Overtime. Again! And unfortunately for the Chicago Blackhawks, it was deja vu. Protecting a 3-2 lead late in the third period, the Hawks could not stop the St. Louis Blues, who scored with six seconds left in regulation and then in overtime. Now down 2-0, the Hawks find themselves in position to lose the series. And they could have won the game easily.
It definitely could have been a different game. The Hawks played incredibly stupid hockey in the first period. Defensive lapses allowed Chris Porter and Kevin Shattenkirk to score two goals in the first period. The Hawks were sluggish, passed bad and looked out of it. However, things changed in the final 10 minutes of the second period. A goal by Duncan Keith 17:25 into the period got the Hawks on the board. Third-period goals by Brent Seabrook and Michal Rozsival tied and then put the Hawks ahead.
But then things went wrong. On the penalty kill with less than five minutes, Seabrook made a monumentally dumb hit up high that took out David Backes, drawing a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct that saw Seabrook sent off. The Blues pressured the Hawks until Vladimir Tarasenko shot a goal past Corey Crawford with just over six seconds left. Barrett Jackman finished the job five minutes and 50 seconds into overtime.
One three-word phrase to describe this game: What was that?
Honestly, the way the Hawks played, they deserved to lose the game. Brent Seabrook, I’m looking at you. They also blew multiple power play chances, did not get pucks to the net and let the Blues back in the game (surprise, surprise). It’s very likely that Seabrook will be suspended for one or more games. Also, the rest of the defense deserves a lot of the blame (despite all three goals coming from defensemen).
Other blame goes to Michal Handzus (although credit has to go where it’s needed, as he was amazing on the penalty kill). Kris Versteeg has also been getting heat, but he looked good as well. However, calls for lineup changes are growing louder and louder.
But really, this was a team loss. They had a chance to win a very important game and blew it. They lacked a killer instinct — they had so many chances to score on the empty net — played incredibly dumb and didn’t look like they were in it. They certainly deserved to lose this game, and if they lose this series, this will be the point where they blew it. And they will have deserved to lose the series too.
That was flat-out embarrassing. This had better be a wake-up call.