Blackhawks at Kings: Business as Usual Against Chicago
Watching the Kings play the Blackhawks felt like watching them bring bad road habits home. First period sloppiness in particular. The Blackhawks were playing their third game in four nights, on the second night of a back-to-back, and yet it was the Kings who looked like they had just been pushed on the ice mid-nap.
The first goal against came from Daniel Carcillo. A save made by goaltender Jonathan Quick saw the puck pop up into the air, but instead of giving the rebound time to hit him in his back and roll into the goal, Carcillo just played a little baseball.
The Blackhawks continued to set the pace for the period, own 68 percent of possession at even strength, up until the Kings went on the power play. The Kings started to get some rhythm going but couldn’t score with the Blackhawks down a man nearly twice in a row, and then after their second penalty expired, Brad Richards made it 2-0 thanks to familiar behind-the-net miscommunication by Quick.
During the second and third periods, the Kings actually got it together and had more possession than the Blackhawks. Jordan Nolan scored almost six minutes into the period, deflecting Jake Muzzin’s shot past Corey Crawford.
Since Carcillo was the person to score first for the Kings, it sort of makes sense that the person to prevent the Kings for handing the Blackhawks a shutout would be Nolan.
Despite sustaining the possession edge, the Kings never looked particularly dangerous. They had a few chances in tight that might’ve gotten them back in the game….
…but then didn’t.
Darryl Sutter actually pulled Quick sooner than 1:30 before the end of the period for a change, but Brandon Saad scored an empty-netter. Instead of quietly crossing the border into Losertown, the Kings let the Blackhawks pull them into ending the night with some scuffling, including Carcillo sort of fighting Brayden McNabb. Carillo doesn’t even know McNabb and doesn’t have a reason to fight, so that made zero sense. He waved in a way that people on Twitter loved, but who cares? Carcillo is irrelevant.
The three stars of the game were all Blackhawks players, which would be fine, except one of them was Michal Rozsival. I guess he got an assist, but more importantly he actually spent a whole chunk of the end of the game trying to fight Anze Kopitar, the best person in the whole world. Should that kind of behavior be rewarded? I don’t think so.
By the way, remember when Dustin Brown murdered Rozsival? Apparently his ghost is still around and upset at exactly the wrong person.
After the game, coach Sutter summed it all up pretty neatly.
“They’re the best team in the league and that’s clear,” Sutter told reporters. “Through the first two months of the year. If you give them two goals, you’re going to probably get your ass kicked. And that’s exactly what happened.”
Another day, another regular season loss against the Blackhawks. Oh, and Marian Gaborik is injured again. All in all, a fantastic Saturday night, obviously.