Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blackhawks vs. Lightning - Shootout Loss Recap

"Choke Sermon"

The Blackhawks came off a nice little three day rest and welcomed the Tampa Bay Lightning into the United Center, Saturday night, for a warm October tilt. The Hawks were coming off a big opening night win over the Caps. It wasn't what you'd call a tightly played contest. Both teams were sloppy, and it was very clear that they were rusty. The only change for the Blackhawks was that Ben Smith was made his debut as Jimmy Hayes took a seat. Live from the United Center in's the Hawks and Lightning

For all of us spoiled by the great action of last season, a first period like this one will lull you to sleep. The Hawks held the Bolts to a big goose egg in the shots on net department, while throwing 11 pucks at the Tampa Bay net. Not much to write home about.

The Blackhawks opened up a 2-0 lead while out shooting the Lightning 13-6 in the second period. I guess the Bolts should have been celebrating their six shots because the Hawks had a goal before the Lightning managed a single shot on Crawford.

The third period was a disaster for the Hawks. They gave up two goals to allow the Lightning to tie the game up, even though the Bolts only had 8 shots. A fairly boring game that was now going to overtime. Lovely.

When all was said and done the Lightning pulled out a 3-2 shootout win. I hate shootouts.

The Good

  • Crazy 8s opened up a 1-0 Hawks lead just a minute into the second period. This was before the Bolts had a single shot on net. Hammer set the play up by driving up the right side and throwing the puck on net at a tight angle. Bickell whacked at the rebound and Kane chipped the third chance over Bishop.
  • General Saad got one of the easiest goals he's ever going to get, on the powerplay. Leddy dumped the puck in deep and high off the glass. The puck took a ridiculous bounce off a partition right back in front of the net that had been vacated by Bishop, who was trying to meet it behind the net. Saad met it and poked it into the net. 2-0 Hawks.
  • The Hawks weren't terrible at the dots. 50% should be considered a win for this group. Kruger was pretty bad, but the rest of the team had solid numbers.
  • Even though the powerplay goal was a fluke, the pressure that the Hawks put on was pretty impressive. If the Hawks traded in the PK success for PP success, I might consider that a loss.
  • Brandon Saad was probably the Hawks best player on the night. He was everywhere. Again, this was only game two, but this is promising.
The Bad

  • A lost faceoff deep in the Hawks zone led to a fat rebound that Keith actually had decent coverage on, but Martin St. Louis chipped it up and over Crawford's glove half way through the third period.
  • Teddy Purcell took advantage of a Toews penalty and tied the score up on their 11th shot of the game, just 2 minutes after the St. Louis goal. The goal was set up by a pass from St. Louis that went off the skate of Deuce and right into Purcell's wheelhouse.
The Ugly

  • The penalty kill has now given up goals on 4 of 7 chances, which is fucking terrible. I understand it's a two game sample size, but they swapped out Nordstrom for Smith and ended up with the same result.

The Shootout

  • Toews was stopped by Bishop
  • Filppula beat Crawford
  • Kane was bested by Bishop
  • Hedman hit the post
  • Hossa couldn't beat Bishop.

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