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NHL Chicago Blackhawks

2013 NHL Playoffs: Chicago Blackhawks Take Game 1 Despite Jonathan Quick’s Efforts

Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

It took nearly half the game before the Chicago Blackhawks figured out how to beat Jonathan Quick from the Los Angeles Kings. Up until that point, Quick had gobbled up everything shot at him. In the first period alone, he faced 17 shots and turned all of them aside. That’s actually not a correct statement and should probably be clarified. Quick didn’t turn them aside, but rather caught them and held onto them. Just about everything sent his way was held onto or given to a teammate. It wasn’t until Patrick Sharp got a nice rebound off Quick’s blocker and was able to put it past the goalie. Less than four minutes later, Marian Hossa also found the back of the net and that’s how Chicago beat the Kings 2-1 in game one of the Western Conference Finals.

Quick did exactly what was expected of him during this game. He allowed two goals but Chicago took 36 shots. This game could have been a lot worse for the Kings if it wasn’t for the play-making ability of their goaltender. He seemed to be seeing the pucks really well all night. He had the big mistake that allowed Sharp to get a rebound and score. Other than that, Quick was near perfect. Corey Crawford, the Chicago goalie, only faced two shots in the first period and one of them scored. However, that stat is a little misleading due to the fact the puck was ricocheted into the net off a player in front of Crawford.

From the very beginning it was quite obvious what the game plan was going to be for the Blackhawks. They wanted to attack the L.A. zone and attack it with authority. Outshooting the Kings 36-22 seemed to show that they feel the only way to beat Quick is to throw the puck his direction as much as possible and hope for a lucky bounce or a big rebound. This strategy worked in game one, but will it work in game two is the question. The good thing for Chicago is the Kings don’t have a lot of time to make adjustments. Game two happens on Sunday evening in Chicago before the series heads back to L.A. for games 3 and 4. The Kings are hoping for a split out of these first two games and if that’s going to happen they are going to have to find a way to get Quick a little more help in their zone. If they can’t and Chicago keeps on attacking, this series could wind up being shorter than anticipated.

Greg Higgins is a NHL contributor for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @greghiggins457; “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on Google.