Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Four

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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The Blackhawks beat the Kings in LA, becoming the first team to do that in a long, long while. Marian Hossa scored 90 seconds into the third to put them up 3-2, and we all know scoring more than twice isn’t something LA really cares to do.

Said winner

Said winner was an absolute bomb of a one-timer from Marian Hossa off a Michal Handzus pass. One of my best coaches ever preached the early pass on the 2-on-1. Everybody always waits for the late play trying for the backdoor tap-in, but early on the d-man generally allows you that pass uncontested, and it makes the goalie move so at the very least he might be off his mark a bit. And hell, if you can shoot it like this…

…you should.

Dude can play

But you already knew that.

Chicago forward Marian Hossa has scored seven goals this postseason, a League-high six of which have given his team the lead (his other tally was a game-tying goal). Twenty-two of Hossa’s 43 career playoff goals (51.2%) have been go-ahead scores. That is the highest percentage among active players with 40 or more postseason goals and the fourth-highest rate in NHL history (also 40-goal minimum). The top three players in that regard are Stephane Richer (54.7%), Dale Hunter (52.4%) and Mike Modano(51.7%). (Elias)

More Quick-ness

You can’t fault Jonathan Quick for the loss. The Blackhawks early pressure was impressive, but he was equal to the task the majority of the time (save for a weak-looking knucklepuck of a shot from Brian Bickell). He made a particularly great rebound stop on the same player who beat him…Bickell. Sounds familiar, I know.

But on the other hand

Bickell doesn’t get stopped every time.

Chicago forward Bryan Bickell continued his postseason surge with his eighth goal and first multi-point game of the playoffs (1-1—2). Bickell’s eight goals are tied for second in the League (with teammate Patrick Sharp), while his 11 points rank third on the Blackhawks. He has recorded at least one point in each of the first four games of the Western Conference Final (3-2—5).

Kane scored

But not really. A Brian Bickell tip was trickling into the net when he extended himself to “help it in” (get the credit). Not that I blame him for doing that. It ain’t in ’til it’s in, so help it along, but it was going to be in.

Again?

Slava Voynov scored again for the Kings, this time with an unbroken stick, which ties him for the team lead with six.

Schoolyard hit

“You kneel behind him, I’ll push.”

Loose Pucks

The Blackhawks have won six of their last seven games

* Chicago held Los Angeles to two shots in the third period (9-2)

* The Kings suffered their first loss on home ice this year (regular season and playoffs) when scoring first (22-1-0)

* Los Angeles forward Tyler Toffoli picked up an assist and has 1-3—4 over his last three games

* Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick made 25 saves, including a beauty on Patrick Kane midway through the third period.

Tonight’s Action

Pittsburgh @ BostonGame 4, BOS leads 3-0, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS