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PHT Morning Skate: Kings get second chance to finish off ‘Hawks

May 30, 2014, 8:15 AM EDT

Dwight King, Justin Williams, Nick Leddy AP

The Los Angeles Kings have yet another opportunity to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final and the Chicago Blackhawks have another opportunity to stay alive.

This time around, if they pull off a victory, it’ll mean a Game 7 back at United Center.

GAME 6: Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks [Los Angeles leads series 3-2] (9:00 p.m. ET – NBCSN)

It hasn’t exactly been a goaltending showdown in the West. After watching Henrik Lundqvist and Dustin Tokarski look like world-beaters in the East, what we’ve seen out of Corey Crawford and Jonathan Quick hasn’t been at all impressive.

Of course, impressions can all be altered in a game and we’ve seen enough highlight reel stops from both goalies to remind us that they can be big factors. One thing both Crawford and Quick could stand to use is a stiffer effort from their defenses.

We’ve seen great offense generated in L.A. by Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin and we saw Chicago’s defense pick things up in Game 5 with Brent Seabrook and Johnny Oduya, but helping stop opponents would do a lot of good. With how loose this series has been, you know it’s driving both Darryl Sutter and Joel Quenneville bonkers.

If there’s one thing the Kings desperately want to do it’s to avoid playing a Game 7 back in Chicago.

What to watch: Whether or not Kris Versteeg suits up for Chicago. Versteeg had a terrible Game 5 and found himself watching more than playing in the third period and through overtime.

  1. patthehockeyfan - May 30, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    GKG!!!

    It would be fantastic to see a Quick – Lundqvist match-up. Something for the record books.

    P.S. Both Sutter and Quenneville already are bonkers. I guess, though, that there are degrees of bonkerism. (Is that a word?)

    • comeonnowguys - May 30, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Should the Hawks fall, I will keep you in mind and count to 10 before setting the comments ablaze.

      You are a good egg, Blom. ;)

  2. comeonnowguys - May 30, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Have the Hawks had s single game this series without a blatantly stupid penalty? They can’t have any tonight and even hope to win.

  3. doknyc - May 30, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    doesnt matter.. the rangers won the cup by beating MTL…

    im just kidding… weeks of flyers, penguins and habs fans have screwed my head up … either team will be a great cup final, best of luck to both of you… im more partial to the hawks, original six matchup… but looking forward to wednesday, get there healthy!!

  4. joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Most of the teams I selected to win a series were chosen because they had the better goalie, and for that reason I’m selecting the Kings to close out the series tonight.

    • avscup - May 30, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Hard to argue that! Crawford has not been so good but I hope he stands on his head tonight! Another game seven is what we need! Then I don’t care which team goes to the SCF! Me thinks the west will mop up the Rags!

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        I like the way you think. Then, Go Hawks! :-) Game 7 please!

      • avscup - May 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        👍👍👍

    • chicagobtech - May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      What’s your metric for determining the better goalie? Both goalies have numbers that are very close, with Crawford having a slight edge.

      Crawford: GAA: 2.38, Save%: .917, Record: 10-7 (.588)
      Quick: GAA: 2.75, Save%: .909, Record: 11-8 (.579)

      • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Assessing a player for me is not only about metrics. You can’t ignore them, but they can’t be the only factor to consider. You’ve got to look and assess performance in each game, on each goal, and each save. You’ve got to consider the game situation, and circumstances. When assessing a goalie I look at what led to the goal or the save. Against whom the save was made. Who scored the goal. How the goal was scored. How the team in front of the goalie is structured, and the quality of those players. Many times a goalie will make the save, but it wasn’t as clean as it should have been. Ex: unable secure the puck after a save. unable to direct the rebound to the corners. In other words, who is the better technically sound goalie. I believe it’s Quick. Ex: Crawford struggles with shots on the glove side. If the shot doesn’t beat him he doesn’t react as quickly as Quick, and many times the puck will go off a part of his glove which leads to a rebound when in fact it should have been in the webbing. Ex: I don’t remember one shot to Lundqvist glove hand that didn’t end up in the webbing in the series against Montreal.

      • chicagobtech - May 30, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        Interesting…interesting. So let me set up a hypothetical for you:

        Game 6. Both Crawford and Quick get pulled after the second period, as neither player can stop the puck. Crawford gives up five goals to glove side (his oft-cited weakness) to third and fourth liners on rebounds. Quick, on the other hand, faces the same number of shots from the Toews and Kane lines and also lets in five goals. Let’s call them top shelf shots, which is where his weakness appears to be.

        Both goalies faced the same number of shots. Both goalies let five of them past. Would you say Quick was a better goalie because better players were able to score against him?

        As an aside, everything you described is a metric. I think you confused my request for your metrics of analysis (thanks for providing) with statistics, when you said it’s not only about metrics.

  5. tfilarski - May 30, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    #freemornin

  6. hockeyornothing - May 30, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Or free Morin !

  7. comeonnowguys - May 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    #jailBollig
    #jailVersteeg
    #wakeupSeabrook
    #healSharp
    #leashShaw

    • tfilarski - May 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      i really don’t think sharp is injured at all. obviously, i could be wrong but i think it just comes down to the fact he is really out of gas. he played in all 82 regular season games and the olympics (minutes are even longer on the bigger international ice). he is usually good for missing 1/4th of a season with injury so he is well rested for the post season.

    • comeonnowguys - May 30, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      We shall see with the report. But he hasn’t been the same since Orpik game and he and Shaw went for retaliation on the same guy. He was injured in that hit.

      I would be shocked if it were lower body, he had good wheels last game.

  8. cheggy1731 - May 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I’d like the Hawks to play morei like they did in game 1 and two periods of game 2. They took away most of the shooting and passing lanes and NBC showed the frustration of the Kings. Come on Hawks .. bring it home for game 7 !!!

    • joey4id - May 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Do you think the Kings were at their best in game 1? Consider that they had just played a game 7 on Friday, traveled to Chicago on Saturday, and played game one on Sunday afternoon. All the while the Hawks had been off and resting at home for 4 days.

  9. blomfeld - May 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    THIS IS IT …

    Friends, just think back a few months ago. Who would have thought that we Kings would be here today, only ‘one’ win away from a return to the big dance ? … of course ‘yours truly’ thought that and he told you so in ‘no’ uncertain terms eh ? :) But that’s beside the point, as tonight represents ‘everything’ that we all could have ever hoped and dreamed for. Have a great day friends and we’ll see you at the top ! … comrade Blomfeld :)

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

    • constantrevolution1 - May 30, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Quotation-Marks-Correctly

    • chicagobtech - May 31, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      Hey Blomfeld, thanks for using a song inspired by the train that connects New Orleans with…Chicago!

  10. slysipops - May 30, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT TONIGHT’S GAME …………………. John Jaeckel
    Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
    Follow JJ on Twitter @jaeckel

    There’s really not much more that can be said or even amplified about tonight’s Game 6 of the NHL Western Conference Finals.

    It’s an elimination game for one team; for the other, a chance not just to survive, but to turn the tide of the series in their favor.

    One team won the Cup two years ago, the other has won 2 Cups in the last four years. So to an extent, Dynastic bragging rights are potentially on the line.

    The Blackhawks not only won an epic double overtime game 5, but they might have laid the groundwork for coming back in the series. Head Coach Joel Quenneville tweaked his lines and changed his top 2 defensive pairs and got the results he wanted—out of those units.

    But tonight is a different story. The Hawks go into a tough building where they won in last year’s WCF, but haven’t done so in this year’s version.

    Here are my keys for the Hawks to win this game:

    1) Corey Crawford has to play better. 2 goals or less please. Because . . .
    2) The Hawks can’t go in to a shell. The forwards need to be able to use their speed to get pucks and bodies around and behind the Kings’ slower defensemen. In particular . . .
    3) Brandon Saad needs to bring it like he did in Game 5. If he does, and Crawford holds the fort, the Kings are going to have their hands full.
    4) The Hawks must keep the Kings somewhat back on their heels. The Kings are a considerably faster team than they were a year ago. This was the difference in games 2 through 4 of the series. They had the Hawks back on their heels. Or they caught the Hawks too far up ice.
    5) The Kings’ will try to stop the Hawks between the bluelines, Obstruction or no, it isn’t being called. Nor apparently is holding the stick. The Hawks must quickly recognize which side of the ice the Kings are pressuring and get the puck quickly to forwards on the opposite side of the ice.
    6) Patrick Kane had a really strong Game 5. The Kings will try to put bodies on Saad to stop him. If they do, Kane must pick up the slack or draw pressure away from Saad. Can he? Yes, this is Patrick Kane we’re talking about.
    7) Darryl Sutter acknowledged after Game 5 that the Saad-Kane lines gave his team fits, but made no noises about changing who he matches up against them. The reason being, he can’t. Any adjustments he makes as such would open things up more for the Jonathan Toews line. If the Hawks get some production our of the Toews line, or the kind of pressure they got in Game 5, all the better. It just puts more matchup pressure on the Kings.

    The Kings have improved their forward depth and speed greatly since last year, but not so much their defense. Quenneville’s game 5 adjustment, basically re-mixing his top 4 D, underscores the luxury he has of essentially two top shutdown pairs. The Kings aren’t quite there. So if Quenneville can roll two very dangerous lines, as he did in game 5, it virtually negates Sutter’s home ice last change advantage.

    The pressure is on the Kings. If the Hawks pull off a win tonight, they have all the momentum and likely a proven (by that point) matchup advantage for Game 7 back in Chicago. Although, let’s face it, it’s the Hawks who are facing elimination in defense of the Cup—and a shot at the first dynasty in the post-salary cap era—on the road against a very, very good team.

    More tomorrow.

    JJ

    • slysipops - May 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      GO HAWKS GO !!!! NO GUTS …NO GLORY !

      • slysipops - May 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        ADD TO THAT ………………. GO BLACKHAWKS !!!!

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