Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 39

Day-39 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

INKTIME  on RINKTIME Observations and Random thoughts by Chris Madsen:

NO KEITH, NO PROBLEM: The game was there for the taking.  The Blackhawks Norris trophy winning Defenseman, Duncan Keith, was relegated to the Press Box courtesy of a 1-game suspension…the Defending Stanley Cup Champions had a chance to pull even in the WCFS…and the Kings were hosting Game-4 of the series at Staples Center–where they had not lost since the month of March.  So, add it all up and the Series shifts to Chicago dead-even, right?  WRONG!

Despite scoring the first goal of the game, the Kings failed to show that killer instinct that made them a Champion and allowed the Hawks to overcome deficits–TWICE–en route to a 3-2 heart-breaker, to a go along with a not so subtle shove to the brink of elimination.

I thought Kings Coach Darryl Sutter made a very astute observation about how the absence of Duncan Keith really didn’t impact the Blackhawks approach to the game (around the 1:44 mark of this video):

Then again, it also doesn’t hurt when you have as fluid a skater and one that comes with the Hockey IQ of a Niklas Hjalmarsson–who was an impact player in this game from his opening shift.  And Brent Seabrook found a way to elevate his all-star game to another level, and that spelled F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-O-N for the Kings–especially in the 3rd Period when despite trailing by just a goal they could only muster TWO SHOTS!


GETTING FITTED FOR HORNS:  “This is when heroes are made.”–Those inspirational words were uttered five weeks ago when the Playoffs started by Kings Captain Dustin Brown.

Unfortunately, the Playoffs are also a time when unflattering references to “dogs” and “goats” are made.

In a must win game,  Dustin Brown  and fellow star teammate  Anze Kopitar were nowhere to be found on the score sheet.  In fact, Brown has 1 goal in his last 9 Playoff games–and none in the conference final.  While Anze Kopitar –who led the club in Regular Season scoring–has 1 goal in 13 Post-Season games, but none in this series versus the Blackhawks.


WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME, LATELY:  Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma is one of the youngest, most respected and most successful coaches in the NHL.  Over the course of 4 seasons with the Pens, the 42-year old Bylsma has amassed a record of (201-92-25).   Those 201 victories ranks second in team history to Eddie Johnston’s (232-224-60) all-time franchise record.

Yet checkout yesterday’s presser with Coach Bylsma, where it took roughly :50 to broach the topic of his future–considering his club is down 3-games-to-none to Boston in the Eastern Conference Final:

Now to Bylsma’s credit, he massaged his answer to focus more on the accountability of the team.

But this response: “I’m not coaching, don’t coach, have never coached for my job,” IMHO is a larger measure of the man.

And if the Pens would be foolish enough to listen to the media (there’s a joke in there somewhere), I am certain the Rangers, Canucks and Stars would be more than happy to scrap their current course of action to accommodate Mr. Bylsma.





Pittsburgh     at     Boston     8:00 PM EST

Chris Madsen