Like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind - Lightning 5 - Hawks 4 (OT)

After a fast paced first period in which Vik, the Toews line, and the Hawks as a team carried the play, but could not dent the twine, Stamkos opened the scoring 15 seconds into the 2nd frame.  Emery kicked out a rebound on an in tight redirect that he certainly couldn't be expected to control, and Stamkos snuck behind Brent Seabrook for an easy tally.  The Hawks powerplay answered about a minute later as Daydream Nation completed a Sedin-esque three-backhand-pass sequence that Sharp tucked home.

About 5 minutes in, Sean O'Donnell got turnstiled on a beautiful give and go by St Louis and Lecavlier, and Brett Connolly bullied his way to the net to consummate the rush.  The Connolly goal seemed to energize the Hawks as they went on to score three unanswered goals in just over a minute: Kane hit Hossa on a set face off play which Hoss finished 5 hole, Carcillo picked Bergeron's pocket, rumbled-bumbled-stumbled to the net, and roofed a sweet backhander over Rolo's shoulder, and Humpty Hump threaded the needle with a beautiful dish to a streaking Patrick Sharp, who beat super-Swede Victor Hedman to the net, and tapped the pass home.

Just when you thought that the Hawks were pissed off enough to grab this game by the equipmonk, Steven Stamkos happened.  Nick Leddy lost control of a pass and made things worse when became distracted by the golden locks of Stamkos and gave him a free pass to the front of the net.  Not to be lost in Leddy's mistakes is the centering pass that Purcell made to get Stamkos 2/3rds of the way to his eventual hat trick.  The young sniper completed his hat trick, with half a minute left in the second, on his standard left circle powerplay snipe.

After an exhausting 2nd period, neither team registered many shots in the third, and each squad coasted into OT.

The hawks caught a tough break in OT when a slap shot from the point broke Bolland's stick.  A stick-less Bollie wasn't able to clear a puck along the half wall, and as he rushed to the bench to grab another cue, Marty St. Louis saucered a pass over a sprawled out Nick Leddy, and Lecavlier knocked in the game winner.

Bits of wisdom from the Pork Chop Express

  • Different people will have different takes on Viktor Stalberg's night.  Vik's been solid lately, and he was a (relative) beast last night, but he has to find a way to finish one of the many chances he had.  Stalberg is a streaky player, and I'm guessing that after a 3 goal week and tonight's snakebit evening, we might see downswing in his production. 
  • I think it's safe to say that this was Nick Leddy's worst game of the year.  While his CORSI number doesn't reflect that verdict, the -4 and hapless own zone play does.  Obviously the four even strength goals against aren't all on the kid, but he did have a hand in each.  Goal 1 - Leddy's turnover leads to 'Ning possession and eventual tally.  Goal 2 - After OD got turnstiled on the give and go, a gliding-backward and flailing Leddy couldn't prevent St Louis from getting the puck to the net.  Goal 3 - Already went over this one, it wasn't pretty.  The game winner - Sharp, Bollie, and Lepisto left young Leddy hanging out to dry on this one, but I could hear the argument that, in laying down to block the pass, he left an easy saucer pass open to one of the best playmakers in the league.  Don't get me wrong here, Nick Leddy has been great this year.  So the kid played one game like he was spooked by Bobbum Man, but I'm sure he'll be fine, especially once D2K returns.
  • I can't call out Leddy without mentioning that OD and the Rat Pack were hot garbage for most of the game as well.
  • The hawks third goal is something that we'd expect out of Toews, Kane, Sharp, and/or Hossa, not Dan Carcillo.  Those of us who were lukewarm at best on the Carcillo signing didn't expect that combination of savvy, hustle, and skill.  I still don't want to see Carbomb in a permanent top 6 role come playoff time, but I'll happily eat a bit of Carcillo-crow after an impressive first month of the season.
  • Toews line hasn't been bad, but I feel for the Captain.  If Toews doesn't get much even strength time with Kane or Hoss, and the powerplay consistency doesn't improve, we're probably going to see a drop off in his point production compared to last year (which was admittedly, a career year).
  • On the flip side of the Toews note, Patrick Kane is doing everything expected of him (and then some) skating with two extremely talented players in Sharp and Hossa.  Is there anything more fun than watching Hockey's version of Steve Nash make beautiful tape-to-tape passes leading to highlight reel goals?  I submit that there is not. (psst, that St Louis guy is pretty good too, but who cares about him)
  • Marian Hossa has seven goals in 12 games, which is a 47 goal pace.  After starting last year on a similarly torrid pace but slowing down eventually and losing some time to injury, let's hope that Hoss stays healthy and attached at the hip to Patrick Kane.  It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but the novelty of having a 40 goal scorer would be nice.
  • I haven't heard anything about Dunc's status, but after two high shot total against games, I think it's safe to say that we could use a guy with superhuman lung capacity.  I don't care if it's Leddy that needs Dunc, Dunc that needs Leddy, or neither, I'll feel a whole lot better about Sunday's game if I know that D2K is going to suit up.
  • Steven Stamkos is an elite sniper, we know this, and therefore we can handle goals like the powerplay one-timer from the circle.  What isn't acceptable is letting Stamkos get to the front of the net and score dirty goals like he's some unholy force of a power forward; this is why the Hawks lost the game.
  • Random notes:  1) On the eve of a Hawk-Nuck showdown, there is little doubt that Saskjet's blood pressure is through the roof. 2) Did you guys know that this was the Dad's trip?
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