On Sunday, when Los Angeles dropped a 2-0 decision to the Coyotes, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t happy. He was especially upset with his power play.
In postgame comments, Sutter called out his point men for not getting shots on goal. Sutter didn’t pull any punches, which is his way for the most part, and mentioned his players need to avoid getting their shots blocked.
Keep in my mind, at that time the Kings were ahead three games to one in the series, but Sutter still went out of his way to call out some players.
I wonder how many defensemen last season had more of their own shots blocked than Duncan Keith?
If memory serves me correctly, Joel Quenneville never publicly put the onus on Keith to get his shot through to the net. Different strokes for different coaches but players who are given the privilege of playing on the power play have to perform. Sutter certainly realizes the same.
By winning every playoff series so efficiently, the Kings should have a big advantage over whomever they play from the East.
Not to split hairs but…
Although the Blackhawks are at the top of the NHL in average attendance, which is close to 21,500 per game, this seemed a bit odd.
When the Hawks faced the Blues at the United Center on February 19 the attendance was 22,077, one of the larger crowds of the season.
Facing elimination in Game 6 the UC crowd was 21,636, which at the time struck me as being a little low. Maybe it is only matter of playoff tickets being more expensive and Coyote fans not traveling very well.
Possibly fan interest dropped off after the Hawks fell behind three games to one. Or maybe there is no significance in having a larger crowd in February than for a playoff elimination game. Either way, the attendance for next season will be interesting to keep an eye on.
Adding to an anxious off summer for the Blackhawks is the real concern regarding Marian Hossa’s condition. It has been speculated Hossa suffered a serious concussion after the vicious cheap shot be Phoenix forward Raffie Torres.
Even if Hossa returns 100 percent healthy for training camp, which is not a given, there is no telling what lingering psychological effects will remain. Hossa is 33-years-old and commented he has never had the same type of head injury before. Not only might Hossa’s long-term health be in question but it will be interesting to see if he can be the same dominant player once again.
Many were waiting for the Blackhawks to make an official statement in regards to the off season antics of Patrick Kane. Unless Kane is charged with a crime or requires some sort of treatment, most likely the Hawks won’t be issuing any statement. There is a school of thought which is used in politics and applies here. Never try to defend what doesn’t need to be defended.
Apparently because Kane wasn’t arrested and charged with a crime the Blackhawks probably think it is best to not say anything. There will be fans who look at not issuing a comment as trying to ignore the situation and in some ways that would be correct. Others who die out political fires and handle such awkward public situations for a living would concur with Hawks management.
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