Panthers 3, Blackhawks 2

And that, kids, is why you don’t spot an NHL team a three goal lead, specifically a team with a world-class goaltender. 

The Panthers jumped out to the big lead after the first period, thanks to some shoddy goaltending from Corey Crawford and a horrific giveaway by Niklas Hjalmarsson. 

David Booth struck first after Crawford kicked out a huge rebound from a Michal Repik point shot.  Booth was there to bang it home after he beat Nick Leddy to the net.

Five minutes later, with the Panthers on a line change, Hjalmarsson had all the time in the world to skate the puck out of his end.  But as has been his custom this year, he simply buried his head and fired the puck into the neutral zone.  The puck deflected off a stick and went right to Sergei Samsonov who led the scoring rush.  The puck came back to Clay Wilson who put a shot towards Crawford so soft that it barely touched the back of the net as it snuck through his legs.

Then in a swift kick of poetic justice, Marty Reasoner closed out the period with a goal on a broken play.  The goal came with less than six seconds in the period and though the shot was well placed, Crawford didn’t give himself the best chance to make a save. 

The Hawks dominated the next two frames.  They cut the lead to one after the second period thanks to goals from Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.  Both goals were scored on Vokoun’s glove side on bang-bang plays.  Hossa’s scoring play, in particular, was a thing of beauty as he placed the puck in Florida’s zone perfectly for Bryan Bickell.  Bickell found Dave Bolland who fed Hossa for the one-timer. 

In the third, the Hawks seemed to forget their first two goals came from lifting the puck off the ice.  The majority, if not all, of their best chances on net were at Vokoun’s feet.  That’s simply not going to get it done with Vokoun at the top of his game.  He is one of the better goalies in the league at taking away the bottom of the net.  Even though the Hawks had numerous scrambles in front, they couldn’t get any elevation on their shots, and therefore couldn’t get the equalizer.  

Thoughts 

–Is anyone really surprised that Marty Reasoner potted the winner?  I figured he’d score one tonight after the hoopla we caused by merely mentioning his name last week in our Committed Indian column.   It was curious that Pat Foley, the king of the backstory, didn’t once mention Reasoner’s brief tenure as a Blackhawk this summer.  Maybe while he was confusing Brian Campbell with Bryan Bickell, he forgot.  Or maybe I just missed it.

–Florida’s defense is horrifically bad.  They must have turned over the puck a half dozen times in the third period alone.  Erik Gudbranson better bring some friends with him next year.

–Maybe next time Joel Quenneville thinks about starting Corey Crawford in 12 straight games, he’ll have this game to remind him it might not be a great idea.  While Crawford was terrific in Toronto and coaches don’t like to change things during a winning streak, it was quite obvious Crawford was wearing down.  Lo and behold, he made just two more saves than goals he allowed.

–It might also be a good reminder to Joel Quenneville next time he has the goalie pulled and an opportunity to choose his six men on the ice, Marian Hossa is a better option than Tomas Kopecky.  Just a hunch on that one.

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25 Responses to Panthers 3, Blackhawks 2

  1. Cam says:

    Leddy’s TO was more responsible for the first goal than Hjalmarsson’s was for the second.

    Turco tomorrow, I’d assume. Should be quite the test of energy and resiliency.

  2. Scott says:

    I’m not sure if it was foley or eddy but they did mention Reasoners very brief stint with the hawks. Crawford looked lost out there and Turco looks pretty good when you give the opposition < 10 shots and don't let him scramble all over.

    Oh well, lets start another streak tomorrow

  3. Cam says:

    “The lesson is you gotta be ready to play,” Turco said.

    ….

    “It was our worst period of the season,” said Hossa, who extended his scoring streak to eight games with a second-period goal. “We thought it was going to be easier (against Florida).

    “It just goes to show we have to play 60 minutes, it doesn’t matter who we play against.”

  4. alpo says:

    Didn’t get a good idea of the game as I listened to WGN. So my perception is filing this game under hot goaltender. The Hawks spotted the Panthers a 3 goal lead, but Vokoun bailed them out. Sure, this game was a small reminder about hard work versus talent over 60 minutes. But let’s keep things in perspective. The sky is not falling.

    I’m very excited for tomorrow’s game between the Lightning. Should be an interesting matchup with a lot of offensive firepower going for both sides. This will be my first time getting to watch Stamkos play in a full game instead of just highlights. Hopefully, we’ll start another streak tomorrow.

  5. ArlingtonRob says:

    I’m glad someone is excited about tomorrow’s game with Tampa. This was an awful lose that can be put on the rather lengthy list of games where points were left on the ice. Good teams find a way to get at least the equalizer to secure 1 point minimum. Personally, I think this game defines the 2011 season, and how it was lost.

  6. Ban says:

    The 2011 season and how it was lost? Seriously? Where was this negativity during the 8 game win streak? Man. There’s just no pleasing some people.

  7. Brian says:

    “I think this game defines the 2011 season, and how it was lost.”

    …Must have lost it during our march into 4th place.

    I guess it’s easy to tell Hawk fans are a little spoiled from last season.

  8. CT says:

    “It might also be a good reminder to Joel Quenneville next time he has the goalie pulled and an opportunity to choose his six men on the ice, Marian Hossa is a better option than Tomas Kopecky”

    WHAT?!? When you’ve got a chance to get the guy with the best snap shot on the team onto the ice, you gotta do it.

  9. Otter says:

    I know the Hawks lost, but I really really enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd periods. That was a lot of fun to watch.

    I place a lot of the blame for this one on Quenneville. Crawford clearly shouldn’t have started and Kopecky was the 6th man on the ice? Really?

    Anyway, Hawks will probably win 95% of the time they out shoot the other guys 39-15, so bummer, but not concerned.

  10. jm says:

    Voukoun had lost his stick, the Panthers were running around like chickens with their heads cut off, Seabrook pinches in, and predictably, fires off a slapper high and off the mark, which ricochet’s all the way back to the Hawks end and allowing them to regroup.

    It was at that point when I figured this one was over.

    I love me some Seabrook, but I knew the result of that as soon as I saw him raising his stick.

    Still, the Hawks did dominate 40 min of the game, and in the end, were beaten more by a goaltender. But after a disappointing season in which they had pissed away so many points to inferior teams, how could they still take the ice flat thinking it’d be easy?

    Guess Captain Toews, motivational speaker extraordinairre, needs to give his speeches before the game.

  11. Otter says:

    Look, the Hawks didn’t have a good first, but they still out shot the Panthers that period. The second goal, yeah Hammer turned it over, but I could have made that save. It was one of the weaker goals given up this year by any goalie that I’ve seen. No excuses for Crawford there. And he should also get a lot of the blame for the first goal.

    I know it sucks to lose to a team like the Panthers, but the Hawks lost because their goaltender sucked last night and the Panthers goaltender was playing like Dominik Hašek. Let’s settle down here… this isn’t like the Devils game where the Hawks flat out didn’t show.

  12. alpo says:

    I guess the Hawks aren’t allowed to ever have a bad period. Might as well begin debating whether we prefer Gabriel Landeskong, Sean Couturier, or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

  13. jm says:

    There’s bad periods, and there’s spotting a 3 goal lead to one of the worst in the league.

  14. Marts says:

    Could kind of see that 1st period coming. Days off in South Beach, probably the time and location of the Hawks rookie dinner (Craw’s an official rookie, so his tab Sunday night was proably 10k, with a mega hangover), I’m purely speculating but this game had the feeling of one they’d be chasing. I remember Vokoun pulling this stunt on us in the 1st game of the season last year. It happens, the guys probably got a serious dose of reality after the first and they recovered nicely. Vokoun was in street-hockey mode out there. What can you do…?

  15. AC says:

    Wow, while I want to say I’m not shocked over the negativity here, I really thought saner minds would prevail. My feeling is that they had to lose eventually, it has been over a month since they played a game without getting a point. Better that the game was against an Eastern conference team.

    The Hawks have been very good the last few years on the back end of back-to-back games, so here’s looking forward to tonight’s game.

  16. Steve says:

    Yet another game lost because of a terrible period. The Hawks still appear unable to play a full 60. This has been a problem all year and will be a major problem in the playoffs. An eight game winning streak does not absolve them of this.

  17. John says:

    Playing a full 60 has nothing to do with it. They lost because Crawford was bad and the other goalie was excellent. These things happen throughout the course of a season.

    Trying to relate this loss to other losses throughout this season is misguided. The Hawks are a completely different team right now than they were two months ago, personnel-wise, effort-wise, and coaching-wise.

  18. CT says:

    Wrong John, every loss is a microcosm of the season.

    And ever win is a microwave oven. Or something.

  19. Cam says:

    Those who blame Quenneville for letting Crawford start last night won’t be happy to know Crawford’s in goal again tonight. I really thought it might be a nice chance for Turco to get back on the rails again.

  20. Cam says:

    Hawks getting outplayed and trailing after 1 in Tampa.

    Crawford has allowed 7 goals over his last 3 periods.

  21. Marts says:

    Where’s Bolland?

  22. Cam says:

    Bolland was elbowed in the head and left the game. Concussion is the fear. Refs called nothing just as neither they nor the league did anything about the dirty elbow to Keith’s head in Toronto. Did I say they did nothing? i meant they put the elbowing of Keith on their website as part of their highlight package.

    Anyway, Hawks battle back from 2 down only to find a way to lose in the shootout.

    1 point in 2 games against inferior opponents and they lose Bolland and Campbell. Quite a successful trip.

  23. John says:

    Cam, ever the optimist. I would hardly call Tampa an inferior opponent.

  24. Cam says:

    Tampa is the luckiest team in the league. 16 games over .500 with a negative 4 goal differential. Compare that to the Hawks who came in +35 and 13 games over. They are a fraud.

    But you’re right. I should be more optimistic after the Hawks just broke Florida’s 5-game losing streak and Tampa’s 4-gamer and lost Bolland and Campbell in the process. What was I thinking?

  25. Marts says:

    I missed a good 15 mins of the 1st period on my way home from work (hence not seing what happened to Bolland). Nice to see the Comcast coverage mentioned it just as we were starting the 3rd – I mean, he’s hardly important at all.

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