Things got a little fiesty, to the point we had an "Are we doing this?" goalie staredown last night. Pic is from @aaronward_nhl.

Things got a little fiesty, to the point we had an “Are we doing this?” goalie staredown last night. Pic is from @aaronward_nhl

Last season during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I put out a morning “noteworthy” column in the style of Trey Kerby’s “Things Of Note” posts on The Basketball Jones. This year I’ll be doing something similar (I think with some upgrades on my own previous attempts) using the NHL’s morning press release (“Stanley Cup of Joe,” they’re calling it), my own opinions, and some videos, .GIFs and appropriate pictures. Quoted passages are from the NHL press release.

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Hot Start

The Blackhawks had one hell of a weekend, beating the Kings 2-1 then 4-2 on back-to-back nights. But before you declare this series over…

Big difference

They haven’t played at the Staples Center yet.

The Blackhawks (8-1) and Kings (7-0) have the most home victories in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Neither team has more than two wins on the road this postseason (Chicago: 2-3, Los Angeles: 1-7).

Cause for concern

Mike Richards took an…interesting hit, we’ll say, from Dave Bolland at the end of Game 1. He then dressed for warmup the next night, but didn’t play. They’re claiming it was a healthy scratch of sorts, to which I say bullllllsh*****ttt. Not sure if he’s having head issues, shoulder issues or what, but if the Kings don’t have Richards, who does it all for them, this is a different series.

Unusual

Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick was pulled midway through the second period after allowing four goals on 17 shots. He had not been pulled from a game (regular season or playoffs) since March 14 at San Jose, a stretch of 30 consecutive starts. Quick had not been pulled from a postseason game since April 23, 2010, at Vancouver, a stretch of 41 straight playoff starts.

No more

The Kings set an NHL record for consecutive games giving up three or less goals. It was at 34, seven longer than the old NHL record. Obviously, that’s where it’s ending. That streak also belonged to Jonathan Quick, who was in net for all those games.

The Kings last seven playoff losses had been by scores of 2-1 prior to Sunday night.

Advantage…not LA? 

Going into this series everyone thought there was a mismatch in net, but Crawford’s been great.

Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford improved to 8-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .940 save percentage in nine starts at United Center this postseason. That matches his home win total from the entire regular season, when he went 8-2-3 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 13 appearances.

Kaboom

Brent Seabrook’s OT winner in the previous round may have gone of Kronwall’s skate, but his beautifully placed shot last night went in clean. I believe they call this “heavy.

Loose Pucks

The Kings lost for the first time in the last two playoff years when scoring at least two goals (22-1)

* The Blackhawks yielded a power-play goal on home ice for the first time this postseason (26-for-27, 96.3%)

* The Kings hadn’t played back-to-back road playoff games since April 8‑9, 1989, at Edmonton (lost both games)

* Chicago rookie Brandon Saad(0-2—2) and Los Angeles rookie Tyler Toffoli (1-1—2) both recorded their first career multi-point playoff games

* The Kings hadn’t trailed by more than two goals in a playoff game since April 21, 2011, versus the Sharks, a streak of 36 consecutive games.

Tonight’s Action

Boston @ PittsburghGame 2, BOS leads 1-0, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS

Comments (1)

  1. I’m not surprised by the Hawks’ play, but I am surprised at the King’s play. You have to believe that it will be a lot different when they are back on home ice. I’m hoping the Hawks have built some confidence up offensively, knowing they can get a few by Quick. It seemed that hot goalies frustrated the Hawks above all else the past few seasons.

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