We’ve Got The Neutron Bomb – Kings At Blackhawks – Preview/Pregame Thread/Coming To Jesus

King Jerry Lawler  @  oldschool

Game Time: 7:00PM CDT
You Bet That I’ve Got Something Personal Against You: The Royal HalfJewels From The CrownBattle of California

After two pretty thrilling games, things now end up on back on Madison for one final showdown as the Hawks were able to upset the Kings in LA on Friday. The big question is simply – how much do the Hawks have left in the tank?

As Fels stated after Wednesday’s game, the Hawks were running in the red for just about the whole game. And of course they did with with largely only 9 forwards. Things were more of the same Friday night. Bollig played only 6:46, Handzus only 9:25. Patrick Kane meanwhile played 20:40, more than any other forward and more than even Seabrook. It certainly didn’t hurt his game in the third though.

In two games where the Hawks have pushed themselves to the limit, they’re going to have to go even further tonight. And they’re still likely doing it with just nine guys up front. The lines from a light skate this morning are:


So yeah, Versteeg is back in there over Regin but at least that’s better than Brookbank playing on the fourth line… maybe?

We’ve wasted enough time talking about the fourth line though. It’s not going to change and they’re mostly going to be stapled to the bench however this game plays out. The comforting fact is that we’ll still have Saad and Shaw skating with Kane. When they’re unleashed, it’s a struggle for the Kings to keep up. They essentially nullified the Kings advantage on the second line which was what was killing them in the first 4 games. Putting together that mixture of skill with the speed they now have makes life hell on the Kings defenders. The forecheck is getting to the pucks and causing mistakes (look for more failed clearing attempts from the Kings if it keeps up) and they’re getting beaten to rebounds. If the Kings play a forward and defender coming out to attack Kane, all he really needs to do is throw it on net where Shaw and Saad have been causing problems. It could be that we see Drew Doughty coming to take on Kane. It’s worked in the past. But that leaves a much weaker second pairing against Toews and Hossa.

And when we start talking about rebounds, we clearly have to focus on the goalies. Neither of them have been great this series. Crawford has come back down to earth from his highs in the first two rounds and Quick has looked somewhat pedestrian. He’s making big saves when it counts though. There’s been several in each of the games, some of which likely either kept the Kings in it or damn near gave them the win. If the Sharp or Seabrook were able to convert on their prime chances, we may not be facing this close of a series.

That’s not saying Quick is responsible for the wins directly though. They haven’t been games he’s stolen just where he’s able to show his brilliance in the right spot. I’m not counting on a goalie battle tonight since both goalies have combined to give up 16 goals in the last two games.

If there’s anyone that could really easily be the difference maker though, it could be Patrick Sharp playing on the third line. We written many times about his struggles so far this post-season but there were flashes from him on Friday that makes me think he’s either getting better or not caring about the pain he almost certainly is in. Lined up with Kruger and Smith just screams “bum-slayers”. Sharp had one of his better games possession wise Friday. If there’s anything left in his tank, now is the time to go all out.

This is going to be a game of mistakes. Whoever makes the least is pretty likely to come out on top. The Hawks may have the advantage the last few games in the strength of play but the Kings have still shown that they can and will jump on top of any mistake the Hawks give them. Seabrook hesitates getting to the puck behind the net and Zus is out of position again – that’ll be a goal damn near every time. So the key, as always, is to play hard and fast but also to play as smart as you can. And yes, that still means staying the hell out of the penalty box. The Kings PP hasn’t reached its lights out status it was humming along at for most of the series against the Ducks and the first 4 games of this series in the last two. If the Hawks win the special teams battle, they can win the game.

So there’s numbers and trends for both teams to feel comfortable about. The Kings have won two Game 7’s already this year, both on the road. They have slightly more experience than the Hawks in general when the series goes to 7. And we all know the Hawks record in elimination games the last few years. It’s unstoppable force meeting immovable object. Something will have to give. It’s not going to be a fun ride. Fels and I may end up throwing punches at each other before it’s out but lets hope for our season to continue.

Let’s Go Hawks

If you’re heading to tonight’s game, make sure you pick up a copy of our game program outside the U.C. If you aren’t, you can get the PDF right here:

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    Hi, I’m the Elder Gods from Mortal Kombat. FINISH THEM

  • Michael Scott

    It is always consoling to think of suicide: in that way one gets through many a bad game.


  • Stockroom Snail

    “Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to
    persevere to save yourselves, and to save all those who rely upon you.
    You have only to go right on, and at the end of the road, be it short or
    long, victory and honor will be found.”

  • bsatestb

    The Red Viper vs The Mountain.

    • TheRealBBOX

      The Blackhawks are the Red Viper, right?

      And the Red Viper wins, right?

  • Björn

    This is all I’ve had going through my head since we won Game 6…

    “Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise, arise skaters of Quenneville! Hands shall be shaken. Sticks shall be splintered. A long day, a RED day, ere the sun rises!”


    • Oregon_hawk

      So who is who….

      • Björn

        The Hawks are Rohan, seeing as how I used Quenneville in place of Theoden…

  • CozBullsFan
    • YoAdrienne

      Oh, my! I wonder who NBC would get to replace him if this were to happen.

      • 2883

        Brian Engblom

        • Oregon_hawk


      • teuvosimple

        an inanimate carbon rod?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Is this for real life or a new NBC sitcom?

      • CozBullsFan

        Questionable source, but funny none the less.

  • ballyb11

    Let’s Go Hawks!!!

  • JDH

    Another spectacular, intelligent post riddled with composition errors. I think you guys are brilliant and have a million and one fantastic and insightful things to say about this Chicago team, but please, please, please do some goddamn editing for grammar and spelling so that the hockey wisdom you offer isn’t continually lost in countless re-reads and inductive guesswork. Cheers!

    • Nobody’s perfect. I had to write this plus do a ton of other computer work. I did re-read it but didn’t catch everything I guess. Feel free to point it out and we’ll edit it. I don’t have time to do it on my own.

      • 2883

        There are a couple that I noticed, but I just don’t care enough to quote them for them to be fixed, the meaning of what you wrote wasn’t lost as a result of the typos.

        • 2883

          PS I don’t mean for you to think I care or think any less of the writing here. I just was pointing out that for me (as a reader) typos don’t bother me unless they affect the sentence in a real way.

      • Bruno_the_Blackhawk_Cat

        I agree with Digits below; if I even notice a typo, I figure out what you meant and immediately forget about it. However, there is a website, http://irregardless.ly/, where you can paste a block of text and have it do some style checks on it. I haven’t used it much, but hope to in the future. It is customizable for what “rules” to apply, so it won’t strive to make you sound like a snooty, British twit (insert Monty Python reference of your choice) unless you want to. Just a thought.

        • I’ll look into that. Thanks!



    • Oldfarthawkfan

      I have been watching, playing hockey for about 50 years, I understood perfectly, and since you think you are the second coming of Sam Pollock and Toe Blake, who would you play instead?

    • Jim

      Lick my ballz

    • chichicagochi

      Great, the TOS just opened a volunteer editing intern position.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Editing errors in an amateur sports blog?

      Oh my fucking doG!

  • JDH

    If the Kings win tonight, it is likely they will have a Seabrook gaffe in front of the net or a Versteeg turnover in the neutral zone to thank for it.

    • rhodes

      Jesus. Between this post and your previous…. You must be regular riot at parties.

  • guesthouse

    I think we’ve just been spoiled the last few years with the ability to roll four lines. 20:40 of ice time isn’t really exorbitant for a one of your three best forwards, even though he’s technically on the second line.

    • Jim

      I wanted to see The Accountant and Regin again. Bollig and Versteeg?

  • Yoder

    The Ultrasphinx!


    So THIS is the Night of the Hossa. I was just a couple days off, I’m sure.

    Actually, let’s just make it the Night of the ‘Hawks.

  • merkinmuffy

    Win or lose, this has been a great run for the Hawks!

  • ChiCityKyle

    I hate that paypal is the only option…Ef paypal.

  • Guest

    Released some stress via .45 cal. therapy, shooting paper bad guys. Better now.

  • CornelisonsFlagPointer

    Sorry y’all, that’s my post with the shooting range target. Disqus is giving me major agita even before everyone gets here.

    • 2883

      Looks like 95-97% of the time the guy will not be faring well, but there are those two bullets outside the critical mass…

  • Dan D

    Hoping for a good game from Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Krueger.

  • Bruno_the_Blackhawk_Cat

    Here’s to Crow rockin’ the Mad House. I know I’ll be chanting CROOOOW on many occasions!


  • JHVH

    Hadn’t listened to this in years.


    Thanks, Killion.

  • wowwowweewoo

    I’m really so tired of complaining about this 4th line. I get that Bollig and Steeg will be pretty much stapled to the bench, but what exactly is he expecting out of that line for the 6 minutes they’ll be given? With Steeg’s bum knee, that line will be one of the slowest iced on a Hawks roster since Andrew Brunnette. I just can’t see them flying out to the point on the defensive side, and Steeg is too undersized to be effective in the cycle or below the goal line on the offensive side. It’s basically just a bunch of guys with no complementary game. I’ll probably scream every time they’re on the ice tonight.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      ‘…what exactly is he expecting out of that line for the 6 minutes they’ll be given?’

      Nothing but the six minutes the second and third line won’t be skating.

  • HarryBalzonya

    I’m getting out my trusty Kopitar voodoo doll and hammering him in the nuts as always.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Stab a few pins in your Quick doll, too.

  • rhodes

    This line up screams “I’m going with only 3 lines tonight.” I’d be shocked to see anyone on that 4th line with greater than 6 mins TOI (maybe Zus if PKs, but that would be a bad sign).

    But, you know, I kind of like it. Just keep it from going to OT cause those guys are going to be gassed.

    • 2883

      Zus will probably get some time with the others too.. They’ll roll 10 F’s

      • rhodes

        I wouldn’t mind that. Zus is generally a responsible center. Slow, responsible…kind of boring…like me.

    • Bruno_the_Blackhawk_Cat

      I like the attitude. Q’s gonna do what Q’s gonna do, so bask in his 2-cup wisdom. 😉

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    We must have bloody noses and crack’d crowns,
    And pass them current too. God’s me, my skates!

    • 2883

      I must have drank too much the only thing I read was crack’d Crowns.

  • Bruno_the_Blackhawk_Cat