Down On The World Again: Hawks 1 – Ducks 4 (Ducks lead series 1-0)

Box Score

Event Summary

War On Ice

Natural Stat Trick

The Ducks draw first blood on one thing we didn’t account for, and that’s Frederik Andersen turning in a great performance. Andersen has proved to be a good goalie these past two years, but he hasn’t proven he can win a series by himself. And he still hasn’t. But he has proven he can take a game and was very good today.

Because what else happened that you didn’t expect? The Hawks horsed the Ducks for the first 40 minutes, racking up a 63% shot attempt advantage. We also saw Rundblad have a few yips, which we pretty much all saw coming. The Ducks’ defense wasn’t actually much better, turning the puck over whenever under pressure and allowing the Hawks far too many looks than any Anaheim fan should be comfortable with.  The Hawks biffed a couple power plays they gotta have, but with the help of Andersen as well. The Ducks took their opportunities, Andersen made sure the Hawks didn’t take theirs.

And yet some people make it seem like the world is collapsing in. Let’s clean this one up.


The Two Obs

-So one narrative I’m already seeing far too much of is not that the Hawks were kept to the outside too much, but that their shots from the middle and closer to the net were blocked far too much. As if the Ducks entire defensive philosophy isn’t to collapse right into that area. If you check out the shooting charts on War on Ice, you’ll see the Hawks had 23 shot attempts from between the dots to the Ducks 18. Maybe that makes it seem worse, I don’t know, but 23 from that area is usually enough and next time may find holes. There isn’t something systematically wrong that the Hawks are getting all their shots blocked.

-The other narrative I’m loving is that first we were worried that the layoff was too long, and now it’s the Hawks can’t play better than that and they lost. It can’t be both.

-And the Hawks can maintain this, because at least the first two periods were exactly what we said this series would look like a lot of the time. The Hawks camping out in the Ducks’ zone, their defense unable to do much about it, and sporadic Duck forays the other way. That is not a one-off, and you can’t give the Hawks 54% of the attempts every game and expect to come out of it alive.

-But hey, all of us want to worry about something so let’s find that too. The Hawks actually didn’t mount a 3rd period charge when they were down still a goal, getting out attempted 10-3 (I think) by the Ducks between the start of the 3rd and Nate Thompson’s goal. I don’t know if that’s fatigue from the top four, or the Ducks are just that expert in killing games off. They certainly weren’t as aggressive in the 3rd and weren’t giving up their line and neutral zone as easily as they did in the first two periods. So that’s something to focus on for sure.

-Second, Rundblad. Obviously, two of his mistakes ended up in the net. First goal, it looked like he wanted to press at his line and then at the last moment decided not to, which you can’t do. If you’re going to be aggressive, be aggressive (FNM for the win). That had him caught in between, facing the wrong way, and the puck bounces off his feet and you know where it goes from there. Hossa tries to rush in to cover for him, which left him a little deep to cover the point when the puck went back there.

Second goal springs from Rundblad wanting to try and pass the puck off the boards to a winger at the circle who would have had a better chance of clearing the zone. This is Rundblad’s biggest problem, is that he always wants to make a pass even when it’s the far riskier option. He holds the puck too long, or tries to force it instead of just going glass and out. I know what he’s trying to do there, but that sort of feel is just something he’s going to have to learn. He compounded that mistake by getting caught puck watching and not seeing Palmieri behind him beating him out of the corner to be right there when Crawford deflected a centering pass right to him.

I want to give him something of a half-pass because he hasn’t played in a month and being asked to jump into this pace right off the bat can’t be easy. But these are problems we’ve known about for a while, and we’ll just have to see if he has more feel in Game 2.

I’m guessing he warrants more time than Timonen at the moment because he plays the right side, meaning he can be paired with Keith and Oduya who are more mobile and can more easily cover for him. Whereas Kimmo plays the left and is paired with Seabrook and Hammer, who don’t move as well and hence might not put out any fires as quickly. That’s my guess.

-As for the third goal against, that’s Keith’s game. It’s high pressure and most of the time his cutting off the play at his line is what the Hawks need. Sometimes you get an unlucky bounce that leads to a rush. Happens.

-The other narrative coming out of this one is that the Ducks’ greater depth won out, because really neither team’s top six scored. Ok, I guess. Except the Hawks’ 4th line had a dominant game. The third not so much. They looked really good in the 1st period, and then Q got left-wing switchy and I don’t know why. Putting Sharp with Kane and Richards robs them of a forecheck. Not having Sharp around doesn’t give Teuvo a scorer to find. It was kind of confusing, but I’m not saying that’s the reason the Hawks lost. If they don’t score in Game 2’s 1st period, that’s when I worry Q is going to go completely overboard.

-Patrick Kane was actually the Hawks’ worst possession player today, and the 2nd line has had its possession problems before this series. I wonder if the “nuclear option” of Kane and Toews together with Hossa and Richards together isn’t coming soon if the Hawks need it in Game 2.

-Here’s a question: Why isn’t Teuvo on the 2nd power play unit? It has no creativity without him, and Saad, Hossa, and Bickell all kind of do the same thing. That should be addressed.

As I said on Twitter, I saw nothing today that tells me the Hawks can’t or won’t win this, other than a great game from Andersen. And even that had some fortune, with Kane hitting his stick while staring at an open net. The other 99 times he gets that look the Hawks score, take the lead, and everything looks different. Hey, if Andersen does that three more times than we’ll salute him. I just don’t see it. Only need one of these.

Stay on target.

  • ZigZags82


  • Stockroom Snail

    For the first two periods, I couldn’t believe the bad luck of the ‘Hawks. All credit to the ducks, they took advantage of their limited opportunities….but if they turn the puck over that many times and only give up one again, I’ll eat all my hats.

  • Guest

    I think Q switched up his LW’s because Bickell went off with an apparent injury for a bit. I saw it happen, but the TV announcers never said anything about it. It looked like he got his shoulder or arm jammed up and went straight off the ice. Didn’t come back for a while.

    • rhodes

      “the TV announcers never said anything about it.”

      Because they were too busy telling us it was Rundblad’s first NHL game. Not once, but twice. Ugh. How is it that the deeper we get into the playoffs, the worse the coverage gets?

      • Guest

        I’m not sure, but I do know I can’t stand Albert, Micheletti and Engblom. They are absolutely terrible. Talk about everything except the action on the ice.

        • cza

          So bad. I just turned down the volume, leaned back, and tried not to fall asleep. It was difficult, since they sucked most of the life out of this game.

    • mazer_rackham

      CBC noticed it immediately and covered it.

      There was still some Q genius happening after Bickell came back, though. Shaw taking defensive zone faceoffs late in the game comes to mind…

    • JB from PA

      I loved the thirty seconds of TT-Toews-Kane! Wow! Talk about black magic!

  • Patorioto

    I really think that Kane inexplicably not scoring there was huge for the Ducks. I hate myself for saying this but I just think the puck luck was not with the Hawks today. They could’ve easily won the game. Not a whole lot from Anaheim there that makes me tremble in fear.

    • Jim

      I agree. Sometimes they just don’t go in. If the Hawks go up, they could have turtled a little bit, and closed out the game. Then Anaheim would need to press, and they will cough it up. The Hawks play a lot better with the lead. That goalie got some luck today, the shots were just not finding the holes, and one found his face. 9 times out of 10 Kaner scores that goal.

  • Sopel the catfish

    Both the third and fourth lines for the Hawks had perry’s line pinned in their own zone, I’m still confident the Hawks will win the series.

    • To Saad be the glory

      I only saw the third pd. (although I heard Wideman’s call of the Richards goal on the radio on the way home,so I guess that was a blessing.) I will take you guys word for it,cause the 3rd looked like a bitch.

  • jordyhawk

    What gets me about Runblad is how he stands around with one hand on his stick like a bowler-capped Englishman holding his parasol. He just does not have very good instincts as a defender (at least not good enough for the North American game).

  • Jalamanta

    “So one narrative I’m already seeing far too much of is not that the Hawks were kept to the outside too much”

    Quenneville not really helping by saying that their big problem today was lack of presence in the slot area.

  • To Saad be the glory

    “Rozsival”.I just had to say it.What did you think about it this time when you first seen the word compared to what we used to think?

    • Bob Lanz

      Same thing I thought all year hell even before the year started. We are going to miss Leddy even if Q didn’t, when will Clendenning and Dahlbeck get their shot? ( apparently never) and how long before Johns is ready for prime time? Does that answer your query?

      P.s. It also makes me wonder why did Stan trade for Cuminsky and Runbland to begin with? And now Kimmo too.

  • where did all the regulars go

    I’m sorry but you all thought this would be easish. The ducks have home ice advantage for a reason. They are good, really good. They are western conference champs during the regular season for a reason. The defense isn’t as laughable as you think. Were in the series for 6-7 games if we even make it out. I hate to admit it but I see us losing, I hope I’m wrong. McClure ban me, cause I disagree with you.

    • DJ

      Put the Hawks in the Pacific and Anaheim in the Central, and I’m not sure Anaheim ends up with home ice.

    • Jim

      I don’t know. Anything can happen. But the Hawks played the type game that should have won it, but the shots didn’t get through. The Hawks play better with a lead, they are 30-0 when leading after 2 periods. They peppered the Ducks goalie, but nothing was sneaking through.

      • cza

        Yeah, this was one of those “dems the breaks” games. I didn’t even feel like their goalie robbed us of a game, since a lot of our shots seemed to be right into his soft, fluffy plumage. We’ve got this.

    • Your wish is granted. Asshole.

      • Bob Lanz

        I fucking love it, that was ban worthy! I hate trolling assholes, it’s in my bio read it for yourself. There D was bad period a ton of turnovers, we didn’t capitalize their goaler was very good and they blocked a lot of looks. But still there six was worse than our 4.5.

      • Hawks In Five

        Now, Pussy, you sure know a lot more about bans than hockey.

    • ZigZags82


  • rhodes

    Only disappointment for me (other than the score, obviously) was the PP. The Ducks gave the Hawks a big opportunity early in the 3rd with the back to back minors, and the Hawks never really threatened. In fact, it seemed to steal some of their momentum.

  • Preacher

    Are we going to hear about the Ducks’ size EVERY time one of their players checks one of ours? Apparently, the Ducks are the only team that hits hard. (Last year it was “resiliency” in the Kings’ series, before that it was “glove hand” for Crow. This year’s theme: the Ducks are super huge and punishing!) Sigh….

  • TitanTransistor

    Worst Kane has looked since the beginning of the Nashville series.

    • limoman

      He is entitled .

      • DJ

        He’s not entitled, but it can happen against a good team. Which Anaheim is. As I said earlier, I find it difficult to believe they’ll bottle him up for an entire series.

  • limoman

    The Hawks are the better team. Today showed that despite the score . They had many more chances than the ducks and a distinct territorial advantage. This will not change . A split on the road and they’re in business . No worries here. We are the better team.

  • Bruce

    I don’t understand 3 things. The line changes, not having TT on the PP and why it was legal to crosscheck Rundblad from behind to the ice on the first goal. Nobody on any blog or coverage said anything about it, so maybe crosschecking a defender out of the way in front of the net is legal. The goals weren’t really Crawford’s fault, but when he’s playing great, he would have gotten a couple of them

  • ‘hawks58

    This felt a lot like Games 3 and 4 of the Detroit series in 2013 with the Hawks dominating the play, but ultimately getting beaten by a great goalie performance. I was confident then, though down 3-1, that the Hawks would prevail. I feel the same way this year, but hockey can be a cruel mistress. I really think this one goes 6 or 7.

  • TitanTransistor

    Going to be interesting to see how the next game starts. Most of the gap in possession was accrued in the first period… how much of that was the result of an early start hitting the pacific team (and the team with much fewer afternoon games through the year) harder?

  • Aaeismacgychel

    So, from the seeing the game live and in person perspective, here were my thoughts that may or may not line up with what you saw on the tv:
    1. In the pregame, Andersen was a human sieve (about every 1 in 4 shots went past/through him) and Crawford looked completely unbeatable (stoned every single shot attempt except Saad’s bar in). I was honestly salivating a the time. Go figure
    2. Ducks fans are pretty nice cordial fans. Very friendly. Not quite what I expected
    3. Patrick Kane had a really rough game. It was more rust than anything the Ducks had to do with it
    4. I honestly thought the Hawks were the dominant team and just had some bad luck out there. The Ducks took advantage of their chances and really the Hawks didn’t. Sometimes those games happen
    5. Our offense was our best defense. Our defense though was shaky at best. Rundblad got skulled, but I thought Keith struggled more than a bit as well.
    6. Our powerplay… Yikes. Even so, there were a couple dangerous chances generated off of it.
    7. Brad Richards was solid as hell tonight
    8. Nice job 4th line!
    9. We can’t afford Brandon Saad disappearing like he did today. He needs to be better.
    10. All the orange and black and playing of Bro Hymn brought back memories of the 2010 Cup against Philly. I’d be fine with similar results
    11. Based on what I saw, I’m not worried. Let’s take Game 2

    • Pierre Wolfthing

      I like the cut of your jib.

  • BigCSouthside

    Lets put it this way, if the Ducks can hold up to that kind of barrage and still win the series they deserve the Cup.

    That said, no fucking way they get 4 goalie wins, because that is exactly what this win was for them.

    • mightymikeD

      long time no see, my friend. And yer dead right.

  • HawkIPA

    My prediction for this series was Hawks in 6, and nothing I saw in Game 1 changed that. If the Hawks can solve Tukka Rask and Jonathan Quick, they’ll figure out Federik Andersen. Kane’s shot goes in 9 times out of 10, and Kane’s play in general is not going to be that far off another 3 times in this series.

  • raditzzzz

    I hope the hawks come back furious and rip these guys a new one. Because I really really really don’t like the ducks.