Jumped Into The River Too Many Times To Make It Home: Kings 5 – Hawks 4 (OT) (Kings Win Series 4-3)

Box Score

Event Summary

Extra Skater

I suppose it would be a cop-out for me to say, “What can I say?” But yet I’m left with nothing else. Before this series started, a lot of us thought it was basically a coin flip. It would be decided on such small margins and plays that it would be folly to try and handicap how it would go. And that’s what it did come down to. A Game 7 overtime, ended on a flipped shot that hits Leddy and floats into the net. Not some great play. Not some massive breakdown. Just a bounce. Didn’t go the Hawks way. Season over.

It would hurt more if I could sit here and say that the Kings aren’t worthy Western Conference champs (and soon to be Stanley Cup champs). But no one around here is going to say that. Because they are. So would the Hawks have been. Just didn’t go their way. A classic series, one neither side will ever forget. Would be better if the Hawks won. But here we are.

We could nitpick about this or that. There’s plenty of time for that tomorrow and the rest of the summer. I sit here and all I can think is that with all the Hawks had put in their way, especially recently but all season (mostly from within), this was as worthy a defense as they could put forth. This is going out on their shields. They made the next champs push to a level that no Kings fan thought they had within them. It’s not enough for now, but it’s hardly worth apologizing for.

Let’s do it one more time, shall we?


The Two Obs

-I suppose if I wanted to I could point out that the final shift started with Michal Handzus losing a draw, which he’s done pretty consistently all playoffs. But that’s petty. It was a nothing play. Kruger got knocked on his ass as is his habit. I can only hope that Leddy recovers from the trauma of watching the season-ending shot go off him.

-Still, for this one, how many leads do you want? The Hawks had a two-goal lead in Game 2. Gone. They had a two-goal lead in Game 3. Couldn’t hold that either. They had two two-goal leads in Game 5, barely got through it. They blew a lead in Game 6 and rescued themselves. How many times can you go to this well?

And yet tonight, it wasn’t a systematic breakdown. They got two. Then Carter is able to swing in a goofy rebound. Williams gets a deflection to land right on his stick. Toffoli profits from the same bounce that Toews did. Gaborik has a rebound go off his chest.

-But that’s probably too simple. The Hawks once again lost the possession battle, and even at 5-on-5 close they were behind the Kings. They did this consistently against Minnesota. They did it against L.A. How long did we think they could hold out?

-I’ll spike the football. I can’t help but wonder what Games 2 or 3, when the Hawks had the upper hand for portions, would look like with anything resembling a 4th line. Versteeg played three minutes tonight. THREE. Bollig two. TWO. Handzus eight. The Hawks didn’t have to do this. They chose to. They went at either the best team in the league or the second best (guess I have to say best now) with nine forwards. They did this for three straight games playing at a pace that can only be described as F-Zero. Would even icing 11 forwards have resulted in one more goal in Game 2, 3, or 7 that would have made all the difference? On such margins are series between two great teams decided. The Hawks will have to ask themselves if they really gave themselves the best chance. And we’ll start asking it tomorrow.

-Then again, the Hawks didn’t get an even-strength goal tonight from their top line. They didn’t get one since Game 3. It could be that as well. You can’t pinpoint.

-Speaking of which. Hossa looked tentative tonight. Don’t know why.

-At least the Hawks profited from their shitty home ice for once, right?

-Brandon Bollig was on the ice for two and a half minutes and saw six shot attempts against. I’m sure all of them were from a shift at the end of the 1st against Kopitar’s line. CASE CLOSED.

-Tonight was the first game the Hawks broke even or better on the special teams battle and lost. Says everything, basically.

We don’t need to break this down any more. You don’t want to read it anyway. None of those players have anything to feel sorry about. Even the ones they complain about, because they are what they are. They dragged this series to a point they might not have had any business doing so. A champion’s death, as it were.

On a more personal note, thank you from me, McClure, Killion, Fifth Feather, Joe and Ken for another great season here at C.I. It really is an honor that you let us try and enhance your Hawks experience.

I know things around here have been tumultuous recently. You may have noticed. What has gone on here has been my decision, with the support of my comrades. Everything we’ve done is for the benefit of those of you who truly enjoy this blog and what we do, and not for those who use it as some platform. I think it’s a more welcoming place now that we can all enjoy more. Everything we do is with you in mind, to make this a better and more inclusive community. Know that. Thank you again.

  • mightymikeD

    Amen, my friend.

    • Bob Lanz

      Mmd have a pint for me brother. It’s a sad day but tomorrow the sun will rise and the draft is only a few months away

      • mightymikeD

        The sun has risen here, and I’m raising a glass to you, my frent

        • Bob Lanz

          Good morning! And if don’t see ya good afternoon good evening and good night 🙂 cheers

  • Stone Cutter

    thanks for all you do fellas

  • ahnfire

    Thanks for all your hard work guys, from putting up daily links to writing these posts. I really appreciate all your writings and reading your perspectives on the Hawks, even if I don’t always agree with them. Keep up the great work, ToS, Feather, Joe & Ken.

    • VerStig

      and Kim! even if the Hogs’ season ended a while back already.

      • Bob Lanz

        Definitely, looking forward to hearing who Kim thinks is nhl ready for next camp.

  • VerStig

    Thanks Sam (&co.), for a season well-covered. Despite everything we’re so upset about and gripe about all the time, the product on this blog and on the ice is so good that I feel it’s appropriate to take the time to put aside whatever differences there may be and be grateful for what we have here. Looking forward to next season already!

  • Bob Lanz

    Thanks TCI for a great season. Thanks to the Hawk players… Management I have nothing but contempt for your coaching staff. Stan it’s time you show that your more than a cap guy and find a 2c or make Q give prospects every opportunity to succeed. Ya coach you may have to actually coach young players and let them play dammit. Glad we won’t have to see Zus anymore, sad we will still have to see 52. Looking forward to letting Denault McNeil Ross and TT win roster spots. Really hope Stan is smart enough to re-sign Smith. Bomans first draft pick basically told the hawks to fuck off, hopefully the rest of his number one picks actually contribute. Again Hawks you left it all on the ice I love you for that, too bad your coach didn’t ice a full roster. I guess 82 games wasn’t enough to determine who the best players were. ;(

    • Black JEM

      Yeah, hard to argue that we didn’t handcuff ourselves. Gotta be something going on there behind the scenes for this to happen. It so fails the eye test to have that 4th line on the ice – or at least the wingers. One day perhaps we will better understand it.
      Oh – and as much as Crow bailed out our ass against St. Louis, he wasn’t very good in this series – including a clunker in game 7. Next year will be amazing Crow, just as 13 was. It seems to be how he rolls.

  • TitanTransistor

    Thanks for continuing to offer the most insightful and most well-written Hawks coverage out there.

    • Bob Lanz

      Well besides hockeenight that is… I kid I kid I fucking Love TCI and you guys for creating it. Next season can we just stick to hockey though. I get enough politics and societal bullshit issues at work and home. Let this be a sanctuary were we just talk hockey, Hawks and how Q is a stubborn fucking mule. Seriously stubborn fuck, Stan please take away his security blankies and assistant non-coaches.

  • Beastoftheeast81

    Im still in shock. Sad but life goes on. Looking forward to the Bowmans offseason moves.

    Thanks to TCI, my favorite website! You guys are amazing.

  • BestPredsForward

    Even IF the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, I would have no reservations calling the Kings “the best team in the NHL in 2014”.

    • HawkIPA

      If the Rangers win, it will be because Lundquist plays out of his mind in four of the games. That’s certainly possible, but LA destroys them in every other category.

  • Joe DeTolve

    Thanks Boys and Girls.Its an amazing place!!

    • Bannerman

      Thanks Crazy Joe. Not sure if they told you what finding morning links in the summer is like.

      • Joe DeTolve

        The past two summers were interesting…Labor issues make links better but actual hockey worse.

  • KoltForty5

    Lurker, but I’ve started to tweet at you guys a bit more.

    This has been my second season following CI, and I wanted to thank you guys for what you do. This blog provides a lot of great insight and a great community to enjoy the games with. As I’m moving from IL to Denver this summer, I can guarantee I’ll be around, just because when I’m talking to Hawks fans I feel at home.

    I’m proud of our team this season. A WCF is nothing to hang your head about, even though I’ll remember this year as, quoting Twitter, the one that got away.

    Thanks again guys.

    • DJ

      A WCF is nothing to hang your head about

      The slogan is “One Goal.” And that goal isn’t to get to the WCF. So, I’ll have to agree to disagree with you on that point.

  • duncans peace pipe

    falling short sucks. playing down to your competition is even worse. this series could and should have been put away in no more than 6 IMO. for whatever reason we refused to step on their necks and allowed them to make this a series.

    thanks for the great coverage TCI. get em next year!

    • Bannerman

      You probably already know this but I Can think of 3 reasons:
      Quick- he wasn’t good but he came up big when they needed him to keep them in games.
      Kopitar- was a constant threat and contained our top line
      Doughty- played like he wanted to win a Conn Smythe.
      Give the Kings credit. The Hawks weren’t able to break their will. Lesser teams would have folded.

    • Jim

      I feel a difference might have been stubbornly hanging on to Handzus as the 2C about 2 games too long. It was their 2nd line that did the damage in the middle of the series.

  • DJ

    In War: Resolution,
    In Defeat: Defiance,
    In Victory: Magnaminity
    In Peace: Good Will.
    — Winston Churchill

    Sorry, I’ll follow Winnie’s advice.

  • Stockroom Snail

    Thanks for something! ….even if I don’t know what it is.

  • TitanTransistor

    I’m upset but… not as much as I thought I would be. I guess I just put it in perspective and ask ‘would I rather go out in 7 to the Kings in the WCF or have gone out in 7 to Detroit last year, and received one last kick in the ass from that team before they headed off to the Eastern Conference?’

    That was unfinished business with a ton of history, this is just the beginning of a rivalry. And rivalries do need some give and take, otherwise they’re just one-sided bug-stompings with relatively little emotional investment.

    So I look forward to facing the Kings next year with an improved squad.

  • Hawkeytalk

    So it goes. Not the ending we wanted but it’s the one we got. Shocked, saddened and worse yet, unprepared. I just kept thinking they’d pull it off, as the team that “just does that.” The magic ran out, a few players short.

    Thanks Sam et al for the writing. I don’t always agree with you and your decisions, but I can’t quit you.

    • lizmcneill

      After they won Game 6, I thought they’d take the series. One bounce away. It hurts.

      • Hawkeytalk

        Yep. But you could argue that the series was lost last weekend in LA. Heroically, the guys gave all they had, but ugh.

        • DJ

          If you’re not going to say the series was lost tonight, it wasn’t lost in Games 3-4. It was lost in Game 2. Letting that game go that way was a fucking disgrace.

          • Hawkeytalk

            Game 2 was bad. But they needed to even it up in LA rather than having to win 3 in a row. Anyway, we could argue shoulda coulda forever.

            The sun rose today, and it’s fucking Monday morning.

  • tablet

    Been mostly lurking, but thank you TCI for the great content for the year I’ve been reading this blog. This loss will sting for a while, but still damn proud of this team and I have faith that the Cup will come back to Chicago in the near future.

  • DJ

    The Hawks will have to ask themselves if they really gave themselves the best chance. And we’ll start asking it tomorrow.

    Please do. Loudly. Eloquently. And repeatedly. As is your wont. Because this is what really makes this season so fucking galling: the fact that in a very real sense, the Hawks were not so much beaten by LA as they were beaten by themselves as an organization. LA merely happened to be there when the body collapsed and became a corpse.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    To all of the peeps that make this blog a must visit I pay homage. All of your efforts are deeply appreciated.

    I am sick that this season ended in utter failure.

    I am happy that anything less than a Cup is now utter failure.

    I want Q to be held accountable for this. He has a team that he can mostly ice and get out of the way, yet he insists on stirring the pot. He is the epitome of a bad gambler, one who plays hunches instead of the percentages. Trying to get through the playoffs on only three lines was about as bad of a percentage play as there was. He created a problem to prove a point that HIS hand chosen ones were going to play. In the end all they did was drag down a Cup worthy roster. His chosen ones include his assistants that have taken a supremely talented roster and have them unable to consistently execute a simple zone entry on the power play.

    Q’s insistence on gambling the season by dressing a useless fourth line, reminds me of something I heard Phil Esposito say regarding a coach he had when he was the GM of the Rangers that refused to stop playing a player Esposito thought shouldn’t be playing “I made it so he couldn’t play him, I traded his ass.” This is where Stan Bowman failed. He has allowed Q to chase off or refuse to play prospects that have some legit NHL ability for players that couldn’t be trusted to play 5 freaking minutes. Stan needed to win that fight and force Q to do his job and coach on non-game days too. If that meant spending more time with Pirri & Morin then so be it. I will never in this life be convinced that the Hawks didn’t have better options for the PK than 26, and 52, 23 for the 4th line.

    For the players on the ice, I salute you. The effort & enthusiasm put forth were always first rate. As a fan I have truly enjoyed the theater. Thank you & see you in September & remember anything less than a Cup isn’t good enough.

    • DJ

      Agree with much of this. And it falls to McDonough. He has to either get Stan and Q on the same page, or he has to pick a side. Or, if neither side matches his vision, he has to find people who do.

      In reference to not playing prospects, you’d also have to look at what’s going on in Rockford. Are they not getting called up because they’re really not ready? Or are they not getting called up because Q simply doesn’t want them. If it’s the former, you need to overhaul what’s going on down there so that they are actually producing players ready to plug into Q’s system (which in principle is perfectly good: defensive responsibility for all five skaters and attacking with speed in transition as quickly as possible). If it’s the latter, you have to Q-proof the roster (as you so eloquently described Phil Esposito’s tenure as Rangers GM).

      I like to think McDonough is smart enough to know that the best product he can sell — the only one worth selling — is a championship hockey team. And we need to get that back.

      • 815Sox

        “Are they not getting called up because they’re really not ready? Or are they not getting called up because Q simply doesn’t want them.”

        Sounds like an easy answer but it is likely a combination of both. I am not sure who could have really provided any benefit. I will tell you that I am more excited about what I saw developmental wise in Rockford this year then I have been in quite a few years. The future is bright.

        Anyways, The World Cup starts soon. That should be fun.

      • The Other One

        It’s not that Q won’t play prospects (and never has been), he just won’t play ALL of them. Saad, Shaw, Smith, Kruger and Leddy are cases in point.

    • HossasPierogi

      Yep, absolutely

  • crystallakemike

    Thanks guys. This hurt like hell, but it is what it is.

    As far as the top line goes… it really seemed like Bickell didn’t want to shoot last night. Not sure what was going through his head. Hossa was really snake bit. That said, they kept Kopitar in check throughout most of the series.

    Not enough can be said about how good the Kings defense were at getting pucks through to Crawford all series. When L.A. pressured, I felt they were going to score more often than not.

  • Bannerman

    Thanks. This wrap summarized how I was feeling perfectly. I was disappointed at a missed opportunity but at the start of the playoffs I decided that so long as it wasn’t the Blues, Ducks or Avs, I would be fine with however things turned out. The Hawks got beaten by a deeper team that cashed in on seemingly every mistake. That’s the way it goes sometimes. In light of that, what will they do next year to fix these “First world” problems the Hawks have? We have all summer to talk about that.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Deeper is indeed the word of the day.

      • Joe Banks


      • Bannerman

        The thought that keeps crossing my mind is that this is what 2012 would have looked like if the Hawks beat the Coyotes.

  • “The Art of Almost,” huh?

    It’s sports and culture, and it’s the internet. There are going to be some huge disagreements, some flame outs. My best friends and I disagree, the only thing that makes this different is I can’t buy beers afterward.

    Always good stuff here, Sam, the Matts, Fifth, and Joken–thanks for the fights and the agreements and the in between stuff, too.

    • Hawkeytalk

      Thumbs up for the Whole Love.

      • Still a hugely fun band, eh? I don’t much care if the critics have mostly soured on them for what amounts to getting older.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    I am disappointed. Perhaps a little more so this morning than last night, but I am not depressed. We knew this team had holes. We had lost our third line and backup goalie at the end of the last season, the cap prevented Stan from really doing anything about it other than signing Versteeg, and the kids needed another season to develop.

    I called it a ‘retooling’ year, as opposed to a rebuilding year. Add the late finish to 2013, the early start to 2014, the Olympics, and other similar excuses…. I was not alone back in March when I predicted a first round playoff exit.

    I was wrong. This team was oh, so close to returning to the SCF. This off season we have 19 players signed and 4 MIl in cap space. Stan can make a trade or two and do more than filling a round hole with a square peg. The way the cap is going up, resigning DDN and Saad may not lead to any sort of cap purge at all (so get it done this summer, Stan?).

    It is a good time to be a Hawks fan.

    • DJ

      I’m not depressed, I’m angry. I despise missed opportunities. Because the future is not guaranteed. So when an opportunity to get to a Game 7 on home ice, when you were a 3-seed in your division, comes your way, you have to take advantage.

      I remember 2011. A “retooling year,” worse than this one. But in the last few weeks of the season, we were battling for a 4- or 5-seed, and a more manageable first round. Then Sharp got hurt. And we backed into an eight-seed, and a matchup against Vancouver. Or a better example; Hossa gets destroyed against Phoenix and we go down in six.

      There’s no guarantee we’ll dodge the injury bug, or that some of our key players (Seabrook, Sharp) are starting their physical decline. We just don’t know. Our future is only bright on paper.

      It’s sure better than 2000-2007, though…

      • Joe Banks

        I’m not exactly depressed, not exactly angry. I am somewhere in between – I’m “Dangry”

        • DJ

          That’s a good word. I’ll try to remember to credit you if I use it. 🙂

      • HawkIPA

        My only anger is from Game 2, stepping off the gas. If they finish that game, the Hawks probably win the series.

    • D_Smith

      Same feelings here. It’s disappointing, but the comeback against a favored Blues team was amazing, they beat a tough Wild team, and came awfully close to beating the Kings. The Hawks went further than most predicted and it was fun to watch. Plus the way Saad played should make any fan excited for the future of this team. In the end the combination of a weak D-line after Hjalmarsson, fatigue from the Olympics especially with the older guys like Hossa/Sharp, and putting themselves down 3 games was just a bit too much to overcome. We’re so used to seeing Toews and Kane save this team by putting them on their back that we expect it at times. Crow was good to spectacular at times and most of the goals weren’t on him. Some moves will be needed to fix the holes that the Kings put a magnifying glass on, and some might hurt, but this team will be fine.

    • HawkIPA

      Same here. I had the feeling in my gut in March that this just wasn’t our year. This team proved me wrong, even in the loss. Last night was a game of bounces, and the last one didn’t go our way. This team had some glaring holes and was still a coin flip away from another Cup.

      If anything, I expect this to light a fire under the organization. It’s time for Stan to put together supporting pieces that work like he did in 2013. Some of those pieces have been in Rockford or up in the press box. Others will need to picked up via signings and trades. Locking up DDN and Saad now is also a no-brainer. I’m looking forward to the discussions to come here.

      Also, thanks to Sam and the TOS for the hard work and great analysis over the years. I’m pretty new to the comments, but have been reading you guys since the 2010 season. Your takes are always sharp, and I often come away learning something new. Thanks guys!

      Now let’s get to work.

      • lizmcneill

        My gut feel was a WCF exit. Whaddya know. Still hurts though.

    • Jim

      So Close.

      Friggin Kings. That was standing toe to toe taking bet shots, and the damn Kings would not die.

      But I never thought a win against the Rangers was a given. I think that might have been tougher than people think.

      • DJ

        Lundqvist scared me. During the game last night, Stan Fischler, the long-time NY hockey writer tweeted something to the effect of “Crawford? Quick? Lundqvist will beat either one of these teams.”

        • Jim

          I’m pulling for the NYR.

        • sshams58

          Stan Fischler is the exact definition of East Coast bias

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          Someone should have asked him “Oh yeah? What’s Lundqvist’s Shooting %?”

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    ‘ Would even icing 11 forwards have resulted in one more goal in Game 2, 3, or 7’

    Or fewer GA?

    • Joe Banks

      I can’t help but to think so…

  • YoAdrienne

    Not bad for a team that finished third in its division, and still outlasted the two that finished ahead of them, as well as the Presidents Trophy winner. What a shitty way to go out, though. ‘Hawks have nothing to be ashamed of, as those of us who have been following them for many decades can tell you.

    I want to say it’s going to be a long summer, especially for us Cubs fans. But, if it goes as quickly as this season did, training camp will be here in no time. I look forward to seeing what see what some of the prospects can do. And, I sure as hell can’t wait to see Brandon Saad go at it for another season, hopefully on the same line with Kaner. Until then, thanks Sam, et al. Looking forward to your updates over the summer.

  • Joe Banks

    This morning, I am in Sad Panda mode. When I saw Quenneville had dressed both Versteeg AND Bollig, I cried inside.
    And still, while carrying this Albatross on their back, they fought hard, and battled into overtime.
    And then it was over. Hats off to the LA Kings, great series…

    Thank you Mr. Fels, McClure, Killion, Feather, and others for the best hockey site on Earth. It has been a great year.
    And to all of my wonderful friends here, have a great Summer, I’ll see you in October.

  • Andrew Heitman

    I find the best way to grieve is to look forward, not back. Things I am excited to see in 2014-2015:

    1) Teuvo time
    2) Nordstrom, Morin, and other new faces
    3) Raanta start to develop
    4) More Shaw-Saad-Kane
    5) More Saad really
    6) Another trip to WCF
    7) The new TV to replace the one I broke last night.

    • HawkIPA

      I’m looking forward to Teuvo. I think it’ll take him a while to get into the groove of the NHL game, but I’m hoping come playoff time, he’s dialed in, and a budding star. The Hawks need to be patient with him, keep him on the ice, and he will grow into a special player.

      • Andrew Heitman

        Agree. I hope they keep him in Rockford for a good amount of time. He’s still pretty young. Over the next 2-3 years he will develop much more physically and hopefully they can take care of him so he doesnt get destroyed before that.

        • lizmcneill

          I’m hoping he outgrows Rockford fast, but I think he probably starts down there.

          • Andrew Heitman

            He needs to literally grow, but I agree.

            Im also excited to see Nordstrom (for some reason I really started to like him…) develop next year.

          • Bannerman

            I wouldn’t discount the possibility that he starts the season in Chicago perhaps between Bickell and Morin/ Versteeg in a bum slaying role.
            Red Wedding
            KiSS army
            Tuevo time
            The Human Shields

    • Did you really break your TV?

      • Andrew Heitman

        No. Not really. I did throw things. It was an attempt at humor.

      • Bob Lanz

        I thought about it, but I really did go numb on that last goal. I forgot what that felt like, I sure didn’t need the reminder.

  • TheBeauDozer

    Oduya with Seabrook? And Bollig on the ice at the same time? Thankfully the former only lasted into the third, while the latter stopped after that atrocious first period shift, where Bollig failed to clear the zone twice.

  • ballyb11

    A goal and 4 games away from another Cup. Ends up a great season. Plus they started to play up to their capabilities the last 3 games. LA peaked (ing) at the perfect time.

    A frustrating 2014 for me, but this organization is solid.

    Just extend Toews and Kane ASAP. My latest worry.

  • wanker751

    I do not know how to feel. I am still very very angry over how it ended. I should not be and I would not have the ability to be as level headed as Fels..

    I guess it is because this series was so close, and while I know hockey can make us all look like fools, but the cup was going to the winner. Also because of the closeness of this series I am so angry about this mismanagement of the lineup and the roster. Like Fels said would have 4th line made a difference? I want to think so…

    When I saw 23-26-88 out there with the dog tired Kings… I got the sinking feeling this game would end poorly. A few minutes later it was over..

    I know that is not directly why…but how much better would 29-19-81 or Sharp line… win that draw…start a cycle… get a chance.

    Instead Q sends out a guy just as tired and two players who vomit up the puck like they just took the ipecac challenge… ..

    I will this this team showed us their huge balls once again…. Really a worthy defense of the Cup…

    What a long way we have come where losing in a game seven conference final in OT feels like such a huge failure….well at least right now that is how I feel…

    PS. Q owes me a dinner… I had $20 on 5-1 bet on Hawks in Vegas….

    • DJ

      I agree with a lot of this. But “worthy defense?” A worthy defense, to me, is doing everything (legally/morally) in your power to maximize your chances. Suiting up Bollig and Versteeg, running out Handzus as a 2C, and not developing young players is decidedly not maximizing your chances.

      If you’re saying “worthy defense” is maximum effort/”leaving it all on the ice”…yeah. They sure did do that.

      • wanker751

        That is exactly what I meant….. the players made a worthy defense…yes they made mistakes… yes I have issues with some of the play… but I will not hang the “choke” on the players as Rosenbloom would…

        My anger is at the management at this team… from Stanbo to Q. These two are clearly not on the same page (or I thought, but with the Bollig extension maybe they are, which is terrifying) I wish Stan would exert his pressure on Q next season and force his hand to play some of the younger players…

        • DJ

          Rosenbloom is a fucking moron, full stop. But in fairness, the term he used was “failure” not “choke.” And (God help me), I agree; if your motto is “One Goal” that goal isn’t losing the WCF.

          You also have to point the finger at Q’s coaching staff. Specifically, the power play. With our building blocks, we produce a power play that gets called “clown shoes” on a regular basis? Damn right. Lacking in fundamentals and intelligence. Wasting that 5×3 should have been an indictable offense.

          • wanker751

            Full disclosure… I read the headline and moved on…

            But I do agree I feel like this is a failure.. which is not fair I suppose.. If there were a better team waiting for us in the final I would not feel as bad I suppose…

          • DJ

            Is it fair? I don’t know. You absolutely have to praise the Hawks for setting that standard and living up to it with two cups in (now) five years. Does any other team in town really have that standard?

            But, fail to win, and you open yourself up to scrutiny. Often harsh, cruel, and merciless. I think that the only way you’ll succeed is to demand the most of yourself.

          • wanker751

            I think it is fair….but I judge my teams by this standard.

            Winning a title or getting closer to winning a title.

            The sad thing about this is the Kings/Hawks could turn into the 49ers/Cowboys of the 90’s…but with Hockey being Hockey it may never be,,,,

            I would have enjoyed this series a lot more (no matter the result) if I was not a fan of this team and just a bystander.

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    It’s a strange feeling not really having anything to be mad at or anyone to blame anything on. This was simply two elite teams playing a fucking hell of a series and that final bounce didn’t go our way. NOW. With that said, I think a TEAM GAA (yes, team) OVER FOUR for the series and blowing as many leads as we did is unacceptable. But that might be just how ruthless the kings are, and that’s fine. DISCLAIMER: I say this next thing with a big caveat that i think crawford is the right goalie for this team and a fantastic netminder AND that a majority of his GA this series were more a result of bad defense then a bad goalie. I think goalies and QBs get shredded in this town and those of us (including me) who defend them feel the need to go hard the other way to even things out, but Crawford needs to be just a little better last night. We had the lead twice and he failed to make any big saves. Again, none were particularly his fault, but 5 goals on 31 shots is just a bit too much for my liking. AGAIN, love crawford, don’t blame him, but would have liked to see him locked in a bit more.

    • fromheretoinfirmary

      But most importantly, I fucking love this team and they made me more than proud this series and this season. Thanks to TCI for their analysis, and can’t wait to come back better than ever next year.

  • raditzzzz

    heck of a season. playoffs were insane. saad-kane-shaw literally picked this team off the ground and gave them a chance. was amazing to see.

    already excited for next season.

  • Thank YOU, Sam and crew. You guys inspire us amateurs.

    • wanker751


  • Guest

    The whole last couple months has been painful following this team and this blog. The Hawks got to within a shot of the SCF, yes, but, as Sam points out, did they give themselves the best chance? It seems like this team could have done so much more with some smarter moves.
    As for this blog, “What has gone on here has been my decision,” — That’s disappointing to hear. Especially since “what has gone on here” has included McClure continually insulting your readers.

    “it’s a more welcoming place” and “a more inclusive community.” — Unless, of course, you’re a Republican, a Christian, or disagree with McClure.
    It’s still some of the best hockey writing around. It’s a shame it isn’t TRULY welcoming to all anymore. I’ll still read it though, whether the TOS cares or not.

    • cza

      Unless you’re a Christian? FFS. I’ve been on here for a few years, though I generally just lurk and deal upboats, but religious persecution is not something that comes to mind when I think of TCI.

      • Bob Lanz

        I agree there. I’m not fond of any religious talk with my sports unless of course it’s the hockee gaads.

        • wanker751

          THIS… Take that shit to facebook where it belongs..

          I have very personal feelings on politics and religion..but I keep them..personal…

          And really what is the point of arguing about it? You will not change my mind I will not change yours..

          I believe if the separation of hockey, church and state….

      • Guest

        To quote Sam from a while back:
        “in the interest of fairness, for the rest of the day this
        blog will be completely Christian: i.e. humorless, ignorant, and completely fearful and hating of women. There, I feel better.”

        • DJ


          Woman: “Your Holiness, how many people work at the Vatican?”
          Pope John XXIII: (Pauses) “About half.”

      • Guest

        Interesting that you only go after the Christian part.

    • DJ

      Didn’t a wise man once say “Rejoice and be glad if you are persecuted for My sake?”

      • Guest

        Well, I’d hardly call what goes on here “persecution.” I’m just saying that “all are welcome, as long as you agree with us,” is a more accurate way to describe the TOS. Instead we get rude comments and bannings from McClure. Whatever. The hockey writing is still excellent. Be nice if they’d stick to it.

        • DJ

          Sounds like you don’t enjoy your faith being ridiculed. I don’t either. But that’s a price of having it, I guess.

          • Guest

            Faith was only one of the things I mentioned. It does seem to the thing that people have latched on to though. I don’t enjoy being ridiculed at all. I also don’t care for dishonesty, two-faced people, or lots of rain. I was only commenting on the painfulness of the season’s end, and the fact that this blog used to be a place to enjoy. Like I said, I’ll keep reading, since the hockey writing is usually among the best around.

          • DJ

            Perhaps because in this country, when you think of “religious persecution,” persecution of Christians is not the first thing that comes to mind. Churches don’t get vandalized anywhere near as often as synagogues and mosques. I’ve never been profiled at the airport because the TSA guy saw me idly fingering my rosary.

          • Guest

            Like I said, I’d hardly call some rude comments here “persecution.” I was simply pointing out the dishonesty of Sam’s statements that this is a “more welcoming place.” It may be to some, but certainly not to all. Whatever. I don’t come here to be welcomed. I come to read great insight about my favorite team. Usually, I get that here. Except from McClure. If Sam wants to think he’s Mr. Sweet-and-Welcoming, let him.

          • DJ

            I missed that thread, so I won’t try and “argue” with you about it. You might be entirely justified. Believe it or not, I prefer to talk about only hockey here, too.

            And Monty Python references.

    • Bob Lanz

      I would like to see less emphasis on non hockey issues, buts it’s their site. Write what you want. I’m just not interested in political or societal debates. I’m here for hockey the Hawks and second guessing Q. I wish they wrote a Bears blog as well I really fucking do. Anyway a lot of awesome fans and commentator left… My hope is some return! To the offseason and what I hope is TT locked in at 2c. Fuck Rockford let him learn it here, it was good enough for Toews and Kane and Saad

      • DJ

        Kane was a Number One overall pick; a singular talent. Toews had already spent two seasons (or was it three?) at NoDak, in the WCHA, the most physical college league in the country. Both were ready to go when they signed. And we were so thin at the big club, they needed to be here. TT is arriving to a much stronger organization, and he might need to have more physical development. But, hell yes, he has to get a full, legitimate shot to make the club this summer.

        • Bob Lanz

          Yes Kane was a number one over all but that didn’t change his size. It still doesn’t so I don’t buy the whole TT has to get bigger or develop an NHL body. That’s crap. Furthermore he has been playing with grown ass men in Finland pros for three years. Pretty good goaltending comes outta that their league. I’m also saying we are not strong or deep at center especially 2C. He is the best center after Toews in the organization right now. Time to see what our top 6 will look like, who jells best and who compliments each other.

          • DJ

            Not sure if TT has Kaner’s skill (who does?). But from what I hear, he’s pretty da skilled. And in Finland, IIRC, they play on rinks that are larger than NHL-size, but smaller than Olympic rinks. So he’s used to more physical play than, say, a Swedish forward might be.

            But yeah. If he gets sent to Finland, or to Rockford, in the first week of camp, that’s an organizational problem.

    • wanker751

      I do not not know honestly what happened… (NOR DO I REALLY WANT TO GET INTO IT as I stayed away from the thread I think it happened in because I knew it would be stupid and I guess it was)

      But I will have been a reader from day one. Went with the SCH group to Smashville and STL (seriously we need to do that again!) I do not comment as often during the regular season because I do not have the time but I do show up in the playoffs..

      But it did seem as the comment section over this past season turned into a club that not everyone was invited to… and it drove me away from commenting,,not the content because it is the best hockey analysis in the city IMO.

  • HossasPierogi

    Don’t, shouldn’t want to get into it now, but I think it’s a classic case of a coach/management letting down its players. Don’t think Q should be fired (with the options available) but definitely the management team needs to know that their management of the roster and ice time was probably the biggest flaw during this season and playoff run.

    • Peter Turner

      If anyone deserves the shaft it would be StanBo for not getting the Hawks a decent 4th line. How is LA able to afford Gaborik while we get Bollig on a 3 year contract?

      • HossasPierogi

        I think StanBo delivered the potential of a decent 4th line with players like Morin, Regin and others but Q chose not to develop it during the course of the season, choosing instead to play Zus and Bollig every game

        • Peter Turner

          It’s one thing to not play your farm guys if they’re not deemed ready by the coach but what I’m asking is how come LA could snag a free agent like Gaborik and NYR could get Marty StL but we haven’t gotten whiff of a big signing since we had Hossa in 2009/2010.

          • HossasPierogi

            We had no cap space; apparently, they did. So gaining a Gaborik (7.5 mil) or Marty (5.6 mil) would have had to have been a trade rather than a free agent signing. I think we lost the series due to our bottom 3, not our top 6. The farm guys weren’t ready because Q refused to develop them.

          • Peter Turner

            We have $4.6m cap space. Had we dumped Khabi and Versteeg, we’d easily afford Marty or Gaborik.

          • HossasPierogi

            Got the latest issue of the Committed Indian on my desk and it says cap space – $0 on page 4

          • HossasPierogi

            I think you’re looking at next year’s projected numbers

          • Peter Turner

            http://www.capgeek.com/blackhawks/ sez $4.6m for 2014-2015

            Anyway, I’d rather have Bolland back now that I remind myself that the road to the cup is always about flukey goals.

  • MattC86

    Torn this morning, because on one hand, I think with the level of wear and tear from the last 18 months of hockey, the lack of depth relative to last year, etc., I didn’t really think they’d repeat.

    But things broke for them. There’s no denying it. The Kings had a way tougher draw in the first two rounds. They suddenly had a path to home ice in the Final, and a cushy Eastern Conference opponent to play for it. You don’t get chances like this every year, and they didn’t take full advantage.

    And then the roster decisions. . . .

    • Bob Lanz

      Uggggg those fucking roster decisions. It’s still stings. Your the coach isn’t it your job to coach? What the fuck did Q and his two bitches do for 82 games? Cause I saw no improvement in the PP again, and zero development of any prospects. smith isn’t a prospect and let’s not forget he didn’t make the team out of camp and was scratched a lot the first month or so. I’m not advocating firing Q but Stan has to be the roster tender and Q needs new assistants. I hope he is given an ultimatum on that and developing a solid third and fourth line of vets and prospects.

  • fat_tony_amonte

    Thanks for all the dedicated work from everyone here at Committed Indian. It consistently has the deepest, most thoughtful articles and easily the most knowledgeable following. CI has become the center of my morning ritual and it’s truly my favorite little pocket on the internet.

    Fuckin’ hawks.


  • rhodes

    Thanks, Sam and all the rest. It’s a pleasure to visit, read, and participate throughout the season. Already looking forward to next year.

  • Ceefall

    Quenville does so many good things for this team but it really is frustrating to see Bollig on the bench and only playing two minutes. Does anyone know if there was another player on any other team throughout the playoffs who only saw two minutes of ice time this year?

  • After game 4 I thought this was over & said so on this site. The Hawks showed why they are champs to force a game 7 & I feel lucky that LA got past them. Congrats on great season & series, I know it hurts today but you’ll be back in the mix next year.

  • rhodes

    “…the final shift started with Michal Handzus losing a draw….”

    The line for that final face-off was odd.

    Kings had just iced the puck after a long shift where they were getting pressured hard by the Hawks. Kane’s line goes to change before the ensuing face-off back in the Kings zone against tired defenders, and I see Kane getting pushed back on the ice. Ok, I’m thinking Q is going to load up with 81-19-88 or maybe Sharp on wing. But, no, he throws out Zus and Versteeg?! I don’t think either of those guys had seen the ice in OT up to that point. Versteeg had had just one short 3rd period shift.

    Head scratcher there.

    • wanker751

      Man…I will remember this line like I will Chris Conte playing zone while everyone was playing man, or 6 bears looking at a fumble but not knowing what to do… WAY different ramifications of course but still…

    • duncans peace pipe

      exactly. wtf was that???

      • rhodes

        I know, right? The camera panned back before the puck drop, and I’m thinking, WOW does Toews look OLD all of a sudden, or what? And, hey, look at that sweet mustache on Sharp. I didn’t notice that befo… HEYYYYYY!!!

        • duncans peace pipe

          when i heard the announcer mention versteeg and his ice time then saw that line Q trotted out there, i felt my stomach come up to my throat. 20 seconds later the game was over, but hey what do we know that Q doesn’t?

    • Bannerman

      It’s a conspiracy. Management didn’t want to go into contract talks with Kane and Toews fresh off another cup victory and perhaps a 2nd straight Conn Smythe for Kane. So they traded away their depth players so the Hawks wouldn’t have enough to win another cup.
      It’s a silly notion that I don’t actually believe but it’s a better explanation than the truth.

      • The Other One

        I was thinking this too (as an unintended benefit, and not that it will matter) – this could knock a few $100K’s off of each of Toews and Kane’s deals…

    • raditzzzz

      no joke, when i saw that line going in for the faceoff, i thought to myself “q must be taking a shift off”


      • rhodes

        Yet, he double shifted Kane! There’s really no good explanation that I can come up with. Maybe he thought fresh legs against tired legs would be enough? I dunno. Missed opportunity, I say.

        • wanker751

          Maybe he figured he’d catch game 5 luck like he did with Zues?

  • wanker751

    It was so nice to see a hard fought 7 game rematch between two teams without dirty play, post whistle scrums and stupid useless “message sending” for momentum for the next game….

    The dumb meatbags on the NBC broadcast couldn’t wait to find it with the Crow and Quick…well whatever that was.

    It is almost as hockey grew and matured before our very eyes in this series… and why the NHL game is far superior to the Euro game.

    Well that is until someone does a macho man flying elbow in the SCF….

  • wihawkfan

    thanks writers and commentators.

    this is one of my favorite sites on the internet and a daily stop for me.

    i didn’t think the hawks would get his far when i was watching during the season. then things started to break the right way for them and they seemed warmed to the task. i changed my mind.

    overtime is kind of unfair because it is more luck than anything.

    but that’s not a complaint or an excuse. what happened happens sometimes.

    if i’m upset it’s because it didn’t need to get to that point. i like Q. but i think he got out-coached this post season. yeo chumped him and they only beat minnesota because he had more talent on his roster. but against teams that are his equal in talent he gets beaten. case in point: last night.

    his roster decisions don’t make sense to me. and his game planning doesn’t make sense to me.

    he’s 3rd all time in coaching wins and that says alot, but i can’t help but wonder what this team would have done with babcock at the helm….or even yeo.

    and that’s a sad thought.

    • You had a 2 goal lead & couldn’t hold it & lost on a bad bounce. If it went the other way would you be slamming Joe Q ….. No ….you wouldn’t.

      • ahnfire

        idk, questioning Q has been one of the major themes in the 2014 playoffs for the Hawks.

        if we had won, I think there’d be plenty of “we won despite Q’s roster mismanagement”

        • duncans peace pipe

          exactly. Q sucked.

        • A lot of other teams would take him.

          • wihawkfan

            a lot of teams would take him. agreed.

            and like i said, i like him. he is 3rd in wins for a reason.

            like i also said, a lot of his decisions don’t make sense to me.

            i think he had options he didn’t exercise and i can’t help but think that another coach may have won this series in less games.

            yeo ate his lunch in the minnesota series.

    • lizmcneill

      Babcock didn’t play his kids until all his vets had come down with a case of splodey groin. Julien repeatedly dressed Boston’s version of Jack Skille, Zus and Bollig over available bbBruins with actually offensive talent.

      Maybe it comes down to which coach out-coaches himself the least.

  • 815Sox

    Thanks for all the hard work!

  • duncans peace pipe

    when are we allowed to start talking about Ryan Kesler to the Blackhawks?

    • The Other One

      I already have, with the other personalities in my head…

  • Seanvert

    Thanks Chicago for being a great team and being great opponents, thanks for not making every stop in play a scrum, thanks for great skating and pure shooting, thanks for kicking our butts last year to make this win sweeter, thanks for always giving your all and drawing out the best from the kings that makes hockey such a special sport and players such good human beings. I’m sure we will see you again next year and there will be another great series. I hope we win the next time we play, but if we don’t loosing to a classy team like the hawks will be understandable. Have a great summer and don’t be hard on your team, because as an outsider it is everything hockey is about.

  • FakeASeizure

    Thanks guys! Another great season for the books. Let’s do it again (but perhaps a bit better?) in a few months, yeah? Cheers.

  • Nicely written… Kings fan here. Great series, an all-timer, but the Kings were really made to struggle by the Hawks. You skated us into a new style, we never got the thing slowed down, and it came down to one Wizard named Williams that would not be denied. Salute.

  • Bonvivant1

    Heads up Hawks fans…You have two cups in 3 1/2 years, 7 teams have never ever been to a final, 12 teams have never won a cup and you still have Patrick Kane and Toews and that Saad dude. What a gamer he is and in his second year. Kings are a team of destiny….errr.. if they can beat New York that is.

  • Commit88

    I’ve been a reader since right around the end of the 2009-2010 season I believe. I have learned a lot about hockey since then. Thanks for the great articles! This is my favorite site really. I check it every day.