It was never going to be pretty, and it could have been a lot uglier, but this was pretty damn butt ugly. In a back and forth affair, the Hawks never really looked in-step with one another, and they ultimately got what they deserved from the L.A. Kings.
In a game that saw 4 lead changes by my count, the Hawks ran into the exact same sorts of problems they’ve always had with teams like the Kings. And the Kings got off the scoring schnide just in time to drop 5 on the Hawks after getting shut out in back to back games and going scoreless in the first period tonight. And in the end, the same things that have been problematic for the Hawks throughout the season even during the streak to start the season showed themselves, with a late goal from Dustin Brown edging the Kings past the Hawks. Onward to the bullets.
- Plenty of blame will be given to Corey Crawford tonight, most of it justified. At least three of the Kings goals (Stoll, Toffoli, Brown) could have been prevented with a stronger glove hand. But the defenders in front of him wilted under an unrelenting Kings forecheck.
- Speaking of that forecheck, credit must be given to the Kings’ coaching staff, who got the team to go back to a chip and chase game starting in the second period after getting countless rushes cut off by Hawk sticks in the first. The mobile Hawk defense couldn’t withstand the nonstop plastering they took into the boards, and this is exactly why Hawk fans should be terrified of a series with the Kings.
- Being the at the vanguard of things as we are, it’s officially now OK to be worried of the trends of puking up goals late in periods and coughing up leads in the third. The former speaks to a laissez-faire attitude on the players’ part when ending a frame for whatever reason, the latter falls squarely on the coaches who continue to employ a 1-2-2 forecheck that’s just asking to be pelted repeatedly, especially against larger forwarded teams such as the Ducks and Kings.
- Michael Frolik had a fun night on Toews’ wing, but damn near single-handedly undid all of his prior work with a careless penalty 200 feet from his own net.
- Elfenben Och Ebenholts were a -3 taking on the Kopitar line tonight, while Marlboro 72 were a +3. Perhaps Q might want to re-think those matchups against teams intent on grinding d-men to dust.
- Rated TV-MA (L, S, V)
- Brandon Bollig: once a clown, always a clown.
- At the time of this writing, the Orange County Water Fowl have somehow managed to get down three goals at home to the Sharks, and the Hawks still will still have a game in-hand. Combined that with a quick turnaround tomorrow night, there’s an opportunity for the Hawks to put these two buckets of yuck in the rearview with minimal standings damage. But there’s still plenty to correct and clean up.