Last night was one of those games where I had to get tipsy before it even started so that I didn’t stress vomit at puck drop. I can’t even imagine the mess I’ll be when the Stars are in the same situation. I have to apologize for the lackluster recap, as I’m still recovering from my exhausting day yesterday.
Blackhawks v Lightning
Final Score: Hawks 2 – Bolts 1
Series: Hawsk 3 – Bolts 2
This game was wacky from start to finish. For what felt like the first time all series, the Hawks started this game quickly, with sustained pressure in the offensive zone and few looks against. In the first, they tallied 14 SOG to Tampa’s 5, and had 65% Corsi For. Ben “It’s Just a Flesh Wound” Bishop was back in net, and while that wasn’t entirely unexpected, Bishop clearly felt the need to prove himself by attempting to play all positions, leading to what is my absolute favorite goal this entire playoffs.
If you’re not laughing, you’re not human. Let’s watch it again.
So the Hawks end the first period up by 1, and Bishop should’ve gotten another post-season point, though unfortunately, that’s not how hockey works.
This wasn’t the only wacky thing that happened early in the game, but it was easily the highlight. Other fun hijinks included “popping the door to the penalty box open via checking” and “getting a stick stuck in Hossa’s skate.”
Hockey is serious business, yo.
Unfortunately for the Bolts, Kucherov had a hard crash into a goal post early in the 1st and wasn’t seen again for the rest of the game. This was a huge blow, and several forwards including Stamkos were double shifting to replace him.
Despite Tampa being down an offensive powerhouse, no one expected the score to stay at 1-0. Halfway through the 2nd, the Lightning made a big push, and ultimately tied the game up on this fantastic play when Jason “Who Needs a Spouse When You Have a Beard Like This” Garrison pulled Crawford out of his net before dishing to Valteri “Did You Know I’m the Only Bolt to Win Lord Stanley? Well I Am” Filppula who wasted no time before flicking it into the net.
And here’s the Finnish call of that goal because it’s way better.
The third started with both fan bases already hitting that #barfcrydie stage, self included. Fortunately (depending on who you’re cheering for, I guess) we didn’t have long to wait for the levy to break, as the Versteeg-Vermette-Teravainen line who had been terrorizing the Carle/Sustr pair all night created some major havoc leading to this goal.
After that, the Lightning came on strong, but Corey “Call Me Average One More Time” Crawford stood tall, making save after save, including our favorite kind – the Sassy Glove Grab™
With 8 seconds left, the Bolts couldn’t hold it together and took a dreaded Too Many Men penalty. The Hawks go on the Power Play, the clock winds down, and Tampa is left to pack their bags and head to Chicago, where the Hawks have the chance to win the Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938.
What We Learned: The Blackhawks are really good at those “be the puck” visualization exercises.