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The Morning Skate: Will Hossa and Hawks close out Kings?

Jun 8, 2013, 9:16 AM EST

Hossa

Previewing tonight’s Western Conference finals matchup and news and notes from Boston’s series-clinching win.

Game 5: #5 Los Angeles Kings at #1 Chicago Blackhawks, 8 p.m. ET (watch on NBC and live online) – Blackhawks lead series, 3-1

The Blackhawks will look to clinch their 12th trip to the Stanley Cup Final when they host the Kings at the United Center. Chicago is 8-1 at home this postseason, while Los Angeles is 1-7 away from home.

As Marian Hossa goes this postseason, so go the Blackhawks. Chicago is 6-0 when Hossa scores a goal, and 10-1 when he registers a point. In Game 4, his goal at 1:10 of the third period provided the winning margin in a 3-2 victory at Staples Center. Bryan Bickell, who leads the Hawks with eight goals this postseason, has at least one point in every game this series (three goals, two assists).

The Kings, who have won their last three Game 5s on the road when facing elimination (2001 and 2002 at Colorado, 2011 at San Jose), will need to increase their sense of urgency if they are to repeat that feat during their Cup defense year, and avoid elimination against the Presidents’ Trophy winners. It starts with captain Dustin Brown and the team’s leading scorer during the regular season, Anze Kopitar, who have combined for zero points and six shots on goal this series. Goaltender Jonathan Quick must also play better than he did during his last appearance at the United Center (Game 2), when he allowed four goals on only 17 shots and was pulled after 9:20 of the second period.

Duncan Keith, who leads all Blackhawks defensemen with ten points (one goal, nine assists), will return to the lineup after a one-game suspension for high-sticking Jeff Carter in the face in Game 3. Carter’s regular linemate, Mike Richards, will miss his fourth consecutive game with concussion-like symptoms.

If the Blackhawks win, they will claim the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for the second time in four seasons and host Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Final vs. the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins. If the Kings win, the series will return to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Monday evening, on NBCSN.

DID YOU KNOW?

22 of Marian Hossa’s 43 career postseason goals (51.2%) have put his team ahead in a game. Among players with 40+ goals, only Stephane Richer (29 of 53, 54.7%), Dale Hunter (22 of 42, 52.4%) and Mike Modano (30 of 58, 51.7%) have a higher percentage of goals that put their teams in the lead. (Elias)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Boston 1, Pittsburgh 0 (Boston wins series, 4-0)

The Boston Bruins finished a stunning sweep of the #1-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins with Friday’s 1-0 victory. Adam McQuaid scored his second goal of this postseason 5:01 into the 3rd period. It was the 15th goal of the postseason by a Bruins’ defensemen, most by any team in the 2013 playoffs. Goaltender Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for his second shutout of the series.

It is the Bruins 19th Stanley Cup Final appearance, and second in the last three seasons. For right wing Jaromir Jagr, it will be his third Cup Final, his first since 1992, when he was a member of the Penguins.

Meanwhile, the Penguins were swept in a series for the first time since 1979, when the Bruins defeated them in four games in the NHL Quarterfinals. Pittsburgh was shut out twice in a series for the first time since the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, and after going a combined 13-for-46 (28.3%) on the power play in the first two rounds, Dan Bylsma’s crew was held without a goal on 15 chances with the man advantage in the conference final.

Rask and the Bruins defense were near historic. They allowed just two goals in their series against the highest-scoring team in the regular season (3.38 goals/game) and first two rounds (4.27). Boston tied for the second-fewest goals allowed in a playoff series of 4 games or more. (Elias).

FEWEST GOALS ALLOWED IN A SERIES OF 4 GAMES OR MORE

Year, Round Team

Goals allowed

Opponent Series result
2003, WCF Mighty Ducks

1

Wild Anaheim won, 4-0
2013, ECF Bruins

2

Penguins Boston won, 4-0
2002, ECQF Senators

2

Flyers Ottawa won, 4-1
1952, SCF Red Wings

2

Canadiens Detroit won, 4-0
1935, SF Maple Leafs

2

Bruins Toronto won, 3-1

WCF = Western Conference Final                    ECQF/ECF = Eastern Conference Quarterfinals/Final

SCF = Stanley Cup Final                                    SF = NHL Semifinal

DID YOU KNOW?

Three of the four goal-scorers in 1-0 games this postseason have been defensemen.

Goal-scorer Team Game, Time of goal Opponent Winning goaltender
Mike Green (D) Capitals ECQF, Game 2, 8:00 (OT) Rangers Braden Holtby
Slava Voynov (D) Kings WCQF, Game 3, 4:56 (2nd) Blues Jonathan Quick
Derick Brassard Rangers ECQF, Game 6, 9:39 (2nd) Capitals Henrik Lundqvist
Adam McQuaid (D) Bruins ECF, Game 4, 5:01 (3rd) Penguins Tuukka Rask

WCQF = Western Conference Quarterfinals      ECQF = Eastern Conference Quarterfinals    ECF = Eastern Conference Final

LINKS

  1. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    I hope so!

    The bruins and kings have basically reduced hockey to a version of soccer. The result has been 60 minute games of both teams defense basically passing the puck back and forth while haphazardly waving sticks around to breakup passes.

    I hope Chicago beats the Kings soundly tonight and then breaks down the bruins “layers of defense” to the tune of 6-0 games over and over and over again. Not only for entertainment’s sake but for the sake of playmaking and free flowing hockey in general.

    • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      You do realize the Bruins are averaging more goals in this post season than the ‘Hawks right? But good luck with those 6-0 game predictions… I’m sure they will work out for you.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        I’m not making predictions. I’m just stating what I’d like to see happen. But I appreciate the support!

        Let’s Go Blackhawks!

      • gobucky1 - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        The Hawks also don’t give up 33 shots on goal a game like the three teams that Boston played averaged. It should be a hell of a series, but instead of upsetting the Hockey Gods, I’ll come back once our series is over.

      • chicagobtech - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        Right now, the Pens have the most goals per game than any other team in the playoffs. Just goes to show you it’s not how many you score, it’s when you score them.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        Ageed Chicago,

        Ok, so I don’t carehow you win the games as long as you do.

      • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I agree with all you Chicago fans and yes it should be a hell of a series if you can close out L.A. I just didn’t understand why ucanneverscore was comparing the B’s to soccer. Just because they have a defense-first mentality does not mean they cannot score.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        I compared the B’s style of play to watching soccer because after having played soccer, the only thing more mind numbing is watching the porfessional version.

        In both cases the majority of play occurs in the mid-field/neutral zone, the puck or ball is consistently worked back to the defense who then pass it back into the mid-field/neutral zone and scoring chances are often poor or nonexistent.

        For Bruins fans, I’m sure it’s wonderful. But, from an entertainment value standpoint skill is minimized, and God given ability is reduced to almost inconsequential. So Boston and LA have retarded the game into something a bunch of in shape 50 year olds could do.

        The only difference is that your players are in their 20’s and 30’s so they can do it faster.

        AND for what it’s worth, I would have felt the same way if I was boston fan and Bobby Orr and Esposito never existed. Without their ability to set up plays and score goals, hockey is no different than roller derby on ice skates.

      • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        So if the Bruins have turned the game into something “retarded” that 50 year olds could do, how do you explain them scoring more goals than your more free floating Blackhawks? Imagine what guys like Krejci (you know the leading scorer in the playoffs?) could be if their god given ability wasn’t dumbed down to nothing! Who would have thought a guy like Torey Krug could step in on the blue line and score some goals when all he’s supposed to do is receive back passes in the Neutral zone? I understand your pain playing against a Kings team that would love to try and win games 0-0, but Boston has way more offensive balance to their lineup than L.A. Lets just hope the ‘Hawks can close out the series and then you will be able to find out first hand. ;-)

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Big,

        My criticism has nothing to with the skill level of a guy like krejci or marchand or krug…etc.

        I simply hate the style of play. In fact, it’s not just LA an boston that promote this soccer style of play but the New York Rangers as well. Consider all the money New York spent on guys like Richards, Nash…etc………just to waste all that creativity and entertaining skill because Tortorella would rather see someone get hurt and someone get beat.

        It’s what makes the NHL irrelevant to the NFL, MLB and NBA. Minimizing the impact of skill relegates professional sports to highly paid drones.

      • bigt12789 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        I agree it’s not an entertaining style, and there is no denying that the B’s play a defense-first style, But they certainly don’t take it to the level of the Kings or Rangers where the style of play gets in the way of the skill players having any type of success on the offensive end. IMO (and its certainly a biased one) is that teams that can have that kind of balance are as entertaining to watch as any. Also it’s not like the Blackhawks free float all the time either… Their success has as much to do with solid D, good goaltending, and guys like Bickell busting their ass in front of the net.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        I agree with on your last point. And BTW I’m not a blackhawks fan.

  2. ineedmorehossa - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    I need more Hossa

    • chicagobtech - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      We all need more Hossa.

  3. tripps3 - Jun 8, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Yes

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