Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) blocks a shot by Chicago Blackhawks' Viktor Stalberg (25) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Sunday, March 11, 2012. The Kings won 3-2. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
With the Los Angeles Kings barely scrapping for a playoff spot, and the Blackhawks entrenched in 6th, it would take a series of curious events for the Hawks to see Jonathan Quick again this year.
That's certainly fine with us, and we're pretty sure it's fine with them.
While the Hawks on Sunday night were actually able to score a couple times against Quick, that still only makes for four goals in four games against him. And he made a couple ridiculous saves -- on Dave Bolland in the 3rd and Viktor Stalberg in the shootout -- that kept the Hawks from grabbing a second point.
As a result, the Hawks lost the coin-flip of an extended skills contest, and only get the one point.
As has been the case recently, the Hawks once again didn't start well. I don't know what that is -- coaching, players, bad luck -- but they found themselves behind after a terrible pinch and pass from Duncan Keith left Brent Seabrook facing a 4-on-1 against. Even a misfiring team like the Kings have to go well out of their way to miss that. And from there, the Hawks were battling upstream.
They managed to corral it pretty quickly, as after the first 10 minutes the Hawks took control of the game. But Quick always seemed to have an answer when he was asked a question, and some more Keith funnies put the Hawks behind again.
But just like those poor starts, the Hawks have displayed some true heart consistently too, and got back to level with a furious 3rd period effort. Just couldn't crack the ceiling on it though.
In the end, the point is valuable as it keeps the 7th placed Coyotes two wins away from the Hawks, and the trap door a little farther as well. The worrything thing is how iffy Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith were with the puck again last night, and how that gets solved if it's due to fatigue.
The positives are that the Hawks got contributions from elsewhere besided the top line, and even though he didn't scratch Dave Bolland was actually noticeable again. The penalty kill came up aces in the last two minutes of the game, and the Hawks haven't had a lot of big kills this season.
A win on Tuesday versus St. Louis, and a 2-0-1 homestand without Toews will look very fine indeed.