Short-Handed Blackhawks Struck By Lightning

The storylines before the Blackhawks attempted to win their 13th consecutive game made the beginning of Thursday night’s game the most intriguing since the streak began.

Earlier in the day, the Hawks traded forward Ryan Garbutt to Anaheim for Jiri Sekac. With Sekac still in transit, Chicago’s forward lineup took another blow when Richard Panik overslept and missed the morning skate. Coach Joel Quenneville benched the forward, meaning Brandon Mashinter dressed.

And Rob Scuderi was… a wing?

The game got off to a start that reminded fans that these two teams played for the Stanley Cup a few short months ago. Tampa got a quick shot on net on the opening shift, and then Patrick Kane went to work.

It took less than a minute for the Hawks to get on the board, and it was pretty.

From there, however, the opening 20 minutes was all Lightning. Chicago managed only four shots on net, officially, in the first period and didn’t get the last two until the closing minutes of the frame.

It was only because of another tremendous performance from Corey Crawford that the game was tied heading to the second.

Trevor van Riemsdyk took a skate blade to the side of the dace on a penalty kill and needed a few stitches to come back, but was able to return for the second period.

Late in a second period that saw the Hawks with much better puck possession,  Kane took two penalties in a row, the second of which coming before he left the box. Literally.

Nikita Kucherov made the Hawks pay on the second power play, scoring his 20th of the season to give Tampa a 2-1 lead.

Crawford faced 23 shots in the opening 40 minutes, stopping 21 to keep the Hawks in the game.

The Hawks got their tails whipped at the dot in the first two periods, winning only 10 of 33 faceoffs as a team. Even Jonathan Toews, the best faceoff man in the league, was under 50 percent to start the third.

Chicago got two power plays in the first 13 minutes of the third but weren’t able to generate anything. And, quickly after the second came to a close, Niklas Hjalmarsson went to the box for too many men. Hjalmarsson made contact with a Tampa skater as he was coming on the ice before another Hawks player could get off, leaving the Hawks short-handed again with seven minutes left in regulation.

The Hawks killed the penalty, but weren’t able to beat Ben Bishop the rest of the way and the longest winning streak in franchise history came to an abrupt end.

Crawford was magnificent, making 31 saves on the night. He was tested frequently from every angle and had another Vezina-caliber performance against a team playing elite hockey. Bishop only faced 18 shots in the win.

Chicago is back on the ice against the Panthers on Friday night.

27 thoughts on “Short-Handed Blackhawks Struck By Lightning

  1. So we come back down to earth and, thanks to Corey Crawford and another stellar effort, we made a soft landing with dignity after what was a weird day for sure. Oh well now that the win streak is over and out lets go beat the Panthers for fun.

  2. Hawks totally shorthanded. The minute I heard about the Panik situation I said the Hawks are in trouble and I knew it would be tough even before that and the Garbut trade. Also Hawks have played three more games than the Lightning this year. I know everyone says the schedule is what it is and it evens out etc., but the fact is if a team has played 3 to 6 less games over the same period of time it has to make a difference. Look at the number of games played. Hawks at 50 right now and some teams at 44. Then you look at the schedule and the Hawks play tomorrow and it seems like every other night going forward. I don’t know how these other teams can make up 6 games over the rest of the season. but I presume they will. Of course, that type of advantage ends in the playoffs. For the record I think the teams that play less games early in the season and catch up at the end have a bit of an advantage and often those last few games don’t matter as teams are resting players anyway. Enough harping on that. In any event great game by Crawford and literally everything was working against the Hawks tonight. I think the game was an outlier and even then a one goal game. Hate losing the streak. but the loss doesn’t bother me.

  3. Well ,easy come easy go ,,not sure what to think about the
    Panik sleeping in and or being late for practice ,then being scratched,.,.Does he have a history of b.s. Mash played 4 min.,.,.,Scudari less than that,.,Just thinking,.,.,if i played for the Hawks ,and had a practice at say,.,.,9 a.m. I would own a really accurate alarm clock ,or at least get some honey to wake me up,.,perhaps even my MaMa. This sounds like someone scored a couple goals,.,.,game winner even,.,.,and went out and messed up,.,.,nuff said.

  4. Hawkhead agree. A young pro athelete (back where he used to play) sleeps in when he is very hung over.

    The lines were out of whack w/ only ten forwards playing.

  5. They outplayed us, give them credit for that. Being shorthanded makes a difference but we didn’t have our legs because were in the last part of 14 games in 24 days.

    To have a good-really good record in these 24 days would be good but to go 12-0 for the bulk of a 14 in 24 is really amazing good work by the team. Puts us were we deserve to be. Need to finish off this difficult sch. with 2-1 or 1-1-1 would make 13-2-1 for that stretch. The last 11 wks we have a good sch.

  6. Tampa played well and outplayed the Hawks in every phase for all 60 minutes. If not for Crawford continuing his stellar play it would have been 5-1. It happens and there’s no shame in losing 2-1 against a healthy Tampa team who showed they are still one of the better teams in the league when they’re healthy.

    Hopefully Sekac makes his debut tomorrow night and Panik is released from Q’s doghouse. I hope to never ever again see a 4th line with Mashinter and Scuderi on the wings.

  7. Well, that was certainly the best effort by any of the competition over the last 13 games. Lightning forecheck and consistent pressure like a virus to our puck possession program. They’re a hot team now, but we still take ’em in any 7 game series . Kane’s ostensible double minor a mighty strange occurrence, changed the game.

  8. Well said Tad re Corey Crawford last night otherwise this would have been a blow out. Crow has just been phenomenal. A very dominant performance by the Bolts, putting relentless defensive pressure on for 3 periods. There was little if any open space in which the Hawks could operate. I doubt Bishop broke a sweat. A tip of the cap towards the Bolts. They played a great game. With Scuds getting a few shifts as a forward and no Panik or Garbutt in the lineup, it was a tall hill to climb. I don’t recall all season such little puck possession by Hawks in the offensive zone as last night. Toews line seldom had the puck the entire game. Pity all the Hawks fans that jammed the Amalie arena had little to cheer about. I was at the game down there last year for the game and it was the same deal as the Hawks were blown out.

    Should see a stronger and more motivated Hawks lineup tonight. Looking forward to being back t the UC on Sunday.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. Crawford almost stole another game. Last night is an example of what happens when you can only roll three lines. Kudos to Q for benching Panik and sending him a message. The third line was the only one with sustained pressure. Looking forward to seeing what Sekac can do.

  10. Totally outplayed even at the DOT 14 out of 48 and of course Time of Possession.
    which is the stat for me I know not for many here. But when ya lose the dot ya chase and ya don’t have the puck your fuc_ed!. This will kick off a long stretch now where the Hawks and this Blog will begin to drift, play average, look for a trade or two and begin to “plan for the playoffs” and it wont matter in the end. Hawks as good as anyone in the NHL and will have the Best Shot at another CUP! Baring injuries!

    Crow Show once again, kept a beleaguered and wandering Hawks team in it for as horrible as they played but the Hawks where over due to lose and Bolts are playing very well. Crow is playing BETTER than ever, he is even playing the PUCK BETTER BEHIND the net if anyone noticed, this to me shows indeed his confidence is booooming and we’re seeing the results. Totally different goal tender than last year and last year he was a rock star!

    No real 4th line tonight as my boy Garbutt sadly heads out and Panik sleeps in! But Sekac will show you what SPEED really looks like om ice so we don’t have to guess.! Speed is really the only way to beat the Bolts! Bolts and LA kings play the same system but Bolts well the name fits they bolt. They are quick and play their best vs the hawks.

    Every NHL team must have defensemen join the rush I’m so tired of hearing it! But, BOLT have the defensemen that lead the rush and head the rush. Bolts play just like the Golden State Warriors! PUSH! Bolts don’t have much BULK they all can skate and they all can handle the puck! They push it up hard unlike the Hawks who even when Keith or Gusty is carrying the puck they are looking for an exit pass and actually SLOWS DOWN when they do hit the blue line in the offensive zone! Like the NBA Warriors BOLTS push all the way until YOU STOP THEM, (hockey 101) this collapses the defense or the defense has to step up to stop a Hedman! Then wingers with speed run the wall get behind ya and ya got trouble! Bolts to me still are Challeneg to score but they PLAY CONSISTENT! THET DO THIS FOR 3 PERIOD with their D-men, not when they are down or up or looking for offense! They also switch and cycle on the Fore Check like a clinic, they cover but bad news is , they also are NOT QUICK TO GET BACK, they stay locked in on the check and often d-men are in the blue paint in front of crow or behind the net! Big gaps in the defense but with no speed to break out well ya get a 2 to 1 game!

    Moral of the story? Same as Cup last year!
    1 – Bolts defensemen in a 7 game series get run into the ground and exhausted and burn out by game 6 and then make mistakes! But when they’re rested look out! Full court press is exhausting! The system leaves BIG GAPS in the defense that a team with TEAM SPEED can easily exploit.
    2 –Hawks need SPEED on the wings, no long break out passes ( hawks trade mark ) to get behind them will work, when Bolts run a TRAP FORE CHECK you lose! A Trap with the skating talent they have is hard to recover the puck, looking around and try to pass it 50 feet up ice is even harder! You have to bank it off the wall and have a SPEEDSTER go get and EXIT WITH SPEED. Hawks had 7 or 8 odd man breaks that turned into NOTHING Due to poor speed bad decisions to get to the outside to the net, Hawks ALL SLOW UP LOOK FOR THE PASS when they see that blue line! So Recovery for BOLTS is easy!
    3 –Hossa 3 times tried to dump it behind a defender at the blue line and he could not get around the defender. Lost the puck all three times. Shaw also is struggling with his speed to the wall, the only guy is DEZI but he is big and comes in sooo HARD not SPEED or FAST but HARD he just runs ya over, lowers his shoulder and has that great reach and Bulls his way to the puck!
    4- Bishop is average, like Renne just make him move left to right even 6 inches is a road trip for this guy. Gives up a lot of rebounds and while he mak3s great plays behind the net 2 or 3 times a game he will give ya an open net with a mistake.

  11. The Panik situation can turn into a PANIC real Quick if Coach Q does not get over it!
    When Q puts ya in the dog house ya tend to stay in the dog house, i hope not!

    Sekac will be a player, his speed should make an immediate difference, each of our 3rd and 4th line need one guy with speed to stretch the defense, make them turn their heads and chase and most important GET A HOLDING OR INTERFERENCE CALL . . . like Sadd did in his first 2 years!

    Go Hawks but they will settle back down to earth and it wont be make a difference in april! Cup Coming!

  12. I wonder who is Panik’s roomate? Unless it was Garbutt (leaving on a Jet Plane) it does not look great on them if they let their roomate sleep through AM skate.

  13. Very disheartening to see the bolts keep the hawks from setting up any possession game in their end, even on the power play, while the hawks sit back and literally just let the bolts enter the hawks zone. A lot of the winning streaks that have ended in the league so far this season have been followed by losing streaks. Hopefully the hawks still have the drive that they did through this winning stretch. Excited to see the lineup today though, assuming everyone wakes up on time for practice.

  14. Espo- I asked myself same thing??? Don’t these guys wake each other up? and go to rink as team??? I know there are a lot of guys to track… but u would think they would have a line system or something??? seems odd

    IMTGRILL- yes- it looked like a few games of SC finals… But- Hawks still managed to win ( I still don’t know how- but glad of course)

    1st line – Shaw is a WARRIOR- complete over-achiever… Opposite of Bickell…
    And NOT his fault of playing 1st LW… But- illustrates that Hawks will need More from 1st line/ and 1stLW to compete versus True ELITE teams-imo
    AND- added bonus- Shaw would be slotted 3rd/4th- were he could truly Make Hawks Deeper!!!

    Me Hopes- that SB can find that True 1st LW- to make the team that Much better!!!

  15. Tampa came out strong , Hawks struck 1st but Tampa countered, good game with two good teams!

    No shame in losing a road game to a quality opponent. Good thing the team has little time to dwell they play tonight against the Panthers! Fla is a good team too so let hope the Hawks can get back to their winning ways soon.

  16. Interesting comments in LA paper today from Bob Murray re: Sekac/Garbutt trade. He said they expected Sekac to be a top 6 forward this year but it didn’t work out due, in part, to a tough ankle injury which caused him to miss a number of games. The Ducks were also looking for tougher forechecking from the bottom 6 and know Garbutt well from the conference and past playoffs (he got a spearing penalty against Corey Perry!).

  17. MTM. You were looking for more humor…. Just wanted to let you know I found it in the length of your post

  18. Interesting stat from Troy Murray during last night’s radio broadcast. Of all the goals scored by the Hawks this year to date, 31% of them have come from new players not on last year’s Cup winning roster. That is an incredible number, and bodes well for us if it continues the rest of the season.

  19. 75% of the new guy goals were scored by 72 &15. Stan gets high marks for bringing them both aboard.

  20. Espoforever…excellent point about Panik and what I was thinking…where was his roommate.

    Next game please…

  21. Hawks know Tampa well and they didn’t show anything different than in the SCF. Tampa played well of course but I personally didn’t see many Hawks play their best in this game. With playing a lot in the past 2 months and playing again tonight and in another 2 days, I’m sure they pick and choose their battles.

  22. JT, good observation. We did the same thing against MIN in one of the first couple against them after we beat them the year before (the 1st and 2nd times) in the beginning of season. They played so hard because they wanted revenge, when we played smart/not going to do that for a meaningless game in OCT, etc. Even though this is JAN, they only play us twice, same difference. Like Phil mentioned same thing in ’15 we beat them at home and they outplayed us by a lot in FLA during a time we had back to back/3 in 4 or this back to back/14 in 24.

    We know when to not get involved when not necessary.

  23. NHLers don’t have roommates on the road anymore-those days are long gone-
    Players now have cell phone alarms/and old fashion room calls on request-
    no excuses for grown men

  24. Tab, Thanks for the NHL Rule definition, that was first class and prevented a lot of misleading comments. Thank You.

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