Looking back to the way things stood on Friday morning, I was going to use this game between the Blackhawks and the Kings as a measuring stick towards a prediction on how far the Hawks would go. I might have already said this, but I anticipated a loss to the Rangers, and I also assumed the Kings would have won their game on Friday night. Both of those things happening would have set up an even more interesting match for last night's game. Basically, it would have put LA within close striking distance of helping to knock the Hawks down.
None of those things happened, and it sure does make me feel better about the Hawks chances this year. After beating the Rangers, I then saw last night's game as a statement game. With the newly acquired Oduya making a couple statements of his own, and making SB look like a genius, the back-end has started to seem pretty darn strong. I mean, when a guy like Hjalmer is your 5th guy, and he plays along Olsen, things look a little more kosher. This will be your starting defense rolling on into the playoffs, and I have to say it looks much more promising.
Now, we have an offense that is finding ways to win games without their captain carrying them on his back, which is also pretty promising for the day when Toews returns. Kane has been more consistent, and Bickell even decided to wake up a tad. The addition of Bollig to take Scott's place has added some depth, and even more grit, and we all know how Bolland shows up in May. What I have seen lately adds up to a lot of possibility for a deeper playoff run than recently thought possible, if and when Toews returns. Of course, Emery plays into that as well.
From what I gather, the Hawks played a solid game last night. Unfortunately, I only caught the first 10 minutes, which involved Emery keeping the Hawks alive. I know that the Hawks went on to outshoot the Kings by a pretty large margin, so the game must have turned in the Hawks favor at some point. I need all of you to fill in the blanks for me. Tell me what happened.
A first here, but why not? Lets let the readers break this game down for a change (not that you don't add a lot of awesome information all the time).