I fully admit to being slightly pessimistic coming into game one. I told anyone who asked me I thought the Kings would probably take a game in Chicago. The Hawks were coming off a highly emotional series against their departing arch-rivals, the Kings played just the kind of game that gives the Blackhawks fits, their goalie was a freak, the Rolling Stones were fucking up the ice…….the list went on this way.

After watching the game this afternoon, I’m thinking that pessimism was pretty much completely unjustified. For starters, the Kings are coming off a long series, too. The sneering, Anaheim Ducks-like assault we expected never materialized and the Hawks came out flying, playing a more physical brand of hockey than we’ve seen from them all year. Sure, Jonathan Quick was fantastic, but he wasn’t unbeatable. The Hawks were indefatigable in their efforts to get pucks at Quick and didn’t allow themselves to be frustrated by his early mastery. Hell, the ice didn’t even factor in today. In short, despite facing a phenomenal goaltender and surrendering a fluky goal to the Kings early – things really couldn’t have gone all that much better today for the home team.

You should all feel good about what you saw. The Blackhawks controlled the play with very few exceptions and moved the puck efficiently in all three zones. The power play actually produced chances and Corey Crawford made all the saves his team needed him to make. The Hawks withstood the late Kings push and killed the last two minutes by playing keep away on a power play.

1-0 good guys.

To the good stuff:

* I know the Kings are best known for having an aggressive forecheck and a great goaltender, but I didn’t realize they had literally no offense whatsoever. Coming into United Center this afternoon, the Kings scored just 27 goals in their 13 playoff contents so far. They had two shots in the first period and it seemed like they never sustained anything in the Hawks zone. Kopitar? Carter? Richards? Where are they?

* Well, maybe I shouldn’t assume that. I missed almost the entire second half of the second period because DIRECTV sucks and is stupid and I hate anyone even remotely associated with it. Oh, your uncle works for DIRECTV? Screw him and you. Anyway, maybe the Kings got some pressure when I couldn’t see the game. I don’t know.

* Jonathan Quick is the only reason the Blackhawks didn’t win by 5 goals. USA! USA! USA!

* I see a lot of people drooling over Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Twitter. Sure he’s fearless, but he’s also liable to do something extremely reckless and stupid. If the Blackhawks continue to frustrate the Kings…..watch out.

* Fantastic defelction by Marian Hossa on the game winner. He was also hilarious during National Anthem, as shown above.

* I’m a big fan of Andrew Shaw, but we can’t have power plays being negated at this point in the playoffs. Smarten up.

* Speaking of the power play, it actually looked pretty damn good tonight. The Hawks had all sorts of movement and they didn’t look afraid to take the shot when the opportunity presented itself. Keep it up.

* Sticking with the special teams, the Blackhawk penalty kill is just unbelievable. They’ve killed 42 of 43 penalties this postseason and haven’t allowed a power play goal at the United Center yet this postseason. Let’s hope that regression Brian Engblom forecasted doesn’t come about until October.

* Bryan Bickell, star.

* Duncan Keith played just shy of 24 minutes this afternoon. Brent Seabrook played just 21:57. PRAISE DEFENSIVE DEPTH.

* David Bolland basically scored on his own goal in the first period and then threw a borderline hit on Mike Richards in the 3rd which might get him suspended. Tough night for #36. He’s lucky most fans have that hit he laid on Gustav Nyquist Wednesday night fresh in their minds. UPDATE: Bolland will not face disciplinary action.

* They’re right back at it tomorrow night at United Center. It’s hard to imagine the Kings are going to be as bad as they were this afternoon. Go Hawks.

Jonathan Toews celebrates the Game 1 win.