Hawks win over Kings just what the doctor ordered

Well that’s more like it.  No brutal injuries, no cheap shots, no controversy…just an old fashioned dominating victory. 

This is the Hawks team we’d grown used to seeing, and missed the last couple of weeks. 

The Hawks 3-0 win over the Kings might be their most important win of the year.  Last night and all day today, things were falling apart all around them.

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Jonathan Toews drives to the net

Brent Seabrook was injured, the Hawks lost the game in controversial fashion, and Joel Quenneville was ripped by Ducks GM Bob Murray. 

The recipe for another loss was there for the Hawks.  They very easily could have folded. 

Instead, the Hawks rose to the occasion and played a near perfect, if not always pretty, road game.  Every line looked good, including the 4th line which added 2 Tomas Kopecky goals and a fight from Ben Eager (hooray!)

Antti Niemi wasn’t busy, but he stopped all 17 LA shots, and recorded his 5th shutout and 19th win of the season. 

Most encouraging was the Hawks defense.  They stifled a tough LA offense without Seabrook, Kim Johnsson or Brian Campbell.  Dustin Byfuglien, who began his Hawks career as a defenseman, returned to the blue line for the first time all season after Seabrook’s injury last night, and looked very solid playing the whole game at D tonight.

All of these little victories in tonight’s win will make a huge impact towards the confidence of the team.  Another lackluster loss could have been devastating to the team’s psyche.

Last night, I challenged the Hawks to stop making excused, re-focus, and win.  They answered.

With this win, the Hawks move in to first place overall in the Western Conference. 

Two HUGE back to back games against the Phoenix Coyotes await.  They are one of the top teams in the NHL with 93 points.  That’s 3 points behind the Hawks (in 2 more games) and Sharks for the best record in the West.  Take four points, and you can put them in the rear view mirror, and being focusing on taking over the Sharks for playoff positioning.   

 

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