Sometimes these things happen. The play on the ice was fairly even, but Quick stood on his head to keep the Hawks off the board.
The Hawks did a nice job killing 6 minutes worth of minor penalties in the first, but could not capitalize on the two powerplays they were given, and we were scoreless after one. The Hawks did not bring the defensive intensity in the 2nd that was probably required after a scoreless first, and Corey Crawford made 14 of 15 saves in the period. The Kings potted their first, which was the eventual game winner, when Crow was unable to freeze a puck that Kyle Clifford knocked away from him, and Hunter made a nice drag move to free up space to bury one top shelf
LA added the insurance tally just over a minute into the third thanks to Justin Williams kicking Nick Leddy's skate out, which freed him up to take several shots in tight, and eventually Stoll skated in and cleaned up the mess on his backhand.
The third period was probably the Hawks best. The Men of Four Feathers put 18 shots on Jonathan Quick, but couldn't get the right bounces on rebounds, deflections, or blocked shots. The final 7 minutes or so included several quality chances for the Hawks, but unfortunately for the home team, Quick completed the shutout.
Digging up what I can
Q was unhappy with the non-calls on both Kings goals, here are his postgame comments:
"Both goals should have been whistled down," he said of the Kings’ scores. "Both goals should have been called something. Infractions on both their goals. Clearly the refereeing tonight was tough to watch." Quenneville said "goaltender interference" and a "slew foot" should have been called on the Kings’ goals.
- With regard to Q's complaints, I think he's half right. The second goal certainly was a trip/slew foot on Williams, but I don't see much of a problem with the first Kings goal. In any case, the defense on both tallies left a lot of be desired. On the first goal, the Dmen and forwards (Mayers and Fro specifically) lost track of the puck and Trent Hunter, leaving him with an easy goal. I'm sure there are some that will be frustrated with Crow's inability to freeze the puck in that situation, but I'd say that the bigger mistake is the rebound that he kicked into the slot on Hunter's initial backhander from the right side. On goal number two, Nik Hjalmarsson seemed content to stand by and watch Williams take several whacks at the loose puck. If that wasn't bad enough, he wasn't even close to preventing Stoll's backhand shot.
- The rebound on the first goal aside, I think this was Crawford's best game of the last three. Crow made several key saves, including: a big glove side save on Richards, the penalty shot by Richards, and a ridiculous post to post save on a Trevor Lewis tip. Who Q starts on Friday is anyone's guess. Crow had a strong game, but with the short win streak being snapped, Q probably thinks that it's finally safe to go with Emery. It's a constant battle with the hockey gods, no?
- Anytime the home powerplay wants to chip in, that'd be fine by me; 11 for 74 = 14.9%, good for 21st in the league. Now that I think about it, those sub par numbers probably don't even include tonight's 0 for 4. If that's the case, we can drop that number down to 14.1%.
- Another rough night for Sean O'Donnell; a team worst -9 CORSI in just 9:38 played. Q doesn't like Lepisto, nobody likes what OD is bringing to the table right now, and even Scott's biggest fans couldn't possibly want to see him logging 10-15 minutes a game in the playoffs. It might be a good idea to bring in a bottom 3 Dman before the 9 game road trip in February. McClure likes Josh Gorges, I like (a HungryHungryPanda original thought), whoever it is, just make sure that Q likes him.
- Anze Kopitar certainly hasn't proven himself to be much of a Hawk killer, good on Bolland and Marlboro 72 for keeping him pretty quiet.
Patrick Kane has points in 2 of his
last 3last 4, but it just doesn't feel like he's a difference maker right now. Hopefully, it's just the flu holding him down.
- While I'm going to be frustrated with a hole in the top 6 and one on the back end, this certainly isn't a panic game in any way, shape, or form. Jonathan Quick is one of the best young netminders in the league, and he had himself a game. On to Friday, when the Hawks welcome Scum into town for their first match up of the year.