By Michael Calvert
The Blackhawks lost tonight to Martin St Louis, Steven Stamkos and some other guys. This was a frustrating loss as the Hawks pretty much dominated this game, including the scoreboard until fairly late in the third. Here’s how it happened…
1st period: The Hawks started the game with Toews centering Bickell and Kane, D pairing 1 was Keith and Seabrook. Corey Crawford started in net for the Hawks with Ben Bishop starting for the Lightning. The game started out pretty slowly with a collection of off-sides and icing whistles, in fact the first shot of the game from either team came on a blue line slapper from Keith at the 7:00 mark.
The first power play of the game came on a Victor Hedman holding call at 16:15. The Hawks came out with the second pp unit of Shaw, Hossa and Saad with Seabrook and Leddy. The Hawks used the 1st forward line as their first pp line as well going with Keith and Sharp on the back end. Kruger centered the second line on their second shift on the ice. The first power play was pretty ineffective, more on that later, and the Lightning were able to kill it off fairly easily.
The first period ended with the Hawks out shooting the Lightning 11-0, I honestly can’t remember a team getting 0 shots in a period, pretty impressive work all around by the Hawks to make that happen.
2nd period: The scoring started fairly quickly in the second period when Patrick Kane put in a rebound at 59 seconds. Usually rebound goals are a fairly routine tap in with the goalie well out of place from the previous shot, this one was not the case. Somehow Kane managed to fly by and finish top shelf what Bickell could not, there’s a very small handful of NHL players with the hands capable of that goal, very impressive.
Moments later the Lightning registered their first team shot coming at 1:22 of the second period.
The Hawks got their second pp of the game on a Ryan Malone hook. This time the first pp unit started on the ice, and the results were the same, Hawks really gain nothing from the pp certainly not a goal.
The Lightning parade to the box continued on another hooking call, this time Alex Killorn was the guilty party. The Hawks power play again looked terrible, but unlike the previous two the Hawks were able to find the back of the net. On a hilariously lucky/unlucky, bounce of the partition the puck landed on Saad’s stick for an easy put back. Hawks up 2-0 and in full control of this game.
At 15:00 into the second, the Lightning had their first real goal scoring opportunity when Kruger got housed by St Louis at the dot. Martin St Louis made a really crafty move off the faceoff going between Kruger’s legs retrieving the puck on his own and making a perfect pass to Stamkos. Fortunately for the Hawks, Toews was draped all over Stamkos and nothing came of the play, still a great play by St Louis.
To close out the third, Eric Brewer took a rather stupid penalty for cross checking on Andrew Shaw. After successfully dispatching Shaw to the ice, Brewer decided another cheap check in the back was called for. The official disagreed, however, and Brewer took the penalty at the 2nd intermission horn. Hawks are going into the third up 2-0 on the power play in full control of this game. It’s getting awfully difficult at this point not to watch the Northwestern game.
Hawks outshot Tampa 13-6 in the second, much improvement out of the Lightning.
3rd period: Ah the third period – In the first game it was a fast paced roller coaster race, in this game it was a display of mediocrity from the Hawks. On the 4th unanswered pp for the Hawks, they were again unable to generate anything. In place of Bickell on the first pp unit, Sharp slid up from the blue line with Michael Kostka taking Sharp’s spot. It all didn’t matter.
At 10:08 in the 3rd Tampa put in their top faceoff man in Nate Thompson to cleanly win an offensive zone draw. Moments later, Martin St Louis put in a pretty nice backhand rebound to cut the Hawks lead in half. The momentum pendulum clearly begins to swing in Tampa’s favor at this point.
After sustained pressure in the Hawks D zone the Lightning finally get their first pp of the game coming on a Toews high stick at 11:20, not much to argue on this one, Toews shoved his stick in Tyler Johnson’s face. Hawks send out Marcus Kruger and Brendan Saad along with Hjalmarsson and Keith to kill off the penalty, only they weren’t able to kill it off. In a display of here’s what a power play looks like, the Lightning never lost possession of the puck before scoring at 11:50 30 seconds into their first power play.
Tampa Bay went pretty much directly back to the penalty kill when Valteri Filppula put a high stick on Seabrook. The Hawks were actually able to muster an attack on this power play, at 14:00 shots were peppered on Ben Bishop, but he was up to the task and the pp and the period ended without the Hawks finding the score sheet.
Onto overtime we go…
OT: The 4-4 powerplay in my opinion makes for very exciting back and forth hockey that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entirety of the 5 minute period. This game lacked that.
Hawks sent out Jonathan Toews to shoot first, and to no one’s surprise, especially Bishop, he went five hole but Bishop closed it on him. It wasn’t a bad opportunity and although everyone knows it’s coming Toews is a master of the five-hole and a very reliable shootout player.
The Lightning went with Valteri Filppula and he made a pretty back hand to fore hand move and beat Crawford high, cleanly. Not much to say on this one, Filppula made a nice move and finished well, maybe his familiarity with Crawford helped.
Patrick Kane went second for the Hawks. It’s always something with Kane on the shoot out. No one really knows what he’s going to do, and he does it so nimbly. This was no different on a very nice stick handling backhand Bishop was just a step ahead and made a pretty great save.
I don’t know much about Lightning hockey, I’ll admit, but I was surprised to see Victor Hedman roll out as the second shooter for the Lightning. I would have thought one of the dynamic forwards like St Louis or Stamkos, whatever, Hedman fired a pretty ineffective wrister into Crawford’s pads.
Third shooter for the Hawks was Marian Hossa, typical slapper right at the goalie, game over. Like Toews, Hossa is awfully predictable in the shootout, unlike Toews, Hossa is bad in the shoot out.
Hawks out shoot Lightning 39-16
Hawks blew it.
Duncan Keith sucks on the powerplay, the Hawks suck on the powerplay.
The Hawks also suck on the penalty kill.
The Hawks currently suck at special teams.
The Hawks are amazing on the 5-5 easily the best in the league the past year plus, I really think 5-5 they could hang with one of the 70’s iron curtain Russsian Olympic teams.
Nate Thompson was a beast all day. Guys name was mentioned over and over and he was paramount on the first goal for TB
Ben Bishop looked all of the 6’7 he’s listed as and stole this game for the Lightning.
According to the fine people of Lexus Flippula was the player of the game, he wasn’t, it was Ben Bishop. I guess who would know hockey better than an Asian car company.
Eddie Olcyzk loves it when you keep your stick on the ice, I mean the guy really loves it.
3 stars: St Louis, Saad and Bishop
Sellout #229 straight, and well should be, the Hawks were pretty great aside from their woeful special teams and will win a lot of games again this year. It’s good to be a Hawks fan.