CHICAGO -- To the amateur eye, hockey is a game dependent on a puck bouncing, spinning and changing directions with a mind of its own.
Or to be succinct, luck.
If you want to win this time of year, or any time of year, against a goaltender like the Los Angeles Kings' Jonathan Quick, you have to bury the rebounds and create the deflections. In other words, you have to create your own luck.
Because you know what they say about luck in the NHL playoffs. It’s just opportunity meeting preparation meeting oversized goalie pads.
“Yeah, that first shot against him is tough,” Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “You need traffic. You need a deflection. He finds a way to find pucks.”
Or as Patrick Sharp said of Quick, “He makes saves when he sees the puck, he makes saves when he doesn’t see them.”
The Blackhawks had plenty of opportunities early against Quick, but no success. But when they got chances in the second period, they buried them and the Los Angeles Kings with a 2-1 victory, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.