Chicago Blackhawks: Lightning Strikes In Game #2

By Brian Kasnicka

The Chicago Blackhawks fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game two of the Stanley Cup Final last night by a score of 4-3.  With the series knotted up at one a piece the two teams will head to Chicago for games three and four, Monday and Wednesday night.  After falling behind 1-0 early the Hawks scored two quick goals, one by Andrew Shaw and the other, a powerplay goal by Teuvo “Finnish Cold” Teravainen.  The game continued to be back and forth until Jason Garrison fired a wrist shot off the stick of Andrew Desjardins and past Corey Crawford giving the Lightning a 4-3 advantage they would not squander.  There’s some good news and some bad news.  Which do you want to hear first?

The good news is that the Hawks are headed back to the United Center tied up.  It’s always stressed that to have a leg up in the series you need to take at least one of the two games away from your building, and the Hawks did that.  It would’ve been nice to be up two games to nothing headed back to Chicago with a chance to end this thing in four, but nonetheless the Hawks are still in good shape.  Brent Seabrook scored his seventh goal of the playoffs last night, a howitzer passed Bishop.  It’s great to see Seabs utilizing that shot of his and scoring some big time goals for the Hawks.  Another plus for the Hawks is that Teuvo Teravainen has emerged as a legitimate offensive weapon.  Although he tends to get too cute with the puck at times, his speed and excellent shot make him a threat whenever he’s out on the ice.

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Then there is the bad news.  Kyle Cumiskey and David Rundblad continue to struggle.  Rundblad, at times, looked like a decent defensemen who you could see on the bottom pairing.  Cumiskey however, did not.  He made unnecessary passes and didn’t look comfortable when he had the puck.  I would look for Coach Q to go with TVR in game three.  Then there’s the matter of Corey Crawford.  Crawford, who was magnificent in game one, struggled in game two.  He made some excellent stops in the first period to keep the Hawks in the game, but was beaten by a Nikita Kucherov deflection and then allowed a soft goal to Tyler Johnson.  Yes, deflections are extremely tough to stop, especially in close, but it seemed to me that Crawford was having a problem tracking the puck for most of the night.  He appeared to be constantly looking behind him, as if to see if the puck was in the net, or just flat out looking in the opposite direction of the puck.  Crawford still gets the nod for game three, because we all know he can shake it off and get a W.

Enjoy your Sunday Hawks fans and get ready to don the war paint and fill the United Center for what should be an excellent game three, and an even better series.  Go Hawks!

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