Blackhawks Can't Keep The Kings Down, Lose In OT

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings made three separate comebacks in Game 7 to win in overtime.

Sunday night was proof of why nobody wants to go to Game 7 if they don't have to.  A weird bounce here, and fluky deflection there and your season is done.  The Blackhawks dropped Game 7 and now have to watch the Kings and Rangers play for the Stanley Cup.  It was a great series between the best two teams in the NHL.  They have nothing to be ashamed of but you can bet this will stay with them all summer long, which is a good thing.

The Blackhawks would strike first at 5:06 and course it was the dynamic second line who found twine.  Andrew Shaw settled the puck down behind the net, after Duncan Keith shot wide, and got it to Patrick Kane who found Brandon Saad below the right circle.  Saad quickly roofed a shot over Quick while pretty much standing on the goal line.  The Hawks would double the score at 8:36, with Justin Williams watching from the plexiglass prison.  Brent Seabrook took a shot that hit Kane and bounced right to Jonathan Toews' stick in front of the net for the easy tap in goal.  For the third straight game at the United Center the Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 and for the third straight time they couldn't make it stick.  The Kings got on the board at 16:31 when a Johnny Oduya whiff at the point led to a rush going the other way.  The rebound off a Dustin Brown shot bounced straight up, and Jeff Carter deflected it down into the net.  Justin Williams would tie the game less than a minute later. Michael Rozsival blocked a shot from the point by Slava Voynov, but the puck went right to Williams in the slot who didn't miss.  Patrick Sharp, yes that Patrick Sharp, gave the Hawks the lead back just 12 seconds later.  Sharp shot an on edge puck, from the right circle, and it bounced over the pad of Quick.

The 2nd period settled down from the breakneck pace of the 1st.  Tyler Toffoli tied the game 10:31 into the sandwich frame as another weird bounce found him all alone in front of the net.  The Hawks would get a 46 second two man advantage a couple of minutes after the Toffoli goal, but could not score.  They did get a late powerplay thanks to Trevor Lewis holding Andrew Shaw while he was in on a 2 on 1 with Niklas Hjalmarsson.  It would be Patrick Sharp who would get his second goal of the game when he ripped a shot from above the right circle past a stickless Jonathan Quick.

The Kings tied the game 12:43 into the 3rd period by doing what they have done all series long; throwing the puck on net and getting traffic in front.  Dustin Brown took a high shot that rebounded off of Corey Crawford's shoulder and Marian Gaborik was right in front to put the puck back in the net.

In a night of weird and whacky bounces, of course the game and unfortunately the Hawks' season would end on one.  5:47 into the overtime, Alec Martinez shot the puck from the point where it deflected off of Tyler Toffoli and then Nick Leddy.  And in the blink of an eye the season is over.

Not going to make my usual observations because, well who cares at this point?  There is a lot of anger flying around because of this loss, but goes to show how far this franchise has come.  I am dissapointed with this loss? Of course, but I am not angry.  You can't be angry with losing to a great team, in overtime, in Game 7 of the Conference Final.  The Kings earned this series and their shot at the Stanley Cup.  They are a hell of a team who just comes at you in waves and never quits.  Does that remind you of any particular team?  They don't call the Stanley Cup the hardest trophy in sports to win because it's just a cute saying.  This will not be the last time the Hawks will be in the Western Conference Finals, nor will last year be the last time they play for the Cup.  This is going haunt Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and many others all summer long and make them even hungrier come next season.  This isn't a team full of Cup chasers who will be gone next year. We have a dynamic core in place with some talent on horizon.  The future is very bright in Chicago.  Yes, this loss stings but it will be long forgotten by the time the Stanley Cup parade comes around,  And if you are still angry, just go to Hockey Reference and look up the teams from 2000 t0 2007 and that will make you feel better.

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Keith, Duncan

D

25:08

43.6

4.7

48.9

1.7

41.2

Hjalmarsson, Niklas

D

23:25

37.8

-6.0

41.7

-11.7

31.3

Seabrook, Brent

D

20:31

41.7

0.7

47.1

-1.9

47.8

Leddy, Nick

D

10:38

53.3

14.0

72.7

28.4

60.0

Sharp, Patrick

R

15:51

30.0

-17.8

31.0

-26.7

33.3

Kruger, Marcus

C

17:32

27.3

-23.5

29.0

-31.0

27.8

Toews, Jonathan

C

16:01

48.4

9.9

63.6

21.3

53.3

Saad, Brandon

L

18:08

64.0

29.5

63.6

21.3

66.7

Versteeg, Kris

R

03:44

0.0

-43.7

0.0

-50.0

33.3

Handzus, Michal

C

06:52

18.2

-25.7

14.3

-37.1

14.3

Oduya, Johnny

D

20:23

33.3

-12.4

36.0

-17.6

43.5

Smith, Ben

R

19:06

33.3

-13.5

38.2

-17.1

29.4

Bickell, Bryan

L

16:08

44.4

4.7

60.0

17.1

54.5

Rozsival, Michal

D

12:11

50.0

10.2

72.7

28.4

66.7

Bollig, Brandon

L

02:28

0.0

-43.7

0.0

-50.0

0.0

Shaw, Andrew

C

16:29

68.0

34.7

71.4

31.4

75.0

Hossa, Marian

R

16:45

41.2

-0.2

52.0

5.6

40.0

Kane, Patrick

R

18:41

66.7

32.5

66.7

25.0

81.8

Player

Pos.

ES TOI

CF%

CF% Rel

CF% Close

CF%Rel

Close

O/Dst%

Greene, Matt

D

10:34

83.3

31.6

75.0

28.8

62.5

Muzzin, Jake

D

22:59

45.9

-19.3

41.4

-16.3

50.0

Doughty, Drew

D

23:23

45.0

-21.7

40.6

-18.6

48.0

Richards, Mike

C

13:31

57.9

-1.3

50.0

-2.9

53.3

Kopitar, Anze

C

19:34

54.3

-6.5

44.4

-11.1

50.0

Gaborik, Marian

R

15:56

55.9

-4.1

44.0

-11.4

44.4

Clifford, Kyle

L

02:52

0.0

-64.6

0.0

-57.5

0.0

Williams, Justin

R

17:35

61.5

3.7

52.6

1.0

66.7

Lewis, Trevor

C

05:36

20.0

-44.9

16.7

-41.3

33.3

Brown, Dustin

L

16:30

61.1

3.6

51.9

0.0

57.1

Voynov, Slava

D

22:12

57.8

-1.6

51.5

-0.6

66.7

Martinez, Alec

D

12:00

76.5

25.8

65.2

18.7

57.1

Stoll, Jarret

C

15:09

60.0

1.6

53.3

1.8

61.5

Mitchell, Willie

D

21:10

55.3

-5.3

51.7

-0.2

62.5

Pearson, Tanner

L

14:30

64.3

7.5

57.1

7.1

53.3

Toffoli, Tyler

C

11:50

68.2

11.9

81.8

34.7

70.0

King, Dwight

L

16:27

74.1

20.4

69.6

24.7

63.6

Carter, Jeff

C

18:15

72.2

20.2

68.0

23.4

47.8

*all data collected from www.nhl.com and www.extraskater.com

Thanks to Jen, Stonecutter, Shoro and Randy for their help this season, you guys are lifesavers! And thank you all for reading, lurking and commenting all season long.  Don't go away during the summer, we have a lot of good things planned to keep us busy until October.

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