You’ll never believe it but the Hawks are usually pretty successful when their best players mark the score sheet. Facing a 2-1 deficit heading into the third, Patrick Kane, Jonthan Toews, Artem Anisimov and Teuvo Teravainen all factored in goals and the Hawks outscored the Kings 3-0 in the final frame.
What made it more impressive was how well the Kings were playing up until that point. The second period, in particular, was a clinic in disciplined defensive hockey. The Kings were outnumbering the Hawks any time the Hawks entered the offensive zone. This led to a style of play that was hardly appeasing to the eyes.
If playing that type of defensive game was easy, though, everyone would be doing it. All it took was Kane’s goal early in the third to change the complexion of the Kings structure and then it seemed like the Hawks were getting an odd man rush every shift.
Kane and Teuvo and Toews and Ansimov later, that was that.
–I suppose I should start with Marko Dano since he was the spotlight of my recent Fireside Chat. Dano was much more active without the puck than any point of the preseason and it certainly seemed like he was more anticipatory than reactive.
When he’s on a line with more experienced players, that’s when things should really open up for him.
Ryan HEART MAN, though. Don’t think we’ll be seeing him around anytime soon. HEART MAN had a pretty bad giveaway at the defensive zone blue line in the second period that led to the Kings getting extended zone time. Joel Quenneville was patient with him after that and continued to give him a regular shift.
He made a similar mistake in the third period when he tried a cross-ice pass from deep in his own zone and that was the last straw. After that, Quenneville wasn’t so patient. With 9 minutes left in the game, the Hawks went to 11 forwards.
–Speaking of guys responding to a benching, Viktor Svedberg played a better game based off the eye test and advanced analytics. Svedberg was benched for a long portion of the third period against Minnesota after their fourth goal. Tonight, Quenneville tried protecting him with cushy starts and/or getting him on the ice after the Hawks established possession.
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not very fun to watch Svedberg play. He looks goofy as hell out there but against a team like Los Angeles, he can be a real weapon because of their blunt force approach. No one is going to blow his doors off and the north-south approach makes it easy for him to get his stick in shooting lanes.
–Artem Anisimov has solid offensive instincts for sure but what has Joel Quenneville head over heels with him is how tight his defensive game is. There was a sequence in the second period that stuck out for me when the Kings were trying to establish possession in the Hawks end.
The puck circled back to Anisimov’s man and his coverage was so efficient, that with one hand on his stick, he was able to chip the puck off his man’s stick and then angle him into the boards so that he was no longer a factor in the play. The Hawks gained possession and then headed out of their zone.
And now for some quick hitters:
–Trevor Daley and Erik Gustafsson barely combined for 21 minutes of ice.
–So wait, if Teravainen skates with someone other than Bryan Bickell, he doesn’t look like a 13th forward? Weird, I know.
–The Kanebot thanked the fans three times during his post-game interview with CSN. Probably time for Ozymanidas to send him in for a tune up.
–If Dustin Brown is named to another Olympic or World Cup Team USA, we may as well lead a secession from the Union.
–It’s becoming increasingly easier to complain about Andrew Shaw but when you see the Kings throwing out a 4th line of Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff and Nawgonna Playhere, maybe things aren’t so bad.
This wasn’t nearly as big of a win as it was being bandied about after the game but it definitely beats the alternative. Sitting at .500 and starting off 0-3 against the West would have been less than ideal.
The Filth arrives Wednesday. Going to need to look something like this if they want to at least draw a point.