Vermette TB gm 1

Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Take Game 1 In Tampa

The 2015 Stanley Cup Final didn’t get off to a great start for the Blackhawks, but championship perseverance once again came to the forefront and Chicago stole home ice with a resounding Game One victory.

Tampa came out flying, showing their excitement for hosting the first game of the Cup Final. The Lightning won better than 70 percent of the faceoffs in the first period, and a ridiculous redirect by Alex Killorn provided an early 1-0 lead.

The Bolts out-shot the Hawks 10-7 in the first period and their defensemen – all seven who dressed – were active from the opening puck drop. If not for a number of good saves by Corey Crawford, the deficit could have easily been more than one when the opening 20 minutes came to a close.

Chicago had a stronger second period that included two power plays; the first advantage included better puck movement, but the second was bad. The Blackhawks were out-shot again in the second (8-6), but Crawford kept the score 1-0 with two big saves against Steven Stamkos.

In the third, Tampa came out and was noticeably less aggressive. Their defensive posture played into the Hawks’ hands, and coach Joel Quenneville was able to once again master the match-ups. After a big save on a Ryan Callahan breakaway – Tampa’s first shot of the third period – the Hawks offense was finally able to break through.

And it was the Hawks two scratches from Game Three of the Western Conference Final who changed the game.

Teuvo Teravainen rifled a shot past Ben Bishop, who was screened well by Marcus Kruger, to tie the game at 13:28.

Less than two minutes later, Teravainen stole the puck and found Antoine Vermette in front of the net. Vermette scored the eventual game-winning goal at 15:26 and the air left the building in Tampa.

When the dust settled, Chicago had come back and won most aspects of the game over the final 40 minutes. The Hawks won 27 of 57 faceoffs in the game, Crawford was a stone wall after the Killorn goal, and Chicago’s top four defensemen once again proved to be the best in the game.

Kris Versteeg skated in place of a banged-up Bryan Bickell and the new dad brought a lot of energy. With the exception of an interference penalty (on which he appeared to be pushed and went face-first into the post), he had a strong game pursuing the puck in every zone. Versteeg 9:32 with one hit and one takeaway after starting on the line with Brad Richards and Marian Hossa.

The Hawks third line did all of the offensive damage. Vermette won six of 11 faceoffs and Teravainen had two points – adding the primary assist on Vermette’s goal with his game-tying goal – to bring a ton of energy to the third period. Patrick Sharp added four hits and one blocked shot in the game as well.

Brent Seabrook had seven of the Hawks 21 hits in the game and was credited with a team-high four shots on net in 26:23. Duncan Keith tied his career high with his 19th point of the postseason, the primary assist on Teravainen’s goal, and skated 29:15 in the game.

Niklas Hjalmarsson led Chicago with four blocked shots in “only” 22:34, and Johnny Oduya blocked two and added two hits and three shots on net in 23:46.

Jonathan Toews skated 21:23 and won 10 of 22 faceoffs in the win.

While Chicago’s power play failed to succeed in three chances, the Hawks penalty kill was very good against arguably the most dangerous power play in the game. Tampa was unsuccessful on two advantages in the game, and Chicago stayed out of the box as they rallied in the third period.

David Rundblad skated 7:22 and Kyle Cumiskey only 5:01 on Wednesday night. After the practice skate earlier on Wednesday, Quenneville indicated that Trevor van Riemsdyk was “close” and “might” appear in the series.

Crawford finished the night with 22 saves against 23 shots in the victory.

85 thoughts on “Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Take Game 1 In Tampa

  1. goalie win. craw doesn’t stop those early chances and it’s a very different 2nd half of the game and likely outcome…

  2. Hawks pushed hard in the third and ultimately imposed their will against the Lightning until the damn burst.

    Dare I say – Unstoppable.

    Rundblad looked very confident out there. Let a few blasts go from the point, handled the puck well, made a beautiful chip to Keith up the boards for a clear late in the 3rd.

    I’m not sure why Q would go with a game-rusty TVR at this point in the season, unless Rundblad reverts back to Anaheim game 1 form.

    On to Saturday. Hopefully Hawks smell blood.

  3. Interesting Q went with third line in offensive zone after TB icing. Vermette won draw for clean Sharp shot. Short while later TT pokes a puck off Brown’s stick to Vermette for game winner.

    Crawford must have enjoyed the change in scenery in the crease area
    compared to Anaheim series.

  4. As long as we kept to that one goal I felt that with our skill and experience we would not be denied…so big kudos to Crawford for a stellar effort. That dude is very patient and very cool. Despite their miniscule minutes of play what I saw of Rundblad and Comiskey were really good efforts. Every little bit helps. Vermette and TT …that third line is a gem. Thought Kane had it there as well but looks like he elected to pass to Sharp I think. Bet he won’t make that play again. Relying on your D and forwards to play shutdown hockey against the Blackhawks is a bone head move. Strong play all around from us to keep it to a goal. Way to go guys big time from a most amazed and grateful long time fan.

  5. Great team win by the Hawks, but they can and will be a LOT better as they move on in the series!

    How was this a goalie win for Crawford? He made a couple of nice saves in the first and stopped Callahan’s break away chance in the third, but the first goal should NEVER have gone in. Once again, with a defence man at his side point, a puck is shot towards the net and Crawford is down on his knees where he absolutely should NOT be. That beautiful deflection by Killorn was made over two meters from the side of CC’s crease, and the puck beats Corey to the post…sorry, but that’s just a BRUTAL goal to let in. Nice deflection, but any goalie simply following protocol is hugging the post and the puck CANNOT go in! This is Corey Crawford in a “nut shell”…good, solid, and brutal all in one game!

    Very nice to see both Teravanien and Vermette score…both deserved more minutes and should have played more, but with Versteeg in the lineup, Q restricted the consistent use of 4 lines. Hopefully Bickell will be close to 100% for Saturday so the Hawks can come at Tampa in waves!

    Both Cumiskey and Runblad played well enough but saw little ice time. I could see both of them getting more ice time back in Chicago.

    Three more wins to yet another Cup!

  6. I am not sure about that Rundblad assessment. Yes in the offensive zone he is fine but in his own end it’s not good. He had a terrible turnover in the 3rd behind the net when he tried to reverse directions which led to an extended Tampa attack. He is not good at getting pucks out of their own end and is beaten on board battles. If TVR is ready I would rather see him with Cumiskey.

  7. Flat. From section 329 the Hawks offense was flat for 40 minutes. Everyone was absent and the centers were dominated at the dot and through the neutral zone. Zero momentum even on 3pps. The Hawks contingent in the rafters was losing hope… and it was a sizable contingent too I’m proud to report. Crow kept the game alive. Then the 3rd period started and The Hawks remembered there was a hockey game and came alive. Even 10 minutes through the 3rd and down you could see the Hawks were going to do something and TT DID something. Wow.

    I’ve been to 4 bolts/Hawks games now and the Hawks are only 2-2 but this one means more than any. Shoutout to the bolts and their staff. From the game the perdpective they locked up the top line all game and played their game. From a game production from the organization, it was a hell of an experience. Top notch the whole way.

    Wow. 3 more…. only 3 more.

  8. B & B – I agree with your Crow call… neither goalie was tested really… Hawks barely tested Bishop… 1 seeing eye shot and a TO/great stick by TT… Crow made a couple of nice saves … And he did a good job of cutting down 91 and 24 angles …

    But – a real “feel-out” game from both sides… Thought TB checked the shit out of Hawks for 1st 2 periods… no room!!!

    Toews was invisible for most of the nite,,,

    I thought both 26, and 5 were decent… But I still don’t trust 5,,, Nice to see NOT making mistakes (unusual… but nice)

    91 had some real nice shots…

    thought Desjardins was pretty less than average

  9. I’m not sure I agree with you, Bannerman.

    Crawford made key stops throughout. Stamkos had many chances to extend the lead. Big saves on the power plays. He showed up while the rest of them slept through the first half of the game. Either way, a goalie win or not, it’s 1-0 Hawks. We’ll both take that.

    I thought Versteeg was effective. Lots of energy (and bad luck). No idea how that was goaltender interference but it didn’t affect the outcome. He looked dangerous in limited time. Fresh legs are crucial.

    Not sure who leaves if Bickell returns soon. Not that he was overly effective in the three previous rounds but I’m sure he’ll dress soon enough. Desjardins wasn’t noticeable (which is sometimes good for a fourth line forward), Vermette and Teravainen are clearly staying in the lineup, so that likely leaves Versteeg as the odd man out.

    Rundblad looked ok, save one egregious turnover. Maybe he and 26 or potentially TvR can skate 8+ minutes at home to give the top 4 a breather.

    Let’s go Hawks!!!

  10. Great win!!! What an experience it is to witness this team perform and make history.

    Totally agree with Brian. Runbad sucks in his own end on at least two occassions. This without a deadly forecheck like the Ducks were throwing at us.

    I am not sure this series goes 6. You know the Hawks get better as series progress. Cooper usually is status quo game to game.

    Happy for 86 and 80.

    Go Hawks!!!! I am thinking the Ducks were more of a challenge.

  11. For those not watching the CBC there was really nice mentions from Don Cherry about Danny Carcillo and Brent Seabrook. Carcillo is battling through a concussion, something I did not know, along with a clip of Keith skating up to on the ice during the victory celebration Game 7 in Anaheim. Don stated that Seabrook was the best all around defensemen in the league and was puzzled as to why he is never nominated for the Norris. Seabrook is really the leader type and plays a big role with this team. Damn we are good. I’m not saying it but I”m thinking it, if you get my drift. Moar-isson–Lions! We are.

  12. Probably too early to draw many conclusions about how the Series will go after that Game One. Very happy to have the win by the Hawks but it was hardly convincing and certainly not a great display of hockey at its best.

    Frankly with Tampa sitting back nursing their lead after about ten minutes of play it made for pretty boring hockey. Their defensive posture kept the Hawks to the outside with very few good opportunities.

    CC made a few good saves but he was often out of position and fortunate shots did not get through. Based on the expected offensive display given the strong skating and firepower on both rosters tonight’s game was not a showcase the NHL can use to sell the excitement of our game.

    Let’s hope for better hockey along with more wins by the Hawks.

  13. Listening to post game comments from Tampa players, sounds like they thought holding on for a 1-0 win was the right choice. The Hawks are not the Rangers, this is a western conference hockey team. You don’t sit back and give away possessions to sit on a lead all period. Listening to these comments makes me think the have not learned that lesson.

    Tampa dictated a lot of the play, but when they stopped, the Hawks were all over them. It’s entirely possible a team can’t keep up that intensity for 60 minutes, but don’t pretend that sitting on a 1-0 lead is good strategy in the Cup final.

    Seabrooks answer to Pierre’s last question was pure gold.

  14. Typical Cardiac Crow performance- 1 abomination of championship hockey, the rest, ELITE hockey. Seemed confident after the game, my barometer of his performance next game, so expect much of the same. That’s a good thing, by the way.

    If Versteeg could ever be in the right place at the right time he would have a steady space on this roster. But he is always the furthest out of a helpful position, not unlike the guy he started over tonight. On this Hawks squad, it’s like a flashlight is shown on the players with the worst positioning, except for Timmonen, who had great positioning, but couldn’t use it well enough. Good game overall, at least he wants to play and has chemistry with 88, almost knocked one in tonight.

    I shudder to say this… But there was one team moving deliberately and effectively, and one moving frantically, and I’ll not say which was which. This could change, but this is all I will say at this time: it must really suck to play hockey against the Chicago Blackhawks right now.

  15. Third line might be the difference in this series. Give kudos to SB for the Vermie pickup and the TT draft pick.

  16. Geez, seems to be a lot of criticism directed all around the team…news flash..We WON…Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals belongs to the Blackhawks. How about solid praise all around for keeping the “Bolts” ( are you kidding me ) down to one measly kinda lucky goal in a Stanley Cup playoff game and in their own rink to boot. You think those shots by Stamkos were not deadly?…I saw Hossa backchecking and frustrating the “Bolts” every time he was on the ice. This was a great effort and a determined comeback that deserves our applause.

  17. I rarely repeat post, and I know that Don Cherry loves Dan Carcillo, along with other strange “heroes” like Milan Lucic. But I thank you Minig Man for the Norseland report, and other than dressing horribly, Cherry and I finally see eye to eye on one other point: Seabrook is playing the best overall D in the league, and deserved the Norris this year. He is absolutely dominant on the D end, and always dangerous on O. 5 SOG from the blue line and at least 3 blocked, and just stifling, nay, demoralizing, on D. His checks are complete, clean, and full body experiences. The only other Hawk hitting like that right now is Sharp. Full on body checks that smear a player out while he looks for his stick. The only glory they get is their name on the cup, let’s hope that happens again.

  18. One thought before more tomorrow. Watch the replay of the Lightning goal B&B. Corey was screened, dropped down as he’s supposed to, found the puck, and got beat by a ridiculous deflection/backhanded shot. Silly to try to hang that on 50. No goalie should be hugging the post on a shot from the point when they are screened.

  19. Well it wasn’t purdy but all’s well that ends well.

    That opening 10-15 minutes should be lesson learned for the Hawks – when TB plays aggressive they are damned good so don’t count on them pulling back on the reigns with a 1 goal lead next time. And, oh … start the game when the puck drops – not after 10-15 minutes of getting blitzkriegged.

  20. And continuing on…

    I thought Crow was outstanding. I think if he continues to put up a .957 for the remainder of the series, the Hawks are in pretty good shape. He was really aggressive when he needed to be and he really stood tall in the crease. The defensive effort was certainly there to back him up as well. 13 shots in the final two periods and only 3 after going down a goal? Pretty good.

    Thought Toews had a bad game. Doesn’t happen too often. The effort was there, just didn’t get a lot of puck luck.

    I thought Rundblad played really well in all three zones. He stepped up in the neutral zone a few different times to break up rushes, he was strong(ish) on the boards. Limited turn overs. When he was forced into a turnover by a great forecheck, he made sure the puck never made it to the front of the net.

    TT is real. His ability to harass defenders with his reach and quick hands is so much fun to watch. Holy crap he’s only 20. 82 games next to Kane next year? Hello Patrick Kane scoring title.

    Speaking of Kane… I can’t believe he didn’t score last night. He was really feeling it.

    Did Garrison get any PP time? If not, that’s wonderful. I’m all good if TB doesn’t want to utilize his cannon from the point. In that same breath, if the Hawks keep taking stupid penalties, that TB PP will do damage. They had a couple looks at wide open cages and the puck just bounced over sticks.

    Same story different day for the Hawks power play. TB forwards were being hyper-aggressive at the blue line and the Hawks failed to utilize the middle of the ice to keep them honest.

    Hawks looked like the team that had been there before. TB looked like a guy that picked up his first bar fly. They started all out as hard as they could, blew their load early, and just tried to hang on for the rest of the game. Hawks came out with patience, stuck with their strategy, and finished off the Lightning once they were ready. “One foot on the gas pedal, one foot in the grave” was how one person described it last night.

    Don’t forget about the Saturday outing boys.

  21. Remember when Seabrook was having a down year a couple of years ago and I said the Hawks should amnesty him (Tab was always against it). Ludicrous thoughts by me. 7’s performance last night was great.

    Hossa has lost a step. He is not the same player he was when the Hawks signed him, but he has the heart of a champion. When the D were pinching to get back in the game, it’s Hossa busting it to get back. It’s Hossa keeping the puck on his stick along the boards for 15 seconds after the Hawks scored the 2nd goal to burn some clock. We are privileged to watch him in the Indian Head.

  22. This was a typical workman like game for the Hawks. TB brought everything they had in the first 15 minutes. I have few issues with the game the Hawks played. The result of only a single goal after 20 minutes and I knew the game would be winnable for the Hawks.

    I stated my opinion the last 2 days that our bottom 6 may be the difference in the series. TB has a great top 6 and very good top 4D and they might effectively keep our top 6 in check. But the reverse will be true as well. TB has no answer for our bottom 6. This showed last night and IMO will be a key factor……particularly in TB.

  23. * TT
    ** Seabs
    *** Crow
    Third line is not through this series. TT is going to have a great career!

  24. B&B – Crow was the difference in this game, Callaghan scored against the great King Henry on a similar breakaway which Crow played with the utmost confidence. That was a remarkable deflection that was literally a lucky bounce. Also the Hawks only had 4 players on the ice the entire time the Bolts were in our zone during that play. Sharp left for a line change as the puck got into our zone and no one came on the ice.
    TT is the real deal. I wasn’t too sure about him at the start of the season but he uses his stick to play defense as well as anyone and has some sick hands. Glad to see him get some PP time also.

  25. Are the Hawks really that skilled and adept at flipping the switch that they don’t even bother until it is absolutely necessary? They have done this so, so many times now could it actually be calculated? Look at the Ducks series – they kind of loafed around the first 5 games, pulled a few out then hit the gas on games 6 and 7 and the Ducks had no response. Same thing last night. The Bolts came out FLYING nicked a goal but then by the 3rd it was all hawks. It goes back as far as 2013 when down 3-1 against Detroit and even vs. Boston in the final with the 2 in 17 seconds. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but wondering if others have the same feeling.

    Not sure who it was that mentioned it yesterday but TB looks thin after their first two lines and the 80/86/10 line looks like they are going to give them all sorts of trouble. That may be the deciding factor right there.

    Also we are notably absent of comments on the board regarding the doom that was the defensive corps, the soft makeup of TT and the handcuffs from the Vermette trade.

  26. Scottie P… while I have been wrong on several series outcomes/predictions…
    and I am predicting the Bolts win this (not with vaunted O… but with incredible checking/shadowing and huge smothering D men…) — a huge part of this predicting is – I’m a paranoid, “coaching” type of Person- that sees all of the obstacles the Hawks will have to overcome… not an excuse-but just a little insight of “why” I say these things… Kinda like a Thibodeau… OCD, always “ON”…

    I have made more “right calls” on scouting talents/prospects than anyone here…
    (not that I am smarter than any… probably just more vocal and LOUD… )

    a few- very early calls/ahead of the pack

    Saad- great skater/powerful
    TT- Has elite hands, vision, stick… strength on boards-only question
    Shaw- should be on hawks (when with Hogs)–gamer,IQ, intangibles
    Cden- over-rated, can’t skate
    Pirri- can’t skate… not Hawk material
    Panarin- will be a great Hawk
    Bickell- “Handcuffs”-
    Goalie position – (still up for debate… but at least I think I made my point to some???)

    of course- I did say Trade Kane years ago… NOT because of talent… just questioned his drive ( at the time- he was getting drunk a lot).

    Lastly- I don’t think you get the JS/Bet stuff

  27. Random thought: Q might want to play TVR so he can get his name on the cup.

    Chev- who would have thunk 4 guys could carry us defensively as well as 2,7,4,27.
    I think we all bought into the “ducks are going to wear down the Hawks” because that’s all you heard from the Duck players and the TV talking heads.
    I never thought the switch could be turned on and off as easily as the Hawks seem to do it.

  28. I hop on here each morning after a game and honestly laugh… the Blackhawks “loafed around the first 5 games” against Anaheim, and “don’t even bother until it is absolutely necessary” according to our esteemed panel. God forbid we ever acknowledge skill on the opposite end of the ice…

    Tampa came out flying in Game One at home and gave the Hawks hell in the first period. The Hawks weathered the storm, Crawford kept it close, and they were able to break the Lightning down by the middle of the third. If you haven’t paid attention for the last 7 years, the first period of road Game Ones are usually where Quenneville creates his scouting report… and he won the matchups over the final 30 minutes last night.

    Stop saying the Hawks don’t give a rat’s ass because they’re losing after 20 or 40 and tip your cap to the other team. They’re the Eastern Conference Champions for a reason.

  29. Hawks had very,very few scoring chances… It Is easy to see How the Bolts shutout NY a couple of times… Hawks- will need to be way better in generating scoring chances

    Hawks- completely stole this game…

    Any Hockey players have ideas/suggestions on how you beat that “smothering/shadowing/checking” D,,, kinda reminds me of Yotes a few years back.

    Kane and Toews looked human… Hossa was invisible until 3rd.

  30. Wall- Hawks limited TB to 23 shots. So while they weren’t great offensively, they completely shut down TB. Johnson had 1 SOG. That’s a hell of a defensive effort.

  31. Tab, just throwing a theory at the wall (not at the Wall). You have watched and thought about hockey more than I probably ever will so if I am misinformed I will eat my humble pie. From my couch seat, it seems like the Hawks just take their sweet time before hitting the gas. To give credit where its due, the Bolts came out flying and blitzed the Hawks from the opening gun. Tampa looked great the first 10 minutes. I am not suggesting the Hawks aren’t trying, but they let the game come to them and turn it on when the time comes. My comment about the Ducks series – in games 1-3 they scored 1, 3 and 1 goals. In games 4-7 they scored 5, 4, 5, 5. Maybe that’s not waiting it out and hitting the gas, but that’s how it looks to me.

    But, hey, if I make you laugh, I guess it’s worth it. I come to read your recaps and the comments on this thread because I always learn something new about the game, pick up on things I didn’t n0tice and have entertaining discourse with like-minded fans. I find it an invaluable resource and it helps me enjoy the games even more.

  32. Tab- I think you are right about Q/Hawks “creating” scouting report…

    I really do feel- Q does have great instincts to make adjustments…
    furthermore, I don’t always Buy that the Hawks are that “fast”… but I am really starting to BUY that they are incredibly conditioned… and Draft that quality as well as some other qualities… I know Saad was off the Charts in Pre-draft camp in conditioning drills… and 19.2,88,4,16 never seem to get tired.

    VS. Ducks- Q either made subtle changes in exiting zones, and denying blue lines,
    OR the Hawks smaller/but better conditioned guys- just took over OR combo…

    what we don’t know is HOW good TB – really is… were they just in “Clog the Neutral zone” 3rd??? Or were they starting to feel the effects of Shadow Defense they applied for first two periods??? and slowing down- because of the “tireless” Hawks???

  33. Hey, gee golly I got it right . . . I predicted the third line and Vermette and TNT Teuvo Teravainen in particular scoring and break out this series and it should continue as the third line will be the difference. ( not kane and toews )

    Crow was borderline spectacular and steady, in and out of the crease and playing the puck. If he can remain steady this means as i said lots of close games, one goal and as and close games and OT’s will all tilt towards the Hawks.

    John Cooper’s press conference was a joke! How do you SIT on a 1 goal lead in the NHL even 2 goal lead is not worth the risk. Hawks are not the offensive challenged Rangers! Wow, he handed the game to us, period! Even in game 7 vs rangers the bolts had little or no offense and rangers got only handful of shots to the net. Horrible coaching move . . . and it was a deliberate strategy it is not a accident. Plus when Bolts needed to press LATE they where horrible! Fragile team not the ducks or kings and you heard it here first . . .a fragile coach. Did anyone watch the timeout? Players all just standing around, un-focused? Cooper eyes all game was watching Coach Q and the line changes, all night!

    Preparing for a physical team like the Ducks is easy but hard to execute on ice if you don’t have size or the skill but preparing for team like the BOLTS built on speed is even harder because you just cant capture that “speed” in practice. Hawks are quick not “Fast” so they need to actually have better “mid-ice” management, before they get to the blue line. Bolts D-men are average with the puck in their own end, a little pressure and they turn it over. Bishop is over rated, he dose not track the puck nor does he put effort in tacking the puck, he is just a really big “back stop” get pucks to the net, high with just a little traffic and he will let in 5 or 6 goals soon. Hawks will get a LOT OF ODD MAN BREAKS in the coming games!

    Bolts are not built to play like they did in the first period nor even the first 10 minutes. Hawks have a way of figuring out on ice match ups to slow that down, It did not take Coach Q 5 games like vs. Ducks to figure it out this time.

    Bolts must feel CRUSHED it was a game Hawks played average across the board except for CROW. So now what? I still think this game may put a ton of pressure on Bolts now, the fun is over!

    Go hawks and proud of my boy Vermette and our collective “faith” in TNT. Also Sharp can not be on the same line as Vermette, put Bick with Vermette and TNT and move Sharp up with Hossa. period!

    I still say Bick has a concussion! sadly . . .. we’ll see he was NO HEALTHY Scratch!

  34. Vermette wins more DRAWS CLEAN at the dot than anyone. I mean clean! No kicking, diving and holding and cross checking and hold but just clean fast draws!

    So good in fact if we watch most Hawks are not ready for it, when they get ready that one timer we never had is coming. Vermette is finding his mojo!

  35. I think we all knew that TB was going to come out flying. They believe, and rightfully so, that they have the talent to beat anyone in the NHL. They also wanted to get the crowd into it early to counter the many Hawks fans there.

    I wouldn’t worry about scoring chances. Both sides will get more as the series goes on. The top 6 on both sides will find ways to have their presence felt. There is just too much fire power there. The number of chances and goals will increase as the offense on each side opens up.

    Last night, as I said, was a workman like game for the Hawks. Experience and yes I will say it…… depth won this game for the Hawks. The Hawks had an excellent road game effort. This loss stings TB and I have no doubt they will be a tougher team to play against Saturday.

  36. NHL hockey is built on flow, sporadic momentum, match-ups and sustaining possession. Like basketball, NO TEAM dominates all 4 quarters and no NHL team dominates all 3 periods . . . period. Teams dominate small stretches! This lame observation of turning it on or off shows a lack of knowledge IMO. you got 60 minutes of play, the goal “literally” is to dominate the 3rd period, and close of 3rd, the goal “literally” is to start the second period strong. The REAL GOAL IS TO FINISH EACH PERIOD OUT, end it strong, like in the last 2 minutes of every single period is “prime time” and time when great teams can buckle down! Scoring the first goal stat is like 70% chance of winning but it is not law as last night proves and this more “balanced nhl” proves ( lots of even teams) Hawks did not start out of the gate “fast” and that take about 10 minutes or more to correct, it is real life.

    The flow (up and down) of a game plus the “Energy Expended” are the key, Bolts Expended a large amount of energy in the first and got only 1 goal, with all that effort! So it is very logical that on the Hawks side they where not playing as fast as good and slow start and in a way saving energy and then bring that energy late or when a “opportunity” rises, when they can appear to be “turning it on.” it is FLOW!

    Hawks are the most PATIENT TEAM in the history of the NHL. They are NOT the most talented but they can absorb a lot, they are skilled and even down 3 goals they manage “energy and effort” as a team very very well. Bolts where just all skating HARD and if just one of those “silly passes” got tipped by Johhny O to Sharp we’d have a break away or odd man rush, unfortunately every pass and bounce went bolts way. But be mindful what they got BIG SLOWER d-men who will crash the point and mis-play the puck a lot. Watch for it.

  37. Hawks are not fast . . . they are quick to the puck which has nothing to do with north to south fast! They anticipate with the best! So no they are not FAST at all but no need to be over all they are just smart and “conditioned” they as I’ve noted know how to sleep! Not shit . . .Sleep, not sure how many hard core athletes on this board but SLEEP is big, all bolts in press conference said how they could not sleep and don’t sleep before big games like it was a GOOD THING . .. it is the worse thing.

  38. Hossa will look slow on that second line . . . but he has not lost a “Step” on his back check, he is FAST going back because of his transition on the offensive end of the ice he is ALL ABOUT CONTROL and HOLDING the PUCK he won the game late as he held that puck in bolts end for what seemed like a week all by himself.

    Hossa was never FAST again quick yes and his money is the “transition” he is always 20 feet a head of Toews on the back check and Toews in no slouch! Hossa does so much little stuff your head should explode watching him!

    He’ll be a GREAT NHL coach count on it . . and he has a year or two left on the tires! Richards same story he has been influenced by Hossa too!

  39. Bolts went to a 1-1-3 trap in the third. It gave the Hawks fits with zone entries until it didn’t. I would say due to a combination of 1) leading the game 2) tired from their effort in the first 3) their style of play in the first could lead to easy counter attacks. So I understand why Cooper did it. I expect them to open it up a lot more because they aren’t going to win 2-1 games against the Hawks.

  40. The word to remember after last night is pace! Q always talks about pace in his post game pressers. The Bolts played like they were shot out of a cannon for about 15 mins. After that their pace slowed down ALOT. The ice started tilting and things starting evening out and the Hawks slowly tilted the ice in their direction. The GWG wasa sloppy play and turn over. So the Bolts play 11 forwards and play at that pace hmmm?

    The triplets,…2 shot! Hmmmm

    I think its safe to assume Toews & Kane get split up to give Q a more balanced attack. The 3rd line should have a another good game.

    Tuevo, 1st star in the finals, Fucking huge! good for him!

  41. Crawford’s problem has nothing to do with stopping the really tough shots like facing Stamkos in a breakaway all alone.

    The soft goals are Crawford’s main problem, especially during the playoffs. And when he loses his confidence, those soft goals really start to pickup until he does 2 or 3 in a row.

    This is why apposing fans like to chant his name during games, they are trying to get one of those famous soft goals out of him and hopefully send him into a rut.

    If Crawford can keep those silly goals out, and keep his head on, he usually does really well.

    I thought he did really well last night. The first goal was a bit of a freak incident. Killorn is great, and he was doing the right thing but he was just hacking into the air not even looking, I don’t think he or anyone else actually expected it to go in.

    Granted, it was not a really tough shot either like Crawford faced later on in the game. I am willing to look past the Killorn goal because Crawford did not let it shake him and he did not allow any more goals for the night, soft or otherwise.

    TT and Vermette were on FIRE!

    Shame on all of you who said TT would never fit in. That kid is the future!

  42. This has to be a bit demoralizing for TB. They came out and gave everything they had and only had a somewhat fluky goal to show for it…..

    One of the reasons TB was able to have such a quick start was because the Hawks were absolutely brutal at the dot….. That being said the Hawks were able to weather the storm & get their legs under themselves and slowly started to regain their form….

    I agree with Tab on the Hawks just loafing around & then turning on the switch…. Kudos to TB for a great early game plan but bigger Kudos to CC for holding down the fort until the calvary arrived…..

    TB is a formidable foe for sure, but it’s not their year yet….. They remind me of the Hawk team that lost to DET in the WC finals the year before they won their 1st cup…. TB is a young team that is getting valuable experience under the most adverse conditions… TB is going to be very scary next year…..

    The scariest thing for TB tho is that they haven’t seen the best of the Hawks game yet…… When 19,88,20 get going…… wow

  43. We are all hockey fans and are accustomed to extreme skill or brutal physicality to win in the NHL playoffs. What we are witnessing is a new method of winning. I referred to the Hawks as rope-a-doping their way through the season just to get to the playoffs without exerting excessive energy (no hitting and not going balls out to their true skill level). They do what they have to do to win. This new method of winning is an intellectual approach to the game by the coaching staff and the players. They approach games with a surgical precision that has never been seen before. They adjust to the opponent and methodically break them down to beat them.

    Someone said the Hawks did not win convincingly. They do not need to do it convincingly; all they have to do is win and that is what they did. They did it with relatively minimal effort. In fact, the energy was gradually getting dialed up in the third period until they took the lead. Again, the rope-a-dope approach is working.

    Someone said Toews did not have a good game. He and everyone else on the team did exactly what they had to do to win. Sure there were some mistakes, but any game has mistakes. Toews was instrumental on the defensive side of our effort. The team totally shut down the triplet line holding them to 1 shot. All the other teams the Bolts played could not do what the Hawks convincingly did defensively.

    Someone said that CC did not play well. Come on!!! I watched that goal again. That was a freakish goal and could never be considered soft by CC’s play. The rest of the game he made several fantastic saves.

    The Hawks style is not the most exciting to watch, but it is the generational team’s surgical precision in winning games. A new way of winning; doing just enough to get the “W”. Enjoy the ride boys because the ride is over in three more wins. Unfortunately, but fortunately, it may only take 3 more games to conclude yet another fantastic season for our wondrous Blackhawks.

    Go Hawks!!!! Another parade look inevitable to me. The Eastern Conference cannot stack up to the Western Conference.

  44. Everyone one can comment about defensive shells and “playing back”, I’ll comment about the triplets,….2 shots. There is ZERO chance TB wins the cup with that line having 2 shots! That’s worth watching in game 2!

  45. The word to remember after last night is pace! Q always talks about pace in his post game pressers. The Bolts played like they were shot out of a cannon for about 15 mins. After that their pace slowed down ALOT. The ice started tilting and things starting evening out and the Hawks slowly tilted the ice in their direction. The GWG wasa sloppy play and turn over. So the Bolts play 11 forwards and play at that pace hmmm?

    The triplets,…2 shot! Hmmmm

    I think its safe to assume Toews & Kane get split up to give Q a more balanced attack. The 3rd line should have a another good game.

    Tuevo, 1st star in the finals, Flipping huge! good for him!

  46. Mike Reilly update (Hey, it’s two days off between games) –

    From Mike Russo at Minneapolis Star Tribune today – “Reilly will meet this week with the Wild and Chicago Blackhawks. The New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, and Los Angeles Kings are also believed to be showing interest . . . ”

    According to the report, Blue Jackets gave Reilly permission to talk with a “limited number of teams” before the June 15 exclusive window expires for Columbus. Reilly is free to sign with another team on July 1.

    Speculation in Twin Cities is that Reilly wants to sign with Hawks and is using other teams as contract leverage.

    Now, back to the Stanley Cup.

  47. My view is that TB came out with a different on ice strategy than they had played in the regular season and/or PO’s to date, and it took the Hawks by surprise in the 1st period. Give them props for speed, skill and hustle as well, but I commented to my frustrated 18 year old that the Hawks typically take some time to figure out what the other team is doing before adjusting and overcoming. It’s why they typically get better as a series progresses.

    Lasts night’s adjustments included breaking out through the middle of the ice (the Bolts were heavy on the boards early and pinned them down several times in the 1st), moving/rotating their cycle a bit higher and lower keeping TB off balance, and Q and the team effectively adjusted and the play started to even out in the 2nd. Once Hawks got a better sense of it, they tilted the ice in their favor in the 3rd, and pow, you have a well-earned 2-1 victory. Kudos to Q and staff as well as a veteran group of winners (as well as to CC for keeping it tight), for these adjustments.

    Will be interesting to see if TB wants to air it out in game-2. I doubt it (yet), and had predicted a low scoring affair for the 1st 3 games or so. Series is far from over but if Hawks adjustments continue to work then a 6-game Cup winning series sounds good to me…

  48. I just had a terrible thought, what if the Hawks sweep. and hockey is over for the year. I know its selfish but i want to see the warriors that wear the Indian head jersey skate for the full seven and then win. I thought Versteeg had one of the best games hes ever played , you can tell he wants to stay on the roster he looked like he would skate thru a brick wall. What is it about players like TT or Kane there are lots of skilled players in the nhl , but why is it that some guys take a routine shot on goal. and it goes in another guy takes a shot and it goes to the goalies gut, its a god given talent . we have the privilege to watch the Chicago Black Hawks play the sport we love and they have made it into an art form


  49. How great was it to see the guys come back with 2 electrifying daggers in the 3rd to stun the Bolts. No surprise to see Tampa turn on the juice early in the game. They were rightfully jacked up to start up the Finals at home. Apart from that once in a lifetime sick deflection, and a little puck luck in front of Corey, the Hawks played a pretty good defensive game themselves. Tampa clearly had a suffocating defensive strategy pay off through much of the game that made for a pretty tepid affair through much of the game. Bishop was basically faced with no stress until the 3rd period when the Bolts defensive seams began to cave and openings for the Hawks appeared. TT goal scored because of a well timed quick release and a great screen from 16. How fantastic to see the 3rd line strike again so quickly to get the lead. I’m so happy for Vermette and Teuvo to get on the sheet again. The kid is really starting to feel it. It’s the Hawks rolling those 4 lines that should bring home the prize.

    Big, big pressure on Bolts to win Saturday. To hear them admit to being nervous and sleep deprived is a clear signal to the Hawks to get on this team and take no prisoners NOW. Kick em when they are down. Bolts can score goals in bunches too, and are likely to bring the house Saturday to even the series. Hawks know this and will be ready. Strong play by CC says advantage Hawks. I think Bishop will get lit up along the way, especially if the Hawks can get traffic in front of him. Beat his ass upstairs where the gaps are.

    Rundblad and Cumiskey did fine in the role they are assigned to fulfill.

    Hawks missed Bickell’s physical presence, Versteeg wasn’t bad last night. Could be that Bicks injury is hand/wrist related as it might explain his trouble handing the puck through the playoffs. Hawks aside from Seabs need someone to take the body hard. If it isn’t Bickell who is going to step into that role unless they do it by committee?

    This team just keeps finding a way to push through. Only 3 more wins needed in 6 games. It should happen. Enjoy a wonderful victory Thursday everyone.

    We want the Cup!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  50. I still don’t see how someone can say the Hawks aren’t fast. It’s a system that they play and I like the word “Pace” and “Conditioning” as that’s what they do. If they wanted to come out and put their head down and head straight up the ice and skate “Balls to the Wall” like TB did last night (and burn themselves out)….they could but as someone said they are more intelligent than that. They do have the players to do it.

  51. Great game. This team knows how to win, and that’s all that matters. I don’t care how ugly it is, blah, blah, blah, none of that means a thing. Crawford made the saves he needed to make, and many great ones at that, like both stops on Stamkos, and the Callahan breakaway. He doesn’t make those stops, game over. Q out coached Cooper and that’s great, too. TT – what can you say about the kid? Can’t teach the kind of savvy he possesses.
    Game 2 is a must win for them. They’re going to come hard and fast and we have to do the same.
    AND – we did a good job at the dot later in the game, which really helped our 3rd period effort. Face-offs were almost even – they had 3 more than us, I believe – and I’ll take that, though we have to get better.
    Keep the momentum!!

  52. GBladz… I am not saying Hawks “aren’t fast” – I am saying -all the “Pundits/experts” call the Hawks fast… and I don’t see them any faster… or as THE fastest team out there (2010- they were top 3 fastest team in NHL)… So my issue is them being Labelled as “Fast, skilled” team… as much as they are fast… I think there IQ, Focus, conditioning, “Will to Win” is are as important … actually more important and MORE correct labels for the Hawks… and of course throw in a couple of Elite Finishers (88,19)

    I still love what Hitchcock- said before-” You have to beat their Resolve”

    SB… look at some of guys he drafts (especially not high picks)… Shaw is a perfect example… SB- wants character, WINNERS, (Panarin (FA), TT)- High IQ (16- dad was coach)… all knew 19,88, would be good… but SB fills out roster w/ IQ,heart,,,

    never heard of 65,,, but once drafted – I did the research, kid Had Heart,IQ, and produced at biggest time of his life M-Cup, un-drafted last year of Jrs.

    On the other end- you have Pirri- I knew in several open practices- the Kid couldn’t skate and was left behind in Q’s high tempo- run-n-gun practices… no endurance… Polar opposite- of Saad- who was blowing by Keith in some drills one on one – full ice

  53. Bronco – I totally disagree with you. I want a sweep. :)

    Mr. Ebony – Does Tampa have you scared yet? Game 1 didn’t change anything for me. I guess I’m learning, albeit slowly, that it’s the Hawks and it doesn’t matter who they play. They’ll rise to the occasion so I worry a little less. You’re a longtime fan as I am and I know winning the Cup probably means just a little more to fans like us.

  54. Nobody else giving Seabs props? He had a great game which included multiple (6?) hits.

  55. I was one who grew tired of Shaw’s dumb penalties and was at the point where I thought I wouldn’t miss him if traded. I’ve changed my mind after how he’s played lately and seeing him going after Hedman in response to him trying to rough up Kane. Gotta love a guy like that.

  56. Seabrook led the team in hits & shots on net. He was a force the entire night, and while the NBC crew was busy burying their rods over Hedman it was Seabrook who was the best defenseman in the game. Great point and he shouldn’t get lost in the Shaw-Teravainen-Vermette love.

    That being said, I always love when people ask why a player – whose performance and statistics are mentioned in the story [above] – isn’t getting props and then gets the statistics – which are laid out [above] – incorrect.

  57. Loved the look on Johnson’s face when Seabrook popped him open ice. “Hey, you can’t do that!”

    Lets Go Hawks!

  58. Very happy to see 3rd line getting winning goals;reminds me of 2010 Hawks with Ladd, Buff, Bolland etc carrying team at times. Regarding Duck series, Kessler plays close defense and was in Toews’ pocket for first five games. Not so Getzlaff, who gave Toews plenty of room. Q moved Toews away from Kessler and Boudreau failed to match. Last night, Hawks had at least five good looks in 3rd period before scoring. At that point, only a question of time. Can’t believe Bolts Steve Iserman endorsed this strategy. Crow again keeps Hawks in the game.

  59. Did you see Shaw take a huge hit, and an elbow, from that giant Brian Boyle?

    Shaw 5-11 @ 180 lbs.
    Boyle 6-7 @ 244 lbs.

    He got up quick and shook it off. Shaw is as tough as nails.

  60. Seabrook was and is outstanding and unfortunately his “size” big boy makes the extra minutes on the ice slow him down at times but he is amazingly consistent not too many better than him and paired with Duncan it’s lights out. But he is not Duncan and can not rebound physically as quickly as Duncan or Johhhny O even, Hammer is a big kid too so those extra minutes do wear them down a little . . . but that core four finds a way.

  61. I just have to admire #4 and his ongoing tenacity to stand up and skate blocked shot after blocked shot. He does not get a lot of mentions, but sure is an unsung hero among many in these playoffs. Tip of the hat, Niklas. Go Hawks.

  62. Seabrook is an all-star and plays an MVP type role year in and year out on this team. It is easy for play by play, color analysts, commentators and critics to overlook him in the shadows of Kieth, Toews, Kane etc. Add to the fact that National announcers always go with what is “trending” and national announcers love the perceived underdog (Hedman). Just like the Duck series. How sick were we hearing about the Ducks fourth line??? Our fourth line flat out outplayed them.

    I am sure all of Seabrook’s teammates are glad he is on our side and hope he is here for a long time.

  63. Another thing about last nights game:

    Anyone notice Bishop staying at center ice with 1:45 to go and the Bolts with the puck? I had no idea why he was just standing there when Johnson and Stamkos were cycling the zone. They had sustained pressure but he didn’t go off for the extra attacker until after the Hawks dumped it in their zone one last time.

    One of these days a missed empty net will haunt us.
    Toews struck iron in Game 4 vs. MIN
    Richards missed the cage from the blue line while uncontested
    Kane skated in and shot wide last night (luckily there was only 9 seconds left)

  64. Reading other blogs, there are lots of cries of “luck” on the Hawks part, “stupid coaching” on the part of Cooper, and officiating bias in favor of the Hawks. I think that line of thinking is short sighted and offensive to the Hawks. Ho hum … just another day in the hockey blogosphere.

    How about just admitting that the Hawks scored twice and the Bolts only once therefore the Hawks were the better team last night. All this coaching strategy stuff has merit but last I checked the coach is part of the “team” and therefore the better “team” last night won. The coach and his game strategy is part of the team.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  65. Read- somewhere…

    TT is 8th in Points/per 60 Min. – 5 on 5– playoffs

    TT is 2nd youngest player in NHL History- to score 2 pts. in a game in SC Finals (Jagr- youngest)

    88 and TT Only 2 Hawks averaging more than 2 pts/per 60 minutes – 5 on 5, PO’s

  66. Wall – posted the 2nd youngest fact on our Facebook page. Teravainen is indeed the second youngest player in Stanley Cup Final history to record a multi-point game, behind only Jagr.

  67. @ Frolik…Agreed that one of these days its going to bite us…Those three events stick out prominently as of late…I know Richards was hopping mad at himself…they do practice this a bit …Bolts were confused, everyone frantic, not sure how Kane missed.

  68. @EbonyR That always makes me laugh. They can call the Hawks victory last night “luck” all they want. Last time I looked, luck counts. And the Hawks created their own luck by outplaying and out hustling Tampa in the 3rd. When LA won the WCF last year, I don’t recall anyone saying, “you know what, that puck bounced off of a shin and and a shoulder and then it lollipopped over the goalie’s head…that’s not fair, too many bounces. Can we have a mulligan?” Nothing wrong with some puck luck, as long as it happens more for us than them.

  69. Until you commented on my post Tab, you hadn’t mentioned that you thought Seabs had a good game. Sometimes I think you’re a little off.

  70. A few thoughts:
    – I believe it was Wall that quoted Hitchcock’s comment on the Hawk’s resolve. Last night was yet another great example of the resolve we have become accustomed to. In this years playoffs alone we have witnessed comebacks from 3 goals down, wins after blowing a 3 goal lead, recovering from serious goalie concerns and winning a game 7 on the road. Unshakeable resolve is the Hawks greatest strength and it is great to see new players like 80 and 86 making key contributions.
    – It sure looked like there were a lot of Hawk fans in the building despite the efforts to restrict ticket sales – nice try Bolts!
    – I just watched highlights of a press conference today where Q was asked again about TVR playing in game 2. I have to say that the legend of TVR is getting to be a bit too much. The kid was a very pleasant surprise in camp and played fine in 18 games but apparently in the minds of many he is a critical link to the Hawks success. I wish him a great career but the continual questions about his availability are a bit much.
    – For those of you getting together on Saturday night – SWIG a few for us out of towners and make sure you bring us a win in game 2!

  71. I’m glad the Hawks won but I’ll bet this series is going to at least 6 games. Hold on to your seats! This series is far from over. TB beat several really good teams to get here.

  72. Crawford was great – top lines canceled each other out – and the hawks depth ended up shining through.

  73. ‘What is it about players like TT or Kane there are lots of skilled players in the’. It because to these guys, ‘its a work of art’.

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