South Of Heaven – Kings vs Hawks Game 5 Preview, Pregame Thread, Last Rites

king vs oldschool

Game Time: 7:00PM
TV/Radio: NBCSN, CBC (Anglo), RDS (Franco), WGN-AM 720
Nuthin’ But A G Thang: The Royal Half, Jewels From The Crown, Battle of California

There was always the very real possibility that the Hawks’ season could come at the hands of the Kings, but there would have been few that would have thought it would happen so swiftly and emphatically. But regardless of the circumstance, the Hawks now find themselves in a must win game on West Madison this evening to continue playing.

For the Kings, there’s little to no reason for them the change a damn thing they’ve been doing, as it’s worked pretty thoroughly to this point with game one proving to be the outlier in the series. Their speed and depth at forward, something the Hawks used to rely upon, has pushed an overmatched Hawks group back on their heels and forced them to defend more than attack. And given the size of the Kings’ forwards respective to the Hawk defensemen, it’s not something the Hawks were built to be able to endure for any length of time.

That attack has allowed Darryl Sutter to get away with continually icing the likes of Willie Mitchell, Matt Greene, and the defensively challenged Alec Martinez with imputnity, as the Hawks have been unable to use their speed since the first period of Game 2. But of course, it helps to have the safety net of Drew Doughty being able to play over half a game in every situation and making things happen every time he touches the ice.

It’s all masked the fact that Jonathan Quick’s raw numbers basically mirror those of Corey Crawford, both at even strength (.915 to Crawford’s .921) and while shorthanded (.894 to .893), but Quick hasn’t had to work nearly as hard because his team has the puck more. Once again, if this formula sounds familiar, it’s because it should.

As for our Men of Four Feathers, it looks like no matter what happens, someone is going to have to pry Joel Quenneville’s blankie from his cold, dead, eliminated hands. That of course being Michal Handzus, he of less than 5 minutes of ice time on Monday night in Los Angeles. After seeing that a lack of Handzus was clearly the reason for defeat, Quenneville has now charged him with centering Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg, whose excellent and consistent combined play together this post season is sure to form a forceful third line with Handzus. Brandon Bollig will also draw back into the lineup and reform the Human Shield line, which actually makes a whole shitload more sense than having Handzus anywhere near a player whose objective it is to score goals. At least at home that line (if used as it has been all season) serves a distinct purpose. But with the way the Hawks have been playing, there are bound to be a lot more defense zone draws for Marcus Kruger to take.

After a season of harping on Brent Seabrook, it all became perfectly crystallized on Monday as well. But that was really only confirmation bias, except that it wasn’t and hasn’t been. There’s at least a top end to Seabrook’s game that he might be able to harness for a finite stretch, and that’s basically what the Hawks are left with as far as options on the blue line, is hoping that he, Johnny Oduya, and Michal Rozsival all forget that they are old/fat/tired or some combination thereof now.

And after three straight bad performances, it’s also now time to just simply hope Corey Crawford finds whatever it is that’s been vacant from his game since the third period of game 2. Granted, of the four goals he saw none of them he really had a chance on, and his PK save percentage of .950 was always coming back down to Earth, but it’s been a violent and spectacular crash over the last 140 minutes of play. Of course, avoiding dumbass penalties and actually pressuring the Kings’ mobile point men on their now seemingly unstoppable power play would help matters, but one thing at a time.

It’s gotten to the point where a win in this situation would only serve as positive reinforcement to the coaching and management for how they chose to construct this version of the team and how they have been deployed this entire year. For being a franchise that espouses whatever proprietary metrics they have, they’ve certainly played some very low percentages in hoping to recreate performances from guys who just don’t have that much left anymore, or never had much to begin with, and playing favorites with them over parts with the clear potential to help.

The Hawks are being beaten at their own game by the Kings with waves and waves of speed that just can’t be handled because the legs are younger and more skilled. The Kings have only played two fewer games than the Hawks in the last three years with largely the same core, and played two more games prior to this series even in this playoff year. So the fatigue angle is bullshit, at least insofar as the short term is concerned. They got younger and more skilled while the Hawks stood basically still and what was sown is now being reaped.

What the Hawks are left with is basically relying on the raft of their individual talent that still has a pulse (Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, Hjalmarsson) to win the day through the force of sheer willpower and individual skill, which is basically the Toronto and Colorado Avalanche models that have been so widely derided. And the pisser of it is they still could very well pull it off in that method too, if only as a “fuck you” to everything else that has fallen apart around it.

This team has shown time and again that it can and will bring its best when the situation is at its most dire. And the situation remains the same as it has from Game 2′s final horn: hold serve at home and get one there. That is still completely within the realm of possibility. Along with the Kings having lost three straight twice already in this very playoff year. It’s a mountain, but it’s not an unclimbable one, and the Hawks have the individual talent to do so even if their structure has been obliterated. And the chance to reclaim some if not all of that has to be capitalized on tonight or it’s going to be a long spring. This team was built with the expressed purpose of winning another championship, and to get to the Hardware Rounds as the highest remaining seed and go home without a parade would be an embarrassment to squander, even against this formidable Kings team with equal pedigree.

Take it back or go home. It’s as simple as that. Let’s go Hawks.

If you’re going to the UC tonight, make sure to pick up a copy of our gameday program. If you’re not, you can grab the PDF right here:



  • Rodney Nelson

    Oh, Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., if you need him.

  • DunkDropsa2

    Open My Eyes, indeed.

    Time to get fired up, courtesy of Rival Sons.

    http://youtu.be/umrIUDOo-aM

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Go not gently into that good night.

    We’ll find out tonight if there’s anything left in the tank.

  • Say Ramrod

    Ugh, I feel a 37 save performance by Quick tonight and a 2-1 LA win… This blows, haven’t felt like this in a playoff series in a while.

    • Jim

      I sort of have that feeling also. Kind of like the game after the Bartman game. But I also have a strange feeling that the force of will of Toews/Kane/Hossa/Keith (like Sam said) may just drag them across the finish line.

    • HawkIPA

      Game 5 of the Red Wings series? I have no dread tonight. Not until the handshake line is clearly in view.

  • Jim

    Great writeup, you captured a lot of what I was thinking, but could not express like that.

    *They got younger and more skilled while the Hawks stood basically still and what was sown is now being reaped.*

    *What the Hawks are left with is basically relying on the raft of their individual talent that still has a pulse (Toews, Kane, Hossa, Keith, Hjalmarsson) to win the day through the force of sheer willpower and individual skill*

    • Yachtsman

      Before the season started, I thought all along that the Handzus and Roszival would play only 41 games, and the young guys would be brought along slowly to develop at the NHL level. Then you’d have the 2 vets available if the project failed or if the young guns couldn’t bring it in the playoffs. Instead, the whole season went toward winning, and there wasn’t even any kind of leash for the young players. It was come in and play like a vet or go back down. Now the older core, who seem to need desperate times to bring their A game, need to bring their A game.

      • Jim

        It would be fun to watch. A comeback here would be legendary. I hope in retrospect, this was all the perfect setup for what was next.

    • Björn

      I guess the only part I disagree on is including Keith in the discussion of who they’ve relied on. We saw last game that he was just as bad as Seabs, and it’s because his game is truly a high wire act: when it works, we see games like Game 6 against River Scum. But when we don’t, we basically get the Keith of the last two series. Sometimes he’s great, sometimes he’s terrible. He’s looked tentative and out of position to me, really ever since the Minny series. I know it’s a broken record, but I think its delusional to pin all this blame and hate on Seabrook and let Keith get a pass. He’s just as responsible for the two of them looking downright sad when they play.

  • TitanTransistor

    “The Hawks are being beaten at their own game by the Kings with waves and waves of speed that just can’t be handled because the legs are younger and more skilled. The Kings have only played two fewer games than the Hawks in the last three years with largely the same core, and played two more games prior to this series even in this playoff year. So the fatigue angle is bullshit, at least insofar as the short term is concerned. They got younger and more skilled while the Hawks stood basically still and what was sown is now being reaped.”

    So much this.

    • OMFS88

      Yeah! Screw this 2nd best team in the NHL! I want my cheddar back!

      • TitanTransistor

        The goal is not to land somewhere in the top 5 every season.

        The goal is to win the cup. This team has the core to do it, and the moves made by the GM combined with the roster decisions by the coach have made the team weaker than it has the potential to be.

        • birdhead

          No team is going to win the cup every season, and if your goal is “A cup every year or everyone gets fired” you’re going to have a very bad management.

          • TitanTransistor

            I agree that no team is going to win a cup every season, but I’d argue the GM and coach could have done more to strengthen the Hawks chances of repeating.

            Also, I never said fire anybody, but some accountability for the poor decisions would be good to see. Or just some evidence that they’ve taken the right lessons.

          • birdhead

            OK, but the only evidence of accountability fans are going to see is someone getting fired, right? You want to see Rocky invite them into his office and have a go at them for only getting the team to the WCF?

            The Hawks are a fantastic team and I think they have a shot at the Cup every year, and they still have a shot now, but making it to the WCF is genuinely something to be proud of. They’re not playing like we know they can, OK; the 2C position is still, well, vexed is putting it mildly; the team is slower (yes swapping Handzus for Bolland and Bollig for Frolik and Morin for Stalberg has had that effect); they’ve looked mortal this year and that sucks after last year. But I think if you take a step back after the playoffs end – whenever that is – you’ll see that they’ve done a lot to be proud of.

  • I Remember The Roar!

    Not the position we wanted, but here we are. Time to go out and win each shift tonight – extend this series. Will the Kings end the series tonight?

    We refer to our anthem for the tonight…NO WAY!!

    “No Way” by Doomtree off of the No Kings album:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ4U-HFtLZQ

  • I Remember The Roar!

    Not the position we wanted, but here we are. Time to go out and win each shift tonight – extend this series. Will the Kings end the series tonight?

    We refer to our anthem for the tonight (“No Way” by Doomtree off of the No Kings album)…NO WAY!!

    http://youtu.be/tJ4U-HFtLZQ

    • unkind

      good shit!

  • Guest

    This.

  • Hags

    Not Today. Edit- if anyone could tell me how in the world to post a picture here that would be aprreciated.

    2nd edit- now i have two of them posted. I’m just gonna go home now.

    • birdhead

      generally pictures don’t show up until you refresh, so try that first next time :)

      • Hags

        thank you.

  • cliffkoroll

    Summarizing: the Hawks might lose, which would be bad. Or they might win the next three, which would be worse!

    • TheRealBBOX

      Seriously. I don’t like to throw around accusations here but it oftentimes feels like the TCI staff would prefer the Blackhawks lose so they can be proven the smartest people in the room and get the satisfaction of a “TOLD YA SO!” moment instead of seeing them win another title.

      • TitanTransistor

        I think they want the recurring problems fixed. It has to get tiring seeing the same mistakes made almost every season.

        • TheRealBBOX

          So, what? Fire Quenneville? Fire Bowman? Surely neither of them are above criticism, but are you sure the people you’re replacing them with are gonna do a better job?

          In sports you pays your money and you takes your chances. The Blackhawks may crap out this year, but I’d hardly consider that a terminable offense for an organization that’s been able to put together an extremely competitive group over the last six years.

          EDIT: That’s also why I used the qualifier “sometimes it seems” because that’s how their complaints come off to me. I’m not saying they’re entirely without merit either.

          • bigtreina

            within the financial construct of the core and salary cap. I think the bigger problem is who they find to replace key members of the supporting staff (or in the case of Handzus and Bollig, who they didn’t find…) And to answer your point – yes, you do fire coaches / staff / for underperformance – sometimes to shake things up. How else do you send a message to the players…to the ‘core’ that their time is limited?

          • TheRealBBOX

            Well I think part of the struggle in finding adequate role players has been that Q has “his guys” and it’s not easy for others to gain the chance to displace them, which is not a good thing when “his guys” are old or bad or both, and that’s a mark against Q for sure. But if you think a team that has had the success the Blackhawks have had over the last six years has “underperformed” to the point of needing to fire your head coach or your GM, I think you’re being a little over the top.

          • bigtreina

            How about the nepotism hirings of Q’s assistants? How did the penalty kill look this season? PP was respectable this year, but at times was clown shoes too and especially now when it counts. Q is an enigma of a coach – successful over time but look at the players he’s had? He’s the Phil Jackson of hockey coaches. Not saying he needs to go yet – but another year of ‘no cup’ when you have this roster and a shakeup is probably warranted.

          • allhawks

            No, no firings of Q or Stan. But it’s certain they don’t share the same vision for this team long term. Playing Bollig over Morin is just dumb by Q but then Stan extends this turd for another 2 yrs? Just as dumb.

      • allhawks

        One reason the Hawks are behind the eight ball right now is the lack of developing lines in the regular season with neither Pirri/Morin there and not giving Leddy the chance to prove what he can do. Instead, we got 82 games of Bollig, who proved he really was shitty, we still have a frightened Leddy, another useless component in Versteeg and an absolute waste of regular season Kane being continually paired with another useless player in Handzus. The Kings have a frightening 2nd line because they played their kids in the regular season to make their mark and/or learn from their mistakes. Toffoli/Pearson aren’t playing frightened like Leddy is because Sutter let them play. Sam and Co wish the same type of thinking for the Hawks to at least try one of these yrs.

        • TheRealBBOX

          Alright, when you put it that way, it’s much more constructively critical and I wholeheartedly agree with it.

          • allhawks

            Supposedly, the Hawks drafting has been really strong. Well, can’t tell if those kids can play if the Coach doesn’t them much rope. Sam and Co have repeatedly pointed out that Stan and Coach Q don’t seem to share the same type of vision of the day-to-day lineups, that needs to be addressed during the offseason.

      • Bobby Otter

        I don’t get that impression. Pointing out something might not be the best decision (aka playing Handzus or Bollig) is not the same as wishing for failure. It’s not like the Hawks are the Pope… they are infallible.

      • OMFS88

        Yeah! Screw those guys! I want my duckets back!

      • HawkIPA

        I think they want to see the Hawks win another cup, and roster mismanagement could deprive them of that opportunity. I don’t doubt that the TOS would much rather win the cup this year, no matter how, then by having their on-point criticism validated.

    • TitanTransistor

      Not worse per say… at least not in the short term.

      But succeeding despite their roster mismanagement would send the wrong message long-term. Or at least give them the opportunity to take the wrong lessons out of it.

      • Bobby Otter

        We don’t know what the Hawks are going to do this summer, win or lose. It’s highly highly highly unlikely that Handzus is back, and if he is, Teuvo is in front of him. There’s still the Bollig issue, but maybe he’ll only play 41 next year. And while Seabrook might be on the downside, I’m willing to wait a year to find out if he is.

        • bigtreina

          I’m surprised Seabrook still can tie his skates after the number of head hits he’s endured.

      • HawkIPA

        I’ll take this and another cup.

    • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

      The Hawks will be back in contention next year. All this shows is how hard it is to repeat.

  • Peter Turner

    I hope Bickell and Kaner stocked up on all the sushi they could get their chopsticks on for tonight’s game.

  • bigtreina

    If this writeup doesn’t summarize where this thing is going, I don’t know what would. Its been painfully obvious all year that Bowman and his # crunching, Q’s refusal to play young talent over his so called ‘blankets’, and the underperformance/aging of some of the supporting (mis)cast has been hurting the team’s potential. The Kings are simply doing what good teams do – find the opponents weaknesses and exploit them. I hate saying it, but a win tonight is probably prolonging the inevitable. I’d rather the better ‘team’ win. If the Hawk’s lose 4 straight, we know that has happened.

    • Peter Turner

      If there’s one word that describes Q, it would be loyalty. We see that in his coaching personnel, we see how he kept guys like Jamal Mayer, Handzus and even Versteeg around because he recognizes something in them or something they did in the past that he felt he owed them to keep them around. On the other hand, we’ve seen how easily one could lose their spot in the roster rubbing him the wrong way.

      • bigtreina

        Don’t they call that loyalty to a fault?

    • HawkIPA

      The better team of the past three games may not be the better “team” tonight. Things can turn pretty fast in hockey. The better team will win the series. I’d like that to be the Hawks and hope they get back on track tonight.

  • PE-TER RE-GIN

    You know, I don’t even care that Q is testing my sanity by icing that abomination of what I assume will be a third line. I wanted to use this, and I still think the ‘Hawks can win, so damnit I’m using it!

    (Just imagine Tom Hanks is Q and the kid is Hitchcock, because lord knows that kid is talking too clearly to be Sutter)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgAsNtmlQJU

  • Hawkeytalk

    I don’t think they’re losing tonight. But anyway, we still have an embarrassment of riches here, and no matter what, it will be an interesting off season.

  • Bobby Otter

    ==They [LA] got younger and more skilled while the Hawks stood basically still and what was sown is now being reaped.==

    So you’re saying the Kings, essentially, chose Morin over Bollig? Toffoli and Pearson over Nolan and Fraser. Hawks probably would have stuck with Nolan and Fraser… I guess Toffoli might have forced someone’s hand, ala Saad, but really the Hawks really sort of blew it when you look at what the Kings are doing with those two.

    Pearson was picked 30th in 2012 (looks to be overaged as he’s already 21) but the Kings obviously made the decision to roll with him this year/playoffs and it’s certainly better than whatever Nolan or Fraser would have given them.

    • birdhead

      “Toffoli and Pearson over Nolan and Fraser.”

      Yes, this. There may be good reasons why Pirri and Morin aren’t great analogies for Pearson and Toffoli but …

      • Bobby Otter

        Yeah Toffoli is a pretty bad one since he is more Saad than Morin. But Pearson is not. He’s pretty much Morin. And we’ve seen what he can do with 11 minutes of ice time: make a bit of a difference.

        The Hawks can’t even get 9 minutes out of Bollig (the last non OT game where Bollig played 10 minutes? Last game of the regular season in Nashville, nearly 6 weeks ago).

        • birdhead

          Toffoli’s not as big as Saad is he? (Went and checked, yes he is. OK.) but yeah I agree with you. It’s been great seeing Saad come in in the last couple of years. I know not everyone can do what he did but I can’t help feeling that if some of the AHL guys had got a lot of games in a row they might look more like the thing right now. Look at what Morin did at the end of the season.

  • CozBullsFan

    Ready for some hockey!

    • PE-TER RE-GIN

      I concur, doctor.

  • To Saad be the glory

    I agree with Fifth feather yesterday. Hawks are too good not to have a serious response back to this.Time for the course correction to start,and it starts tonight!

  • OMFS88

    This all reminds me very much of the Taylor Swift song

  • Commit88

    Could lack of a seemingly end of career Bolland, Frolik and a sometimes scratched Stalberg really make that much of a difference over last year?

    Or is this years team just not as hot or clicking the way they were last year?

    It is funny how you get a better PP, a speedy 2nd line, and your defenders improve a little bit, and you all of a sudden took a huge leap forward. As the writeup after game 4 said (I think), Hawks look lost for the first time I can remember in at least 5 years. Even that 2009 Detroit series I believe had many overtime games (including the deciding one) and wasn’t as lopsided as a 4-1 series would have you believe.

    We’ll see if they have the cajones tonight

    • birdhead

      idk, swap out Frolik for Versteeg, I think you see a difference, don’t you?

      • Commit88

        I honestly don’t think so.

        It isn’t like putting Ben Smith at 2nd line center is going to all of a sudden make LA’s 2nd line less dangerous. It won’t make Kane produce and it won’t make Sharp produce either.

        Bollig sucks, you got me there. So does Handzus. But I still don’t think it gives the Hawks enough.

        Pirri and Morin don’t change this series at all IMO

        • birdhead

          “It won’t make Kane produce and it won’t make Sharp produce either.”

          You don’t think that replacing Handzus with Ben Smith will change the dynamics and production of that line?

          Also I take it back. Frolik is Bollig. Stalberg is Versteeg. I do think those swaps have made the team much slower.

          • Commit88

            True.. Bollig is slow. Handzus was 2nd line center last year (I actually forgot this for a second). Versteeg is no Stalberg, but he is no slow foot either. Just a turnover machine.

            I think Sharp stays cold whether or not Handzus or Smith is his center. Also, Smith didn’t make Kane any better either imo. I think that’s why Smith was moved from 2C to begin with. He wasn’t producing.

      • Commit88

        And sorry, I didn’t answer the question lol. I don’t think Frolik makes a difference, no.

        Frolik isn’t a 3rd line player anyways.

        • birdhead

          Bolland -> Handzus
          Stalberg -> Versteeg
          Frolik -> Bollig

          Bolland was always going. I don’t miss Stalberg. There was no need to replace the Frolik caphit with the Versteeg one, though – bring up Morin and play him on the 3rd line wing (strictly for cap-hit honesty, I don’t know that Morin is much better than Versteeg, but I don’t know that he isn’t, either), swap in Regin for Handzus. I think that team is faster, smarter, deeper, and scores more.

          • Commit88

            I agree about dealing Fro to go get Versteeg and the substitutions too. I just think LA is hot and the Hawks need their best guys to step up and grab their nuts, and support Toews. They are still World Champs

          • Romina josif

            Well well guys it’s not http://goo.gl/ds2qJU

          • Commit88

            I don’t understand your linkage. Or your previous links in posts.

    • TitanTransistor

      Little things can make a big difference. Sometimes it’s one change or a just a few minor ones that cause things to ‘click’ and suddenly everybody is playing within themselves, in a role suited to them, with confidence.

      I still look at letting Frolik go as one of the bigger blunders this management team has made. You let Handzus and Roszi go, wait a year to sign Crow instead of signing him at his absolute peak value, and you can afford to keep Fro, probably (cap experts, feel free to correct me).

      • birdhead

        Versteeg’s current caphit is almost identical to Frolik’s. You don’t even need to forgo the Crow deal, just that trade.

        • TitanTransistor

          *headdesk*

          Well now I’m just depressed.

    • Jim

      I’ll take Bolland as a 2C over Handzus even though Bolland is a 3C. I’ll take Frolik over Bollig. Actually, you construct the team like that, and they just improved a whole lot.

      Those are the guys that glue the stars together.

  • unkind

    hey guys i hear there is a ledge to jump off over here? LETS GO HAWKS!!

    • PE-TER RE-GIN

      You have to pay for your space on said ledge in beer.

      • unkind

        Oh i know the rules round here. haven’t posted in a while cuz i have been camping. well im back and its time to rally!!

        • PE-TER RE-GIN

          Well I’m glad you know the rules…I just wanted some beer!

  • Research Analysis

    Why all so negative? You are forgetting about Bickell, Saad, Oduya, Smith, Shaw, Kruger, all of whom are top rank NHLers and if Crawford would just calm down, which he might after watching the Rangers give up 7 last night, this team could win the next 7 in a row.

  • Crash

    Live like lions!

  • Romina josif

    And sorry, I didn’t answer the question lol. I don’t think Frolik makes a http://goo.gl/ds2qJU

  • CozBullsFan

    Some of you need to chill out. I understand you are stressed. Coming here to complain and be passive aggressive is only making it worse for you. Go do whatever it is that helps you relieve stress. If you don’t, there is no way you’ll enjoy the game.

    • PE-TER RE-GIN

      ..

  • HawkIPA

    I’m beyond pumped for tonight’s game and will save any handwringing for later. Fort Kickass will be rocking. This team, even the one iced by Q tonight, can turn this game and this series around.

  • pepe_silvia

    Two years ago the Bears needed the Packers to beat the Vikings in Week 17 to make the playoffs. I, being a Bears fan, rooted for the Vikings to win that game so the Bears would miss the playoffs and Lovie would hopefully be fired so we could move on, get a new coach and a new system, and stop squandering great years from Cutler, Marshall, Forte, etc. That team was nowhere near a championship, and now with arguably the best offense in the NFL they are considered NFC contenders.

    So understand that I know when it is a good time to root against your team so they succeed in the long run. And I have to say, for a team that’s won 2 Cups in 4 years, this is absolutely not the time to root against the Hawks. Even suggesting that is just plain silly.

  • HawkIPA

    Let’s come out firing tonight! http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp7bb6HMFYQ&feature=kp

  • ChicagoNativeSon

    Not sure how one can use data showing a similar trajectory for both Keith and Seabrook to derive the singular conclusion that Seabrook Sucks, unless of course you have a preconceived Confirmation Bias?

    Just using the data you yourself provided for your argument, if one looks at the last 85 games – basically the period during which Seabrook Sucked, (Seabrook is the red line. Keith is black) Seabrook’s Corsi has almost exclusively been higher than Keith’s. And Keith’s decline during this postseason has been much steeper than Seabrook’s.

    And as with the raw Corsi%, Seabrook’s RelCorsi% has almost exclusively been higher than Keith’s over the past 85 games, except for only a small period at the end of the season where it inverted and Keith’s RelCorsi% was better – the same period of time when it was written that “Seabrook was looking better as of late” or something to that effect.

    So if you’re “relying on the raft of their individual talent that still has a pulse” not sure how Keith is on that list? Especially after he’s been prone to some pretty bad turnovers the past few games, has had every one of his weaknesses exposed on the PP (slow to make decisions/poor decisions, can’t find lanes, shins), has only had 1 positive Plus/Minus game in the past 8, and has only 3 points and 9 SOG in his last 10.

    For a player who’s supposed to be one of the top offensive, two-way defensemen in the league and who QB’s the PP, that’s not a pulse, that’s “flat-lining”.

    I dunno anymore, maybe I’m just being biased…

  • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

    I got some bad news for you McClure, it’s a mountain the Hawks aint gonna climb. IMO the Kings have learned from the two 3 game losings streaks they survived, and they are not going to let it happen in this one. Granted, Chicago is not San Jose or as we like to call them San Choke’. But you can watch this team get better with every series. I would contend that if the NHL gave Game 1 an extra day before starting, this series would be over. Merely speculating of course. I think the Kings have hit a gear the hawks can’t shift into & we will see it rachet up another level tonight.
    I’m going 94′ Mark Messier here & now w/o saying we cause I don’t play for them. But the Kings will win.

    • Jim

      Montreal won a couple of games after Price was gone, and I didn’t think it was possible. They even dropped a 7 spot on Lundquist, who seemed unstoppable.

      If the Hawks do manage a win here tonight, it’s the Kings who will have the pucker factor for game 6.

      • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

        If my aunt had a package, she’d be my uncle.
        Aint happening, not 3 times anyway.

  • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

    Kings win it tonight, too big too fast to strong.

    • PE-TER RE-GIN

      But how do you really feel?

    • CozBullsFan

      Be gone troll.

      • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

        That’s what we will be saying to you after tonight.

        • QCBlackhawk

          I’d spray you with a water bottle, but I wouldn’t want the fucking cops called on me.
          I know how hard you guys roll in LA

          • http://batman-news.com ockingfan

            I’m in the OC & I never let cops ruin my fun

  • QCBlackhawk

    guy’s back with a new name already? Sweet turnaround time, bro.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Once more into the crease, dear friend, once more, or close the slot up with our Blackhawk dead.

  • Oldfarthawkfan

    Sharp gone (this is not the only playoff year where he has “struggled”, seems like every year, Oduya gone, Handzus gone, Leddy gone (no trust from Q),

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Sharp? Prolly not. Though I wouldn’t mind if we got a 2C and a 4D in exchange.

      • birdhead

        The irony of trading Sharp for a 2C …

        • CozBullsFan

          Heh, with you on that.

        • QCBlackhawk

          I try to tell myself the only reason he’s not centering right now is that the injury making him awful these playoffs is the shoulder again.

          Whatever helps me sleep, I guess.

          • CozBullsFan

            This is a valid excuse for this year. What about the past years though?

          • QCBlackhawk

            There isn’t one. It’s dumb.

          • CozBullsFan

            Exactly!

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Dear Blackhawks. Whatever you do tonight, do it with class.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      Fuck that, win like assholes, win like cocky pricks, win like angry cunts, win like nasty nipples…just fucking win.

      Taint.

      • CozBullsFan

        We’re not Vancouver you know.

        • Jeff Lebowski

          We’re not choir boys either

          • CozBullsFan

            True. I’d prefer the Hawks win like they’ve been there before.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            I’d prefer that we fucking win

          • CozBullsFan

            As do I.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        But classy cocky pricks.

  • BC

    Surprised to read abt the Sharp dislike esp w the season he put together this yr

    • Oldfarthawkfan

      Not hate reality, he is 32 years old, his cap hit is not onerous for a team needing scoring, and he doesn’t produce in the playoffs,

  • PE-TER RE-GIN

    Let’s rock these fuckers.

  • Jim

    May there be no handshake line tonight.