It took a really long time, but after about 46 minutes the Hawks and Kings realized they were playing a game in front of spectators and cameras, and they stopped skating around with their dicks in their hands and attempted to play something resembling hockey. Unfortunately for the Hawks it was a lot of the type of hockey they’ve been playing lately, and they could barely squeeze out a point against some bottom-feeders and their fourth-string goalie. Are you sure you want to know more? OK then, we’ll get to the bullets, but don’t say I didn’t warn you…
– It’s almost hard to express how painfully dull and stupid the first two periods were. The Kings are not a good team, and we know this to be true, and yet they outplayed the Hawks and just looked, and WERE, better. Notice I didn’t say they were good, they were just better (all the more frustrating). They beat the Hawks in shots and possession (ended the first with a 60.6 CF% and the second with a 58%), and thanks to a fortunate bounce, they also had the lead after two. Tyler Toffoli banked it off Keith’s skate and it ricocheted in, more luck than anything, but in terms of how it happened that’s irrelevant. The Hawks made their typical fuck-ups on defense, such as having three guys behind the goal line chasing the puck, which left Kempe wide open in front of Crawford (who stopped the shot because of course he did). Dumb turnovers, useless power plays, these two periods had everything you’ve come to expect.
–More on those power plays, for a minute: the Hawks had three in quick succession in the second and of course converted on none. Patrick Kane was out there for the entirety of at least two of them (maybe all three, admittedly it’s a blur). And by the third try they were at least getting shots on net, but in the first two it was still a lot of passing around the perimeter—more puck movement? That’s the best we got?—but nothing of substance. They kinda sorta got better by the third one, but nonetheless the clown shoes remain firmly ensconced.
– And they got goalie’d again by a fucking nobody. The amount of times this happens has reached downright farcical levels. Calvin Petersen (huh?), who apparently the Hawks tried to draft, made 34 saves on 35 shots for a save percentage of .971. I want to be angry about it, but I’m just worn down by this situation. And for the record, Crawford was nearly as damn good. He ended with a .969 SV% (NICE) which is funnier and cooler so Petersen can go fuck off. And both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane should be embarrassed that they couldn’t score on this jamoke in the shootout.
– Guys, Brandon Saad may be good again! There’s a silver lining for ‘ya. He got moved to the top line midway through the game and scored the Hawks’ only goal off a gorgeous feed from Toews that hit his stick just at the top of the crease. In fact, the accompanying change of Schmaltz moving to a line with Anisimov and DeBrincat also worked. At first I was a little skeptical, given how slow Anisimov is, but the three of them had a CF% over 70 together, and Nick Schmaltz even shot the puck a couple times. I know I’m grabbing at any sliver of hope or positivity here, but it was sort of working, honest.
What else can one say about a game with idiotic defending, shitty power plays, and non-existent offense? Wait, I think I actually just summed it up right there…so no, there isn’t more one can say. This was their last “easy” game for a while, if you take the Wild or Capitals seriously and I can understand why you wouldn’t. But if they can’t even get an overtime or shootout win against the fucking Kings, there is every reason to dread those teams that may just be overrated, mediocre, or still hungover from last summer. Either way, it’s a long road ahead. Onward and upward.
Beer: Drumroll by Odell Brewing
Line of the Night: “They’re a very fragile team right now.” —Eddie O, but which team was he referring to?