Kings vs Blackhawks Game 5: Ruining a Classic
Let me be honest right up top. A bunch of people loved this game, but I didn’t. The first overtime was exciting and very back and forth. Oooooh, ahhh, evenly matched teams for a chunk of time. Whatever.
The Kings had a terrible start and went down 2-0 early. One goal was a power play goal against thanks to very early penalty taken by Drew Doughty. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews may have dived, but who cares? Kill the penalty. The Kings didn’t.
The second goal against came at even strength after Quick stopped a Patrick Kane shot but missed the immediate rebound chance from Johnny Oduya. Pfft.
Luckily Jarret Stoll scored to make it 2-1, but the celebration didn’t last very long. Slava Voynov and Willie Mitchell made sure everyone knew that they planned on sucking through most of this game.
Here it is. It’s bad. Look at how bad they are during this:
So, the Blackhawks restored their two-goal lead. This time the goal-scorer was Brandon Saad, who is pretty good at playing hockey and the kind of person who actively follows in Kane’s footsteps by paying someone to give him a mullet. Style choices are on an alarming path these days, folks. Between the hair and the return of flannel to society in general, we’re so close to a “Clueless” remake.
Jonathan Quick proved that he can still save something sometimes by making a huge stop on a Toews one-timer. The rebound from that shot started the rush in the other direction. Marian Gaborik capped it off by scoring at the other end, because he’s so good that Corey Crawford practically stopped and watched, too.
During the second period, the Kings scored twice to put them up 4-3. Yay! Dustin Brown even scored again in this series, which should have been a sign of great things for the Kings. Instead, in the third period, Quick gave up another goal. The game stayed tied through the end of regulation, a really great period of overtime, and then Michael Handzus reminded everyone that he’s still sentient and scored the game-winner in double overtime.
Possession was back and forth in this game and finished really close. Blackhawks had the slight edge in Corsi; Kings had a little bump in Fenwick. Again, the second defensive pairing was very bad. Mike Richards and Trevor Lewis were also bad. All four of those players had 5v5 Corsi percentages below 40 percent and were all on the ice for the Handzus game-winner.
Ugh. Gross. Where was the coverage there? Put paper bags over your heads.
Actually, a lot of the bottom six were disappointing, including Justin Williams. Usually one of the best possession players in the game, Williams’ Corsi finished at a real diseased-looking 36.4 percent. Woooo! Get stoked! Quick continues to be hot and cold, and tonight wasn’t his worst performance, but that’s because he allowed 5 goals instead of 7. The bar is set so low that Richards tripped over it right after the last goal. Wait, that’s actually Quick.
Oh, and Kane had four assists, so now there will be roughly 75 articles about how he was miraculously thawed after being found cryogenically frozen instead of dead.
Sorry, frustration gnawing at me there.
The truth is that the Kings were still one goal away from clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. Let’s not lose sight of that. Good effort or whatever. I’m mostly annoyed by watching a team known for being great defensively put up an inconsistent performance in a clinching situation. I’m including the goaltender in this identity letdown.
Takeaway: don’t allow 5 goals. Win game 6. Later, losers.
KINGS VS BLACKHAWKS GAME 5: RUINING A CLASSIC