13 December 2009
The Lightning were shut out by Niemi tonight and by the end of it, the game was embarrassing to watch.
The Hawks were looking to come out of their scoring slump and they did ever. Patrick Kane opened up the scoring in the 1st period, followed by goals from Eager and Hossa in the 2nd and Toews in the 3rd. Kane left the game during the 1st period and never came back.
What were the good things?
-The Lightning's penalty killing was good at killing off two 5-on-3 penalties in the 1st and one in the 3rd period. Of course we wouldn't be in that position if the team didn't take so many penalties.
-Niitymaki made an unbelievable save in the 3rd period to keep in 4-0
-Niemi only had to make 18 saves because we ony had 18 shots on the Hawks goaltender
-The lack of communication between Hedmand and Walker as they both went to cover Hossa leaving Eager open which led to the 2nd goal of the game.
-This game looked like the march to the penalty box with so many penalties handed out. The two hooking penalties from Hedman and Ohlund in the 1st period that put the Hawks up on a 5-3 should not have happened. There was Konopka jumping off the bench on a line change to go and fight Eager. Konopka didn't even go for the puck, just straight to pick a fight with Eager. And in the 3rd period, all of the penalties were taken by the Lightning for slashing, hooking, elbowing and goaltender interference. They were sloppy and because they were losing the game, they also lost control of their composure.
-The Hawks did also take their share of penalties, but the difference is they won the game
The Lightning made a number of hits that were embarrassing to watch as a fan. The hit that Smaby made on Toews in the 3rd looked a little late to me. Toews had already fired the puck, and Smaby still moved in to take the hit. Luckily Toews braced himself for the fall on the way down.
-Nearing the end of the 3rd period, Tocchet send out his 4th line on the ice, in which they made themselves look like goons. The Blackhawks were winning the game and instead of the Lightning just playing hard and finishing off the professional way, Fedoruk takes a hit on Niemi. What? Seriously? Why Fedoruk?
-Tocchet was embarassing for putting out guys like Fedoruk and Konopka out for the last few shifts of the game. Quenville had been respectful to the Lightning not putting up his top guys on the powerplay in the 3rd period to run up the score. Instead Tocchet puts out guys that are going to be physical with the other team. I know he is trying to reward them in his own way and punish his top line guys, but putting out goons when you're losing that badly leads to game misconducts and suspensions.
Last thought after watching the game:
What is the over/under for Tocchet getting fired by Christmas?