Have the Blackhawks run out of MeauxJeaux? It seems like maybe they have. Crawford appears to be too mercurial – that 3rd goal – it was like he didn’t expect anyone to be in front of his net. He made no effort to break up the pass or to get over. I don’t get it. Every goalie lets up softies, but you rarely see an NHL goalie look like a soccer goalie does when a cross connects to the far side and he has no chance. Maybe it’s because the NHL nets are only 4’ wide.
Why does he stand up instead of just pushing across? He’s still on that post, but standing, as the puck goes in. He must not have known anyone was there, but with that many of his own guys you still have to respect the deflection. That looked lazy or confused. I think at times, he’s very good and underrated/unappreciated, but how easy that goal was, that one confounded me.
At the other end, Bishop was fighting the puck all night, but I think the possible-injury made him keep things simple. As the game went on, he largely let the puck just hit him and then tried to find the rebounds. Early he was aggressive — he had the horrible 2-pad stack on Hossa’s missed net and the attempted glove save where he reached far out in front and tipped it into his own net. Some big athletic goalies are better off when they can keep things simple, and he did that for the last two periods. I would like to find out what the injury is after the series – if there is one.
But…Then again it could be a replay of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013. You know the one when Boston went up 2-1, after the Blackhawks won Game 1. Toews did not record a single goal in those first three games, nor did Kane. It caused plenty of panic in Chi-Town. This team seems to operate at a different frequency than most. They almost prefer to save their best hockey for when a series gets later, (see Western Conference Finals). It typically starts right around Game 4.
Want to know how well the Blackhawks play in late in the series? In games 1-3, under Quenneville, the ‘Hawks are 30-30. In games 4-7, the ‘Hawks are 40-14! But who knows, if you’re a fan of the Blackhawks, you have to worry a little – can’t keep pulling rabbits out of your hat – lose game 4 and it might be over.
Notes I can’t put anywhere else:
- Cedric Paquette‘s goal with 3:11 remaining in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and earned the Lightning a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. In Game 1, Chicago’s Antoine Vermette scored the go-ahead goal with 4:34 left to play in regulation time which provided the winning margin in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory. This is the third Stanley Cup Final since the NHL took exclusive possession of the trophy in 1927 in which there were two games with a tiebreaking goal scored in the last five minutes of the third period. The others were the Maple Leafs against the Red Wings in 1964 (Toronto’s Bob Pulford in Game 1, Detroit’s Alex Delvecchio in Game 3) and the Hurricanes versus the Oilers in 2006 (Carolina’s Rod Brind’Amour in Game 1, Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth in Game 3).
- The Blackhawks posted a 2-1 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but the Lightning has won Games 2 and 3 by scores of 4-3 and 3-2. This is only the third time since 1977 that each of the first three games of a Stanley Cup Final series was decided by a one-goal margin. That also happened in 1998 (Red Wings vs. Capitals) and 2010 (Blackhawks vs. Flyers).
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