Chicago Blackhawks Earn the Victory, 3-2

There are going to be clichés, right? Didn’t play the full 60 minutes, can’t play only 20 and expect to win, need a better effort, etc.

At the end of the day though, Chicago earned this victory. They dominated the first two periods and didn’t break (though they sure bent) in the third.

There is no sense hanging your head or over reacting to this loss. It was a loss to a very good team, one that has set the NHL on fire so far this season and has the momentum of a freight train at the moment. If you consider our struggles, our boys should get serious props for even staying in this game. After going down 2-0, it would have been real easy to call it a game and look forward to the next one. But after being completely outplayed in all three zones for 60 minutes, our forward core went into full assault and nearly tied the game.

Why did we lose?

Surly blames me for writing this article about what the loss of Mitchell and Greene mean. He took it as an opinion that we cannot recover from the losses.

I wrote that article to point out that, in my opinion, losing those two has and will have a far greater impact on the team than what many perhaps believe or at least want to believe.

Tonight, everything I wrote in that article was on full display.

Can we recover from it? Sure, but it will be pretty difficult to do so if we are handing the baton to Davis Drewiske, Jake Muzzin and Keaton Ellerby. It will be fun to watch the three of them grow into their roles and make a valiant attempt…fun, so long as you don’t go into it with unrealistic expectations of grandeur.

A quick word on Jonathan Quick (pun intended). He was good. He made some good saves. But Quickie is still over committing to shots, leaving him exposed on deflections and rebounds. He is an intense competitor and I doubt anyone is more frustrated than he is with his SV% and GAA. I am not sure Jonathan Bernier would have made much of a difference tonight, in the first two periods. That is wild speculation. I do however think Bernier should have played. Riding the hot goalie should mean exactly that.

Off to Edmonton we go, a game we should win. Let’s hope the boys come out better prepared and with their skating legs.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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22 replies

  1. I really disagree with Sutter playing Quick.

    I am 100% a believer of playing who is winning, and that was not Jonathan Quick.

    You can’t really develop a “keep doing what you’re doing because its working” mentality, when you’re changing cogs while winning. And you definitely can’t develop a rhythm. It’s almost defeating the purpose. You go with what is working until it breaks.

    I think it trickles down to the players mindset and performance too, particularly the defense. There’s a huge psychological aspect to it.

    • You think playing a Conn Smythe winner, Stanley Cup Champion, goaltender that just backstopped the team and put them on his shoulders for most of the season + was outstanding in the playoffs screws with the team’s mindset? Brother, I think the players have oodles of confidence in Quick and playing him vs. Bernier has a net zero impact on anything they do. That doesn’t mean I disagree with you that Bernier should have played but I do think you’re over reaching on your point

      • I agree with Nyck. First, hours before the game I said Bernie should get the call. Doesn’t anyone important read this blog? Next, Quick isn’t the same as last season and the defense, porous as it is this year is not helping. Quicks style of dropping pucks before smothering them is not working right now. Bernie holds pucks…important with a weak defense.

        I can live with the offense as it is. 2-1 wins never bother me. I’d be happier however if Brown and King start to hit all cylinders. But the defense…well…it sucks. And near as I can tell the defense ain’t gonna get much better with the current personal. What the friggin’ story with Mitchell? WTF? Where is Brian Wolsey when we need him?

        Looks like Lombardi may be stuck with seeing a year burned off everyone’s contract and the team returning next season minus Penner and Stoll (who sucked on the draw for the first two period before finishing 7-15).

        • The point you make re: styles for rebounds is a true one in general, however rebounds did not play a factor today.

          Also, their styles aren’t better or worse. Bernier’s smothering of rebounds annoys the opposing defense because it slows the play, doesn’t allow them to get into a flow. Quick’s style is to deflect rebounds into corners and to his defensemen to keep the play and the energy going. Quick keeps his team flowing. Different styles, both with benefits and negatives, but neither categorically better or worse than the other.

          • It’s not a style issue. Has little to do with style.

          • Jacob, right, rebounds did not play a factor. And, both are excellent. Love Quick and I have become quite comfortable with Bernier. Nonetheless I feel my pregame judgement calling for Bernier was sound.

            Bobby, the Kings defense is currently porous, confused and lacks overall talent. As Jacob points out, Bernier slows the game. That’s not such a bad idea right now. Style should be part of the equation at this time.

          • Bobby, the Kings defense is currently porous

            … This is a myth. The Kings’ defense as a team is good. They just had a poor game. And one of the big reasons they had a poor game, in my opinion, is because Darryl Sutter A) doesn’t know or care how to handle goaltenders, B) doesn’t mean what he says, and C) lost his shit in the heat of the game and went with 160 different line combinations, so that his players could become just as puzzled as he was.

            The Kings probably could have come away from yesterday’s game with a point or two had it not been for Darryl Sutter. Bottom line.

            I disagree with the whole notion that those goals wouldn’t have been scored if not for Mitchell and Greene. Greene was always being bashed here for one reason or another, so I don’t see where he’s some kind of Hall of Fame defenseman now. He is what he is, a 5/6 defenseman with his own set of strengths and weaknesses. As for Mitchell, of course he’s better than Greene, but as I recall the Kings gave up goals last season even when The Great Willie Mitchell was on the ice, so let’s cut the crap on that, OK?

            Obviously, Mitchell and Greene are missed. But they’re not as missed as many want to believe. What’s killing this team, for the umpteenth time, is offense, bad luck, and goaltending. Don’t kid yourself into thinking Mitchell or Greene are guys the Kings send out there to bolster the offense, don’t think Lady Luck favors the two of them more than any other player at any other time, and last I checked, Greene and Mitchell don’t play goaltender.

            What led to poor defense yesterday was poor offense. Failure to win faceoffs, failure to maintain possession of the puck, failure to gain any sort of territorial advantage. Most of the blame for this, if not all of it, rests squarely on the shoulders of the Kings’ forwards and (as the game went on) the ridiculous inconsistency in which those forwards were deployed by the head coach.

          • Hey, long time no interact.

            Granted Chicago is a good team. Six months ago the Kings were better.

            Not porous? Let’s see, Green & Mitchell or Drewiske & Ellerby? Should we add “Martinez or Muzzin” in the current mix? Greene is 5/6 material, yes. But his play is at least consistent in that role. Perhaps Sutter should have the offense spending more time behind the goal line rather then worrying if the “almost as good” defense is up to the task.

            Bad luck? Kings luck seemed pretty good lately (except when Seabrook swept away Quick’s stick). They just haven’t taken advantage. How many wide open nets (like Lawrence of Arabia wide open) did Nashville, Columbus and Detroit miss….over and over and over?

            Yes, the offense is the same as last year; bad dump in choices and no Brown, no game. Did Stoll even win a first period faceoff? He finally pushed his numbers in the 3rd (ending 7-15). Where did King and Williams disappear to?

            I don’t disagree with your “goals” premise, but its a mute point. Who the hell knows how the differently the game would have developed had A played instead of B? Of if Seabrook was called. I still think Bernier should have been given the start…and for the reasons I stated.

          • Granted Chicago is a good team. Six months ago the Kings were better.

            … I have a hard time taking what happened 7/8 months ago as the real measure of the Kings’ quality. I think they just went on an incredible run … just as the Hawks are on, now. The Kings are still a good, solid team – but we really don’t know if they’re the proverbial Cinderella team or not. Maybe we won’t know until we go through a full 82-game season?

            The Kings have lost a third pairing guy for the season and a second pairing guy for an undisclosed period of time. If the Kings can’t even withstand THAT loss, then perhaps they’re not as good as they (or we) thought they were. When I say the “team defense” is still very good, I mean just that … obviously the defensemen as a whole are weaker than they were, but that the forwards – who have always done such a terrific job helping out the defensemen – are needed more than ever before to perform that task, and have succeeded far more often than they’ve failed.

            Obviously, they didn’t get that great first line of defense yesterday. Their forwards let them down. I do believe a big reason for that is the way they were handled.

            Yes, they’re playing in bad luck thus far in the season. I don’t believe they’re going to keep shooting at a 6% clip at 5-on-5 this season. If they were failing to produce scoring chances, I’d think differently – but they out-chanced almost everyone they’ve played. Brown and Williams, the two team leaders in shots on goal, have 89 shots and 4 goals. I do believe that’s bad luck; that they’re better than that. Doughty has 27 shots and zero goals. I believe he’s better than that. And then, there are others, like Dwight King, who I think simply got lucky in the playoffs and isn’t good enough of a player to be counted on for consistent offensive production.

            I don’t believe the Kings’ goaltenders are as bad as the team’s save percentage of .899 at 5-on-5 would suggest. I don’t think Quick is the best goalie in the World, but he’s better than this. Bernier’s better than this. I do believe they will begin to show it in time. I also believe part of the problem is that they’re not being handled properly, and again that goes back to coaching.

            It’s pretty easy to coach a team when all the pieces are in place in a deep, talented structure. It’s pretty easy to coach a team when it gets scoring from Dwight King and Trevor Lewis. It’s pretty easy to coach a team when no one misses time to injury. Now, they’re facing the adversity they never faced on the way to the Cup, and I don’t feel the coaching staff is handling it well.

          • JT, Humm, my response was posted out of sync, above.

  2. I think our record would be the same or slightly better with Greener and Willie in the line up.. The offense can’t score. I hate using the word swagger but the Kings do lack it..

    It’s frustrating to see the Ducks do so well ):<

  3. Who cares how the ducks r doing. I rushed home to see this game and was disappointed after the first 2 periods. However, I thought the kings were very good in the third. They almost pulled it off. If richards can get hot and brown and kopi can become visable again (they will) then they r ok. On to the next.

  4. Disagree on ‘our forward core ‘ going into full assualt. If all the forwards had done that, maybe we would have tied it up. Richards and Carter played a strong game and should continue on that path in Edmonton a nd going forward. I wonder if Sutter will move Williams back to the 1st line, they need something to jump start them, they were awful today.
    I understand the urge to play the hot goalie, but I think Quick needs to get his game mojo back. I don’t think Bernier would havfe done any better, and the HAwks are making almost every goalie /team look bad.
    From Sutter: “I think what is more significant, is being at the quarter pole is the fact that we have guys with zero goals at the quarter pole. I don’t even think I’d be in the lineup if I had sero goals at the quarter pole.”
    Eight players with 0 and 6 more with only 1.
    Not gonna win many like that

    • Or differently said: you suit up eighteen guys for a game. Twelve forwards and six dmen.
      So, assuming that fourteen out of those eighteen have either no goals or one goal, it leaves you with four guys with more than one. So, Clifford has two (ok… ok), Brown has three. You all know what the big guns have (4, 4, and 6).

      It’s almost surprising that all that considered and missing two (maybe for the season) and right now 3 of the top 6 dmen, that they’re barely below .500

      It goes to show though what a narrow margin they are not only on now, but were on last year. As was said on this blog…. Quick put the team on his shoulders. He isn’t so far this year and that spells problems… especially with every team wanting to beat the SC Champs.

      • Chicago’s top four scorer’s have 27 goals between them. Kings as a team have 30. Yeah, I tend to lean towards what DS says. A coach can’t put the puck in the net for the players.
        But a GM can do a better job of drafting forwards.

  5. The goal scoring problem, to me, is a lack of a game yet where all 4 lines, or at least 3, roll out and play a good to great game start to finish. There may be a line or two that plays well all game, or one line one period and one the next two, etc., but there’s not the whole group playing well.

    Look back at what got us into the playoffs and won us the Cup. A team effort, night in and night out. It just aint happening so far.

    • I still tend to agree w Scribe’s article about the impact that the loss of Mitchell and Greene is having on the rest of the team. More problems starting the movement out of their own zone. And apart from that imo when they Do have the forecheck functioning well as in Detroit, they still don’t have forwards that have that ‘I don’t know what’ that creates space in the high scoring areas and also guys with hands that can take a half chance and roof it, or freeze the goalie. Carter can, Kopi at times for sure can. Can’t think of anyone else on the roster (other than Doughty maybe) who can.

  6. 3-2, the game was never that close. if it wasn’t for Quick it would have been 5-0 or more easy. i was at the game and the Kings were pathetic for the first 45 minutes of the game. i was still taking a piss at the start of the 2nd and they were down 3-0. it was a total spectacular, shit-tastic, anemic effort today from them. they should have just spotted the Hawks the 1st period and slept in the extra hour, perhaps they would have played better for the final 40.

    no matter how anyone tries and dresses today’s game up, it’s equivalent to the old saying – you can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig.

  7. Brutal pass by Williams in the last minute…followed by a brutal shot. He has the shot of a 10 year old B Squad kid from South Africa. Just imagine, if one could score goals by hitting the goalie in his logo, Williams would be a 200 goal scorer per season.

  8. Though often accused of being a well seasoned pessamist, gotta say, I ain’t all that worried. The boys will pull it out.

  9. I wonder if the team goes thru another regular season with too few goals if DL once rid of Penner and gagne (and Williams maybe) Will try to sign a sniper. Between Free agency and contract buyouts somebody might be available. Kopi deserves to have a legit sniper on his line . Carter will be that guy on the 2nd .ine. Eventually , maybe Toffoli will develop into that guy. I can’t see one coming sooner, not with the D corp so bare. If there is a trade it will be for D.

  10. My comments are these…
    I am just a fan..not an athlete..and so can Never feel right to overly criticize a player.
    Watching Quick play this season we all know we are not seeing the same goalie. We have heard it can take up to a Year to fully recover from a surgery such as his and I think that is what we are seeing. Yes Chicago was friggin fast beating us down ice and our guys damitdoughty were not in position but I keep seeing Quick over playing to the side of the net and leaving too much on either side exposed. Opponent gets by our D and uh oh…End of Second Period saw 2 classic Quicker saves..like his body was fully warmed up and moving well.. Cliffy goal was great! Richards gritty good game..We didn’t quit..got to love that..I do.
    GO KINGS GO!!!
    WWTC!!!

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