Blackhawks fall in lackluster performance vs. Lightning
In what is becoming the norm, the Blackhawks couldn't get anything going against the Lightning on Friday night, falling 4-0 in Tampa Bay.
Well, the Blackhawks acquired Kimmo Timonen, so there's that.
The Hawks' acquisition of the veteran defenseman turned out to be the only real positive of the night, as they were run out of the building against the Tampa Bay Lightning, falling 4-0. This comes just 24 hours after a strong enough showing against the Florida Panthers. Fatigue certainly could have played its part there, but this is the type of performance we're becoming far too familiar with from this Blackhawks team.
The Blackhawks actually held a shot advantage in the first period, at 10-7, and only trailed by on in Corsi in the opening frame. But the two sides played to a scoreless frame, as the Hawks were unable to get anything past Ben Bishop in the first period. They went onto get 28 shots his way, but never actually threatened.
Tampa Bay got on the board twice in the second period, with goals from Brian Boyle and Steven Stamkos. A pair of poorly timed Kris Versteeg penalties led to a couple of power play goals in the third period, one from Ryan Callahan and one from Steven Stamkos that came on an absurdly placed shot. The Hawks didn't give him too much help, but Scott Darling couldn't really hack it on Friday night.
When you give a team like Tampa Bay, one of the premium offensive teams in the league, six power plays, your chances of winning are likely minuscule. Duncan Keith had a horrible night, in drawing three penalties, and Versteeg wasn't good either as his two trips to the box resulted in a pair of goals for the Bolts.
It was yet another performance in which the Hawks just didn't have it. They only trailed by one in the shot department, but trailed by 11 in Corsi and never really challenged Bishop. They were never into it. Whether it's a mentality thing, which appears to the case given the amount of times we've seen this happen recently, or fatigue from a game 24 hours ago, the concerns aren't going anywhere even with the acquisition of Timonen.
Say what you want about the level at which the Lightning typically play. The Hawks weren't engaged in this one. It was obvious. They were outshot and outmuscled throughout. Luckily, the Hawks only have two games next week, on on Monday against Carolina and on Friday against Edmonton. That could be the remedy they need to get back on track heading into a March 8th tilt with the New York Rangers.
No stars tonight. Until then, look forward to the trade deadline on Monday.
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.