Observations From Section 321 : One Tater Short

Blackhawks get outplayed by the Kings and lose it late the 3rd period, 5-4.

Let me start this recap with this; 24-4-3. It not is time to be hitting the panic button, at least not yet. Yes, last night was the worst game of the year for the Blackhawks. We have seen a handful of bad periods, but this was the worst 60 minutes of hockey we have seen this season. The Hawks were outplayed and pushed around all night long. They seemed to lose nearly every single puck battle, especially after the 1st period. The last two games, the Blackhawks team defense has looked like crap. The great start we all enjoyed was fueled by the overall defense, the very thing that has let them down of late. Again, I am not going to worry too much at this point. The Hawks are without one of their best defensive forwards, Marian Hossa, and are missing Patrick Sharp as well. As bad as the Blackhawks looked last night, they still had a 3rd period lead, that's good right?

Michael Frolik took full advantage of his time with the top line and got the Hawks on the board at 5:55 of the 1st period. The play was set up with a faceoff win, some nice puck movement from Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith and Taters getting to a good scoring spot on the ice. The Hawks looked good for the first half of the period but then the Kings started to take over the game. The Hawks got a break when Mike Richards was given a double minor for high sticking Viktor Stalberg, even though it was clearly on his follow through. Could the Hawks capitalize on the bad call? Nope, the clown shoes came out and killed any momentum the Hawks might have had. The power play unit could only muster up two shots on the four minute man advantage.

The 2nd period saw the Kings start to dominate the play and the puck possession. The ice seemed to be tilted one way for the majority of the period. Anze Kopitar tied the game with his 10th goal of the year at 4:21. The play was a bad break for the Hawks as the puck bounced off the linesman right back to Kopitar at the blue line. This caused Niklas Hjalmarsson to get turned around and Anze flipped a pretty wrist shot over Corey Crawford's glove hand, a theme for the night. Jared Stoll would give the Kings a lead with a short handed goal at 7:25. A two on one rush was aided when Andrew Shaw did a perfectly executed example of the "Stop. Drop and Roll" technique. Stoll was able to beat Crow, yep, you guessed it, high glove side. The Hawks would answer with goals from Frolik at 14:31 and Patrick Kane at 19:19 to grab a late 3-2 lead. Drew Doughty sucked the life out of the UC when he pretty much skated through everybody and the puck deflected off Dwight King's skate with just .5 seconds left in the period. What a giant kick to the crotch! Johnny Oduya, Viktor Stalberg and Hjammer all screwed the pooched by playing extremely poor defense and pretty much giving up on the play.

Jonathan Toews gave the Hawks the lead just 3:51 into the 3rd period by putting back a Frolik rebound. The play was nearly identical to the one Frolik scored his first goal on, except it came from the other faceoff circle. The Kings tied the game at 8:06 when Tyler Toffoli scored from just a few feet inside of the blue line. Crawford was screened by Nick Leddy and never saw the puck until it was over his glove and in the net. Captain America, Dustin Brown, scored the game winner at 18:33. Brown took a shot right off the draw that hit Oduya in the shoulder and bounced right back to him. Crow was still reacting to the original shot and had no chance to recover to make a save.

*Apparently Jonathan Toews can make anybody look good, well except for Daniel Carcillo. I was very happy to see Frolik have such a good night, he's earned it. I did want to punch him in the nuts for the flat out stupid penalty he took late in the 3rd period.

*As I mentioned earlier the Hawks were only able to get two shots on goal during their 4 minute power play in the 1st. They would get two more power play chances in the 2nd period where they failed to get a shot on goal. Only getting two shots on eight minutes of power play time is pretty pathetic. not to mention giving up a short handed goal as well. Missing Hossa and Sharp really showed up last night. The power play had scored four goals in the last five games before last night so hopefully they can recover tonight.

*Part of the problems for the power play last night was losing faceoffs. The Hawks only won one out of six draws with the man advantage. That has got to improve. So many power play goals around the league are created with faceoff wins.

* The Hawks actually outhit the Kings 31 to 30. I am not a big "hits" guy because the stat is very subjective. The Blackhawks are usually outhit because of their puck possession. The more you have the puck the more you are going to be hit. It doesn't surprise me they would lead in the hits category on a night when the Kings seemed to always have the puck.

* 8 giveaways by the Blackhawks last night. Yuck!

* This just in; Pat Foley loves Colin Fraser!

* Earth to Dave Bolland, come in Dave......

* Something is wrong with Johnny Oduya, please fix him. He seems to be a step slower than he was at the beginning of the season and is out of position a ton of late.

* We saw the full range of Drew Doughty in the final moments of the 2nd period. First he decided to gravitate to Jimmy Hayes allowing Patrick Kane to cruise in for a goal. Just seconds later we saw him skate by everyone to set up the game tying goal.

*Why does everybody hate Marcus Kruger? Nobody seems to get run at more than Frogger, but to his credit he doesn't back down from anyone.

* Still can't figure out why we haven't make a call up from Rockford. Brandon Bollig and Jamal Mayers? No thank you! What kills the Hawks' momentum more, a Bollig fight or a Blackhawks power play?

Thankfully, the Hawks won't have long to stew over this loss as they get right back at it tonight against the Calgary Flames. If they can't right the ship tonight my level of concern will double.....

Blackhawks Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 19:12 17 15 +2 -1 +2
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 17:50 12 16 -4 -4 -2
Brent Seabrook D 17:25 17 13 +4 -1 +4
Nick Leddy D 12:04 5 13 -8 +1 -8
Marcus Kruger C 10:30 5 8 -3 -3 -2
Jonathan Toews C 15:44 21 17 +4 +1 +4
Brandon Saad L 15:18 16 17 -1 +1 -1
Jamal Mayers R 6:53 2 4 -2 -1 -2
Viktor Stalberg L 9:28 2 8 -6 +2 -7
Johnny Oduya D 16:31 12 14 -2 -3 -1
Bryan Bickell L 11:50 8 7 +1 +3 -0
Michal Rozsival D 12:58 5 13 -8 0 -8
Dave Bolland C 13:11 8 12 -4 -6 -2
Jimmy Hayes R 12:42 8 12 -4 -4 -2
Brandon Bollig L 7:34 3 5 -2 -1 -2
Andrew Shaw C 11:21 3 7 -4 +2 -5
Michael Frolik R 14:28 15 14 +1 -1 +1
Patrick Kane R 16:17 14 15 -1 -4 +1

Kings Corsi numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Keaton Ellerby D 10:25 7 6 +1 0 +1
Jake Muzzin D 20:24 16 15 +1 +2 +0
Rob Scuderi D 16:53 16 12 +4 +3 +3
Drew Doughty D 23:05 19 20 -1 +1 -1
Mike Richards C 11:32 10 10 0 +2 -1
Anze Kopitar C 16:12 17 16 +1 +2 +0
Kyle Clifford L 12:57 9 4 +5 +1 +5
Justin Williams R 12:09 14 10 +4 +1 +4
Trevor Lewis C 13:11 9 5 +4 -1 +4
Dustin Brown L 14:54 14 11 +3 +3 +2
Colin Fraser C 8:03 9 4 +5 0 +5
Slava Voynov D 16:47 18 12 +6 +2 +5
Alec Martinez D 8:33 8 3 +5 0 +5
Jarret Stoll C 13:31 7 8 -1 -1 -1
Jordan Nolan C 7:00 6 4 +2 0 +2
Tyler Toffoli C 8:41 9 5 +4 0 +4
Dwight King L 10:53 9 12 -3 +1 -3
Jeff Carter C 15:08 14 13 +1 +4 -1