s way up in recent games) looked great for the first 30 seconds and then fizzled. Then, a little later, Toews, who is on a tear lately, got to the front of the net (where good things happen, right Edzo) and scored off a puck that bounced in front off the boards. 2-1 Hawks. Tthat’s how the period ended. Shots on goal went to Chicago’s advantage, 12-11.
I went nuts in the 3rd period when “technical difficulties” (seriously, what is this 1966?) made the rest of the game almost impossible to watch. Every 10-15 seconds, either the picture, sound, or both would go out for a second or two. I know that the Hawks had another P.K. and one more P.P. but that’s about I can tell you. Most of the last minute and a half however, I did get too see. The Kings, after a time out pulled Quick and the game came all the way down to the last second, before time ran out in the Hawks zone. Final 2-1 Hawks.
Just as a side note, usually the Hawks would fly home the following morning from the west coast. The team all wanted to leave immediately after the game (probably landing back home around 5:00AM). We’ll see if that makes a difference in the next game against Phoenix, at the U.C. on Tuesday.
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