Before the game started on Monday there were a few reasons for optimism at the United Center. Artem Anisimov was back off IR and Corey Crawford made an appearance for the first time in a while.
Tomas Jurco finally dressed; Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma watched from the cheap seats. And Erik Gustafsson got the call again ahead of Jan Rutta.
Where do we begin with the latest Blackhawks debacle?
Late in the first period Alex Killorn went to the box, giving the Hawks a power play. Tyler Johnson joined him there 1:15 later, giving the Blackhawks a 5-on-3 for 45 seconds.
Chicago did nothing.
Late in the second period, Mikhail Sergachev caught Ryan Hartman with a high stick. He compounded the mistake by earning a second minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Hawks a power play for the final 3:54 of the second period.
The result? A Chris Kunitz short-handed goal to give Tampa a 1-0 lead.
A the end of 40 minutes the Blackhawks had a 30-17 shot advantage. They had failed on five power plays and had not shown much life.
Chicago got a sixth power play 7:29 into the third with Steven Stamkos in the box. That alleged advantage was also wasted.
At 18:26 into the third, Jordan Oesterle dropped a pass to a wide open… Yanni Gourde who slammed home the one-timer to give Tampa a 2-0 lead.
The final 90 seconds ticked off the clock mercifully.
And Chicago was handed yet another underwhelming loss.
Jeff Glass stopped 29 of 31 and frankly deserved better than a 2-0 loss. The first goal was ugly, but the skaters in front of him could have been AP photographers with the effort they made to play the puck. Oesterle put the second on a tee for Gourde.
Patrick Sharp put a team-leading five shots on net but didn’t have a good night.
Jonathan Toews won 11 of 19 faceoffs. Ryan Hartman was credited with two hits and two takeaways in a team-low 8:07 on the ice.
There is no jump to these Blackhawks.
There is no life.
If they want to make the playoffs, waiting until after the All-Star Break might be too late in this year’s Central Division. Colorado won their tenth straight on Monday night and nobody is waiting for the Blackhawks to remove their heads from their collective asses and start playing “Blackhawks hockey.”