Like Dolphins Can Swim: Blackhawks 4, Kings 3

Box Score

Event Summary

Extra Skater

I’m not really sure what’s more amazing about Game 6. The fact that there were three lead changes in the third period, the fact that the Hawks played a must-win game on the road utilizing only 14 and a half skaters, the Hawks were able to score two goals in the third period on a mere 3 shots or that that Hawks won said game.

I suppose there will be a day when poor decisions come home to roost and ultimately cost the Hawks dearly but if it wasn’t going to happen in Game 6, I’m not sure it will happen anytime soon. In other words, not today.

Staked to a 2-1 lead heading into the third, the Hawks came out in the 3rd period looking for more. The first couple minutes saw the action in the Kings end and in one of the more annoying trends, Jonathan Quick made a spectacular save (his only of the period) on a Nick Leddy one-timer with the knob of his stick.

Then it became only a matter of time before the Kings came up with the equalizer. A Dustin Brown errant pass deflected off a Hawk defender and landed right on Drew Doughty’s stick in the slot with room to maneuver. Bad things generally happen in these cases and it was 2-2.

A Jonathan Toews penalty shortly after and Drew Doughty took over. Doughty outmuscled Marian Hossa across the top of the blue line to open some room for his defensive partner and laid a pretty sweet drop pass to Alec Martinez. Martinez slid the puck under Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford to give the Kings lead.

Then, Patrick Kane happened.

Since the Hawks capitalized on their only two remaining shots of the period, let’s break them down and see if we can find a common theme.

–Duncan Keith’s equalizer was the end result of a sequence that saw Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw and Patrick Kane cycle the puck around the Kings end for about 25-30 seconds. When Kane got the puck along the left wall, there was a two-fold sliver of opportunity: 1) Duncan Keith caught his man sleeping and snuck behind him and 2) the King checking Kane left a passing lane to the slot open, not knowing his teammate had lost Keith.

To Keith’s credit, he tucked the puck in on the short side just as Shaw skated in front of Quick.

All of this was created by the Hawks getting the Kings to slip up on their defensive assignment, Kane and Keith noticed it and that was that. This is why playing man-to-man defense in the NHL can be so difficult when the opposing team has a full line of really shifty players.

–On the go-ahead goal, Patrick Kane gained the zone and stopped on the right hash mark. It looked like Kane was looking for a late man to hit with a pass streaking down the slot but there was nothing to be had. The King defending him then started to take away his time and space. So Kane carried the puck up along the wall and this is where LA’s defensive rotation completely fell off the rails.

The Kings defensemen releases on Kane to let Marian Gaborik take him. Gaborik pushed Kane across the top of the blue line but let up on him, giving Kane a chance to pick up speed. Tyler Toffoli standing flat footed had no chance to keep up with Kane as he had a full head of steam now. Kane carried the puck into the slot with the Kings defense in complete disarray and he didn’t miss his opportunity.


–So in one sequence the Kings were playing man and then on the winner, they were clearly not. It’s hard to know if this was something the Kings changed after the Hawks tied it or if it was the confusion of the Kings getting caught with guys who aren’t used to playing together.

I typically hate it when teams play in man because of plays like you saw on the Keith goal. It requires so many moving parts and the tiniest of mistakes can be deadly as the Kings found out.

But then you see how lazy (Gaborik primarily) the Kings rotated on the Kane goal sequence and you can see why they play a lot of man-to-man (which they have been this series, by the way).

–Speaking of lazy, Brent Seabrook on the Kings first goal, yeah, that can’t happen. It’s funny, if that was Sheldon Brookbank or Michal Rozsival, the narrative would take over and people would be laying on the cracked glass in the Willis Tower Skydeck. But since it was Seabrook, no one really thinks twice about it afterwards.

–And speaking of narratives, I shutter to think about the backlash of a playoff game where the Hawks give up 3 shots in a period and give up 2 goals in a loss. But since it happened with Jonathan Quick, nary a word about it.

–In a playoffs where any kind of contact with the goalie is an automatic penalty, almost to the point of it becoming an issue the league should revisit, how is Trevor Lewis railroading Corey Crawford behind the net not a penalty?

–Another reason the Hawks are starting to pick apart the Kings defense, the Kings are overpursuing the puck-carrier on zone entries and with another Hawk driving to the net, it’s clearing oodles of space for the late man. We saw it in the overtime winner and in Game 6, it was Ben Smith on a nearly identical play. The end result was the same, even if it looked a little different.

–All anyone remembers about Game 4 is that the Hawks were blown out, didn’t stand a chance, blah blah blah. The possession numbers told a different story, though as the Hawks really had the puck a lot more than the Kings. Game 6 was the course correction. The Kings owned the puck starting at about the halfway point (perhaps around the time the Hawks 14 skaters got fatigued) and through the end of the game.

Again, no one will remember this and that’s fine.

–Drew Doughty is really good at hockey. I’m fine with not seeing him for a few months after Sunday.

–If you thought watching Game 5 or 6 was vomit-inducing, guess what…there’s one more to go.

Buckle up.

  • Say what again

    I “shudder” to think…..

  • What a treat to watch these Hawks. They play like champions. Its been awhile in Chicago. since MJ and Scottie and the Bulls, that I was glued to any kind of sports playoffs, and with this being hockey, a much more exiting sport to watch regardless, its thrilling. GO HAWKS!!
    (more Morin and Regin please, can we please sit Hanzus once in awhile?)

  • jkm13

    Nary a mention of the clear motivational spark Brookbank provided, figures.
    I actually thought the Kruger/Smith/Sharp line looked dangerous most of the night, even if Sharp finishes worse than True Detective. As a third line, that is pretty solid, leaving room for whatever bad choices Quenneville wants on the 4th.

    • Jim

      I like the Brookbank move yesterday. It was panned here, but my initial reaction was “good move”. My reasoning is that we are not getting scoring out of our bottom 2 lines, what we need there is defense. So why not stack the defense there? Brookbank is going to be much better on his side of the ice than any of the alternatives. Yes, he’s playing wing, but maybe it’s a good idea to favor shutting down their bottom 2 lines over scoring. Let ShowTime take care of the scoring.

  • wowwowweewoo

    Alright, I’m gonna go off the deep end here, who’s coming with me? I was looking at some game day photos and noticed a few kings players looking a bit puffy in the face, a la 2000 Sammy Sosa. Namely Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty. Can someone remind me what the league’s drug testing policy is? I’m not saying it’s happening, but crazier things have happened (Lance Armstrong). And these kinds of things always seem to be networked and endemic to a specific group of players or teams.

    • fat_tony_amonte

      I think your alone in the deep end buddy, like the weird smelly kid playing with his boats and flailing on a bed of noodles.

      • wowwowweewoo

        I’m fine being alone on this, but you’re an absolute fool if you think there aren’t any performance enhancing substances in the NHL – whether they be pain killers, any kind of upper to boost the adrenalin, or even the dreaded hgh/steroids. You think Shaw didn’t get a little something in the locker room to help him finish out game 5 between the 3rd period and the OT? The money and the pressure to perform is too much and too high to not be in the game. There are varying degrees of what’s tolerable by the moral high ground public, but in the depths of professional sports – results is all that matters.

        • DJ

          Pain-killers are one thing. Roids are something altogether. If you don’t have proof that someone’s juicing, keep your suspicions to yourself.

          • wowwowweewoo

            what is fan-dome if not rampant unfounded speculation?

          • DJ

            It’s “fan-dom.” And rampant, unfounded speculation is beneath it.

          • wowwowweewoo

            I don’t think talking about the use of preformance enhancers in the NHL is below being a fan. Again, you know they’re there, but who and to what extent is the question. I’m skimming that question.

          • wowwowweewoo

            Also, I’d hardly call one single short post on the issue “rampant”. Let’s be measured in evaluating the scale of things.

    • birdhead

      Seabrook also looks puffy in the face. I’m with you on not being deluded about the presence of performance enhancers in the NHL (the league’s drug testing policy sucks IIRC) but pointing to a couple of players on a team the Hawks are playing a tough 7-game series against and saying “they’re juicing I can tell cos of their face” just seems like the poorest of sportsmanship and to be acting in terrible bad faith to me.

      • wowwowweewoo

        I’m really not trying to use it as a sportsmanship, hawks are better kind of thing, cause frankly I agree with you on Seabrook and will do you one better and say Kane can look puffy from time to time. I only bring it up cause I noticed, and wouldn’t/will not be even looking at any other time if the Kings weren’t the hawk’s opponent right now.

  • Research Analysis

    FWIW, in the Kings two previous game 7 wins they had come from behind to tie the series at 3-3. Clearly the Hawks have the momentum but need to capitalize on it.


    I actually noticed Sharp last night, and in good ways. He was jumping in on plays, creating chances, just missed that feed from Kruger (those two could bear to go pick some four leaf clovers, btw).

    Ben’s goal was such a veteran move. You’re denied the first shot? Get it back, wait for a chance anddddd bank shot. Beautiful.

    Crow made some real good saves, as did Quick. There was either a blown defensive assignment (first goal) or a guy in front (other two goals) on the Kings’ tallies, and all three scorers were allowed to get open ice real close to Crow. But he shut down everything else with occasional help (Oduya’s stick on whoever on the wrap around).

    Kane. He’s a freak of nature, but he’s our freak of nature.

    To game seven!

    • nogreat

      For all people talk about Sharpy as a shooter, he really battles aggressively along the wall in a way few of the Hawks do. Without his shot making a difference, I feel like he’s stepped up his board play. Which is good, because he seems the type to get frustrated when he’s not finding the net.

    • wowwowweewoo

      Sharp’s game was solid. I like that Third line combo. For the future, I could definitely see Sharp playing a bottom six role in his twilight years, it suits his game well. Only problem with that is his cap hit is $5.9M…

    • DJ

      It was Martinez that got stopped on the wrap-around.

    • HawkIPA

      That third line was right on the cusp. Throwing 3 strong lines at the Kings tomorrow would be a difference maker.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      He did everything but hit twine. (Well, including a turnover or two….)

    • Jim

      I noticed Sharp also.

      Sharp had a nice cross ice pass to, Ben Smith, who banked off of Quick’s skate and in. Sharp also had the breakaway, and almost scored on it. It had the elevation, but Quick barely got a piece of it and it bounced off the crossbar.

    • Beastoftheeast81

      He looked fast on Friday. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come. I have a good feeling about the 1st line tonight. #19 and #81 primed for a big game with Bicks.

  • jacquescloutier

    fun with numbers: 12.5% / 16.7% … your game six even strength fenwick for percentages for bollig and brookbank, respectively.

    game 7 lineup decision will be interesting [warm up heart attack].
    brookbank stays in? [if seven defenseman gets you a one goal win on the road, imagine how many goals you’ll win by with eight defenseman at home /rundblad’d]… doubt it.
    versteeg the redeemer?

    gotta think hossa gets unsnakebitten in game 7.

    • wowwowweewoo

      Well having home ice and last change makes a huge difference. I could see Q getting more aggressive with his lineup choices and deploying only in the prime scenarios. Whoever it is will still only get sub 10 minutes, Q is going to ride his top 9 all the way.

  • PePeLemieux

    The hit on Crow…Andrew Shaw was suspended 3 games in 2012 for a similar play on asshat Mike Smith. You know if it was Shaw on Quick last night, #65 would have spent at least two minutes in the box, feeling shame.

    But that’s the thing about championship teams: don’t complain about your bad breaks. Just go out and take care of business. It has to be somewhat demoralizing to LA to think that they are playing agressive, physical hockey and have had the Hawks on the ropes for the last two games, and yet they still need to come back to Chicago with potentially no answer for a Patrick Kane line that is in full “Fuck You” mode…

    • Jim

      ** But that’s the thing about championship teams: don’t complain about your bad breaks. Just go out and take care of business. **

      The United Center is going to be electric tomorrow.

      Like someone said, glad it’s an off day, not the off season.

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    The Hawks refused to lose to a team with these guys as a fan base:

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      And yet they can still lose.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Indeed they can. But they didn’t last night… hence, past tense.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          No offense, I’m just keeping an eye out for Karma.

          • Jim

            This should make you feel better.

            Kings early favorites to win Game 7 on odds shark


          • spotlight312

            not anymore. Hawks are -150 on Moneyline i.e. favorites. Kings are +136 i.e. the underdog

          • Jim

            I knew the Hawks would be favored as we got closer to puck drop.

            I don’t think we’d have needed a Game 7 if Quenneville had unloaded Handzus from the 2nd line sooner.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            None taken. Just wanted to clarify I wasn’t taking for granted tomorrow. No hubris here. The Kings are a damn good team.

  • Jon

    Whoever wins fame 7 will, barring Lundqvist being amazing ( a [sadly? Depends who wis the wcf] strong possibility; I love Crow, but Hank is a probable hall of famer, and the best goalie in the league not named Rask.)

    And they’ll have earned it. For all the dislike I have for Brown and the distaste I have for Quick, I really don’t hate the Kings. Like the Red Wings of old, they’re just really good at hockey. Doughty terrifies me, Kopitar is only a shade below Toews ( Toews’ offense is better, and he is the captain, so, intangibles, but they’re otherwise equally good,) and their second line would be a first line on any team that isn’t the Sharks, Pens, or Hawks.

    I believe in this team; if they lose this year, I trust that they’ll come back stronger in the next. Teuvo’s coming over soon, Danault and McNeil are in the pipeline, Johns and co. are waiting on D; this team isn’t going away.

    Let’s go Hawks!

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Henrik is the one guy on the Rangers that scares me.

      And I think you mean ‘Barring Lindqvist’ and barring fatigue. Hawks and Kings are both scary good if you’re NYR, but they are also banging the hell out of each other in a hard fought 7 game series, much to the delight of Rags fans everywhere.

  • No one calls it “Willis”, John

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    How I am trying to feel about this: The same way I felt when Kieth tied it in the third…. Great, Yay, Happy Happy Joy Joy….

    And then, we are TIED, we have not WON, and they are about to drop the puck. We need ONE MORE or it’s all for naught.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Got to admit I didn’t think we’d get this far at the start of the playoffs, and I didn’t think we’d get this far when we were down 3-1. I’ve been thinking about next season since we were down to the Blues.

    I will therefore continue to be negative with an optimistic eye to the future, just for the sake of continuity.

  • Re TOI … there’s no grouping of three players on this team who can skate on the fourth line for 10 minutes in a really close game. We don’t have them. I’m not being a dick, but I really don’t understand why people are up in arms about the minutes our bottom two forwards are getting. I was worried in the St Louis series, but only because I thought Kane and Toews would be skated to death by way of compensation. That’s not happening–and so who cares if Bickell and Kruger are playing more minutes as long as the top-end players are skating a normal number of shifts?

    Bollig and Brookbank–I’m fine with arguments about their worth, although I’m not nearly as skeptical about them as many … but the minutes those two skate (or substitutions for either of them), who cares if it’s not at the sake of running others ragged?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Also, we must know by now that this is Q’s MO. In the third period of a tight game, the fourth line is all but nailed to the bench, especially on the road where the other guy has last change.

      • Last year we rolled a bit more, if memory serves, but ya, not this one obviously. I had been worried, but not now that I see the reasonable TOI for the top skaters.

        • ‘hawks58

          Yeah, the TOI for the top 4 forwards (Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp) has been virtually identical this year to last, it’s 5-9 that are picking up the slack for the 10-12 fewer minutes a game that the 4th line is skating this year.

          In all reality, not being able to ‘roll 4 lines’ this year when we could last boils down to 2 things:

          1) Zus was able to disguise himself as a #2 C last year, eating up 16 minutes a game, this year he can’t even seem to be a good #4 C
          2) Versteeg has not been able to replace Stalberg (I’m sure Bowman envisioned him slotting right into that 3rd line with Saad and Shaw, where Stalberg had been last year), and in fact has been the Hawks 12th or 13th best forward at best.

          If Zus was able to hold his own on the 2nd and Versteeg was still 09-10 Versteeg, this team would be rolling the bottom 2 lines and you’d see Regin/Bollig-Kruger-Smith for about 9-10 ES minutes a game.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          Last year we were deeper.

    • ‘hawks58

      I would just really like to see Regin in simply because Q trusts him to play 11+ minutes a game and that’s 3-6 minutes that someone in the top 9 doesn’t have to skate after two high paced, taxing games.

      • But that’s sort of my point … the minutes among our top skaters are really not significantly more now than they were during the regular season. There are some guys who would get 10-12 minutes in the regular season now getting 16-19 … but that’s fine–Kruger and Bickell, etc., getting those minutes ahead of, say, Regin … that’s a good thing.

        (And now that Handzus isn’t Kane’s centre, there’s no real argument to bring in Regin. Handzus taking 3rd and 4th line centre minutes, plus PK … that’s fine in my eyes–not nearly ideal, but better in that role than Regin imo.)

        • ‘hawks58

          I’m saying Regin as 4th line wing; for Bollig or Brookbank. Not 4th line center

  • CozBullsFan

    So I wonder where that little LA troll we had went. Probably in his bed sobbing like a little girl.

    • birdhead

      “like a girl”? cmon coz 🙁

      • CozBullsFan

        I should not have said that. Sorry bird. :/

        • birdhead

          *fistbump* we’re good. “like a baby” works just as well next time!

          • cliffkoroll

            What’s with the baby hate? Sensitivity training for you.

  • Michael Scott

    That picture is great

    • birdhead

      Kane had a couple of big jumping hugs yesterday, feels like it’s been ages since I saw one of those out of him.

      • Michael Scott

        Real talk: Leaping Kane Hockey Hugs are my absolute favorites.

        • birdhead

          He certainly gets some elevation when he wants, right? the Shaw-Kane one was a bit of an all-star hug in my opinion.

  • unkind


  • TitanTransistor

    When Kane is going… man it’s something special to watch.

  • wardrums

    I think Seabs thought Corey was going to play that puck. He should have been hustling back – they took one second off on that shift and the puck was in the back of the net.

    I believe Shaw is getting under Quick skin. Andrew did nothing on that play to warrant Quick to flip out. Kick his ass Sea bass, error I mean Corey!

    Brookbnk -5min, Bollig 6 min. I guess we’ve given up on a fourth line.

    Corey’s glove save on Kopitar was borderline elite, eh?

    Two huge games for Saad in a row. I don’t know if he’s taking advantage of LA trying to mark Kaner, but he’s been a dominant force for good the last two games.

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      Versteeg got 6 in a double overtime game, I though Brookbanks 5 minutes was way more productive than Versteegs, especially spelling Roszival on defernse so he was fresh for the third period

  • Research Analysis

    What would you do? I wagered that the Hawks would meet the Rangers in the SCF at 40-1 odds. Not that that either would win, just that they would be dance partners. Should I cover myself by betting that LA wins game 7, which guarantees me a profit? I hate to do it but money is…

    • No one’s definition of what money is … is the same. And most Hawks fans wouldn’t feel great about being relieved if there are a bunch of white hockey sweaters surrounding the Campbell Bowl tomorrow.

      • Research Analysis

        Thank you. Been struggling all day with this. Most wonderful wager moment was last season when I was able to get the Hawks 14-1 to win Stanley (before season start). Bet them this year at 7-1 (mid-season). Wagers are an interesting amusement. Lost a ton on the Hawks over the years but never any regrets. Hawk fan since before you can imagine and reveling in the Kane/Toews era.

    • Hawkeytalk

      You gotta go all in. Hedging is for suckers.

  • Hawkeytalk

    Who else is thrilled we don’t have to hear that infernal goal horn or Cartman’s GKG? I’m glad our guys got to do another victory lap in their building after beating them in the regular season.

    • To Saad be the glory

      I’m more thrilled that when the series is over,win or lose,we wont have to listen to Albert,Micheletti and Engblom anymore. Albert and Micheletti can go drool over their Rangers and Engblom can hope Rogers Sports Net picks him up this fall since TSN is done. If anyone knows why we didn’t get Forslund or Strader for this series please enlighten me.

      • Dan

        Honestly Kenny hasn’t been awful in my opinion, except for the moments where we get a “Dustin Keith” thrown out there.

        • SuperHawk27

          haha,….the group i was watching with were making fun of him for that one too.

      • jkm13

        They are terrible, this much is true. Yet I still prefer them to doc, Eddie, and Pierre.

    • Jim A

      I had a headache after games 3 and 4 due to the shrieking.

  • amontesawesome

    The important thing to remember is that no matter who wins tomorrow night the team that loses is #garbage and #sucks and #structurallyflawed.

    • TitanTransistor

      No. They’re just not as good as the team that won. That’s all.

      • Hawkeytalk

        They were just not as good as the other team in 4 of 7 games as opposed to 3 of 7.

        I wonder if the AVs and Wild are watching and saying that this level of hockey is 4 or 5 above where they played. Note I left Scum Jr out because they are better than those two and more capable of playing up to this level.

  • Dealing Seabs and Sharp could free up about $10MM in cap space that could go towards re-upping Kane and Toews… am I crazy?

    I firmly believe that Seabrook’s deal has a $1.5MM “my numbers make me look way better than I am because I’m the lucky bastard who won the ‘get paired with Duncan Keith’ lottery” premium.

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      Sharp yes, Oduya yes, Rosival possibly, Seabs no, there is no one in the organization that can replace him, I bet Johns spends at least next year down at the Rock, Clendening is more an Oduya, Rundblad is i don’t know what, unless they think that 6’6 Swede (don’t remember his name Svendson or something like that, or Dahlbeck is ready

      • spotlight312

        Viktor Svedberg. 6ft 8′ 250lbs. Buffy was only 6ft 5

      • I am not a Seabrook fan, let me say that to open. It’s not that I don’t think he is a serviceable defenceman, just not a good value at his price point. The way I look at it is this, you don’t need to replace him one for one. You move Hammer up to pair with Seabs, and hope Leddy becomes what he is supposed to be. I’m gonna get blasted for this, but in terms of a physical defenceman, I don’t think the drop off is huge from Seabrook to Brookbank, and I think his work with Dunc while Seabs was out backs this up. I think this is especially true since Brookbank is only going to get better, Seabs to me has peaked. So with that in mind, you’re not replacing a top 2 guy if you get rid of Seabs, you really just need to add depth at the 5-6, 6 1/2 guy.

        If any Seabrook fan/apologist wants to counterpoint on this I’m willing to listen, I just don’t see him as an irreplaceable guy.

        • Oldfarthawkfan

          I am a Seabrook fan. You assertion that Brookbank has greater upside, I like Brookbank too but you do know that he is 33 4 years older than Seabs? Also outside of St Louis possibly what other team in the NHL would Seabs not be considered one of the top 2 or 3 defenseman on the team. Then look at what top 3 defenseman make, and then tell me if you think he is overpaid for his work. Andre Markov is a free agent this year he is getting $5.5 mil Seabs money, Matt Carle, Tyler Myers, Jim Wisnewski all make about $5.5 mil. you think they are as good as Seabs.? And no, he is not getting a bump in pay because Keith makes him look good in your opinion, if that was the case he would of been shipped out before the others to manage the cap.

          • Yeah I got nothing, the price of average defense has gone up, no wonder Hawks are the best valued team according to Forbes… I stand corrected.

    • Jim A

      Crazy, idk. Stupid, well…

  • TitanTransistor

    Damnit, I can’t even sleep. Too excited and nervous…

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      That’s the thing about game 7. When we’ve been in a 3-1 hole, I’ve been far less tense for games 5 and 6, thinking about how improbable the comeback must be, but once we get to game seven, there it is…

      Pressure on both teams. It may not come down to who plays better, but who doesn’t lose their shit when they get behind, or relax when they get the lead.

  • DenDoy

    Unfortunately, I will not be at game 7 this evening at the United Center. However, I have a suggestion to make to those Hawks fans who will be there. To support him in his stellar play of late, I suggest that the fans chant “Crawford-Crawford” as the Kings fans did in L.A. This would give Corey the thrill of knowing that the fans are behind him with the bonus of slapping those same arrogant Kings fans in the face. Please share this sentiment on as much social media as you can and let’s see if we can bring this to fruition.