With the season all but over now, the only point to watching the Hawks going forward should be to see what the younger players have to offer in a couple of actual NHL games. Instead they’re all down in Rockford to help them in their “playoff run” in the AHL. That’s nice and all, but in reality they all need to be up here getting experience against legitimate playoff teams (because the Hawks are going to lose to a few of them in the next week and a half) at the highest level that hockey can offer. Lukas Reichel doesn’t need to be bum slaying down in RockVegas where he potentially could take an elbow to the head by some career minor leaguer. I also don’t need to see the pale, gooberish face of Erik Gustafsson on my TV anymore while Ian Mitchell and Nicholas Beaudin rot in RFD.

Honestly, other than the trade of Brandon Hagel to Tampa Bay (which to be fair was a very good deal), our Shiny New GM has not done much to fill me with confidence in his ability to steer the ship through Rebuild Bay. The rest of the deadline deals were somewhat meh, and his insistence of keeping some of the prospects in Rockford over playing up here is mysterious at best. His real work will begin this summer at the draft in deciding what he wants to do with Kane and Toews moving forward, but the initial returns are not promising.




Wednesday 4/20

Hawks 4 – Coyotes 3 (OT)

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


It’s appropriate that this game occurred on 4/20, because being stoned out of your gourd would be the best possible way to watch these two bottom feeder teams slam their heads together like rams on the side of a mountain. It ended up being exactly what you’d expect from the Hawks and Yotes, except for the outcome where Alex DeBrincat potted the game winner in OT when he buried a sick feed from Kaner past something named “Karel Vejmelka” for his 40th of the season. The Hawks (as is their way) coughed up not one but two 2 goal leads before putting the game away in OT. Alex Vlasic also got his first career goal as a Hawk, so that’s something you can tell your children about 30 years from now when they put you in a home.


Thursday 4/21

Hawks 1 – Kings 4

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


The Kings fucking smoked the Hawks right out of the Staples Center on this one (it’s always gonna be the Staples Center, no matter how much CryptoFartWankJob.Com might want it to be otherwise), scoring twice in 15 seconds at one point. On top of that, Phil Danault gave us yet another reminder about how much a fucking moron Stan Bowman is by opening the scoring 9 minutes into the game. The CORSI shows just how much a waxing this was by the Kings, as they averaged just over 70% of the possession time in the game, peaking in the 2nd where they held a 75% share. Unreal. Anyways, Kane scored his 26th of the season, and that’s about the only highlight for the Hawks in this one. Good seats still available!


Saturday 4/23

Hawks 1 – Sharks 4

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


Looking at that chart and nothing else, one would be lead to assume the Hawks beat the Sharks like a drum up and down the ice. Sadly, sometimes puck luck and a hot goalie can have other ideas, as Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves (quite a few of them being of the high danger variety) in his second win since being sent over from the Wild at the deadline. The Hawks also carried a 75% CORSI share in the 1st period, which is EASILY the highest number they’ve had all season, and potentially all decade.  Tyler Johnson potted one for the Hawks here, which is nice to see for his own sake in this injury-ravaged season that he’s having.

One thing that has become abundantly clear is the Hawks goaltending situation may be the single most important issue that Kyle Davidson deals with going forward. While Kevin Lankinen isn’t entirely to blame (the defense being played in front of him is eye-bleedingly bad), I think we’ve seen enough to show that he’s not going to be The Guy going forward. He would be a very capable backup for whoever the Hawks ultimately anoint as the goalie of the future, but his sole purpose going forward is to eat as many minutes as necessary while the next generation learns on the fly.

The march towards the inevitable heat death of the Blackhawks season continues this week with games against Philly, Vegas and Buffalo. Two of those 3 should be winnable games, but the only one that matters is the Vegas one as the Knights attempt to cling onto their playoff hopes as they chase down Nashville. While it probably won’t happen, it would be kinda fun for the Hawks to step on their fingers as they cling to the side of the cliff.



As we embark on the final month of the Hawks season, there really is no need to do a “how did we get here” post mortem, because we all know exactly how it happened. There’s really nothing to rehash now that the excitement has faded from the trade deadline and the next batch of intrigue not arriving until the NHL draft this summer. All we’re left with are a few games to judge how some of the younger talent (especially Lukas Reichel, who was recalled from RockVegas recently) handles the adversity of the waning weeks of a lost season and the chance to play spoiler to teams who are actually going to be playing some meaningful hockey in May.

At least the MLB is firing back up today. Let’s do that Baseball!


4/7 vs. Seattle


Game Time: 7:30 PM CST

TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, WGN-AM 720

Krak Squad: Davy Jones Locker Room


If you think this game is meaningless just because both of these teams moved significant pieces of their rosters at the trade deadline to plan for the future, then boy howdy let me tell you that you’re absolutely right. While I’m only being slightly facetious here, the fact is that both the Krak and the Hawks will be using these final weeks of the season as an audition for roster spots in the fall. Both teams will be treating the free agent period this summer as a “pump and dump,” looking for aging talent and reclamation projects that can be signed to 1 year deals and then flipped at the trade deadline this time next season.

For their part, the Kraken have at least made their inaugural season entertaining for the Seattle fans, who have been waiting for something other than the Seahawks to root for since the Sonics packed up their shit and headed for one of the worst states in the union. Prior to shipping off Mark Giordano to a 1st round exit in Toronto and Marcus Johannson to the Caps, the Krak’s forward corps was managing to put up just over 3 goals per game, which for an expansion team with no deigns on competing is actually kind of impressive. Their issue is still on the back end and between the pipes, as the team as a whole has been giving up almost 4 goals per game over the last month and a half. Philip Grubauer and his 3.20 GAA with a .880 save percentage haven’t been helping at all, and essentially tanked his value for what was admittedly a very tepid market for goaltenders at the trade deadline.


3/10 vs. Dallas

Game Time: 6:00 PM CST

TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, WGN-AM 720

Deep In The Heart of JerryWorld: Defending Big D

The Stars have very quietly been one of the better teams in the Western Conference since the calendar flipped to 2023. They’re a pretty well rounded team, being in the top half of the league (but not TOO much in the top half) in pretty much every available stat category. Stacking all of this up with the very, very good season that Jake “the Otter” Oettinger has put together between the pipes and you get a team that’s not going to make one of the top 3 spots in the conference, but one that should fairly comfortably snag a wild card spot with the games in hand they have over Vegas.

The Stars are also very good at the American Airlines arena down in Dallas, compiling a 22-9-1 mark vs 13-18-5 on the road. That will make their quest to get out of the first round of the playoffs against Calgary or Colorado even more difficult as they’re almost guaranteed to be playing on the road more. What would help their cause would be for Alex Radulov to climb back up the cliff his production flew off of this season. With a mere 17 points in 62 games thus far this year, he hasn’t done much to justify his 6.25 million dollar cap hit, or made much of a case for him to get even the tiniest raise when he hits UFA status in the summer.


4/12 vs. Los Angeles

Game Time: 7:30 PM CST

TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, WGN-AM 720

Run Them Jewels Fast: Jewels From The Crown


The Hawks have a genuine opportunity to play spoiler in this game, as the Kings are clinging to a mere 4 point lead for the 3rd spot in the Pacific division over the Vegas Golden Knights at press time. The Kings have been treading water somewhat since the end of February, basically going slightly over .500 in the month of March. Not wanting to sell the farm to upgrade their roster at the deadline and hamstring their future (stares at Stan Bowman), the Kings were pretty quiet at the trade deadline. Honestly a pretty smart move, as the Pacific division is clearly the weakest out of any in the NHL so their odds of sneaking in and getting a few games in the playoffs are better than a 50/50 shot.

The Kings are one of the better possession teams in the NHL, and a lot of that credit is due to the system installed by former Sharks head coach Todd McClellan. They have one of the better breakouts in the league from their back end, as their D-men are able to push the play off their own blue line and back into the neutral zone pretty consistently. Alex Edler and professional dirtbag Drew Doughty are big reasons for this, as their passing skills are top notch. Old Friend Phillip Danault is here, very quietly being on pace for a 60 point season (stares at Stan Bowman) and has clearly learned quite a bit from Anze Kopitar in his time here with his +15 rating and consistent 57% CORSI share at even strength. He also gets considerable time on the PK, which makes  me want to saw my wrists with a spork even more. I would expect the Kings to come out flying at the Hawks defenders with a pretty strong forecheck (really, every team should do this as the Hawks breakout is a mess when Seth Jones isn’t on the ice) to try and pin them in their own zone and let their cycle go to work. The Kings forecheck and passing vs. Caleb Jones, Riley Still(here for some reason)man and Jake McCabe. I know who my money’s on.

Let’s Go Sox





While most of the luminaries of this site are not fans of the Foo Fighters, I absolutely am. So when the news broke Friday night that drummer Taylor Hawkins had been found dead in his hotel room, my heart dropped down to my knees. I see a LOT of live shows, as concerts are my kryptonite. Most summers I’ll try and attend 10-15 shows at least, from whoever happens to be touring that year. Out of all the bands and shows that I’ve been to, there are few that can match the level of energy or just plain fun that a Foo Fighters show contains. Taylor Hawkins was a huge part of that experience, and his presence behind the kit will be sorely missed if the band decides to continue. Hawkins’ name is added to an impressive list of talent and creativity that has been lost to us over the past 20+ years. While I’ll never have the pleasure of seeing him hammer the drums on the intro to My Hero again, or listen to him cover a Queen tune, I’ll always have the happy memories of all the awesome times I had at his shows. Rest in peace.


Also the Hawks played some hockey this week:


Wednesday 3/23

Hawks 4 – Ducks 2

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


Sometimes there are teams out there that no matter how hard you try, they simply have your number and you can’t beat them. For the Anaheim Ducks, that team is the Hawks. With the win on Wednesday the Hawks have themselves a clean sweep of the series against the Ducks, and the Ducks have themselves an extended off-season to think about how losing 3 games to the Hawks contributed to the eradication of their playoff hopes.

As for the game itself, the Hawks really only controlled the 1st period with a CORSI of 61%, then proceeded to hang on by the skin of their teeth (and some solid goaltending by Kevin Lankinen) in the 2nd and 3rd period with 34% and 40% shares. That’s the kind of domination that usually results in 6-7 goals in a given timeframe (just wait for the Vegas 3rd period recap), but the Hawks managed to somehow keep the Ducks at bay long enough for Dylan Strome to continue his dominant March by pocketing the GWG with 4:00 to go in the 3rd.

The Hawks special teams were helpful here as well, with their first 2 goals coming on the man advantage (Raddysh with a Y…many people are saying it) and the PK blanking the Duck’s power play on their one attempt. This is the kind of win we’re gonna see a lot of going forward, with the Hawks getting owned on the possession side of things but somehow eking out 2 points thanks to decent goaltending and some timely goals by high caliber forwards like Kane and Cat.


Thursday 3/24

Hawks 4 – Kings 3 (Hawks Win Goat Rodeo)

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick


With the mishmash of talent on the back end, the Blackhawks breakout of their own zone is a disaster right now. What that results in is them getting skulled in CORSI night in and night out. What they DO have that most teams don’t is Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat (and also Seth Jones as well), who can singlehandedly ignore whatever forecheck the opposing team is pressing them with and go end to end to put the puck in the net. This is exactly what happened in this game, as the Hawks got fucking smoked in the possession department (31%, 32%, 42% CORSI) and yet managed to score a win in the shootout despite all that. Kane and DeBrincat both tallied (along with Sam Lafferty somehow, who isn’t quite “a thing” but bears watching going forward) to help the Hawks overcome miserable play by the special teams unit. Colin Delia was fine in this one, not looking terrible but also not amazing as he kept the Kings off the board during the juggling competition in OT.

They can’t all be beautiful, and when the West Coast has typically been a house of horrors for your team you take what you can get and move on.


Saturday 3/26

Hawks 4 – Knights 5 (OT)

Box Score

Natural Stat Trick 

This one stings.

With Vegas missing both goalies AND about 4 top players on their front and back ends, going up 3-0 after two on this squad with a chance to put a nail in their playoff coffin then coughing it up is a bummer. Kevin Lankinen did himself no favors by allowing a very soft goal to start the shenanigans rolling  less than 60 seconds into the 3rd period. Once that happened, you could feel the air go out of the Hawks tires as the Knights smelled blood in the water. Less than 5 minutes later it was 4-4 as the Hawks were just trying to get into OT and salvage the disaster the game had become.

They had plenty of chances, too. With Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat bearing down on rookie goalie Logan Thompson in OT, only to have the puck skip over Cat’s stick into the boards. Dylan Strome had a chance a few seconds later only to be stoned by Thompson (who, credit where it’s due, did an admirable job stopping some seriously high danger chances from Strome, Kane and The Cat). Ultimately it was the guy Vegas had tried to trade away only days earlier firing the GWG home after Kane, Strome and Jones got stuck out there for an extended period of time and were completely gassed.


In the end, taking 5 of a possible 6 points on a West Coast road swing is absolutely considered a success. As the Hawks move into full on rebuild mode, you have to enjoy these games while you can as the next time they show up in Vegas the roster may look considerably different than it does now. Same can be said for the outcome. So much to look forward to!



RECORDS: Hawks 3-6-2   Kings 4-9-0


TV: NBCSN Chicago


We’ve remarked on it the past couple years when these two met, but it’s hard to believe that in just over four seasons, these two went from playing possibly the best and highest-paced seven-game series in recent NHL history to a game the rest of the league laughs at and scalpers take the night off. These have been two of the worst teams in the West, two of the worst in hockey, and they’ll get together tonight to do…something at Staples Center. The league is probably delighted this will take place in the dead of night and in the weird shadows where no one might just happen by it.

First the Hawks, who will at least be having a New Toy Night. Adam Boqvist will make his NHL debut, and the Kings are about as soft of a landing as you could ask for one. Many have remarked that there’s at least least an air of desperation about his promotion, if not a full-blown air-raid siren. And there is. But the thing is, the Hawks have to be desperate. Were they two whiff this road trip, the season might be over before Veteran’s Day. And while there might be one or two other d-men in Rockford who can provide more mobility (then again, any glass blower regularly makes products that would) and skill to the Hawks’ blue line, none of them have anywhere near the upside that Boqvist does. None are going to give you anything more than a third-pairing boost. If all the stars were to align for Boqvist, he can be so much more.

He could also be so much less. We don’t know, they don’t know, but the Hawks have played themselves into Hail Mary territory. That doesn’t mean that Jeremy Colliton can’t throw one in the wrong direction or take a sack, which he seems intent on doing with his lineup from practice yesterday. Keith is hardly a babysitter type, and asking him to clean up Boqvist’s messes won’t go well, and it’ll go worse if it has to go the other way. He has two, left-sided d-men who are perfect free safeties for a player like Boqvist in de Haan and Maatta, and has decided to pass on that for what’s behind Door #Stupid.

It gets better, as Patrick Kane is now a third line player and we’ve of course never seen him turn his nose up at such an assignment, and rightly so. The thing is this set-up isn’t too far from being pretty good, if Dach and Shaw were slotted up with Kane and Kubalik-Kampf-Caggiula can be a hybrid 4th line/checking line. We might get all that by the 2nd period.

Anyway, Brent Seabrook is back, and you can probably expect him to be until Connor Murphy returns. What that pairing with him and de Haan is supposed to do besides be an informercial for windburn balm…well, you figure it out.

Luckily for the Hawks, they’ll be playing as big of a mess as they are, if not bigger. Coach Todd McLellan called out his team after they got clubbed by the Hawks last weekend, and they responded by giving up 49 shots to the Canucks and their four players. So yeah, not great. They’ve also had a reshuffle, and McLellan tried to put everyone on notice by scratching deadline fodder Tyler Toffoli. He’s back, probably reminded he’s trying to cash in a big check next summer. Which will make his reaction to Ilya Kovalchuk‘s blank expression and koala-like effort something worth watching.

Despite their shit record, the Kings have actually pushed the play pretty ok this year, as McLellan teams do. They haven’t gotten a save from either Quick or Campbell all season, which has undone whatever good work they’ve produced. And considering the hair ball the Hawks just coughed up and how they’re being aligned tonight, don’t be surprised if the Hawks lose this possession battle. And badly. And if they don’t get some saves from Crawford that they did get from Lehner the past two games… well, you can probably start the foreboding organ music.

Saturday night’s all right for fighting…is it all right for whatever this is?


We, of course, don’t think anyone should ever be sentimental toward Drew Doughty. He looks like when Butthead glued his hair to his face to look older, talks like that as well, and might just be a rapist. We have to accept that Kings fans will forever love him, as that’s just how these things go, as he’s the best d-man in team history since…good lord, Rob Blake? Really? That’s it? So basically he’s the best defenseman the team has ever had. Well there you go.

What the NHL’s CBA has never really allowed for is for teams to be able to treat their current legends like that. But teams can’t help themselves. And probably for good cause. No fan wants to see their most important players leave before they retire and play for someone else. It’s weird, and at the base of it, not really why we got into sports in the first place. You’re seeing it in baseball now, where all the efficiency bros have decided they’re not going to pay players like Mookie Betts or maybe Kris Bryant and players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado can’t seem to find the list of suitors they should. Baseball’s popularity is at best stagnating. It would be hard to reason these two aren’t connected.

The perfectly run NHL team would be callous, because it has to be. There’s a hard cap. It’s not like baseball where you can spend over it if you’re willing to part with some of your ungodly profits. Draftees don’t immediately come through like football, and also you can immediately discard anything that’s not working out like the NFL. Your contracts live to their fruition, for good or bad. It’s almost always bad.

In a vacuum, as soon as your players, no matter how prominent, began to age, you’d move them along for younger models. Or you would just let them walk and use the cap space to find cheaper and younger alternatives. You would never let emotion get into it. But is that even possible?

What would Kings fans feel if Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty were allowed to just walk away? These are the two linchpins of their only two Cup teams. Maybe they would all eventually learn to love the next crop the same way. But it’s impossible to think that something wouldn’t be lost in that sense. Surely something about being a fan of a team is its history, and poignantly its recent history. Can you really just discard that?

But by not discarding that, you’re actively hurt the current team. The minute Drew Doughty signed his eight-year extension that pays him $11M a year, he basically turned into a grossly hairy tomato can that looks like the personification of a Mac’s rainbow wheel. He’s been especially horrific this year. All of Doughty’s metrics  have ballooned the wrong way. He’s behind the team in everything, and looks like a toddler with a Zippo in his own end. Here’s a list of relative numbers to the rest of the team for you so far this year, all per 60 minutes at evens:

Attempts-for: -11.72

Attempts against – +8.55

xGF – -0.57

xGA – -0.57

Shots for – -4.13

Shots against – +6.56


Doughty’s individual rates have plummeted as well, as he’s creating next to no offense, struggling to haul his bloated carcass around the ice and into the offensive zone. Only seven more years to go!

Perhaps the Kings are counting on a new CBA in a couple years to save them. Perhaps they thought they would get one after this year and got caught cold by the NHLPA’s decision to not re-open it this year. Or maybe they were just too blinded by what Doughty has meant to the Kings, which they probably couldn’t help.

No matter when the Kings feel they’ll matter again, Doughty’s contract is going to be cement shoes made by Dwarven blacksmiths. And much like Brent Seabrook, he’ll become an object of ire for a section of the fanbase, if not a large swath of it. Some of it will be earned, as Doughty clearly has let his game and condition sink. But most of it will be due to signing a contract he was offered.

The Kings will mostly be to blame. But it’s the players who linger long enough to go from hero to villain.


Drew Doughty – It won’t be long now before this turns into the worst contract in the league. Doughty is already on the decline and no longer carries the play the way he used to, nor does he really much care to, and he’ll make $11M until the planet collapses in on itself. For some reason, the Canadian media is desperate to turn his “rivalry” with whatever garbage Tkachuk boy it is up in Calgary into Hagler-Hearns. But these are two players the hockey world has already declared they don’t care much about on two teams they definitely don’t care about, as one is just an entitled rich kid who’ll manage the same empty trophy case his pappy did and the other is a rapist. Doughty might even get to Seabrook-sized soon. At least you’ll have someone to laugh at.

Kyle Clifford – Perhaps no better example of how the Kings learned all the wrong lessons from their last Cup. Clifford has always been a fourth-liner who should have been discarded for a younger model years ago. But because the Kings still believe their stinky breath was the reason they won, he’s been given something of a cult hero status even though he’s slow and his hands are made of gravel. He’s if Andrew Shaw was carrying around a 50 lb weight belt and had his hands cut off.

Ilya Kovalchuk – Man he’s good at cashing a check, though.


Box Score

Natural Stat Trick

After attending today’s Bears game, I had some minor apprehension about watching the Blackhawks tonight, especially upon the realization I had signed up for this wrap. Could I really handle that kind of emotional turmoil from my sports teams twice in one day? But then, Frenemy of the Program Aaron reminded me this game was against the Kings, so I tuned in. Because if there is one thing I know, it is that the Kings are worse than the Blackhawks, but really that just means that they will have better lottery odds come April (or whenever they do that thing). I was then proven correct. Let’s dig in.

– There was a lot of hubbub on the Twitter Dot Com application when the line combos for tonight first got put out there, in large part because Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome were listed on the fourth line. Admittedly, it was a really strange looking lineup when you looked at it in a tweet. You had Daydream Nation together with Drake Caggiula, Kampf and Nylander on the second line, Dach and Saad on the third. It was a bit perplexing. But overall the combinations made a lot of sense, actually. Kane and Toews both need a puck-winner who can create space for them, and Caggiula is that. Same goes for Top Cat and Strome with Carpenter, and them being the fourth line in the warmups and therefore the lineup tweets was mostly just procedural it seems. Dach’s skill was able to shine through on a line where Shaw could make the thumps for him. Kampf created room for Nylander. Basically every line had a puck winner for the skill guys. I was shocked as well.

– Just to go a little further on the last point, the success of Strome and Top Cat together surprised just about no one, and that is truly how it should be. Around these parts, we’ve been banging the table for them to be together (or at least I have) ever since Strome came here last fall. I don’t really see a non-injury reason for them to not play together because they have great chemistry and complimentary skill sets. But I don’t think that Carpenter’s presence on that line and the subsequent huge night from the two kids is mere coincidence. Again, he was able to serve as the puck winner and space creator for those two, which they need since neither is fully capable of doing it on their own. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Carpenter moving forward, but having someone like him or Caggiula with these two will be very wise moving forward.

– *deep sigh* I have to admit – Alex Nylander is certainly growing on me. Thus far I can’t tell if it’s more like a gross fungus or a nice beard, but he certainly growing on me. I…… I like him. I haven’t been able to watch every single Hawks game this year, because I value my sanity, but he has been mostly impressive in just about every game I have watched to this point, and certainly one of the best players in the two games I’ve wrapped. This is unexpected but certainly welcome.

Duncan Keith has been playing quite well lately. Even as the guy who gives the least fucks possible for the coach, it’s been nice to see him playing well. Someone on the blue line has to while Murphy is out.

– Launch Slater Koekkoek into the fucking sun. He didn’t even doing anything that bad tonight, I’m just done with him. Fucking sick of it. Get rid of it.

– To steal a tweet from @DeBrincat_Haver, even though this game was a lot of fun, in many ways it served as a reminder of how far the Hawks are from what they once were. Even in roundly waxing the asses of the Kings, the Hawks just don’t have the same creativity and puck movement that they once did. It could certainly be coming soon, as the Hawks actually revamp the blue line with guys like Boqvist and Beaudin, but for now I am left waxing poetic about the Hawks of 2010-2016.

– Fuck you Drew Doughty, you pissbaby ass, racist uncle looking ass, washed up ass, punk ass bitch.

– Next up for the Hawks is Nashville on Tuesday, kicking off a 4-game road trip.


Of course, we asked this question about Braden Holtby when the Caps were here and he proceeded to have his best game of the year against the Hawks. So we know what we’re getting into here.

There’s no soft way to put it. Jonathan Quick has been simply awful this season. He’s made six starts, and his SV% is .854. And it’s not like Corey Crawford, his main foil in that three year stretch in the middle of the decade, who has good numbers at evens but is getting clobbered and stripped of his soul on the penalty kill. Quick is at .850 at evens. That’s…real bad.

It would be the second straight season that Quick has been some kind of unnamed horrid beast in net for the Kings, who would probably have some serious decisions to make after the year if this continues. Quick put up an .888 last season over 46 starts, to go with some injury problems. It was those problems that probably gave the Kings the wiggle room to think that greater healthy would bring Quick back. So far, that hasn’t worked out at all.

But unlike the Caps, the Kings don’t have an immediate, in-house answer. They drafted Matt Villalta a couple years ago, but he’s only in his first year in the AHL and his numbers in the OHL aren’t exactly glittering. Then again, no goalie’s ever are there, given the offensive environs. He’s years away if he’s anything, though then again, so are the Kings. There are also a couple European goalies they’ve taken, but just like Villalta…who the fuck knows?

The Kings might not have the pressure to solve this anytime soon, because it doesn’t appear they’re aimed to do anything for a while. Alex Turcotte is clearly meant to take over for Anze Kopitar as the #1 center one day. But he’s currently getting drunk on State St. in Madison. That’s a couple years away. Kale Clague was another primed to be on the first pairing in visions of the future, but he’s in his second year in the AHL, and if the first one had gone that well he’d certainly have been able to scratch out a role on this Kings blue line. It’s kind of a mess. That’s what happens in the rubble of sustained success though, as we well know.

So what do the Kings do with Quick? He’s due $5.8M for three more years after this one, which will take him until he’s 37. And if he looks like this at 33, no one wants to see what’s going on at 37.

There’s probably always a team you can sucker into taking a chance based on simply his two rings and the idea of new scenery being a charge. Hockey is weird that way. You wouldn’t be able to recoup much, but you’d have the cap space. Again, given the trajectory of the Kings, are they really going to need the cap space anytime soon?

Quick’s legacy in Los Angeles is set, as he’s the only goalie to win a Stanley Cup there. And his 2012 performance basically brought the Kings to that one, even if he wasn’t all that good in 2014. Having two rings probably ensures he’ll get into the Hall of Fame, as every goalie who does ends up there. Unless you’re Chris Osgood. But that 2012 season was the only one where Quick had a SV% over .920, aside from two seasons ago which got the Kings four games in the playoffs where they were thoroughly outclassed by an expansion team.

The Kings aren’t going to be anywhere before Kopitar and Brown and Doughty are too old to do anything about it. Maybe they might as well hold onto Quick, cash in on nostalgia, and hope for a brief spurt of competence that gets him a trade to the Sharks. It’s just about their only hope.


While it’s fun to mock the Kings, in the end you’re really only mocking yourself (done played yo’ self, fool). It’s another team that sat on top of the hockey world for a few years, but now has too many entrenched contracts to have a full teardown and restart. And those big contracts make it also near impossible to slot in players who can move them down the lineup to lesser roles. Which is why the Hawks getting Kirby Dach is hopefully a coup as he moves Toews down for cheap in the coming years. Perhaps Alex Turcotte will be that down the road, shoving Anze Kopitar to a #2 center role. It won’t be this year though, and this year looks like it might be pretty damn ugly for the silver and black. Again.


31-42-9  71 points (dead ass last in the Pacific and West)

2.43 GF/G (30th)  3.16 GA/G (22nd) -60 GD

48.2 CF% (22nd)  47.0 xGF% (21st)

15.8 PP% (27th) 76.5 PK% (29th)

Goalies: Like death, taxes, and my inability to love, it’s Jonathan Quick in the Los Angeles net. But perhaps this is the time when he has to let go of the rope, even if his contract says otherwise. Quick was a big back of suck last year, posting a .888 over the full season. That kind of came out of nowhere, as the debate about whether he was overrated or underrated raged on without noticing he’d been pretty solid for the three years before (.919 SV%). At least when he was healthy. It’s highly doubtful Quick is now a sub-.900 goalie, unless there’s something chronically wrong with him physically. At 33 he shouldn’t be complete toast, but last year was awfully discouraging.

He might want to pick it up, because if he doesn’t Todd McLellan might have a real headache on his hands. Well, a headache other than watching this team getting turned into tapenade most nights. Jack Campbell massively outplayed Quick last year, to the tune of a .928 SV%. While the world has been waiting for Campbell for what seems like decades, this was his first regular turn in an NHL net. Now, maybe that was the anomaly, but if Campbell continues in anything like that fashion and Quick continues to look like be belongs in the fields of Elysium, there’s going to be a call to get Campbell more and more starts. It’s highly unlikely that Quick is going to be in net when the Kings matter again, whenever that might be, and a whole bunch of fans and some within the organization might want to start that process along.

Defense: Hope Doughnuts likes cashing that fat, $11M check because he’s going to have to do everything here. Except he can’t really anymore, and his metrics went into the red for the first time last year. When Alec Martinez is your #2 d-man, people should attend your games with gas masks. I could list the rest of the Kings defensive crew, but you would be sure I was making them up and trying to get away with something. The good thing, I guess, for the Kings is that every d-man after Doughty is only signed for this season, so they can completely start over next year if they so choose. And they probably have to. Otherwise, when you’re cold and alone at night, remember there are people out there choosing to watch Derek Forbort and Ben Hutton multiple times a week. You are not alone in your desperation and waywardness. You are not alone. You are not alone.

Forwards: Two years ago, Anze Kopitar flashed for a whole season in a big “I’m Not Dead!” sign. That gave us hope for Jonathan Toews. Well, Kopitar went back to needing a forensic team to figure out if he could fog a mirror last season, which doesn’t give us much hope. But hey, he was the only Kings forward to top 60 points. Which is…well it’s not anything and it means this team has all the dash and dynamism at forward as the rat carcass in the alley. Kovalchuk and Jeff “Wooderson” Carter are still around to cash a check, at least the latter is until yet another body part of his gets up and takes a walk for a couple months. They can’t seem to kill Dustin Brown, so he’ll take a top six role because that’s just what has to be. Look for Tyler Toffoli to have a better season as he heads into free agency and the possibility of getting the hell out of there. They’ll try and convince you that any or all of Adrian Kempe, or Alex Iaffalo, or Austin Wagner are things that definitely have to be paid attention to. They definitely intake oxygen but not much else. This team won’t score much and you can see why. When Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford still easily claim spots, you know your team blows.

Prediction: Don’t know why Todd McLellan took this job other than sheer desperation. At least with the Oilers he could watch Connor McDavid every night. Here he’s going to watch Kopitar wheeze and hear the fat on Doughty increasing on a nightly basis. If Quick isn’t terrible they probably won’t be a front to nature, and maybe even pass Anaheim on the standings. Maybe. But all of their kids that will form the next Kings team aren’t here yet, and what is is pretty gruesome. Another sub-80 point season seems on the cards.

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RECORDS: Hawks 34-33-10   Kings 28-40-9

PUCK DROP: 9:30pm

TV: NBCSN Chicago

YOU HAVE SELECTED REGICIDE: They all hate us so we won’t list any of them

It’s funny. There are a fair few fans who wish the Hawks would have done what the Kings have done, no matter how unpleasant it would be to watch or experience. And you get it, because it would appear the Kings are going to have a top-two spot in the lottery, meaning they can’t drop any lower than three. Though it would be pretty sweet if they went through all this and ended up with the third pick in a two-player draft. I’d get a chuckle out of it, at least.

What’s even funnier is the Kings didn’t meant this. The Senators did, but the Kings definitely didn’t. They thought tye could build off their playoff berth last year. That’s why they signed Ilya Kovalchuk, who at 35 can only shoot and complain. I’ll give you one guess which one he’s done a ton more of this season. Anze Kopitar couldn’t ride the percentage wave any longer, and has returned to merely being a good player and a cautionary tale for Jonathan Toews. Jeff Carter combs his hair a lot. Drew Doughty has his mind on his money and his money on his mind and that’s it. Jonathan Quick is going to make sure that everyone realized he was never really that good by being terrible for the rest of his career. It’s so much fun!

Worse for the Kings is there’s not a lot here or coming that they can get excited about, except whatever they get in the draft. Carl Grundstrom might be a decent middle-sixer, as well as sounding like an itchy patch somewhere sensitive and funny. That’s about it. Alex Iafallo is probably a guy. Put it this way, when Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford are on your second line you are an affront to nature. Welcome to Kings hockey.

For the Hawks, with both the Coyotes and Avalanche getting points last night, as well as the Wild, they were basically putting more knives in the corpse of the Hawks. Like that scene in Escape From LA when Snake finds the first agent they sent it. But I guess the Hawks have to convince themselves if they run the table maybe possibly something could happen, so until you’re officially out you might as well go for it. Which should mean no lineup changes or alterations other than the defensive rotation and hopefully not having to bench Brendan Perlini again. But you never know with this outfit.

The last time the Hawks were in LA they might have put in their most uncaring, simply embarrassing effort of the season.They were supposedly back in it, needed a buzzer beater to get past the Ducks, and then simply looked like me going through Bumble at Staples Center. Hopeless, aimless, pointless. They could have done the same in San Jose on Thursday after losing their last chance, but they didn’t. So it would be really weird for them to lay an egg against one of the few teams they should probably be easily getting by. But again, you never know with this outfit.

Folks, I won’t lie to you. If you think there’s something amiss in your life if your Saturday night is centered around Hawks-Kings, I can’t convince you otherwise. It doesn’t mean disaster, but you might want to do a quick once-over about what’s going on with you. They have to be there. We probably do, too. You don’t.


Game #78 Preview Suite




Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built