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Two Points Is As Two Points Does: Kings 1 - Hawks 3

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I should begin by saying that goalie wins count as much as any other win, and that's pretty much what this was, at least the last 25 minutes.  But we'll take it.  We knew the Hawks were going to be a work in progress for a bit, and however they scratch out points is just fine by me.  It'll provide a nice base for when things start to click, if they do. 

The first period was a pretty even affair, until the last five minutes (a continuing fucking theme).  The deadlock was broken when Jake Dowell took a nifty drop pass from Fernando Pisani (what?), broke down the goal line and had a centering attempt deflect off either Drewiske's or Harrold's stick and up over Bernier (who's going to be the real deal one day and I don't want to be here for it).  I thought the 1st was pretty even until the end, that won't be the last time I say that.  Sadly, the Hawks couldn't get out of it ahead after Duncan Keith simply loafed after a dump in like I do to a bill payment and let Justin Williams laser one into the top corner.  Take your time there, Duncs, no one cares really.

The 2nd again wasn't anything to write home about, except that I thought the first 15 minutes were about as defensively solid as we've seen from the Hawks this year.  It started off well after Keith -- surprisingly not trying to reenact Bobby Orr or fucking David Copperfield -- just fired one one net that Bernier left a juicy rebound to for Vik Rattlehead to pounce home.  What does this guy do wrong again? 

But the period would go haywire in the last five minutes.  I can't remember who made the one turnover in the zone, but from there the Hawks spent the entirety in their end.  They got out of it alive, with the help of Marty Turco.

The 3rd, sadly, was no different, as it became the fucking Alamo in our end.  What I will say is though the puck was there most of the time, I don't remember Turco having to make too many highlight saves to preserve the lead.  Finally, when a Hawks forward actually came down to the hash for a breakout (Patrick Kane of all people, I nearly had a brain bubble), it lead to a pass to Sharp which allowed him to completely strip Matt Greene and deposit the clincher.

Observations

-The Kings are very good, and will be.  However, the difference tonight is that the Hawks have a player the caliber of Sharp and they don't.  In tonight's Indian Q&A, Quisp from Jewels from the Crown answered our question about secondary scoring by saying the Kings are heavy on secondary scoring but low on PRIMARY scoring.  They have Kopitar, but it ends there.  Well, with the bevy of chances they could have put home tonight and didn't, that makes a lot of sense.  The Hawks barely had any in the 3rd, but one fell to The Shooter.  Game. Over.  The Hawks have been outplayed for a lot of their games, but have come out with a fair return of points because they have Sharp, or Hossa, or Toews.  And that's perfectly legal.  Most teams don't.

-Well, the difference was that and Turco.

-Going along with that, it's time we simply mention Sharp as one of the best goal scorers around.  Maybe not a Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, or a Stamkos (yes, Stamkos).  But in the class after that for sure.

-Duncan Keith is on drugs.  I don't know why he's attempting most of the crap he is, but he's got to stop.  Every time he tried a blind, backhand pass in his own zone, Quenneville should instruct that some of his hair be removed by blowtorch.  Knock it off.  And I don't want to hear about he's playing with new players, because he's still playing with banky Seabrook.

-I don't know how hard it can be to explain to forwards to stay in their zone for breakouts, but clearly it's not getting through.  If they don't fix this by December, McClure will be dead.

-One major problem?  The Hawks d-men aren't jumping into the play.  There are myriad reasons for this, but from what I can tell the Hawks are rarely carrying the puck into the offensive zone.  This seems to stem from them not breaking cleanly from there.  Watch them, and all those little touch passes that used to connect from their own half-boards to a forward headed out of the zone miss by a small margin now.  The puck may get out, but not on a stick.  The Hawks also fail to clear their zone at every opportunity.  When they do gain control it is after the opponent has had time to set up a blockade in the neutral zone, knowing we don't have the system together to get through cleanly right now.  Will this change?  I hope so, think so, but don't know so. 

-Hossa left in the 2nd with an apparent upper body injury, so I can only assume his arm fell off.

-Stalberg scored, had the second best CORSI on the team, and for that barely played in the 3rd despite being down Hossa.  I give up.

-Skille didn't do much on the top line, but I think it's worth more time.

Player of The Game

Turco, and I'm too tired for a photo or a joke.  Night