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Blackhawks struggle to contain ‘That 70’s Line’ of Carter, Toffoli, Pearson

May 25, 2014, 6:03 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three Getty Images

Going into the 2014 Western Conference finals, it seemed like the Chicago Blackhawks would have to be most concerned with the Los Angeles Kings’ top line of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik. Instead, they’ve been baffled by the less familiar combination of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.

Considering their numbers (Pearson is No. 70, Toffoli is No. 73 and Carter is No. 77), The Royal Half coined the nickname “That 70’s Line.” Whatever you want to call them,* takes a look at how difficult they’ve been to stop lately.

“They both have a lot of speed, they’re skilled players. Pearson’s got speed as well,” Duncan Keith said. “They skate hard, they play hard and they both have good shots. Put all those three together, they’re going to be hard to play against.”

The numbers certainly back that up.

Carter has been the most explosive of the bunch. The 29-year-old has seven points in his last two games, a five-game point streak (five goals, five assists) and 19 total points in this postseason. Three of his points came in Saturday’s 4-3 win in Game 3, including this goal:

Toffoli, 22 and Pearson, 21, have four-game point streaks of their own. Pearson has a goal and four assists in this span while Toffoli found the net three times and added one assist in four contests. Toffoli’s goal from Saturday ranks among his best of what seems like a breakthrough run:

Jonathan Toews has been able to hold up his end of the bargain when he’s been facing Kopitar & Co., but the Blackhawks badly need the likes of Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp to step up or they’ll end up being grumpier than Red Forman by the end of this series.

* – It will be tough to top “That 70’s Line.”

  1. joey4id - May 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Hawks don’t have a solution for countering the Kings’ very effective d system.

    • blomfeld - May 25, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      As always, well said Joey ! :)

      The bottom line friends is that the Hawk’s are seriously ‘dazed & confused’ after our glorious counter attacks in games 1 & 2 … yes sir ! … and God willing that will continue to be the MO here eh ? :) Nonetheless, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that tomorrow night is our ‘biggest’ game of the year yet …


      • joey4id - May 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM

  2. blackhawks2010 - May 25, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Hawks penalties have been the difference. When your short handed, it’s not a good strategy for winning games…
    Hawks need to play smarter. The past 4 periods have been some of their worst hockey played this year.

  3. kcprof926 - May 25, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    Tough for Kaner to step up with Michael Handzus at center. He is now -7 in the playoffs which is absurd. Coach Q has to move Kaner up with Toews and bring Hossa down and healthy scratch Handzus.

  4. blomfeld - May 25, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    It will be tough to top “That 70′s Line” …


    As a former ‘disco’ man myself here in Vancouver (78-79) and present day ‘ardent’ supporter of the LA Kings, this story is truly ‘music’ to my ears ! Our 70’s line was pure ‘dynamite’ last night, as they took it to the Hawk’s ‘time and time’ again ! Yes sir ! The kicker however is that ‘all four’ of our glorious lines are rolling like thunder right now and hopefully that can continue … God willing. It’s like, did you guys notice the unflinching ‘fanaticism’ of Captain Brown late in the third period ? … or the lethal ‘aplomb’ of Drew Doughty on our 4th goal ? … and what about the unwavering ‘values’ of Alec Martinez as he ‘ceaselessly’ defended our blue line like it was the Alamo ? The bottom line as I see it friends, is that we’ve got a ‘good’ thing going here and so hopefully the DJ will now just let the records spin ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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